KRM: Raiders take Khalil Mack.
Lives in Las Vegas, favorite sports book is the Nugget, OU alumnus: Pete Franklin’s degenerate credentials are impeccable. We asked him to get a Mark Davis haircut and give us a pick for the Raiders. No word on the Davis cut, but the pick is in.
The Raiders are similar to the rebuilding teams that we’ve seen before in Cleveland. I’m thinking that they are a cross between the Browns teams of Heckert’s first and last years. Most of this similarity comes in the way of QB. The Raiders’ trade for Matt Schaub reminds me of the Browns signing of Jake Delhomme combined with the hail mary draft pick of Weeden. Quite simply, Reggie MacKenzie’s days are probably numbered in Oakland if this team does not significantly improve its talent this offseason and he knows it.
Reggie McKenzie was hired in 2012 in the aftermath of longtime GM Al Davis’ death. He was highly recommended by former coach John Madden who interviewed him along with new owner Marc Davis. Prior to Oakland, he moved up the chain in Green Bay to become third in command before moving on to the Raiders. I’m sure that he will pattern this draft after the type that the Packers have had in the past mostly because that is the only blueprint available to him firsthand as a front office guy. His go-to guys in player evaluation seem to be his brother Raleigh, another former All-Pro offensive lineman, and head coach Dennis Allen. Raleigh McKenzie replaced the Raiders head scout who had been there 33 years and may or may not be an upgrade since he was coaching high school football before being hired.
Whether the Raiders actually make progress this year will be open for interpretation. It seems that the knowledgable fans in Oakland realize what a chasm McKenzie fell into when he took on the GM’s role. The team had about 150 million in salary when the cap was 120 million. The team was bare of top draft picks from the Carson Palmer deal (first and a second), and the drafting of Terrelle Pryor (supplemental third). Getting rid of Palmer was not easy either as bringing in his replacement, Matt Flynn, cost the team more in cap space than it would have to keep Palmer, … and neither played.
McKenzie has given the Raiders stability and guidance that the team has been desperately lacking. Is he truly worthy of heading up an NFL draft though? Last year he tried to shore up the offensive line in the second round, this year he thinks FA’s on the O-line will help. Don’t rule out an offer for Alex Mack coming from the silver and black. The Raiders would be much better served moving Wisniewski back to guard where he excelled before moving to center out of necessity.
McKenzie needs to add talent to an old defense and I think the fan base realizes that. Davis needs to sell tickets and wanted Watkins; McKenzie needs to take a playmaker on defense.
Thankfully for the McKenzie the Browns made it an easier by taking the one hit wonder Clowney directly preceding the Raiders pick. Reggie McKenzie values guys with strong work ethic and K. Mack is the anti-Clowney in that regard.
LB Khalil Mack Buffalo!
Rather easy choice for McKenzie as Clowney is probably better suited to a 4-3 defense, while Mack seems like a prototypical 3-4 OLB. Mack was the best player on the field his senior season while Clowney was hardly on the field. Mack gets to play opposite LaMarr Woodley, thus learning from a legitimate 3-4 OLB. I’d be on the horn to try to trade down, but it would take me exactly 2 seconds to decide on Mack as my pick here.
Sounds like bad news for Nick Roach and/or old friend Kaluka Maiava.