Most lists of the league's best players out there won't include any Raiders players on them. But Pro Football Focus, which analyzes every player on a play-by-play basis and assigns a point value, saw one Raiders player who deserves to be named among the league's top 40 players.
PFF is currently putting together their list of the Top 101 players of 2014. Coming in at number 39 is none other than Raiders 2014 rookie phenom, Khalil Mack.
Here is what they had to say about Mack, who they gave the second highest 2014 grade (55.3), behind only Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt.
For a while Mack was in for some criticism as the sacks didn't flow. That one number didn't come close to telling the story of Mack, who was a solid pass rusher and an out of this world run defender. His 54 quarterback disruptions are a number to be proud of, but it's his work in the run game that sees him so high. Nobody made life as hard for blockers on the edge as Mack, a true rookie force.
Best Performance: Week 16, BUF @ OAK, +7.8
Key Stat: Scored the highest grade of any edge defender in run defense.
Mack came in the rankings just ahead of Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins and just behind Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. Some pretty good company.
The 2014 fifth overall pick finished third last season in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, and had a serious case to win it. He was second only to Von Miller among 4-3 outside linebackers in QB hits (10) and hurries (40), fourth in sacks (4.0), and 7th in stops (48). He was also second in batted passes (3).
PFF continues to count down the top 101 with the top 10 yet to be revealed.
Left tackle Donald Penn also made the list at 79 overall.
See the rest of their Top 101 here.