Raiders All-Pro Defensive End Khalil Mack Subject Of Sports Illustrated Cover Story

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Defensive End Khalil Mack

Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack were the first two defensive players taken in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Clowney, the highly-touted defensive end from South Carolina was the first overall pick, and Mack, the then-linebacker from Buffalo was taken four picks later at No. 5 overall.

The journey of each player, both before, and now in the years following the NFL Draft, has been different. Mack became the first player to be named a First-Team All-Pro at two positions in 2015, while Clowney has yet to play more than 13 games in a season.

Now entering their third seasons in the NFL, Robert Klemko of the MMQB took a look at the pair of defensive players, and examined if their respective journeys to the NFL helped shape the players they have become.

"Mack, a Raider, is an unquestioned superstar," wrote Klemko. "Clowney, in Houston, is a question mark. Were those high school and college years, full of adulation, enabling and the shortcuts made possible by his rare physical gifts, a detriment to Clowney's development? Conversely, did a five-year grind in anonymity make Mack the player he is today? What's the difference between a college career that quietly crescendos and one that roars unceasingly? And for NFL teams, is there a lesson to be learned?"

Throughout the feature, Klemko speaks extensively with Mack and Clowney, as well as General Manager Reggie McKenzie, and defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.

You can read the full piece, here.

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