Plenty Of “Edge” To Khalil Mack

March 5th, 2014

As much as Joe would love to see the Bucs draft a quarterback or apparent can’t-miss wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the No. 7 overall pick, Joe realizes Lovie Smith likely wants to seize what’s hopefully his best chance to draft an elite defensive player.

After all, Lovie already told Bucs fans he can win 10 games every year with a turnover-machine defense and tough special teams.

So what are the odds the Bucs land this high a draft pick again while Lovie’s here?

Joe’s been dialed in lately to linebacker/edge rusher Khalil Mack out of Buffalo. No, Joe’s not going to pretend he spent fall Saturdays watching Buffalo and MAC football, so Joe’s had to get up to speed.

Mack had his Pro Day in Buffalo yesterday and, interestingly, every NFL team was represented. That doesn’t happen very often at a Pro Day, and it surely isn’t common in Buffalo on a North Pole-like day.

Chiseled Mack lowered his 40-yard dash time (clocks ranged from 4,45 to 4.55) and Joe liked Mack’s desire to prove himself as an elite pass rusher and hurt people. While soft spoken, Joe was glad to hear Mack has some edge to him.

“Not at all. I set goals for myself. I’m going to continue to work hard and get better. I don’t feel like this is my final goal, in a sense. I feel like there is a lot more that I have to prove, especially coming out of the MAC conference,” Mack said. “I feel like I’ve got to go out there and dominate on the next level, and I’m working hard to do that.

“I feel like it’s not a label on you, but it’s kind of like, ‘ok, they taking it for granted.’ But until they get to feel what you be coming off the edge with, and hitting them in the mouth … that’s what I’m out to prove.”

You can watch video of Mack below, via the Buffalo News.

Joe can only imagine what the Bucs defense might look like with Jared Allen and Gerald McCoy showing Mack the ropes on the defensive line and Lavonte David setting the standard for him in the linebackers room.

38 Responses to “Plenty Of “Edge” To Khalil Mack”

  1. Snook Says:

    Sorry…. just can’t get excited about this draft. We’ve been screwed so many times that I’m used to it. Any good QB will be gone by #7. So will Clowney and Mack. Basically, we’ll get stuck with a guy like Barron at #7 who isn’t worth a pick that high. A guy who’s good but not a franchise changer.

    Sad. But true.

  2. Nate_tweetz Says:

    It’s hard for me to get excited right now just because we only have 5 picks (as of now). I don’t think there is any way we stay at 7. Licht and Lovie are not trying to start off their Bucs campaign with 5 picks. If someone doesn’t miraculously drop down to 7, they will be trying to get out of that spot fast, quick, and in a hurry. The problem with that is I don’t know who will be available at 7 that would cause a team to trade us quality picks to move up. I guess it only takes one team to fall in love with a guy though. We’ll see. I just honestly don’t see us picking 7th. Hence the lack of “giddiness”.

  3. T in Orlando Says:

    Snook, I must disagree about the draft, at least our pick at 7. First of all, I don’t want any of 3 “top” QBs, so I hope they are all gone by the time we pick. If they are all gone, that means at least 2 of these players; Clowney, Mack, Watkins, Matthews and Robinson; will still be available, all of which are franchise type guys (or at least project to be) at their respective position, and it just so happens we could use the help at all 3 of those positions; Pass Rush, WR and OL.

    In a worse case scenario, all 5 of those guys are gone, meaning 2 of 3 QBs would still be on the board, and with us picking ahead of the Vikings, that seems like a great place to be if we’re looking to trade down (although I’m not sure who may be wanting to trade up between picks 8 and 12).

    Also, in that worse case scenario, and we don’t find a trade partner, I wouldn’t hold it against the team if they drafted Bridgewater or Manziel, at least one of which would be available. While not my ideal selection, a QB always brings excitement.

    So I think there’s plenty to look forward with that #7 pick.

  4. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I am really worried the the 3 top Qbs are getting “exposed” and will drop in the draft. I am hoping that all 3 QBS are gone before our pick to push that talented players to the Bucs.

  5. bucsQcCity Says:

    I’m warming up to Mack but others teams are too

    Guys on defense I would considerat #7 is Mack, Clowney, Donald

    Mack and Donald (maybe a bit of a reach at #7) are high motor and Clowney well if Cullen can’t coach him, nobody can I guess.

  6. Patrick in VA Says:

    This is the first time in 6 years that we’ve had real professionals running things. I’m stoked. Whatever decisions are made are going to be ones made with years of top level experience and wisdom guiding them so I’m behind it all the way. If we end up picking somebody that I’m not in favor of now then I’ll get excited about it right away because at the end of the day I’m a boob that doesn’t know much about actual football but I do love the team and trust that we’re finally in good hands.

  7. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Mack is an interesting prospect. If he is there at the 7th pick, take him Lovie. Mack being from a second tier school and conference should not sway doubters. He could be a diamond in the rough, yet his stock is rising and he may be gone early. The bucs have too many needs to imagine who they may pick.

  8. Chef Paul Says:

    T in Orlando

    Great post!! You got me excited that this draft just might go our way.

  9. BoJim Says:

    If a QB falls to us, I would take him. I like Mack too.

  10. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Should be at the top of the Bucs board in my opinion. Snagging Mack would kill two birds with one stone – OLB and a premium pass rusher. Both positions where the well is already pretty dry in Free Agency. Mack almost makes too much sense for the Bucs, and according to Jenna Laine on Twitter the Bucs DLine coach Cullen was personally running Mack through some drills in Buffalo’s pro day yesterday.

  11. flmike Says:

    I’ve been pimping for Mack since the very beginning of the off season, he’s a beast in the Von MiIler mold, he’s incredibly versatile and can play every defensive down, put him next to David & Foster and you have one of the best LB corps in the NFL, put him on the edge next to McCoy and whoever we draft or sign and you’ve improved your pass rush 10 fold, this is a safe and effective pick.

  12. Bucs4Life Says:

    You guys do realize that the Bucs illustrious 5th round pick from last year’s draft is one Steven Means? Steven played opposite Mack at Buffalo as a pass rushing linebacker. In their final year together they had roughly the same amount of sacks (I think Mack had .5 more)…and Mack only increased his overall total by 3 this year. I mean…Means wasn’t able to even sniff the field in the NFL last year….Why is Mack all of a sudden one of the top players in the draft? I’m a bit skeptical.

  13. TopDoggie Says:

    We only have 5 picks in the deepest draft in history. We will most likey trade down to get more picks. If not our first then for sure our second.

  14. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Watch anything on youtube and you will find yourself shocked that despite Means and Mack playing for the same team, they are not the same player.

  15. MadMax Says:

    Hope we can land Mack and trade back in for Lewan!

  16. bucrightoff Says:

    The Seahawks showed, when you can get pressure with just 4 guys, you can make a QBs life miserable. We have arguably one of the 5 worst pass rushes in the NFL. If we don’t address it this offseason, in 12 months we can look forward to talking abou which pass rushers we need to acquire to finally make the playoffs…again.

  17. Rick in Fort Myers Says:

    It all comes down to the often repeated question of “Does a team draft the best available athlete or to fill a position of need” when the clock starts ticking at the NFL Draft.

    Given Kahlil Mack’s metrics at his pro day workout and the Buccaneers’ need for an edge rusher, if Mack is a available at Number 7 this may be a rare moment when the two pieces of that general manager’s dilemma meet at exactly the same place and time in the universe.

    Forgetting all of Joe’s almost pathological desire to see Johnny Manziel in Bucs uniform, subjectively Tampa’s defensive ends were far worse at getting to the quarterback than was Mike Glennon at quarterbacking the offense. In terms of metrics, however, Glennon ranked 24th among all quarterbacks in the league despite earning Top Rookie Quarterback honors, while the Bucs tied for 23rd in the league in number of sacks, setting up yet one more dilemma for Lovie Smith and Jason Licht to resolve.

    Still, all in all I would go for Mack at Number 7 as bolstering the pass rush may be the quickest way to strengthen the defense and may help Glennon’s game in the end. However, it’s up to Licht and Smith and there’s no way we can know what they’re thinking.

  18. Yar Says:

    Clowney is the only true franchise player in this draft. Everyone else is just another player. If the Bucs aren’t able to trade up for him then the logical alternative is to trade down for Mosley. T2 needs a great MLB that can cover and drop into the deep middle. While Foster is a good player he would be a better fit at SLB in the T2. Mack would be a waste at 7. Lovie needs a 3 tech., a RDE, a MLB, WLB and a SS for the T2 to be great. They have the 3 tech, the WLB and the safety but they really need a RDE to make it work. Really without a great RDE the T2 looses a lot of it’s effectiveness. Clowney sets up players and when you really need that sack or big play to win the game he comes through.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Strong Point, I Agree

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I hear you, we need all the premium picks we can get.

  21. BucsORDie!!! Says:

    Mack is a great guy and very hardworking. He and my little brother played on the same high school football team and I watched Khalil blossom. He only playe one year in high school hence the reason he had to play for UB but I’ve watched all of their teammates who went on to play for USF, U of Miami, and Louisville all start to slack now because they didn’t have the drive or chip on the shoulder as Khalil. Mark my words I watched him grow from a 3 ft little boy to the beast he is today and that man will be an All Pro player sooner then later. But talking to his dad last week and I know he wants to play in Florida hopefully he comes to us.

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Luv…I don’t agree with that at all. Simply for the reason that Joe stated above.

    “Mack had his Pro Day in Buffalo yesterday and, interestingly, every NFL team was represented. That doesn’t happen very often at a Pro Day, and it surely isn’t common in Buffalo on a North Pole-like day.”

    Buc4life and LUV.. how many teams showed up for Buffalo’s pro day to watch Steve Means?

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh and trade DOWN!

  24. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Don’t get me wrong, I watched a few games he played. And the kid is explosive. But at the same time, I just don’t see him going up against any elite talent. If a kid is welling/patient, with the proper coaching he will eventually thrive. I Just don’t know. ….But hey I had the same questions about NT Dontari Poe…So whatever

  25. deminion Says:

    If we get Watkins Mack or Robinson ill b satisfied

  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Scouts have been, drooling over this kid since last years Pro day.

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Can’t wait to see how this, 1st round of Free Agency pans out.

  28. Mike Says:

    @ Yar….. You really think Mack is just another player? I don’t call out people in any means, but with you sir, it’s apparent you don’t watch football. Mack is an absolute beast! I’d take him over Clowney any day of the week. You couldn’t ask for a better LB in this draft that can fly at LB and put his fist in the dirt. Multiple uses for this guy and with Clowney you have a DE. I’m not downing him here either cause he can get it done, but Mack is by far my 1st choice

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I hear you, but I just feel the linebacker out BYU Kyle Van Noy, would be a monster in Lovie’s & Frazier’s system. All he does is make IMPACT PLAY after IMPACT PLAY

  30. biff barker Says:

    So many needs, so few picks…

    It’s doubtful Clowney will be there so we trade down… If the draft is as deep as so many are saying, we shouldn’t fall in love with any one player. Leverage the top pick.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    If we can grab another pick at the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd. Kyle Van Noy,would be a great pick- the kid is Beast!!!. (LVD) FOSTER (KVN) …Smh them kids together would be insane.

  32. Skipper Says:

    I am not sold on Mack, from a small school a tweener. Seems a better fit in a 3 – 4 defense. I do hear all the rave about the guy, I have watched some film on him, and was not blown away.

  33. Brandon Says:

    Snook Says:
    March 5th, 2014 at 9:03 am
    Sorry…. just can’t get excited about this draft. We’ve been screwed so many times that I’m used to it. Any good QB will be gone by #7. So will Clowney and Mack. Basically, we’ll get stuck with a guy like Barron at #7 who isn’t worth a pick that high. A guy who’s good but not a franchise changer.

    Sad. But true.

    usually we screw ourselves. Drafting a 24 year old DE out of Clemson was a terrible idea at the time, especially when Pat Willis was available and my own personal #1 on my Bucs board, Clayton with Steven Jackson available, an OG when anybody else was available (Chris Johnson), passed on Cam Jordan and took Clayborn, and then 2012 when Kuechly should’ve been the pick and we picked a freaking safety!!!

    I’m super excited about this draft, mainly because, unlike his predecessors, Licht and Smith haven’t proven themselves to be completely clueless in the draft.

  34. Brandon Says:

    March 5th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I hear you, but I just feel the linebacker out BYU Kyle Van Noy, would be a monster in Lovie’s & Frazier’s system. All he does is make IMPACT PLAY after IMPACT PLAY

    I like him, more as a potential Mike than anything. I’m not quite so sure he runs quite well enough for Smith’s tastes, but he is a playmaker and is athletic enough to do everything pretty well. I’ve often thought he could be a ta

  35. Brandon Says:

    rget in round 2 if he falls to us.

  36. bucsQcCity Says:

    Mack could serve as a LB on base 4-3 and DE on passing down or dime package. It would fill 2 needs for us: LB and Passrush Specialist.

    Cullen philosophy is based on DLine rotation so bring back Bennett and let him rush inside, use Mack on obvious passing down and sign Allen too. You have now a solid pass rush and Clayborn/Bowers/Gholston on high percentage run plays that can make our specialist take their breath back

  37. c-spann Says:

    i dont see the big deal about Mack, Steven Means nuimber were about the same as his at UB. we need a DE that can set the edge and rush the passer. clowney seems like the best prospect but he’ll be gone. we should trade down and pick up trent murphy in the 2nd and draft Aaron Murry in the 3rd

  38. Tristan Berry Says:

    On a side note… this is a college student, presumably on the verge of graduation, and he can’t speak better than this? I like this guy’s play and I hope we draft him, but please someone give him some Bill Cosby mentoring.