I often find myself short on superlatives I haven’t previously used when describing Khalil Mack.
Apparently, I’m not alone:
😂😂😂😂😂😂 @ the reactions pic.twitter.com/rO3JR7sgRC
— 79th & Halas Podcast (@79thAndHalas) July 29, 2020
Seeing and hearing those reactions when the name Khalil Mack is brought up is priceless. The visuals from the body languages and whatever audio — whether it’s words, muffled and nervous laughter, or something indescribable — shows and says everything you need to know about Mack. So even though he dropped from No. 3 on last year’s NFL Top-100 list to No. 19, the respect is there.
Mack had a “down” year in 2019. He picked up just 8.5 sacks and 14 QB hits, but also forced five fumbles, earned a fifth consecutive trip tot he Pro Bowl, and finished as PFF’s 12th-highest-graded edge defender. All things considered, Mack had a darn good year. And frankly, there isn’t much doubt that a bounce-back season is on the horizon.
Because in not-so-breaking news: Mack remains awesome. And if you are in search of confirmation, look no further than ESPN’s survey of 50 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players. Mack was voted as the game’s top edge rusher, which is no small honor. Chandler Jones, Nick Bosa, Von Miller, and Myles Garrett rounded out the top-5 in voting. And since each of those players can make their own case to be the top dog, I can’t help but tip my cap for Mack to stand above the pile after a down year.
“Your game plan doesn’t matter with him,” said one defensive coach who was polled for this survey.
“He can get home in every way — he can go through you or around you,” added an NFL defensive coordinator.
“Mack’s 8.5 Sacks and 19.6% pass-rush win rate don’t begin to demonstrate his capacity for disruption,” wrote ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
The guy is a force. And I’m glad he is a member of the Chicago Bears.