5 Reasons Khalil Mack is the Best OLB In the 2014 NFL Draft

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Khalil Mack: 5 Reasons Why He is the Best OLB in the 2014 NFL Draft

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

While most of the media attention surrounds UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr at the position, Barr isn't even the best player at his position in the 2014 NFL Draft. That honor instead belongs to Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack who, although little known outside of Buffalo, is an absolute monster for opposing offenses to handle. Mack, who was able to rack up 100 tackles including 10.5 sacks despite playing with less-than-stellar talent around him, showed all season long what makes him the best outside linebacker in the draft.

Mack also showed up big against some of the tougher opponents Buffalo played this season -- particularly week one where Mack put on a show against Ohio State collecting 2.5 sacks and just overwhelming Ohio State's offense. The fact Mack was also able to remain so consistent throughout the season despite the lack of talent around him is also very impressive in its own right.

Sure, right now both Barr and Alabama product C.J. Mosley are garnering more national attention, but Mack is the one truly deserving of the praise. This is a classic example of a player being overlooked simply because of the fact he doesn't play at a school that is known well among casual fans. It's time to wake up and realize it. Khalil Mack is far and away the best outside linebacker in the 2014 NFL Draft. Let's take a closer look at what makes him deserving of such high praise. Ladies and gentlemen, these are five reasons why Khalil Mack is the best outside linebacker in this year's draft.

Chris Ross is an NFL Draft writer for Follow him on Twitter @prosport_news, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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5. Pass Rushing Ability

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of Khalil Mack, the first thing that comes to mind should almost certainly be his natural ability to rush the passer. This guy essentially lives in the opponent's backfield, and it's easy to see he has more natural ability than any other linebacker in this draft. With some refinement in his technique, Mack will be a pass-rushing monster in the NFL.

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4. Improvement in the Run Game

run game
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Going into his senior season, the biggest improvement Mack needed to make was in stopping the run game. Mission accomplished. Mack often times was able to bring down the running back at or even before the line of scrimmage, and his development in that area had a very positive impact on Mack's overall game.

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3. High Motor

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Wondering what exactly allows Mack to be so successful in both pass rushing and run stuffing? Look no further than Mack's incredible motor. He is seemingly always going at 100 percent, and as a result of his relentlessness, he has become a very complete player as his career has progressed.

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2. Power


Going hand-in-hand with Mack's high motor is the fact he has very good power. He might not be the strongest guy ever, but Mack is able to give certain offensive linemen fits with his combination of power and size. While power isn't what defines Khalil Mack's game, it's a nice bonus to see a linebacker with the ability to overpower some of the stronger guys in the game.

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1. Future Potential

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL Draft, potential is just about everything. What sets Mack apart is the fact that he can contribute right away and still continue to improve in future seasons. Whoever snags Mack in the draft is certainly going to be happy they did both right away and into the future.