3 Reasons Khalil Mack Will Win Defensive Player of The Year in 2018

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 09: Khalil Mack #52 of the Oakland Raiders reacts during their game against the San Diego Chargers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 09: Khalil Mack #52 of the Oakland Raiders reacts during their game against the San Diego Chargers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Khalil Mack won Defensive Player of The Year in 2016, he will do so again as a member of the Chicago Bears

As you are assuredly being oversaturated with various articles detailing the excitement of the Bears adding Khalil Mack, let me add more fuel to the fire.

When news struck that Khalil Mack would be leaving the team that drafted him in 2014 it left the NFL world in shock. Mack’s presence on the Bears should take the team’s defense over the top and for a good reason.

The unit was ranked tenth in total team defense in 2017 and with the addition of Mack, the strides this defense has the potential to take are immeasurable.

With that being said, here are three reasons why Khalil Mack will win DPOY in 2018:

1. The Supporting Cast

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 09: Akiem Hicks
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 09: Akiem Hicks /

You all remember that 2016 season when Mack won DPOY with the Oakland Raiders. He was simply fantastic.

The three-time pro bowler had 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, three recoveries, one interception, three passes defended, and one defensive touchdown. Wow.

Now allow me to ask this: Can you name one other player on that 2016 Raider’s defense? The most active football follower may bring up Bruce Irvin as he’s still with the team now, but the rest of the roster…again wow.

Don’t get me wrong, Irvin had a respectable season in 2016, and Reggie Nelson, who is another solid player in the league, also had five interceptions. I will say it’s easier to pick off the ball with Mack rushing the passer, but we’ll save that conversation for another day.

The rest of the defensive roster included players like Jihad Ward, Dan Williams, Perry Riley, David Amerson, and Malcolm Smith. Not precisely a Seattle Seahawks 2014 defensive roster.

If you look at all the defensive rosters of all the players that won DPOY since 2010 (could probably go back much further), the discrepancy between Mack’s supporting cast and the other award winners is laughable.

In 2018, Khalil Mack will no longer be lining up next to the likes of Eddie Vanderdoes or Justin Ellis. Instead, Mack will line up opposite of speedy outside linebacker, Leonard Floyd, the most underrated interior lineman in the NFL, Akiem Hicks, and one of the most consistent nose tackles in the game, Eddie Goldman.

Everything about Mack’s job will become so much easier as teams really cannot afford to double team him as in years past consistently. If you double Mack will that mean that teams will assign one blocker to Akiem Hicks?

Not a good idea.

You can decide to assigns two blockers to both Mack and Hicks, but then Leonard Floyd is on the outside coming at your quarterback with 4.6 speed.

In the secondary you have PFF’s second-best safety in the NFL, Adrian Amos, as well as All-Rookie Team safety, Eddie Jackson.

Throw in the 2017 College Football Butkus Award winner, Roquan Smith, and leading tackler Danny Trevathan, and this defense becomes downright scary.

Khalil Mack has never played with the cumulative amount of talent that he has around him in Chicago. It will be interesting to see what he does with it.

Part of winning DPOY entails that player having a focused and determined mindset to dominate throughout the season. What more motivation could a player need than being the best at his position both on and off the field, and as a reward the team that drafted you to trade you.

In Mack’s opening press conference with his new organization, he kept utilizing one word as to what he wants to do with the Bears: “dominate.”

Khalil feels as though he put his blood, sweat, and tears into being the force he was in Oakland. He was a respected leader in the locker room and was beloved by his teammates.

One can only imagine how Mack, a two-time All-Pro and three-time pro bowler, felt after a head coach who hasn’t coached in ten years, received a fully guaranteed $100 million contract, and then sent him out the door for “financial purposes.” Absurd.

If Khalil Mack has ever needed a reason to get back to his 2016 form, it is now with the Bears.

I’m sure Khalil would love a chance to play his former team this season and remind them of what they let go, but for now, he must compartmentalize that passion and use it against the quarterbacks in the NFC North.

OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 26: Khalil Mack #52.(Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 26: Khalil Mack #52.(Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /

3. It just “Macks” sense

Please excuse that poorly constructed play on words but let’s be honest, Khalil Mack winning DPOY is not an assertion coming out of left field here.

For starters, the man has already won the award. And like stated before, he won the award while on arguably the worst defensive roster that any former winner has had.

More from Bear Goggles On

When you take a guy with the talent like Khalil Mack and surround him with other formidable skills, it results in the formation of a dominant defense.

Here’s what we must understand is that the Bears didn’t bring in an average pass rusher. Nor did they bring in a good pass rusher. They brought in a Hall of Fame level pass rusher IN HIS PRIME.

Remember when Reggie White signed with the Green Bay Packers in the beginnings of free agency? Yeah, they won a Super Bowl in 1997 with White recording 11 sacks that season. By the way, when Green Bay signed White, he was 32 years old. Still highly effective no doubt, but was reaching more of the tail end of his prime than the beginning.

The Bears inked Khalil Mack to a massive six-year deal, and by the time he’s in the fifth year of it, he’ll be reaching the age that White was when the Packers signed him.

Khalil Mack will win Defensive Player of The Year in 2018, wait and see.