"I definitely want to get after the quarterback more this year," said Mack, per ESPN.com. "I got some hits (in 2014), but people didn't really see what I can do. Those sack numbers I had (four total) really weren't me. At the end of the day, you want people to see you at your best."
Mack showed plenty last season, finishing the year as a premier run-stuffer and a constant nuisance in the pocket. His game tape matches up with his top overall ranking among all 4-3 outside 'backers via Pro Football Focus. Second on that list? Denver's Von Miller.
"I think Khalil is way more physical than Von," said Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, who coached Miller with the Broncos. "Von got up to somewhere around 250 pounds when I had him but he's naturally closer to 240. Khalil can be up around 260 or 265 and they both play that strongside linebacker position and sub-pass-rusher role. Since most teams use their sub packages for two-thirds of the game, there will be some opportunities there. They're different but they're both special."
Oakland's new defensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr., praised Mack's "explosion, his speed, his combination of size and his strength," noting that "I've done really well with young men who have a knack of making plays."
People knock Mack's low sack totals, but it's worth noting that all four of his takedowns came after Week 10. Taylor put up 7.5 sacks in his second season while Miller posted 18.5 and Thomas notched an outrageous 20. Mack was used differently than those players as as rookie, but we expect him to at least double his sack total in Year 2.