Khalil Mack Had More To Lose Than Gain By Playing in 2014 Senior Bowl

By Rick Stavig


Khalil Mack
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama QB A.J. McCarron isn’t the only big name deciding to forgo the 2014 Senior Bowl.  Word is now out that Buffalo OLB/DE Khalil Mack will also skip the illustrious all star game.

I, like many, disagreed with McCarron’s decision to pass on the game.  He had much more to gain than to lose by playing.  However, with Mack, I’m in agreement with his decision.

The major difference?  Current draft stock.

McCarron is a projected 2nd to 3rd round pick.  With an outstanding showing, he could’ve vaulted himself up to 1st round status. This was the only real opportunity for McCarron to truly boost his draft stock.  QB’s rarely move drastically up or down rankings following performances at the NFL Combine and at Pro Days, so this was McCarron’s chance to earn himself millions of dollars.

Mack, on the other hand, is already deemed a top-10 player.  CBS Sports’ Rob Rang has him 10th on his Big Board and ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay each have him ranked 5th.

If Mack had played in the game, and played as well as we’d expect him to, his draft stock likely wouldn’t change, and if it did, it’d only be by another slot or two.  But if he played poorly in the game and had a bad week of practices, he could’ve drastically hurt his draft stock.  Plus, he would’ve unnecessarily put himself at risk for injury.  Unlike McCarron, he had more to lose than to gain by electing to play in the game.

While I’m in agreement with his decision to skip the game, I will say I’m disappointed.  It would’ve been very interesting to see him go against top notch talent day-in and day-out for a week of practices.

Mack, 6-foot 3, 250-pounds, is viewed as a classic ’tweener, with the ability to play either OLB or DE at the next level, depending on the defensive scheme, and is arguably the best pass rusher in the 2014 NFL Draft not named Jadeveon Clowney.  Mack finished his outstanding collegiate career tied for the all-time NCAA career record in forced fumbles (16) and tackles for a loss (75), as well as putting up a very impressive 28.5 sacks.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.


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