Posted: 7:57 am Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Falcons fans: Meet Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

 

NFL Network's Mike Mayock said he can't find a hole in Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack's game.  (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said he can’t find a hole in Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack’s game. (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

INDIANAPOLIS – Heading over to the Oil Dome in a few minutes.

It will be a heavy media day with Falcons coach Mike Smith set to speak at 11:45 a.m. Check back around Noon-ish for video and a little later for a blog on some of the highlights and a story on Myajc.com.

I wanted to share a little bit on potential future Falcons linebacker Khalil Mack, who played at Buffalo. Some consider him the best defensive player in the draft and he should be available when the Falcons pick at sixth overall.

Here’s a story on him from Buffalo.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock had heard all of the hype about Mack before he watched his film.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Mayock said. “I knew that he had a lot of positive reviews from around the country, but the first tape that I put in was Ohio State and he blew them up. He played all over the field. On the edge and dropping into coverage.”

Mack, who was considered a two-star recruit coming out of Fort Pierce (Fla.) Westwood, had only one scholarship offer. … to Buffalo. He took it.

Mayock believes he can play strongside and weakside linebacker and be an edge rusher.

He could play that hybrid defensive end/linebacker spot the Falcons have tried to play Kroy Biermann in for the past two seasons under defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

Here’s more from Mayock on his film review of Mack.

“The next tape that I put in was Kent State and he made a one-handed interception,” Mayock said. “He runs like a safety. He explodes off the edge. From my perspective, in today’s NFL, guys who have natural edge-rush ability are like gold.

“You have to get them when they are available. I think he’s one of the elite edge guys in the draft. He hustles. He’s tough and he can play the run game. Unlike a lot of these guys, he can also drop in coverage. I have yet to find a hole in his game.”

The running and jumping action doesn’t start until Saturday. But check back later in the day for videos, Smith’s interview and other items from the NFL scouting combine.

Thursday, February 20

9:45 AM: Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins Coach (He’s been silent since the Wells Report was published. The Miami writers are ready for some answers and want to know why he’s been hiding from the story.)

10:00 AM: Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears Head Coach.

10:15 AM: Kevin Colbert, Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager.

10:30 AM: Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee Titans Head Coach.

10:45 AM: Ruston Webster, Tennessee Titans Executive Vice President/General Manager.

11:00 AM: Phil Emery, Chicago Bears General Manager.

11:15 AM: Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills Head Coach.

11:30 AM: Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals General Manager.

11:45 AM: Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons Head Coach.

Noon: Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions Head Coach.

12:15 PM: Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach.

12:30 PM: Tom Telesco, San Diego Chargers General Manager.

12:45 PM: John Fox, Denver Broncos Head Coach.

1:00 PM: Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach.

1:15 PM: Rick Spielman, Minnesota Vikings General Manager.

1:30 PM: David Caldwell, Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager.

1:45 PM: Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders Head Coach.

2:00 PM: Jason Licht, Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager.

2:15 PM: Dennis Hickey, Miami Dolphins General Manager.

2:30 PM: Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles General Manager.

2:45 PM: Rex Ryan, New York Jets Head Coach.

3:00 PM: John Idzik, New York Jets General Manager.

3:15 PM: Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach.

3:30 PM: Dave Gettleman, Carolina Panthers General Manager.

3:45 PM: Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers Head Coach.

4:30 PM: John Schneider, Seattle Seahawks Executive Vice President/General Manager.

93 comments
tyger
tyger

Khalil Mack is intriguing, especially with void at OLB...

Reminds me of HBCU Classics...2/3 star recruit, NFL HOFer...


Clowney intriguing, a need, perhaps best on board....

Yet, draft deep...Mack, undersized but high motor, skilled, tenacious...

Matthews, Robinson, safe picks, fill needs, plug n play, 10 yr players...


Dee Ford another high motor, highly skilled, tenacious defender...

Stephon Tuitt ditto but bigger, longer...


Point is Falcons can stay at 6 and put together a very talented class...

Is Clowney that much better than Mack, Ford, Robinson, Tuitt?


Or with 4 picks in Top 105, are they better off stock piling young talent...

reallygroovy
reallygroovy

if the falcons let another Matthews get away I will personally come to flowery branch and cuss out the whole falcon front office except MR.BLANK , the falcons need guys like MIKE KENN AND R.C THIELMANN USED TO BE WHO BLOCKED FOR BARTKOWSKI THOSE KINDS  so dimitroff you better not screw this draft up like the others you screwed up you have 7 picks plus 3 or 4 compensatory picks and this roster needs 15 to 20 excellent players so you can get from 4-12 to whatever

reallygroovy
reallygroovy

the pick is jake Matthews or clowney the rest are BUSTS UNLESS YOU WANT JOHNNY FOOTBALL he will be another great qb just  that kid from southern missisippi named BRETT FAVRE who the falcons gave away for nothing .

DOrlandoLedbetter
DOrlandoLedbetter moderator

Looks like y'all are on that Greg Robinson bandwagon!

JSSN
JSSN

You don't have to remind me about Mack. He's single handedly made my alma mater EMU his personal play toy since he arrived in Buffalo!

Still the single funniest thing I've ever seen is when he was actually tripled team on purpose and still made the play! Oh I forgot, seeing Matt Ryan slide 5 yards short in the playoff in the Meadowlands was formerly the funniest thing I'd ever seen!

Crimson reminds me more of a more athletic version of Greg Lloyd (same huge motor, leader, and really nasty in the right way like Suggs, not like Spoon)!

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

O-Line at #6 is a wasted pick if Clowney or Mack are available.

We need Defense!!

We have to consider the idea(strange as it might be) of actually stopping the opposing team at some point this Century.

I've said from the get-go, defense & a RB in rounds 1&2.

You wanna "mask" a weak offensive line???.....then draft a top notch RB. We'll have pick of the litter in Rd 2.

Don't forget, our Line was atrocious in 2011 & 2012 yet we managed to win 23 regular season games those 2 years. Remember how great the Falcons were picking up 1st downs on 3rd & 4th and inches!?! :(

---

JSS loves when I remind him Beast Mode & Russell Wilson haven't exactly operated behind Joe Gibbs' Hogs the past 2 years!!

Okung is World Class.

Carpenter is decent(when they play him).

Unger is serviceable, no more - no less.

Breno & Sweezy are deadbeats.

---

Defense, RB, then lots more Defense, with a TE & a O-Linemen sprinkled in.

TheRealJay
TheRealJay

If both Barr and Mack are available at 6 we need to trade back a few spots.

4DaBirds
4DaBirds

If we can't get a stud OL with no.6, then Mack is probably the way to go.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Darrell......Hair-Gel isn't on the mic today?

Has Arthur or the NFL revoked his speaking privileges?

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

Nice to meet you Khalil!

Now let's go draft Greg Robinson!

JSSN
JSSN

@tyger  

They've got to see the field and contribute! Regardless of the Smith staff changes, they cannot hamstring whomever they bring in. You ask valid questions as usual. Clowney is a Dent like anchor if they have the good sense to bring in a Dan Hampton or Dave Butz like veteran or a young rock like Michael Carter was that can actually play and give true leadership and force Clowney to see his next level and climb to it! 

You are an astute contributor, think this way. It is more like you could get an player with Seau's upside and drive or Dent ascendent. The rest need pieces and veterans to counterweight the Falcons natural instinct to stifle talents arc to evolve with nurturing.

Camaro-Bob
Camaro-Bob

@reallygroovy  Yea and they will call the cops and have U aressted!

Dont Wory as I wiil do the same thig if they dont draft Johnny Fottball. 

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@reallygroovy  

This isn't BRUCE Matthews!

We are talking about Jake Mattews.

Bottom line is that Greg Robinson  is better than Jake, so you draft him instead.

Dman
Dman

Poor Bartkowski was on his butt more than his feet. He was a great QB...

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

I like Robinson.

He's Fluker-esqe.

I just prefer to actually field a Defense at some point in time.

JLTee
JLTee

I'm not. Matt needs some vets to protect him...some nasty vets. We've spent a ton of picks (Baker, Johnson, Holmes, Konz, Blaylock) on the offensive line. It's time to bring some veteren leadership to that squad. I'm tired of Matt playing behind guys who have to learn on the job.

It's time we draft our "Julio" on defense and acquire some veteren leadership on the Oline.

No knock on Robinson. Matt can't take another year like the last one and Baker isn't going anywhere (look at his cap #!) Bring in a quality veteren now.

JSSN
JSSN

@DOrlandoLedbetter  

It's a Falcons blog, defense doesn't matter until they are getting gassed and steamrolled in the playoffs!

Dman
Dman

@JSSN

EMU, it all makes sense now...

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

"Avoid" Lloyd, huh?...."Real Men are Black"!!.....Black belt karate instructor.

I'll take it.......minus the gun play, of course.

He did ram a glock down his 10 year old son's throat if memory serves.......I think that kid got drafted a few years ago?

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@TheRealJay  
If we don't get Robinson at #6, the rest of the picks won't matter as much.

Gotta get the cornerstone LT first and foremost!

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@BigCrimson75  

Supposed we got Robinson in the 1st round and Van Noy of BYU at OLB in the 2nd round.


MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@JSSN @DOrlandoLedbetter  

Gotta protect your QB first & foremost, Green Bay lost an entire season because they couldn't protect their QB.

Seattle's great Defense was built on 3rd through 6th rounders and a lot of FA money because they got lucky on R. Wilson - 3rd rounder.

JSSN
JSSN

@Tea-Party-Meber

Nah, Joe Tess the Cow School is Michigan State, Like UGA they keep bovines on campus!

JSSN
JSSN

@Dman  

Teaching people with lack of mental capabilities is part of our original charter. yep, make plenty of sense. (No ellipse) 

JSSN
JSSN

@BigCrimson75  

Lloyd had actually calmed down (laughing) when he put that gun down Jr's throat when he was 12 for bringing home bad grades! You can take the man out of Miami, but you can't take the gun out too! Still laughing (looking over my shoulder) at a Lloyd episode in Fort Valley at a Kappa dance in 1985 when I was home for Spring Break and he crack some Omega over the head! Ah, the 80s!

JLTee
JLTee

Ryan has already been pummeled behind a line with a bunch of young guys. It's time to get a nasty vet in here to provide pass protection and draft a young stud for the defense. It's atypical for young offensive linemen to come into the league year one and not get schooled. Ryan cannot afford to have another rookie learn on the job.

It's time for the "Mack Attack!"

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Here's the problem with Robinson.......Sam Baker is our LT. :( :( :(

6 years - 41 million.

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Remember the experiments using Baker on the Right side of the Line?.....I do, he made Antuan Applewhite(career nfl traveling DE) look like Lawrence Taylor!

JSSN
JSSN

@MikeBanning @BigCrimson75  

Van Noy needs huge tackles to make him worthwhile. The minute Ansah left his game became smaller and more one-dimensional (that bullrush)

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@BigCrimson75  

He's projected right after Mack & Barr and the ILB from Bama-Moseley, and some have him ahead of Shazier from tOSU.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

I've only seen Van Noy play 1 game.....against Tech, so that doesn't really count. :)

JSSN
JSSN

@MikeBanning

You should watch the entire piece, but fast forward to 5:30-6:35 and Carroll puts it all there on Wilson.

JSSN
JSSN

@MikeBanning

What don't you get about competition? Some teams are not scared of it. The Seahawks structured Flynn's contract in a way that made them in a slight way hit later in dead money (Flynn was only $4M against the 2013 cap), they are done taking hits for him! They tired of depending on Jackson (plus they learned about just giving somebody a job)!

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@JSSN @MikeBanning @DOrlandoLedbetter  

So why didn't they draft him in the 1st or 2nd rounds?

They were lucky to find an NFL starting QB in the 3rd round that is good enough to start his rookie yr.

That same off-season didn't they bring in a high-priced FA QB, that Wilson had to beat out, doesn't sound like Wilson was their man all along?

JSSN
JSSN

@MikeBanning @DOrlandoLedbetter  

They didn't get lucky on Russell Wilson. Schneider (Seattle GM) had Wilson on his radar from the day he stepped on the Wisconsin's campus from Raleigh (personally scouted him him at the Rose Bowl). He told Carroll going back to the Senior Bowl that he was targeting him. That is not luck! That is planning, they threw open their QB competition, that is real coaching! Get "real talent" and let it go at it!

Point is you're not Seattle, your team is not the judge of talent that the Seahawks or the 49ers are!

Ted Thompson in Green Bay has made more errors than the other two franchises, jettisoning Flynn for Harrell. GB season was thrown away because did not treat having a Rodgers backup seriously. They still wouldn't have beat the Niners or Seahawks , they can't stop running games that are above average. They are taking that serious this off-season!

More on "fixing" the Falcons later.

JSSN
JSSN

@JamesCammer

Next time I feel like slumming, nah I won't feel like that! Get back in the prep line!

Twisterfire
Twisterfire

@JSSN LOL! coming from Mr. EMU himself. Only EMU grads flip burgers at McDonalds and Checkers. Come back after you get a pay raise from minimum wage.

JSSN
JSSN

@JamesCammer

Mini-Troll, the only bovines you know are the ones you flip on the 3rd shift at Checkers!

JSSN
JSSN

@MikeBanning @BigCrimson75  

Too late to complain about Baker, folks warned them and he still pulled the trigger. And his cap hits are huge! For years huge!!!

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@BigCrimson75  

Sam Baker  ---------- 6 years $41 million.

If I were Blank I'd fire TD on the spot, for that contract alone.

Baker cannot stay healthy, and when he is healthy he is only among the bottom 1/3 of LTs in the NFL.

We have a RT playing LT.

With the lower rookie wage scale we still bring in Robinson and move Baker to RT.

We need a real LT, we pass more than most teams and we need an upper tier LT.