Why Khalil Mack Should Be Defensive Player of the Year

The 2015 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award may be the tightest race the league has seen in recent memory. With players like J.J. Watt, Aaron Donald, Tyrann Mathieu, Josh Norman and Luke Kuechly all playing at a high level this season, it's difficult to imagine just picking one player for the honor. 

But at the end of the day, when the regular season is all said and done and the playoffs are well underway, one defensive player stands out above the rest.  

And that player is Khalil Mack. 

Currently, Mack leads the NFL with 15 sacks and is also the highest-graded edge defender in the league this season, with a 94.3 rating, which is higher than the likes of Cameron Jordan (94.1), Justin Houston (92.9) and Von Miller (92.2), according to Pro Football Focus.  

His league-leading 15 sacks headline Mack's accomplishments this season, and his skills were on display against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 13 where he recorded a career-high five sacks in the game. 

Here, you can see the combination of speed and brute force as Mack obliterates Denver's blind side and collapses the pocket with immediate effect. Not only does Mack beat his opponent at the line of scrimmage, he also finds a way to get the quarterback.  

Mack's other four sacks against Denver were all impressive, and can be seen here to avoid clutter.

It's not every day that one sees a pass-rusher run sideline-to-sideline and make a play on the football, but Mack is of a different breed: one that ESPN analyst and former wide receiver Cris Carter isn't afraid to point out, going as far as comparing him to the late, great Derrick Thomas.  

Sacks will almost always generate headlines and pad resumes for a lot of players, and some will question Mack's place in the conversation for player of the year honors since five of...

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