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Raiders G.M.: Khalil Mack is like Clay Matthews

Khalil Mack AP

It’s early, obviously. And it might be wishful thinking.

But the Raiders clearly have high expectations for first-rounder Khalil Mack.

According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie is comparing his newest linebacker to one of the best pass-rushers in the game.

He’s reminded me of Clay Matthews from Day 1,” McKenzie said, referring to Clay III, the Packer, and not the long-time Browns linebacker. “He’s one of those guys that knows how to set the edge, and he has length and power and some tools to rush the passer.

“He’s got that first step, he can bend, he’s relentless.”

McKenize was working in Green Bay when the Packers drafted Matthews in the first round, and said that intensity is something they saw in Mack this year.

“That’s what Clay was, you don’t have tell him to go sic ‘em,” McKenzie said. “He just innately does that. Khalil is that same way.”

“It’s hard to find guys that are skillful that have that innate ability.”

If Mack has the same kind of instant impact (Matthews had 23.5 sacks his first two seasons, and 50.0 in five), the Raiders will be delighted. They out enough solid veterans into their defensive mix that adding that kind of spark could make them respectable quickly.

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42 Responses to “Raiders G.M.: Khalil Mack is like Clay Matthews”
  1. kingmj4891 says: Jul 28, 2014 2:30 PM

    So is he saying Mack does a bunch of PED’s and Roids? Because if that’s not what he is saying he must have him confused with Casey Matthews.

  2. bcgreg says: Jul 28, 2014 2:34 PM

    As a top 5 pick, he’d better be better than that. Matthews is overrated a little bit.

  3. slick50ks says: Jul 28, 2014 2:35 PM

    Shut up and play the game.

    Sheesh.

  4. ariani1985 says: Jul 28, 2014 2:35 PM

    Well he better get used to be on the sidelines in sweats!

  5. In Teddy We Trust says: Jul 28, 2014 2:36 PM

    I hope he’s better than that one-dimensional player.

  6. humb0lt says: Jul 28, 2014 2:38 PM

    There’s always optimism in Raider land this time of year. Maybe Mack will break the Raiders ten-year streak of drafting first-round busts (or trading for them).

  7. mrgroovesd says: Jul 28, 2014 2:40 PM

    Kinda hard to compare them right especially since Khalil hasn’t played a game in the NFL against some elite guys. Plus, he came from the MAC conference which doesn’t compare to Clay playing at USC in the PAC 12.

  8. realfootballfan says: Jul 28, 2014 2:42 PM

    Raider people keep saying dumb stuff I guess because they won’t have to answer for them when they get fired. Let the guy play a game first before you compare him to Von Miller like the coach did or Clay Matthews. Those guys are already proven studs. SMH.

  9. raiderufan says: Jul 28, 2014 2:42 PM

    I hope he’s better against the run than Clay….189 tackles in 69 games? 3 Tackles and one sack a game? Eh…love the pass production but I’d rather see a more complete package from Khalil.

  10. zz56 says: Jul 28, 2014 2:42 PM

    All of you haters just wish you had a player of Matthews caliber. The BEST OLB in the league today!

  11. pooflingingmonkey says: Jul 28, 2014 2:47 PM

    Commonality: Well, they’re both men?

    Difference: One is a (looming) bust, the other a Pro-Bowl linebacker.

  12. axespray says: Jul 28, 2014 2:50 PM

    kingmj4891 says:
    Jul 28, 2014 2:30 PM
    So is he saying Mack does a bunch of PED’s and Roids? Because if that’s not what he is saying he must have him confused with Casey Matthews.
    ————————————–
    A 245 lb guy in a blitz based defense and you’re accusing this guy (that uses swim moves/his hands to beat tackles) of using roids… okay.

    Not guys like Julius Peppers or JJ Watt who are both 290+ lbs and fast enough to chase down Michael Vick, they’re both clean as a whistle.

  13. axespray says: Jul 28, 2014 2:52 PM

    bcgreg says:
    Jul 28, 2014 2:34 PM
    As a top 5 pick, he’d better be better than that. Matthews is overrated a little bit.
    ————————————
    Give the guy Aldon Smith’s supporting cast, instead of the Walden, Raji, AJ Hawks of the world.

  14. bigal1952 says: Jul 28, 2014 2:56 PM

    Wish our GM would wait and see what he has before he makes these types of bold comparisons.

  15. tinbender2000 says: Jul 28, 2014 2:56 PM

    humb0lt says: Jul 28, 2014 2:38 PM

    There’s always optimism in Raider land this time of year. Maybe Mack will break the Raiders ten-year streak of drafting first-round busts (or trading for them).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Or maybe he’ll just break Phillis in two.

  16. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 28, 2014 2:59 PM

    Soft. Must be a motivational tactic by the GM.

  17. dalcow4 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:00 PM

    So, late hits and PEDs?

  18. bengalguy says: Jul 28, 2014 3:07 PM

    ……..except he’s not as good.

    Joke of an organization, top to bottom!

  19. Bill Belitext says: Jul 28, 2014 3:08 PM

    “But the Raiders clearly have high expectations for first-rounder Khalil Mack.”

    All I gathered from this article is that the Raiders have high expectations from their first round draft pick… Sorry, but I subscribe to the idea that ALL teams have high expectations for their first round draft pick…

  20. chalkruz1989 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:10 PM

    Raider Nation is growing in confidence right now and that’s great because they are a flagship of the NFL, though for some time they have underperformed.

    Khalil Mack’s athleticism is obvious but who knows what he will do once he is going against an NFL player. Similar to Clay Matthews III, both he and Mack had a chip on their shoulders as they were not recruited heavily out of high school. When you watch them play, you can tell they have the motor.

  21. rikker12 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:14 PM

    Why do Viking fans feel they need to make a negative comment everytime there’s a post regarding a Packer?
    We know you Viking fans are a little slow, and that the inbred comes out some times, but you all need to get a life and stop commenting on things ( The NFL) you know nothing about, and start making date plans with your sister.
    Really, you should stick to things you know best.
    Anyway’s.
    Mack has the size and speed of a Mathews, but there have been numerous OLB’s that have come into this league with the same pedigree, but it didn’t translate onto the field.
    Maybe they should wait until at least a few games into the preseason before making any kind of assessment like that.

  22. dethsupport says: Jul 28, 2014 3:23 PM

    Oakland fans better hope for more durability from Mack than when the Claymaker has shown Green Bay. Clay rehabs more than rushes these days.

  23. rubicon202 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:25 PM

    PFT title of the article and what RM said are 2 different things. RM said he “reminds” him of Clay, PFT uses the words Khalil “is like” Matthews. IMO those are two different statements. Chill, getting the haters all worked up already. LOL. Go Raiders baby!

  24. slick50ks says: Jul 28, 2014 3:26 PM

    chalkruz1989 says:
    Jul 28, 2014 3:10 PM
    Raider Nation is growing in confidence right now and that’s great because they are a flagship of the NFL, though for some time they have underperformed.

    Khalil Mack’s athleticism is obvious but who knows what he will do once he is going against an NFL player. Similar to Clay Matthews III, both he and Mack had a chip on their shoulders as they were not recruited heavily out of high school. When you watch them play, you can tell they have the motor

    ——————————

    If the faiders are a flagship, it’s of the battle group “Titanic”.

    And Matthews was recruited by, and went to, USC. There’s no comparison there whatsoever.

  25. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Jul 28, 2014 3:27 PM

    Matthews broke his thumb twice in the same season. He’s barely missed any time at all before that injury.

  26. racerx1225 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:29 PM

    realfootballfan says:
    Jul 28, 2014 2:42 PM
    Raider people keep saying dumb stuff I guess because they won’t have to answer for them when they get fired. Let the guy play a game first before you compare him to Von Miller like the coach did or Clay Matthews. Those guys are already proven studs. SMH.
    ================================

    In case you forgot, Allen was Millers coach so he can make that comparison and be more accurate than you bashing him from your couch.

    Have you ever even played a snap of football? lol

    Haters are gonna hate and they will hate the Raiders this year because we will compete for the division.

  27. racerx1225 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:30 PM

    SD and KC are gonna get swept by Oakland this year. Bet on it.

  28. chalkruz1989 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:34 PM

    Actually slick50ks:

    If you knew anything about Clay Matthews III you would have known that he was a walk-on at USC. Try doing some research before spitting garbage.

  29. lacarious says: Jul 28, 2014 3:36 PM

    when pretendzie talks…. i just laugh… mr. pick a QB in the 4th round and cut him before game 1.

  30. rikker12 says: Jul 28, 2014 3:49 PM

    I’m a Packer fan, and has alway’s respected the Raiders and their rich history. I think they could suprise a lot of people this year. 9-7

  31. fmc651 says: Jul 28, 2014 4:04 PM

    Sorry to hear Mack is a one dimensional player.

  32. realfootballfan says: Jul 28, 2014 4:14 PM

    racerx1225,

    How can he make the comparison when the guy hasn’t played a snap in the NFL yet. I actually like Raider fans, but you’re one of the ones proving the stereotype people try to blanket the whole fan base with.

  33. longtimefanhtr says: Jul 28, 2014 4:22 PM

    McKenzie has been copying and trying to emulate Thompson…….without much success.

  34. pkrlvr says: Jul 28, 2014 5:11 PM

    So much hate, so little knowledge. 50 sacks in 5 years prevents the Queenie trolls from just saying he sucks, so they come up with off injured and one dimensional. Can’t y’all just leave a post with a packer reference alone….just once?

  35. joetoronto says: Jul 28, 2014 5:47 PM

    Dumbolt will remember what he said when Phyllis goes down for the season at the hands of Mack.

  36. dasmol says: Jul 28, 2014 6:31 PM

    Can he play offense?

  37. f1lthymcnasty1 says: Jul 28, 2014 7:07 PM

    Khalil Mack is like Clay Matthews:

    Well, let’s see they both have long beautiful blonde hair. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else. I know Khalil does not juice (Orange of course)….What else could there be?

  38. Ferdinand says: Jul 28, 2014 7:25 PM

    Where the heck is Clay Matthews? You usually hear about him in the offseason a few times – new commercial or popping up on some sports show or other, but this year nothing. Even with OTAS and other team activities and training camp starting – we should have heard something, Dude is always good for a sound bite.

    Its weird.

  39. boomboombrown says: Jul 28, 2014 7:54 PM

    You mean he’s……..!

  40. 1nationraidernation says: Jul 28, 2014 7:55 PM

    Well have to give Reggie props on this one…the guy dropped to him, and he did not pass or trade it away….easily the #2 pick in the draft, if not the overall #1…time will tell, until then

    GO Raiders…GO Reggie.

  41. raidermick3sb3rings says: Jul 28, 2014 8:36 PM

    To my fellow Raider fans, listen up!

    Don’t waste your time with these fans from other teams. We are obviously in their heads. That alone explains the time they allocate to us. It takes some creative thinking for them to come up with the stuff they come up with. Many are even pretty funny.
    However, we get the most posts on our articles here on PFT and it’s because we are the Raiders and the Raiders are the NFL. The only team to go to the conference championship game in every decade since the SB started in the 60’s…The only Team. that is why we are the “Team of the Decades” – The more they post, the more they prove me right. So go easy on these other fans, they don’t have any rings like we do.

    Late…

  42. tokyofilthblaster says: Jul 29, 2014 12:15 AM

    Very high praise indeed.

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