The first of what is expected to be many accolades for Raiders rookie linebacker Khalil Mack happened today. The standout rookie was named as a member of the 2014 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team which honors 26 NFL players - 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams - who exhibit exemplary football techniques for young players to emulate.
The sixth annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters better on-field performance and advances player safety.
He has been described as nearly unblockable. Though he has just three sacks on the season, Mack is third among all 3-4 outside linebackers in QB hurries (34) and leads all 3-4 outside linebackers with 58 tackles (50 solo).
Mack is also just one of two NFL rookies to be named to the team along with Cowboys offensive guard, Zack Martin.
Each player chosen for the All-Fundamentals Team will receive a $1,000 equipment grant from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school football program of his choice. USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, is the official youth football development partner of the Raiders, the NFL and each of the league's other 31 teams.
A fan vote will determine All-Fundamentals Team captains at www.facebook.com/usafootball. Fans may vote for one captain on offense, defense and special teams. USA Football will award each of the three captains a $2,000 equipment grant to donate. Voting is open through Dec. 22.
USA Football educates more high school and youth coaches combined than any organization in the United States.
The USA Football All-Fundamentals Team was assembled with guidance from a five-person selection committee:
CHARLES DAVIS, USA Football spokesperson, football analyst for NFL Network and FOX Sports
HERM EDWARDS, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL head coach
MERRIL HOGE, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL running back
CARL PETERSON, USA Football chairman, former NFL team executive and assistant coach
BILL POLIAN, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL general manager