Chicago Bears: ESPN survey declares this player best at his position

Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

No surprise that the Chicago Bears have the best pass rusher in the NFL

It seems that ESPN sent out a survey asking 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players who they believe is the best pass rusher in the NFL. The results came back and the Chicago Bears star outside linebacker, Khalil Mack walked away with the top spot.

Clearly, those who voted realized that Mack’s 2019 numbers were not normal for the pass rush specialist. Mack finished with only 8.5 sacks last season — his lowest total and first time under double-digits since his rookie season. Mack is a beast at getting to the quarterback, but double and triple-teams limited his ability to tack on the counting stats. He had nearly the same amount of pressures (45) as he did in 2018 (47), but he played two more games.

In 2018, Mack finished with 12.5 sacks over 14 games. He finished with eight quarterback hits, six forced fumbles, an interception and a defensive touchdown. He was phenomenal in 2018, but even with down numbers in 2019, he came away with five more forced fumbles. He is a complete game changer and should see more one-on-one blocks in 2020 with the addition of Robert Quinn on the opposite side of him and Akiem Hicks back from his elbow injury.

Over his career, Mack has averaged more than half a sack per game and over 10 sacks per season. He has averaged over three forced fumbles per year too, but since with the Chicago Bears, that number has jumped up to over five. Although his tackle numbers have gone down in the Chicago Bears defense, he has proven to be a bigger force in many other ways.

It is nice to see Mack get the recognition he deserves. This coming after Pro Football Focus (PFF) disrespected Khalil Mack in a recent tweet asking who is the best pass rusher in the NFL. This is not uncommon for PFF though as they constantly seem to bash the Chicago Bears to get fans riled up.

No disrespect to the other players on this list as they are all fantastic, but Khalil Mack’s absence is mindboggling. As a Chicago Bears fan, I have Mack as the second-best pass rusher in the NFL behind Aaron Donald. They play different positions though and Donald is not considered an edge rusher. I am calling it now that Mack will be in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year again if we have a full 2020 NFL season.