Defensive End Khalil Mack
What a year it's been for Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack.
No. 52 compiled an outstanding 2016 campaign which saw him total 73 tackles, 11 sacks, three passes defensed, a pick-six, and five forced fumbles. As Mack continued to perform in clutch moments and seal close games in the final minutes of regulation, his case for Defensive Player of the Year steadily picked up steam.
While a few players, primarily Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, were in the running to take home the coveted accolade, Mack's résumé stood above the rest, and he was eventually named the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year. This was the first time in his young career that he had earned such an award, but the praise didn't stop there.
For the past several weeks, the NFL has been unveiling its list of the league's Top 100 players. The Silver and Black have already seen left guard Kelechi Osemele (No. 95), wide receiver Amari Cooper (No. 53), and quarterback Derek Carr (No. 11) all named to the prestigious list, but amongst them all, Mack was voted the No. 5 player in the league by his peers.
An exclusive look back at Khalil Mack's All-Pro 2016 season for the Silver and Black.
Not only is his top-five ranking the highest a member of the Raiders has ever been slated on the list, but he's also among only Miller, defensive end J.J. Watt, cornerback Darrelle Revis, safety Ed Reed, and linebacker Ray Lewis as the only defensive players to earn a spot within the top-five.
When you think about what Mack's been able to accomplish in the short span of three years, it's truly remarkable. From his rookie season, Mack's only climbed higher on the illustrious list, starting at No. 49, moving up to No. 13, and now No. 5. At the ripe age of 26, he has plenty of gas left in the tank, and as many players noted during his segment on the NFL Network, he's only getting better. Hopefully, Mack will continue to terrorize offensive lines and quarterbacks everywhere for years to come.