The Oakland Raiders have emerged into one of the lethal threats in the NFL heading into the 2017 season. With Derek Carr and Khalil Mack leading the charge, the Raiders hold high expectations going into next season. The NFL has already recognized their hard work, with Derek Carr (No. 11), Amari Coopers (No. 53) and Kelechi Osemele (No. 95) ranking on the NFL’s top 100 players list.
Although their 2016 hopes were cut short with Carr’s injury, the devastation only fueled the performance of Mack and his teammates. Mack was promptly awarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, capping off a brilliant 2016 season. The third-year player put his stamp on many Raiders victories this season, forcing and recovering key fumbles during drives in the fourth quarter.
This past week concluded the countdown of the list, voted on by their peers. Mack, who had yet to appear on the list, cracked the top 10 after appearing 49th in 2014 and 13th in 2015. After his MVP caliber season, his peers voted him the fifth best player in the NFL, via NFL Network:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 27, 2017
Mack complied 73 total tackles (54 solo) last season, along with five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 11 sacks and three passes defended. He is the first Raiders player to crack the top five since the list debuted in 2011.
In his first three seasons, Mack has earned two Pro-Bowl nominations and two All-Pro selections. The 26-year-old has emerged as a top tier defensive player, alongside Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller.