Oakland Raiders’ Khalil Mack Will Break out as All-Pro in 2015

Khalil Mack's football career didn't merely adopt the darkness when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders—it was born in it.

The outside linebacker/defensive end was left in the shadows as a recruit coming out of high school. ESPN didn't give him a grade, while Scout.com ranked him as only a 2-star prospect. Buffalo was the only school to offer Mack a scholarship, so he ultimately played there in the shadows of the top schools.

Despite playing at Buffalo, Mack was able to show off his skill set on a consistent basis. That skill set made him worthy of being a top-five pick in the 2014 draft.

Even though the NFL viewed him as a star, he was an after-thought behind the biggest stars of the class. Jadeveon Clowney was the most highly sought-after defensive player, while Greg Robinson and Sammy Watkins headlined the offensive side of the ball. Blake Bortles was a surprise selection ahead of Mack.

Although he was a top pick in the draft, he received little acclaim once his new team went off the clock.

That is because Mack went to the Oakland Raiders, a team that hasn't been in the national spotlight for a long time now. It's difficult enough for offensive players to receive the credit they deserve in Oakland, so a defender definitely wasn't going to get any credence.

Playing in front of the Black Hole in Oakland was fitting for a player who excelled during his rookie season without stealing any of the spotlight. Part of that negligence was Oakland's futility but also Mack's lack of individual production.

The outside linebacker played in all 16 games, compiling 76 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble.

Undoubtedly, the Raiders hope that Mack can come away with many more sacks over the coming seasons, but the level of disruption he provided in 2014 was valuable. He was dominant against the run while consistently penetrating the pocket on passing plays, even if he didn't...

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