Defensive players rarely get serious consideration for NFL MVP. That award almost exclusively goes to offensive players and that offensive player is usually a quarterback. But that didn't stop NFL media's Adam Schein from putting defensive standouts among his top MVP candidates -- one of whom is Raiders third year phenom Khalil Mack.
The list, of course, starts with QB's 1-2-3 led by Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and 2015 league MVP Cam Newton. Next up the first non-QB in 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson at number four. Just cracking the top 5 was the first defender -- current and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, JJ Watt. Then at number six is 2015 two position All Pro Khalil Mack; coincidentally right where he landed on the Pro Football Focus top 101 list.
Here is what Schein had to say about Mack's candidacy for the honor along with saying he is "all in on the Raiders":
Mack is a stud pass rusher, an absolute freak of nature. Last season, we saw what happens when a defensive coordinator completely turns Mack loose off the edge: 15 sacks and two forced fumbles. (Touché, Ken Norton Jr.) And Oakland added another explosive edge rusher (Bruce Irvin) in free agency, so it'll be more difficult to completely focus all protection on Mack.
I don't think it's hyperbole to conjure up a scenario where the Raiders win 10 games, Mack sacks the quarterback 20 times and Oakland sits atop the AFC West. What a time to be alive -- eh, Raider Nation?!
Well, there you go. Not just Mack love but some Raiders love. Though I'm not sure 10 wins would be enough to claim the AFC West title, it's certainly possible with as talented as the division is expected to be.
The hype train has officially reached full steam with regard to Khalil Mack. And I wish the rest of the league a sarcastic 'Good luck' in trying to keep him from living up to it. Though the fact that a defensive player hasn't won MVP in 30 years (Lawrence Taylor 1986), the odds are not in his favor to win it.