Malcolm Smith: I've never seen anybody like Mack


Malcolm Smith played with a host of defensive luminaries during his four years in Seattle, but the Raiders linebacker still can't find a comparison for Oakland's biggest star.

"I've never seen anybody like Khalil Mack, to be honest with you," Smith told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday night. "He's kind of a one-of-a-kind, as far as my football knowledge goes and my time of being in the NFL. Even in college, I don't think I played against a player who's kind of dominant as Khalil is in a one-on-one setting, even a two-on-one setting."

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Said Smith: "If you guys know somebody similar, I don't know. Maybe Derrick Thomas."

Chalk it up as high praise from Smith, who spent time in Seattle with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. Mack, though, is already forging a unique path.

In just his second season, the Raiders pass-rusher became the first player in NFL history to earn an All-Pro nod at two different positions, with voters crowning him at linebacker and defensive end.

Still, Smith believes Mack is just beginning to bloom, especially now that Bruce Irvin -- another former Seahawk -- is on hand to help torture signal-callers.

"I think it's just going to make things better for the rest of us," Smith said. "We can take some pressure off (Mack with) Bruce getting back there and the other guys getting to the quarterback will make it easier for us in coverage and we'll make some big plays."

Bottom line: Few teams have generated more praise this offseason than the Raiders. They'll need Mack and Co. to drop hammers from the first snap to make good on all the high expectations.