Pro Football Focus put out their list of top 50 NFL players and coming in number six was a familiar face.
6. Khalil Mack, Edge, Oakland Raiders
He doesn’t quite get the recognition of divisional rival Von Miller, but everything in the PFF grading and metrics suggest that Mack has been the better player as of late. Mack led the league in total pressures in 2016 with 96, and he also had the highest overall PFF grade among all edge rushers (93.9). Only Miller notched more defensive stops among edge rushers, and Mack was doing his work with considerably less defensive help than Miller or some other players were. There has been no more consistently dominant edge rusher in all facets of the game than Mack over the past couple of seasons.
Mack really burst into national prominence in 2015 becoming the first player to earn First-team All-Pro at two positions (Linebacker and Defensive End). He recorded 77 tackles, 15 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and one quarterback scared out of the division. His season was highlighted in a gave against the Denver Broncos were Mack would tie the Raiders single game sack record (5) held by Howie Long.
In 2016 Mack somehow became even more dominant. He registered 73 tackles, 11 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 1 interception. For his efforts Mack won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award as well as being named First-team All-Pro once again. There wasn’t a better edge rusher in the NFL last season.
1. Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
Nobody generated more pressure than Oakland’s Khalil Mack this past season. He led the NFL in total pressures, at 96, and was the only player to even eclipse 90 over the year. Mack didn’t have as many sacks as some on the list, but still got home 11 times over the year, knocking the QB down another 11 times, and posting a monstrous 74 hurries across his 16 games.
While he did finish the 2016 season with four less sacks he created many more turnovers at times sealing victories. His ability to impact the game was a big part of the teams success last season and with the teams added defensive talent, he should have another big season.