Khalil Mack has five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, three first-team All-Pro nominations, and 61.5 sacks under his belt from his first six seasons in the NFL.
The last two years have been great for Mack, who’s racked up 21 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, and 32 quarterback hits in 30 games with the Chicago Bears. Indeed, in those two seasons, Mack has cemented himself as not just the Bears’ best player, but one of the best players in the entire league. And with that being said, it’s good to see him get some recognition whenever possible.
So, as expected, Mack landed on Pete Prisco’s list of top 100 players of 2020 over at CBS Sports. And he landed highly.
Mack checks in at No. 9 on Prisco’s list. Ranking in the top 10 is always going to land you among prestigious company, which is where Mack belongs whenever your football discussion begins. Framing it differently, he’s the fourth-highest-ranked defensive player and second-highest-ranked pass-rusher on the board. And among NFC North players, Mack is the highest-ranked of the bunch. Take that, Aaron Rodgers (who ranks 10th).
Unfortunately, he is the only member of the Bears to make the cut.
There are five free safeties, but two-time Pro Bowler and 2018 All-Pro Eddie Jackson isn’t anywhere to be seen. But at least Jackson made the list as a player who “just missed.”
Wide receiver Allen Robinson also made the “just missed” list, which speaks volumes towards his contributions to the Bears’ offense. But there were nine cornerbacks, and Kyle Fuller — a two-time Pro Bowler and 2018 first-team All-Pro at the position — not being in the top-100 or on the list of players who missed-it-by-that-much doesn’t feel right. Maybe Akiem Hicks’ injury shortened season kept him off Prisco’s radar. But more than a dozen defensive linemen were on the top-100, and a few more made it among the honorable mentions. But Hicks wasn’t anywhere. What gives?
After an 8-8 season, it would be silly to expect the Bears would be well represented on a list like this. You know how it goes. To the victors go the spoils. And to the rest, nothing. And you’ll like it. But on the other hand, good players should be recognized for their efforts, no matter their surroundings. Letting a team’s misfortunes misguide how one feels about an individual doesn’t feel right. Though, admittedly, it happens to the best of us. Also, this matters very little in the grand scheme of things, I just want to see these guys get theirs.
It’s been a rough offseason for the Bears. Because while they addressed needs at various spots on the depth chart, the Bears are drifting into a cut below the cream of the crop. It’s a dramatic fall from where they were a year ago at this time. But surely, players who feel as if they were snubbed will put this on their bulletin board and remember it as they work toward making next year’s list.