Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Nov 12, 2013; Toledo, OH, USA; Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack (46) looks to make a tackle during the fourth quarter against the Toledo Rockets at Glass Bowl. The Rockets beat the Bulls 51-41. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
(The Toro Times will preview every college football bowl game, taking a look at the potential prospects in the bowl games that could be drafted by the Houston Texans in the May 2014 NFL Draft.)
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 21 at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho at 5:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
The game features Buffalo (8-2, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) and San Diego State (7-5, 6-2, Mountain West Conference).
For Houston Texans fans, the one player who is a must-watch is redshirt senior outside linebacker Khalil Mack. The 6-3, 248-pound OLB is projected to go in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, as he’s the No. 2 OLB in the draft and No. 9 overall ranked player.
Mack has been predicted to be drafted by the New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans around the 10th or 11th pick by CBS Sports.
Mel Kiper of ESPN Insider wrote about Mack:
"“Extremely productive, his sack totals conceal the fact that he’s in coverage plenty and can get off blocks and tackle in space.”"
The OLB has been timed in his 40-yard dash at 6.64.
In Mack’s draft bio, it says he was selected second-team Walter Camp All-American. He was also the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and a Butkus Award finalist.
His bio states:
“He has established NCAA career records for tackles for loss (75) and forced fumbles (16). He has also intercepted a trio of passes and returned a pair for touchdowns this year.”
Mack was also a Jack Lambert Award winner, which is “presented annually by The Touchdown Club of Columbus to college football’s top linebacker.”
In 2013, Mack totaled 94 tackles (51 solo) with three interceptions in 12 games played. On those interceptions, he went 125 yards and scored two touchdowns.
As for his tackle totals, of those 94 total tackles, 19 were for loss, totaling a loss of 98 yards for opponents his senior season. He’s also recorded 10.5 sacks (for a loss of 79 yards), while breaking up six passes, forcing six QB hurries and forcing five fumbles.
The only way I see this OLB playing for the Texans is if they were to trade their first pick back in the draft and draft later in the first, which could possibly happen if given the right deal.
Houston needs help at the OLB position, and I believe it is something they will really look into during this draft.
He’s worth keeping an eye on Saturday, that’s for sure.