The Raiders steadfastly declined to define a position for stud pass rusher Khalil Mack.
Turns out, it’s because he’s among the best in the league at two. Mack became the first player to be named first-team Associated Press All-Pro Team at two positions. The second-year star was voted in at both defensive end and outside linebacker.
“I do whatever I can to help the team win. I’m a team guy,” Mack told the Associated Press. “Whether it’s dropping in coverage or rushing the passer. I can do either. I think they (voters) saw that.”
Retiring safety Charles Woodson, whose final NFL action will come in next month’s Pro Bowl, was a second-team All-Pro pick at age 39.
Mack is the first Raider to make first-team All-Pro since cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and punter Shane Lechler in 2010. He received 24 votes at defensive end and 17 at linebacker from the 50-member voting pool. Marcel Reece also received two votes at fullback and Marquette King earned one vote at punter.
Mack was second in the NFL with 15 sacks, behind only J.J. Watt’s 17.5. He nearly split his snaps between defensive end and outside linebacker, spending just a hair more time on the line (467 snaps to 439).
Mack’s game rose significantly after the year-long suspension was handed down to Aldon Smith. He had only five sacks through nine games at the time, but had 10 more over the next six games. That includes his epic five-sack performance in a 15-12 win over the AFC West-champion Denver Broncos on Dec. 13.
He was the NFL’s sack leader entering the final game before Watt overtook him with a three-sack outing. Mack finished the year with 77 tackles and two forced fumbles in addition to his 15 sacks, the third most in team history.