Every season, the NFL selects an offensive and defensive rookie who they believe impressed the most. Last year, Eddie Lacy and Sheldon Richardson won the coveted award. This year, it is Khalil Mack's goal to have his name called.
"My goal for my rookie season is to be Defensive Rookie of the year," Mack said in a recent interview with the NFL Network. "That's a goal of mine because you can only get it your rookie year."
For many players, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year would be enough to satisfy them. But Mack is different, he is hungrier for more. During the NFLPA Rookie Premiere, NFL Network's Alex Flanagan asked the Raiders linebacker which NFL quarterback he most wants to sack.
"I think that has to be Peyton (Manning) right now," Mack replied. "Just thinking about it gets you a little (excited), you know what I mean? I feel like going against the best quarterback in the league right now is going to be a big deal, especially if you can get him on his back."
That is a pretty impressive wish list for a rookie, but is it realistic?
"Mack is a plug-and-play guy who landed with a perfect team," said NFL Network's Gil Brandt in a recent debate. "Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver is a mad scientist with schemes. He will take advantage of Mack's unbelievable pass-rushing talents and design game plans around his new defensive rock. I would be surprised if Mack failed to record double-digit sacks as a rookie." Brandt also predicted that Mack would win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
As for Peyton Manning, Mack will see him twice next season. If Brandt's sack prediction is accurate, number 52 could bring the future Hall of Famer on his back multiple times.