The Khalil Mack “Problem” for the Cleveland Browns


Aug 31, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack (46) tackles Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 40-20. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Most analyst believe that the NFL Draft has 4 stud players and a ton of good ones. Khalil Mack, along with Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson and Sammy Watkins, is one of those stud players, and a “problem” for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns drafted an outside linebacker, Barkevious Mingo, and signed another to a huge contract, Paul Kruger, last year, as well as have Jabaal Sheard at the position as well. Mack has the flexibility to play a number of positions but should/could the Browns add another big investment to the linebacking core? ESPN’s Pat McManamon had a similar question:

"Pettine said his nickname once was Blunt Force Trauma. Mack seems to fit that mold. He’s a 6-foot-2, 250-pound linebacker who can rush the passer and drop into coverage, a pretty rare combination of skills in this day of specialization.Would the Browns take Mack?Why not?"

The fact that the Browns haven’t had a high level quarterback in years, that they could use a #2 receiver and could fill a big hole on the offensive line, makes Mack a “problem” for the decision makers. One, two or three of the top QBs could be available when the Browns pick. Watkins and Mike Evans might both be available. Robinson or Jake Matthews could be there as well for the Browns. With all those options available could the Browns brain trust of Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer really take a player who does also fill a need? Will they hold tight to their board rankings?

"Before they do, they have to believe two things. The first is that the top quarterbacks are not good enough to take with the No. 4 overall pick. The second is that they can find a receiver lower in this receiver-deep draft to pair with Josh Gordon as opposed to using the No. 4 pick on Sammy Watkins (who remains the preferred choice in my draft corner, though Mack is a not-very-distant second)."

Great statement’s by Pat, we have each other’s cell phone numbers so I think I can call him Pat. If the QBs aren’t top notch and they believe, like many do, that finding a #2 type receiver could be very easy in this years draft, either at 26 or even in the second round, then Mack has to be in play. Robinson and Matthews might be the reason the decision becomes more difficult. Do they think they can get much out of lower level linemen in the Zone Blocking Scheme or see a need for another big time guy to protect and run block? Is Mack the exceptional talent many say he is?

" Senior Editor Chris Sprow has worked with Mel Kiper Jr. for five years, helping Kiper with reports and information. He went to the Ohio State-Buffalo game and focused specifically on Mack. He points out that the balance with Mack is this: If he’s a great pass-rusher, he’s a top-five pick. But if he doesn’t develop into a great pass-rusher, a team then is using a pick on a very solid outside linebacker. Mack’s coverage skills and his ability to play in space are excellent, but the pass-rush skills are what put him over the top."

It seems like it. His overall skills are what make it clear he could play inside linebacker at a high level while giving the Browns multiple looks to throw at the offenses. He can cover backs and tight ends, rush from the inside, use stunts well and overall cause havoc. Many of these reasons are what led us to draft Mack at #4 in our recently published 7 Round Browns Mock Draft, click that link it will open in a new page.

How do you think the Browns will/should deal with the Mack “problem’? Are you the “We need offense” type? Are you the “Spend the pick where we have a need” type? Or do you believe we haven’t seen enough from Mingo and Kruger to keep from picking Mack?