To those that determined the Chicago Bears are the unequivocal winner of the Khalil Mack trade, in the eloquent slang of Derrick Rose: “Kill yourself”.
The requisite “pre” is missing before determined due to the simple fact the trade cannot be truly judged until the Oakland Raiders select and develop the prospects they’ll eventually nab with the draft capital they got in return for an elite pass rusher.
Sure, go ahead and fire off with “The Raiders will never draft a player on Khalil Mack’s level.” I see your point. Mack blossomed from a lights-out linebacker at the University of Buffalo into one of the most feared pass rushers and respected run defenders.
But never, say never.
The Raiders netted 2019 and 2020 first-round picks, a 2019 sixth-rounder and a 2020 third-rounder from the Bears (Chicago did well by fleecing Oakland for a 2020 second-rounder a conditional 2020 fifth-rounder in return). Until the names are attached to said picks, don’t even try to proclaim a victor. It’s an exercise in futility and a bonafide asinine act.
Alright, still not going to give ground?
Chicago is the winner — without question?
Similar to the lack of patience being exhibited when it comes to yet-to-determined draft picks … incoming!
For the price the Bears gave up to get Khalil Mack (draft picks and the big-time contract) Chicago should have gotten a game-wrecking performance from No. 52 in that heartbreaking defeat in the NFC Wild Card game against the Eagles.
After all, Mack saved the Raiders bacon in a tremendous outing against the Carolina Panthers in 2016 where he won the game with a strip-sack and recovery after swatting the ball from Cam Newton’s hand. And Mack did that with arguably a much inferior defense surrounding him. So, he’s more than capable.
The Bears handed Mack a six-year $141-million dollar contract and, while he’s flanked by 10 other defenders and should have help, that whopping price requires Mack to end the game against the Eagles and he didn’t.
Now, this isn’t to diminish Mack.
I believe he’s a force to be reckoned with and is an elite pass rusher and run defender. But on a grand stage, the elite must be head-and-shoulders above the rest. With how Mack came out like gangbusters in the opening portion of 2018 only to be rendered moot in the sack department by the stud veteran offensive tackle Jason Peters (nine years Mack’s elder, by the way) one can’t help to be disappointed.
While the Bears overachieved to get to 12-4 and in the playoffs, you acquire a player of Mack’s talent level to put you over the top. If that postseason dud is the peak of Chicago’s prowess … gulp.
Oh, Gruden and Mayock have plenty of time to foul up the draft and make the trade look like utter FUBAR for the Raiders, but since that has yet to happen, the trade victor is undecided.
New Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock got an up-close look at Clemson and Alabama in Santa Clara on Monday night. Take a look at this classic shot captured by NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair: https://twitter.com/BairNBCS/status/1082435386704424960
You know Mayock was admiring Quinnen Williams’ “Bubble Butt”.
Trevor “Sunshine” Lawrence dazzled at quarterback for Clemson. On a national stage, the long-haired, strong-armed and accurate signal caller surely caught the eye of Gruden and Mayock. Perhaps, if it doesn’t work out with Derek Carr, there will be Sunny Days in Vegas?
What Mayock and Co. need to help Gruden do is keep homegrown talent in-house. Sure, you can say Denico Autry didn’t fit Paul Guenther’s scheme, but his nine-sack season with the Colts didn’t just pop out of thin air.
After watching Cody Parker’s game-winner get tipped by former Raider Treyvon Hester and eventually double-doink off the upright and crossbar, the Raiders get pick No. 24 from Chicago.
You have to believe Gruden is quite pleased with his kicker from Auburn — Daniel Carlson. The rookie overcame a rough start after being drafted by Minnesota and cut and, by changing his approach, became a steadfast weapon for the Raiders.
Gruden said tongue-in-cheek quality pass rushers are hard to find after trading Mack. With an embarrassingly league-low output of 13 sacks this past season, the Raiders are in prime position to nab one, if not two, QB harrier prospects in the first round.
That said, I can see the team using one of it’s 3 first rounders to nab an offensive player — wide receiver or tight end.
If you haven’t already, take a look at Washington defensive back Byron Murphy. He plays like a throwback Raiders CB. And he’d look mighty fine in Silver & Black. In fact, add his teammate Taylor Rapp and you’ll have some swagger and attitude in the Raiders secondary missing since the Soul Patrol.