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Early mock draft has Broncos taking Aggies’ Daylon Mack

Daylon Mack is a nose tackle with his big size and frame. He also has a really good first step. However, there has been a trend for nose tackles over the years. Unless you are a near elite athlete, you fall in the Draft.

Mack has talent that should see him go earlier than this, but he isn’t that great of an athlete. There is some quickness in his feet, but the agility isn’t there.

Mack can stand up interior offensive linemen, especially when he plays with leverage. As a run defender, Mack really stands out, but he leaves you wanting as a pass rusher, but he can push the interior of the pocket.

The 6 foot 1, 320 pound Mack was elevated to a starting position in fall camp when end Micheal Clemons suffered a foot injury and projected starter Kingsley Keke was moved outside. He wound up being the key to the Aggies’ defensive improvement this season from a personnel standpoint. In the off season, Mack slimmed down and improved his conditioning. At 320 pounds, he was very difficult to move off of the ball. Most importantly, he regained his get off that had been lacking for a couple of season.

Mack is evidence of what can happen when you keep someone in a college program for over time because A&M consistently had a former five star senior facing smaller underclassmen at center every week. Those players consistently needed help from other interior linemen which freed up A&M senior linebacker Otaro Alaka to have his best season ever when he was moved to the Mike. Between his mass and quickness, Mack was able to come off of the ball low with power which enabled him to reestablish the line of scrimmage or redirect blockers and ball carriers. For example, most offenses’ best running plays these days are the split zone (zone blocking on the line where the H back comes across the formation and blocks a defensive end) and the power or counter (which involves both a H back and offensive lineman). Those pulling linemen can’t stay on track because Mack was in their track or the offensive linemen had been pushed back which allowed A&M’s edge players to get set better prior to contact. Not only that, Mack became an effective pass rusher even though he lacked the sustained quickness that some of the other defensive linemen offered.

Due to the fact that he was double teamed, Mack only had 29 tackles on the season but his other stats are underrated. Even though he was sacrificial lamb of sorts and freed up other players to make plays, he still had 9.5 tackles for loss (third on the team) and 5.5 sacks (also third on the team). These numbers compare very favorably to other defenders that face double teams on every play. Moreover, A&M allowed just 3.66 yards per rush on first down and just 1.56 yards per rush on third down and three yards or less to go.

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