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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.’’

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Not sold on Carr. Nice arm talent though, just don’t think he has the chops.
    For all that people mock Manziel and his rich boy entitled family, being the younger brother of the first pick in the NFL draft seems to have plenty of rich boy, entitledness along with it.
    Not a fighter, IMO.

  • SnBG

    Well at least you only farted on Reg instead of shyting on him. Progress I guess.

  • SnBG

    Well at least you only farted on Reg instead of shyting on him. Progress I guess.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    I think Murray can be a starter, and would have been a early 2nd rounder if not for the knee.
    The only QB I would take in any rounds from here on out.

  • Marley Bob

    Mack-Attach!
    Pick Attaouchu, twin 6’3, 250, 4.6 Edge-Rushers, double digit sackers!…think James Harrison-Lamarr Woodley in their prime.

  • SnBG

    Carr is actually the best passer in this draft and may turn out to be the best QB also. I would be very excited to get him.

  • Que

    :) do it Jimmy page

  • The Ghost of Dave Casper

    New post

  • R8erEduc8er

    There goes rml liking comments again lol. Morning rml!!

  • Charlie

    We need luck in a variety of areas especially injuries.
    I know they are part of the game but our roster is still too thin to overcome a rash of injuries.
    Let’s hope for a solid day two.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I should take you off the McGloinoid list?

  • Que

    I said on my post, with the draft you need some luck also when picking. Still upset with Buffalo

  • Marley Bob

    Sio can be Chad Brown-Lawrence Timmons ILB, Burris as Teddy Bruschi at the other ILB.

  • SilverandBlack666

    Yep I agree

  • R8erEduc8er

    Same with Manziel and the Cleveland elements.

  • R8erEduc8er

    I wouldn’t be mad nor excited.

  • Que

    geez….reggie could have gone so many other ways. and this is proof no matter what he does. he stink to you.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Manziel has a stronger arm and bigger hands.
    The big hands thing, according to Bill Polian, is the key to throwing in bad weather.

  • SnBG

    NFLNet not liking Miami’s pick. Things sure can turn in one year. They love the Raiders pick of Mack.

  • Que

    we need depth on d line and B-more and other great teams that are always in it. Always draft the BPA

  • Que

    Thank you

  • R8erEduc8er

    True, but he play high school football in Texas and SEC football. Very different from Cleveland winters. The big hands will help like TB’s gloves will lol

  • R8erEduc8er

    It’s either Carr at #36 or no QB at all. I’d rather go heavy on defense and take a QB next year.

  • Que

    I agree with you on b-more just the media give NE all this credit for years on drafting and they haven’t been. Once Tom’s gone What to become. I always say , every team is looking for a franchise Qb and to have that guy around for 10 years.

  • Guest123

    I’m not upset at Buffalo. They got screwed on that deal. I’m sure that as much as Reggie loves him some Sammy Watkins, if that deal was on the table for Reggie, he’d have taken that 2015 first rounder off of Buffalo’s hands.

  • SnBG

    Sorry JFB, Carr is a gamer. He threw the ball more than anyone and played in Fresno that had no real running game. Wait until he comes to the NFL with a good running game and talent on a par with other teams. That USC game was a joke. Fresno was so outclassed in that game. Any QB will fold under a great pass rush. Manning in the SB. I wouldn’t call Manning a bad QB.

  • JUSTWINBABYWIN

    can someone riddle me this????:::: not claiming to be some crazy draft talent evaluator like some fans think they are lol but how in the world can a lot of these NFL analysts including kiper put mack’s skill set in the same realm as clowney???? doing some research on mack, dude played 1 year of high school ball, 2 star recruit with only 2 scholarship offers from really weak football schools……the MAC conference???? clowney , 5 star recruit with offers from literally everywhere, chooses to stay in his home state and plays and dominates in the SEC conference …………am i missing something????? i’m not doubting mack’s skill set b/c everybody seems to be high on him, but i for one know this kid better be ready for the dramatic change in speed and strength than anything he has probably dominated in (he even says the biggest challenge is going to be playing with grown professional men)……..i know a lot of people keep using the ohio state opener as a blueprint but that’s still just one game….i know they played tennessee and uconn as well but the level of competition or lack thereof in the MAC makes me hesitant to say the least

  • Reuel Smith

    hey man. if you give me your email address maybe on Riff’s site? I’ll send some more of my watercolors

  • transparent58

    Mack dominated at Ohio State last year to open the season. I think Clowney is the first #1 High School Prospect to ever drafted #1 by the NFL. The High School prospect ratings don’t mean that much for players that have 3 years to develop in college. Clowney didn’t “DOMINATE” the SEC, either. He flashed elite athleticism at times, and is a freakis athlete, but he was not a dominant player, especially last season. You say Mack gets too much credit for a single, Clowney gets overhyped for ONE PLAY. Great pass rushers can and are found all over the play. DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora went to TROY. Jared Allen went to IDAHO STATE. The MAC has produced guys like Joe Staley and Ben Worthlessberger, too. Talent is talent, it’s apparent regardless of competition.

  • transparent58

    Agreed. Do not like Savage.

  • MapleLaugher

    Clearly much has changes since Mack and Clowney were being recruited from high school. Since then we have learned that while Clowney has been guilty of taking plays (and sections of entire games) off, Mack has no such issues. The fact Mack has had less time to play and learn, would usually indicate a higher ceiling than someone who’s played for a decade before being drafted. Clowney didn’t do his draft stock any favors over the last year with questionable work ethic and Mack is the hands down next closest talent wise, so that would likely be the reason some are looking to Mack as the top talent. I’m no expert, but that would be my best explanation.

  • Blackholepriest

    No not at all, it was why I laughed when people compared him to Clowney because there is no comparison. One is a once in a lifetime talent the other is a very gifted athlete with fire in his belly to be the best he can be. Clowney is the single most gifted athlete at that position since Bubba Smith.

    That doesn’t mean Mack cannot have a HOF career it just means Clowney barring injury is flat out scary. He will make plays you haven’t seen before. I compare him to Bo Jackson vs Marcus Allen, Marcus was sensational but there is only one Bo Jackson when he rolled out of bed he made plays you will never see again…………period

  • RaidingTexas

    Anyone else not able to load the comments on the newest post?

  • HELLSBELLS

    YES

  • HELLSBELLS

    Who do you want in the second.

  • RaidingTexas

    Marqise Lee or Donte Moncrief.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Like Lee also, What about Nix or Jernigan? Tuitt? Man alot of good options left.

  • Blackholepriest

    Clueless! you obvious never watched Clowney play. That made tons of plays his soph year and freshman year. “One Play” lol try a couple hundred plays . The kids games were like highlight reels………period

  • transparent58

    I pointed more to LAST season, where he coasted from the accolades of his first two seasons. His Sophomore season was great. He just didn’t build off it. Even then, Lewan handled him pretty well in the Bowl game for all but one play. I liked Clowney, but knew he wouldn’t be there at 5. Guys that rated Mack higher than Clowney did so because Mack’s effort and instincts were better. Nobody in this draft has more natural talent than Clowney, though.

  • RaidingTexas

    All good options too, were all projected to go as high as the first round. There will probably be a run on DTs early tonight.

  • Blackholepriest

    No problem but we’ll see who has better effort and instincts come September. I just think people wanted to see Clowner doubles and triples and when he didn’t they knocked him for it.

    Mack rarely saw doubles Clowney saw them EVERY PLAY. big diff I love Mack but Clowney he is not………period

  • RaidingTexas

    Why are you crying about Clowney? He’s a Texan. The Raiders never had a chance to draft him.

  • Blackholepriest

    Shut up dumb bell.

  • http://www.raiders.com/ Dan78

    yup

  • xraided

    same

  • xraided

    i’d love Nix

    we currently have McGee,Sims,Smith as our DT … we need much more than that.

  • xraided

    oh yea he totally dominated with 3 whole sacks last year.. LMAO

    i thought you weren’t a raider fan any way? why do you care? reggie is RUINING THIS TEAM right? gtfo

  • xraided

    you’re the one who’s clueless. clowney has big bust potential. has 1 swim move and only had 3 sacks last year. SNORE

  • xraided

    there’s plenty of tape of Clowney getting OWNED by ONE MAN … perhaps you should put aside the HIGHLIGHT REEL and watch the other stuff

  • xraided

    because he’s a traitor btch child. not a real fan of raider football at all…but loved Al and Pryor… said numerous times he doesn’t like the raiders because reggie is ruining the team… id1ot haha