The 2014 NFL Draft is approaching fast. On the defensive side of the ball, Anthony Barr, an outside linebacker out of UCLA, is widely considered to be the best available outside linebacker in this draft class. However, that is far from the truth. Khalil Mack, an outside linebacker out of Buffalo, is the real best OLB in this class, and to be honest it’s not even much of a contest.
Although both Barr and Mack are tremendous athletes, it’s Mack who is the superior athletic specimen. His first step is the best in this class, and his potential as a pass rusher exceeds even Barr’s. Not to mention Mack is more experienced at this point, meaning he is more likely to make an immediate impact than Barr at first.
Although Barr’s natural talent makes him intriguing, Mack’s talent simply dwarfs that of Barr. Mack can blow up a play in the backfield on any given snap, and with his speed he will be able to track down even the fastest players. He has the power of a defensive end but the speed of an outside linebacker, making him quite a versatile player. Not to mention in big games Mack takes his production up a notch, proving that any concerns about his ability to make the jump into the NFL are false.
Simply put, Mack is the total package. He’s by far the best outside linebacker in this draft, and he’s going to be a dominant player once he reaches the NFL. Mack’s combination of size, speed, tenacity and instincts all add up to form a player capable of posting 15+ sacks per season. For me, the choice between Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr is a simple one. Mack is the way to go.