With Mack available, Raiders keep pick

Filed for print . . .

Reggie McKenzie said he fielded some phone calls Thursday night from teams interested in trading for the Raiders’ first pick at No. 5 in the NFL draft.

Then Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack became available.

“Once Khalil fell to us, we had a couple of calls,’’ McKenzie said. “At that point, I wasn’t taking ‘em.’’

Mack was only the third linebacker ever taken in the first round by the Raiders, following Rolando McClain (No. 8 in 2010) and Rob Fredrickson (No. 22 in 1994).

But it was clear listening to coach Dennis Allen that while Mack is listed as a linebacker, his primary responsibility will be rushing the passer.

At 6-foot-3, 251 pounds, Allen compared Mack to Von Miller, who was the second overall selection out of Texas A&M when he was defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos in 2011.

Miller was the NFL defensive rookie of the year with 11.5 sacks, had 18.5 sacks in his second season and has 35 sacks in 40 NFL games.

“The thing that was really attractive about Khalil Mack is he understands how to rush the passer, and he understands how to rush the passer with power,’’ Allen said. “I see a lot of similarities between he and Von Miller.’

Mack has also been compared with Green Bay outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who was drafted by the Packers when McKenzie was a personnel executive.

At Buffalo of the Mid-America conference, Mack started 48 games with 28.5 sacks, 75 tackles for losses and an NCAA career record of 16 forced fumbles. It helped that Mack was dominant against Ohio State in the season opener in 2013 with 2.5 sacks, nine tackles and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown.

“It had to do very well for my stock . . . just knowing the stage it was on, knowing it was the first game of the year and they were ranked so high, it benefited me a lot,’’ Mack said.

Jadaveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick by Houston out of South Carolina, was generally considered the top defensive player available, but Mack had his supporters _ NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock among them. Mack said at the NFL scouting combine he indeed considered himself No. 1.

Still does, as a matter of fact.

“I think that I am, but even then I’m at the point now where I’m tired of talking and I want to go out and start proving a little bit if this tuff everybody’s been talking about. I can’t wait. I cannot wait.’’

Linebacker was the only position group where the Raiders returned all three starters _ Sio Moore on the strong side, Nick Roach in the middle and Kevin Burnett on the weak side.

Allen wasn’t getting into specifics as to how Mack would be used, but he called him a “three-down player’’ and made it clear much would be expected of the rookie.

“I’m not going to get into exactly where he’s going to play,’’ Allen said. “I’ll tell you this _ he’s going to obviously have a big role in what we’re going to do and he’ll be a guy that we’re going to use to send after the quarterback in a variety of different ways.’’

Mack said Allen spoke of his role in general terms.

“We discussed having my hand down, discussed playing a little outside linebacker,’’ Mack said. “I’m ready, man. I’m ready to go play football.’’

Coming out of Westwood High in in Ft. Pierce, Fla., Mack wasn’t heavily recruited. It’s a slight he said he carries to this day for motivation.

When the Buffalo Bills traded for Cleveland’s pick at No. 4, it occurred to Mack he may not have to change zip codes.

When asked by a reporter if he was afraid he would have to spend his whole life in Buffalo, Mack laughed heartily.

“I was like, `Yo, I’ve got a lease right now up in Buffalo. I might be keeping it,’ ‘’ Mack said. “That’s crazy.’’


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Rico Stifler

    Ford is way too small to be a 3-4 DE. Maybe a 4-3 DE, but KC runs a straight 3-4 D.

  • Rico Stifler

    One of my best friends, who is a KC fan, didn’t like the pick at all cuz he wanted WR or CB. Dennard was still OTB at 23 too.

  • xraided

    i’m sure he’ll go to one of HOU WAS or CLE … there’s no way he makes it to 36

    that would be absolutely fantastic though…

    he does have a case of the dropsies at times

  • Ian

    Yeah they seriously hated on the Raiders. Are we that unpopular or what?

  • 2romes

    One of the QB up for the draft failed the the test lately, right?

  • 0ak R8rs

    Yea. Pissed the eagles off im sure.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Jake Matthews, a 6’6, 310 lb. tackle put up 24 reps on the benchpress

    Khalil Mack at 6’1, 250 put up 23.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Reggie digs tall wrs. Robinson and Latimer are 6’3.

  • Breaking_Black

    I swear they know how obsessed we are and do that kind of stuff to just troll us.

  • Rico Stifler

    No doubt. lol. They needed a safety badly. That probably prompted them to go ahead and trade down.

  • Nosferatu Man

    Ju’Wuan James was quite a reach, though I think he’ll be a good player.

  • Ian

    He had a diluted urine sample–and a physician documented one. Plus that QB is supposed to be a 4th rounder anyways.

    Jernigan probably could’ve been a 1st rounder but mistake me if Iam wrong I think he came up dirty for smoking weed.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Can’t wait to see Rivers cry the first time Mack hits him.

  • Umrao32

    NFL has done so since Al was owner for years. The NFL doesn’t want us to be successful. Goodell will make sure of that as long as he’s in power

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Borttles massive reach.

  • Rico Stifler

    Dri Archer could be a good option as a returner to target later.

  • Ian

    Mark is playing checkers on his phone and drinking a mai tai while Reggie and dennis are hard at work. Typical.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Atkinson’s son in the 7th round would just be right too, you know?

  • Rico Stifler

    Yeah, i thought he was a bit of a reach too.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Biggest problem for Bortles is he’s gonna have to start. He needed a spot where he could sit a year or two.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Rumor had it that Lewan was in play at five until Mack fell.

    Kouandjioe or Moses tomorrow?

  • Ian

    I really believe it. The NFL and BSPN are both trying to fck us over.

  • Rico Stifler

    Yeah, he was the first surprise of the draft.

  • Just Win Baby

    It’s funny how much people loathe Goodell.

  • Gdog

    Injury prone? Right down Reggie’s alley.

    I’d take WR over Carr. I was hoping Bridgewater would fall to us… alas.

  • Rico Stifler

    Yeah. No doubt. I think that prompted them to trade down.

  • Ron69

    I don’t know how good Clowney will be but Mack is a better pure football player, he is the complete package and his motor never ends, as Mayock said “he’ll be an all pro” it’s a bright day for the Raiders.

  • Ian

    Who says we cant stll draft him? Personally I would rather we draft Skov but Van Noy is still on the board. Mack will be used primarily as a DE anyways

  • Rico Stifler

    I think he’d go undrafted.

  • Rico Stifler

    Morgan Moses wouldn’t be a bad option if we got extra picks to use

  • Chris in NY

    Look at all these guys available going into Day 2 and I feel even stronger that trading back would’ve been the smart play. Sorry, I know everyone is gaga over Mack right now. I hope he does as well as everyone is assuming he will. I think he’ll work hard and be a solid, durable dude, but I’m not sure he’s going to be spectacular.

  • 2romes

    Grap man had the the diluted during, I think. He is the drop back QB I pictured but not on drugs. Diluted urine? Sounds like JR Jr.

  • 0ak R8rs

    He’s terrible. Maybe w the mr irrelevant pick we got for sending our own mr irrelevant to Seattle a few weeks ago. He should have never come out. Has an attitude problem. Got in a pissing match w Kelly and decided to withdraw and declare. Daddy must be so proud.

  • lefty12


  • RaidO

    Yup Reggie and more importantly DA need him to make a huge impact.., Not sure about that..

  • 0ak R8rs

    4th time they’ve shown The Hobbit post draft interview. Can’t wait till 2016 when he officially busts.

  • Chris in NY

    I’d love it, but with Mack, Sio Moore and Burnett plus needs elsewhere and talented players available to fill those needs I’d be pretty stunned if Reggie took Van Noy anyway.

  • Ian

    Mack Looks beastly. He had a real chance to go #1 overall. He set a collegiate record with 16 career forced fumbles.

    I think he will do quite well here. As long as he has some help.

  • Nosferatu Man

    31 other fan bases would be thrilled with this pick at 5. Basically across the board…even the ones that wouldn’t need him. I guess you guys have to reach for some negativity to hang your hat on.

  • DJ Johnny

    “Mack could’ve gone # 1 overall and few would’ve sneezed”.
    Raiders caught a huge break and you’ve gotta give Reggie credit for realizing it…and jumping on it.

  • 2romes

    You think he can play inside? Not DE but DT?

  • Ian

    Oh and he can start day 1 I might add

  • RaidO

    Not negativity,… It’s a do or die year for DA and Reggie.. They needed a impact player at #5..He is a rookie LB so it may take some time..

  • Just Win Baby

    Just Win Baby • in a few seconds
    Cleveland picks Justin Gilbert no. 8 overall and nobody says anything about the guy because they are all foaming over Manziel being taken at 22. What a kick in the nads.

  • 2romes

    Just saw some clips.

  • Miamiraider78

    It’s such a contrast between the comments on ESPN and NFLN on Khalil Mack. BSPN it’s almost as if we were reaching and NFLN was nothing but praise.

    Business as usual on BSPN.

  • Thec

    Wise not to take a qb at 5 when we have the great Shob.
    Continue to build the D wuth pick2, or get LEE/Adams at WR

  • Nosferatu Man

    OK…which impact player did you want? I would have been cool with Evans here also. By the way, I’m not asking the question to set up an argument, I am just curious.

  • Just Win Baby

    Mack will be the Raiders version of Von Miller. I guess I could see that.

  • 0ak R8rs

    I wanted Watkins, but I still can’t believe we got Mack. I thought sure Reggie was gonna pass and take Joel Bitonio or Easley. Something stupid. Nice job Reggie, way to not outsmart yourself. Keep it up. Big day tomorrow.