Posted: 6:00 am Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Falcons’ draft board: Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack to visit Wednesday 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Player: Khalil Mack

Position: Outside linebacker

School: Buffalo

Height and weight: 6-3, 251

Combine numbers:  4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash (4.55 at his Pro Day); 23 reps on the

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)

225-pound bench press; 40-inch vertical; 10-8 broad jump, 4.18 in short shuttle and 7.08 in the three-cone drill.

Projected Round: He’s the top-rated outside linebacker in the draft and projected to be selected in the first round by NFLDraftScout.com.

Career Highlights: Mack, who was considered a two-star recruit coming out of Fort Pierce (Fla.) Westwood, had only one scholarship offer. …to Buffalo. “The next tape that I put in was Kent State and he made a one-handed interception,” NFL Network analyst Mike 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.”

Quotes: “(Against Ohio State) I got a lot of single blocks and it just so happened I played off of a cut-block and got an interception. So, there were a lot of things that played into my favor in that game. Hard work does pay off. I feel it was, sort of, a little disrespect from a schematic approach. But, at the same time I wanted to make them pay for it. …I have good feet and good hands. Really, I feel I’ve shown all I could on film.”

Falcons level on interest: Very high. With most of the quarterback group slipping out of the top 10, Mack may not be available with the Falcons pick with the sixth overall pick. Mack’s pass-rushing ability, his stoutness against the run and the ability to drop in coverage intrigues the team.

FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–A look at Louisville LB Preston Brown

–A look at Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

–A look at Texas OLB/DE Jackson Jeffcoat

–A look at West Virginia RB Charles Sims

–A look at Auburn DE Dee Ford

–A look at Brigham Young OLB Kyle Van Noy

–A look at Arizona State OLB/DE Carl Bradford

--A look at Missouri DE Kony Ealy

–A look at Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

–A look at Alabama S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

–A look at Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman

–BLOG: A list of the confirmed players at LOCALS DAY on Tuesday

–BLOG: FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Falcons on Monday

–Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($): Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

FALCONS REWIND

–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: New jersey numbers picked; Devin Hester to wear No. 17

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

MEET THE FREE AGENT SIGNEES

–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

2014 NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day

 

24 comments
RangeRover
RangeRover

We need, equally, a LT, LB, DE and a FS.

If the Falcons, end up at #6 with either of Matthews, Robinson, Clowney or Mack their 1st rounder will have been a success.

Mack stands alone for LB's as does Clowney for DE's.  So, when comparing Robinson & Matthews one has to judge which is the best fit for the Falcons.  Matthews has the pass blocking technique to start day one and replace Baker.  The problem is, Baker's contract; no way on earth the Falcons will take that cap hit!

So, this leaves Robinson, clearly the dominant physical force that compares favorably to the size of the great Dallas OL of the early/mid 90's...IMO the greatest OL in NFL history and one that made Emmitt Smith look much, much better than he truly was as a back with NFL pedestrian speed.  The Falcons could plug Robinson in at RT where you need a more physical tackle--something that Baker is most certainly not--and groom him to take over LT when releasing or not signing Baker become financially responsible (why on earth did TD give Baker such a ridiculous contract?).

Summary: because of Baker's contract and only being able to play one OL position, I see the Falcons--because of the pressure for TD to win now and lasts year's crime scene--going after one of three players:  Robinson, Mack or Clowney, and either of these three would greatly fit a need where we now have glaring weaknesses...our entire OL is bottom of the league, Weatherspoon is horribly overrated and mostly hot air, and..........think Kroy Biermann as your starting RDE!   LOL!!!!

Eric1961
Eric1961

We need a big offensive lineman. I am tired of the third and fourth and one and we lose a yard.

BigHittas
BigHittas

Mack would be a fine addition to the team.
ATL hasn't had a LB that is capable of dropping back into coverage for quite a while until Worrilow showed that ability last year. I'm all for Mack being a Falcon if it works out that way.


slydawg
slydawg

Question: With the absolute best the Falcons could get for Roddy White being a 2nd round pick from a WR needy team, would it be worth exploring a trade with a team at the top of the second round or bottom of the first (N.E.?)???  


I ask this if and only if the Falcons trade up and give up this year's 2nd and next year's 1st in order to get to #2 or #3.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Biggest secret of the draft......Mack is going #1 to Houston.

We now live in the MAC era!!

slydawg
slydawg

Prediction #1: Falcons trade up to #2 to select Clowney, Mack, Robinson, or Watkins (the possibility exists). Swapping the 6th pick and 3rd round pick from this year and the 2015 2nd round pick. (Snead-Devaney-Dimitroff connection)


Prediction #2: Falcons trade up to #3 to select one of the same four mentioned above, if available. Swapping the 6th pick this year and giving away the 2015 2nd round pick to Jacksonville. (Caldwell-Dimitroff connection)


Giving up this year's 2nd round pick will be a little too rich especially when you have no playoff caliber starter at safety and you need a really good running back.


Problem with both scenarios: You have to give up next year's first rounder (2015) to move up. By swapping picks, you are not giving the Rams or Jaguars any incentive unless you "pay" for the pick. 2nd and 3rd rounders will not do it. The best deal would be with the Rams only because they have two first rounders already.

CedricJohnson
CedricJohnson

THis is our guy if we are to trade up ..... I think Mack or Barr are the piece we need not to sure about Clowney but what we lack on defense they will make up ....  I think the ceiling is high on Barr and Mack .... Mack is the next P.Willis, or Ray Lewis if either one are on the board at #6 we must take them .....

SOB
SOB

Do not trade any picks, for anybody, at any time, for any reason. Stop the madness.

JSSN
JSSN

Two days after the season ended, Ledbetter and Big Crimson brought up Mack's name and folks were quick to pounce on them with ignorant comments. Now, many of us said way before the combine, he was going to fly up draft boards once people saw him in person. Y'all owe them a big apology!

JLTee
JLTee

Ladies and gentlemen, if we are to move up, this is the guy we need. He can rush the passer. He can cover tight ends. Perfect fit for Nolan's ameoba defense. Let's get what our defense is in sorely need of; A PLAYMAKER. Mack is the guy.

Farcas
Farcas

If they trade up do they take Mack or Clowney? Who has more upside in the NFL? Maybe you don't lose by taking either player. Going to be interesting on draft day.

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Go Falcons.!!  Lets create a push back on the O line.

CedricJohnson
CedricJohnson

Why would you give up Roddy for a 2nd round pick ? I think thats a hell of a risk you take and one I would hate to explore .... This is my hope .... The closer we get to the draft the more it looks as if the Birds will take an OL ( which I think is the worst move ever and will potentially be the call for TD departure and maybe MS if we look like we did last year on either side of the ball ) . So in the 1st we take one of the OT and in the second when we should be shopping for a Safety, hopefully we will snag Dee Ford the closet player to Clowney.

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

@slydawg  What knowledge do you have that there is a team willing to give up a second round pick for Roddy? 


Stop with the fantasy football perspective. 

slydawg
slydawg

Alabama to sign 10 year, $150 mil digital multimedia deal with Lear Field. But the players should not be paid? HAHAHAHHAHA

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

@slydawg The Falcons aren't moving up from #6 w/o packaging next years #1.

Too much hype surrounding this draft.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

@CedricJohnson I'll "settle" for Barr. In a perfect world, not at pick #6 however this is no draft for Hair-Gel to try & out-smart anyone. If Clowney & Mack are gone, Barr is the next best choice....for the Defense anyway.

slydawg
slydawg

@JSSN I'll say this much: I believe Mack is a player. Not one negative has been mentioned about him by any person who knows football. But the asterick still exists: Lack of competition. Mack does not appear to be "looked over" by the bigger schools. I haven't read anything about him having bad grades in high school. Apparently, he has worked his butt off to get this point and it's well-deserved (where the hell did Eric Fisher come from before the combine...lol?). I'm interested to see how long it will take for him to get adjusted to the intensity, the hits, and the speed of the game for 16 + games. For a top 5 pick, especially for a talent starved defense like the Falcons, needs a very, very, short adjustment period. Not so with the Texans or Rams. Thoughts?

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

@JSSN Don't you know, if they don't come outta the SEC they surely haven't played real football!

slydawg
slydawg

I'm willing to bet SF, Sea, Car, Min, NYG, NYJ, Jax, Ten, KC, all would beg to differ. Either each of those teams are in win now mode or have nothing at the position. Maybe scratch Min or NYG.

JSSN
JSSN

@slydawg

"Lack of competition" is the most overused term in assessing players. What matters is match-ups and how he accorded himself. If he disappeared against Eastern Michigan, Ball State, UMass, etc., then you can say something. But he put up numbers and performances against the good and bad. He's shown when he saw "so-called" superior talent that his engine (and football instincts translate. That Ohio State game is shocking in the fact that he was 4 times the best player on the field (including Ohio State's LB Ryan Shazier). Lou Tepper has coached him up at Buffalo. Don't worry, he's ready, just like Patrick Willis was ready. Like Eric Fisher the year before, people fell to realize that the top of the MAC is not lousy collegiate football. Just like the old Conference USA, it has some teams that are very underrated. I don't like college football, but I understand what it means. When Bama, LSU, Florida were really great; they skewed a lot people's vision. The 2nd level of the SEC, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, and occasionally now  Missouri, Texas A&M or Arkansas had some super talents like Green, Atkins, and others. But don't act like they get everyone's best each week (see GA's struggles with Vanderbilt or Tennessee). They'll cry rivalry, but what was it really?

JSSN
JSSN

@BigCrimson75

We've (had) our rounds, but it amazes me how myopic people are about that. Yet, they still go silent about Peria Jerry.

slydawg
slydawg

@JSSN @slydawg  Cmon playa, that's unfair. You knoe Georgia is grossly under coached...lol

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