The Athlete

"Fifty Deuce"

Khalil Delshon Mack (born February 22, 1991) is an American football outside linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Buffalo, and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders fifth overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Mack holds the all-time NCAA record for forced fumbles and is also tied for career tackles for loss in the NCAA. In 2015, he became just the second first-team All-Pro in NFL history to be selected by the Associated Press for two positions (defensive end and outside linebacker) in the same season, joining Lawrence Taylor, who did so in 1983.

In September 2018, Mack was traded by Jon Gruden to the Bears for two first round draft picks and signed a six-year, $141 million extension, becoming the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. Mack is widely recognized as one of the most dominant defensive players currently playing in the NFL.

Early Life

Mack was raised by his parents: high school sweethearts Yolanda, a teacher, and Sandy Mack Sr., a program specialist, in Fort Pierce, Florida. He has two brothers, Sandy, Jr. and LeDarius. His father introduced him to sports at the age of five. Mack took an early liking to baseball and basketball although he played Pop Warner football.

Mack attended Fort Pierce Westwood High School in Fort Pierce. In his senior year, Mack had 140 tackles, including eight for a loss, and nine sacks. He was named third-team All-State in Florida, as well as first-team All-Area, and helped lead the Panthers to a district championship. Being a newcomer to the sport, he was rated as only a two-star recruit by He received a scholarship from the State University of New York at Buffalo to play Division I football.

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College Career

2010 season
After red-shirting as a freshman in 2009, Mack broke into the starting lineup and was one of the most productive defenders in the MAC. He totaled 68 tackles, including 14 and a half for loss, four and a half sacks, ten pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries, and two forced fumbles. He earned third team all-conference honors.

He chose to wear the uniform number 46 as a motivational reminder that his true potential was not being recognized – 46 was the overall rating assigned to him (out of a maximum of 99) in EA Sports’ college football video game, NCAA Football 11.

2011 season
Mack continued where he left off in 2010, with a dominant sophomore season. Mack led the team in sacks, tackles for loss, and forced fumbles, on the way to being named first-team All-MAC. He recorded 64 total tackles, including 20 and a half for loss (third best in the nation), five and half sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, thirteen quarterback hurries, and five forced fumbles.

2012 season
Despite being suspended for the first game of the season following an altercation with teammate wide receiver Fred Lee, Mack set career highs in tackles (94), tackles for loss (21 – fourth in the nation), and sacks (8). He also recorded two pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, and four forced fumbles. He earned first team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season.

2013 season
Starting all 13 games, Mack recorded 100 tackles including 19 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, three interceptions, one which he returned for a touchdown, and forced five fumbles. He won the CFPA Linebacker Trophy for the 2013 season, and he was named the 2013 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Bull to win the award in Buffalo’s history within the MAC (1999–present). He was also named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press. Mack finished tied for first for the NCAA in career tackles for loss with 75 and set a new record for forced fumbles with 16. Buffalo’s independent student newspaper, The Spectrum, also ranked Mack as the best Buffalo football player in the Division I history of the program.

Professional Career

Leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, Mack was projected as a high first round pick in many mock drafts. He was selected with the fifth overall pick by the Oakland Raiders, making him the highest selected Buffalo player ever, and the first (and only) selected in the first round. Previously, the highest selected player from Buffalo was defensive tackle Gerry Philbin, who was selected with the 33rd overall by the New York Jets in 1964. Mack chose to switch from his college uniform number, 46, to 52 in order to comply with the NFL’s numbering rules.

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2014 season: Rookie year
Mack had an outstanding rookie season with the Raiders. He started and played in all 16 games. He recorded 76 total tackles, four sacks, and one forced fumble. By the end of his rookie season, Mack was considered a candidate for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. Mack eventually finished in third place in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting behind defensive tackle Aaron Donald of the St. Louis Rams and linebacker C. J. Mosley of the Baltimore Ravens. He was, however, named the Defensive Rookie of the Year by analysts on ESPN’s NFL Live and was one of three linebackers selected to USA Football’s sixth annual All-Fundamentals Team (the others being All-Pro veterans Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers and Tamba Hali of the Kansas City Chiefs).

2015 season
In March 2015, the NFL amended the league’s uniform numbering rules to allow linebackers to wear the numbers 40–49. As a result, Mack considered reverting from the number 52 to 46, the number he wore during his college career, but ultimately decided not to do so. In August 2015, Mack was named as the NFL’s number one “making the leap” player. Before the start of the season, Mack shifted from linebacker to right defensive end, and played at both positions.

On December 13, Mack finished a game against the Denver Broncos with five sacks, tying a Raiders franchise record for sacks in a game, previously set by defensive end Howie Long in 1983. The game, which the Raiders won 15-12, was the franchise’s first over the Broncos since September 2011. The following week, Mack was announced to be going to the Pro Bowl, his first, along with teammates safety Charles Woodson and fullback Marcel Reece.

After the conclusion of the season, Mack became the second player in NFL history to make the AP All-Pro First Team at two positions in the same year; right defensive end and outside linebacker. Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor made the 1983 All-Pro Team; outside linebacker and inside linebacker. Mack was ranked 13th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.

2016 season
On November 27, in a 35–32 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 12, Mack recorded his first career interception off of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and returned it six yards for his first career touchdown. Mack also forced a fumble from Newton in the final minute of the game to seal the win for the Raiders. Mack finished the game with an interception, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown, making him the first player since Charles Woodson, who was with the Green Bay Packers at the time, in 2009 to do so. His performance earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 12. Mack also earned AFC Defensive Player of the Month for November, registering four sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception. He helped lead the Raiders to their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season. Mack was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro. Mack was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the 2016 season. In the 2016 season, in addition to recording 11.5 sacks, Mack set a new career-high in forced fumbles with five and fumbles recovered with three. He was ranked 5th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017 as the highest-ranked defensive lineman. He was also named the professional winner of the Butkus Award.

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2018 season
On September 1, 2018, following Mack’s holdout through the entire preseason, the Raiders traded him, a 2020 second-round pick, and a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2020 (condition unknown) to the Chicago Bears for 2019 (24th overall, Josh Jacobs) and a 2020 first-round pick, as well as 2019 sixth and 2020 third round selections. Shortly after the trade, Mack signed a six-year deal worth $141 million featuring $90 million guaranteed, becoming the highest-paid defender in NFL history.

On September 9, 2018, Mack made his Bears debut on Sunday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers. In the second quarter of the game, he sacked backup quarterback DeShone Kizer and stripped and recovered the ball. Later in the same quarter, he intercepted a pass from Kizer and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. He became the first player since 1982 to record a sack, forced fumble, a fumble recovery, interception, and touchdown in one half. It was also his second time recording a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception and touchdown in a single game that dated back to week 12 of the 2016 season. In his second game with the Bears, Mack had four tackles and a strip-sack of Russell Wilson during Chicago’s 24–17 Monday Night Football win over the Seattle Seahawks. Mack continued his excellent play in Week 3, recording a strip-sack of Josh Rosen in the 16–14 win over the Arizona Cardinals, the first player to record strip-sacks in three straight games since Mack himself did it in 2016. He had a strip-sack again the following week in a 48–10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mack became the first player to record sacks and forced fumbles in four straight games since the Indianapolis Colts’ Robert Mathis in 2005. He is also the first player to record forced fumbles in the first four games of a season since the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Tony Brackens in 1999. On October 4, Mack was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. Mack is the first Bears player to win this award since cornerback Charles Tillman in October 2012.

During the Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Mack suffered a right ankle injury that resulted in him missing the first game of his career two weeks later against the New York Jets. Despite his absence, the Bears limited the Jets to 207 total yards, including just 57 rushing, as Chicago won 24–10. Mack also missed the following week’s 41–9 victory over the Buffalo Bills before returning in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions; in the latter’s 34–22 Bears win, he sacked Matthew Stafford twice.

In Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings, Mack recorded one sack on quarterback Kirk Cousins and a forced fumble from running back Dalvin Cook in the 25–20 win. Three games later, against the 11–1 Los Angeles Rams, he forced Jared Goff to fumble in a defensive effort that saw the Bears record four turnovers and win 15–6. During Week 15 against the Green Bay Packers, Mack sacked Aaron Rodgers 2.5 times and had two tackles for losses. On his half-sack, Mack was turned around backward by offensive lineman Jason Spriggs; unable to see Rodgers, Mack helped Bilal Nichols bring Rodgers down for a sack by using his back. The Bears won the game 24–17 and won the NFC North while eliminating the Packers from postseason contention.

Mack finished the regular season with 47 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception returned for a TD; the 12.5 sacks were the most by a Bears player since Richard Dent in 1993. He was later selected to his fourth Pro Bowl and his third first-team All-Pro, though he did not participate in the former due to injury. He received an overall grade of 90.7 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked as the 2nd highest grade among all qualifying edge defenders. In June 2019, he received his second career pro Butkus Award.

– Courtesy

Chicago Bears

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 252lbs

High School: Fort Pierce Westwood HS

College: Buffalo University

NFL Draft: 2014 / Round 1 (Pick #5) / Oakland Raiders

Career History:

Oakland Raiders (2014-2017)

Chicago Bears (2018-Present)

Career Highlights and Awards

4x Pro Bowl (2015-2018)

3x First-team All-Pro (2015, 2016, 2018)

NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2016)

Butkus Award (Pro) (2016, 2018)

PFWA All-Rookie Team (2014)

MAC Defensive Player of the Year (2013)

First-team All-American (2013)

3x First-team All-MAC (2011-2013)