NFL Mock Draft 2014: Todd McShay gives Buccaneers Khalil Mack

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Todd McShay's latest mock draft has the Buccaneers picking Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack.

Like Mel Kiper, Todd McShay has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking Buffalo outside linebacker/pass rusher Khalil Mack with the seventh overall pick in his latest mock draft. The difference with Kiper's mock is that McShay has no quarterback available for the Bucs -- and hence none to pass on.

Mack was very productive at Buffalo (he's the NCAA's all-time career leader in tackles for loss and forced fumbles), and he has the potential to develop into a versatile playmaker in the NFL. He'd be a "Sam" linebacker in the Bucs' scheme, but they'd be able to move him around because he is a highly disruptive run defender in addition to being very effective as a pass-rusher and able to hold up in zone and man-to-man coverage against tight ends.

I think the Buccaneers could easily pick Khalil Mack, who's a strong pass-rusher and run defender both, but McShay's scheme analysis is off here. Lovie Smith does not have a history of using Sam linebackers as passing-down rush ends. That doesn't mean he won't do so or can't do so, but I would be a little surprised at it. Doubly so because when the Bears drafted linebacker Shea McClellin in 2012, Lovie Smith used him exclusively as a defensive end -- not a Sam linebacker. At 6'3", 260 lbs, McClellin has a similar phrame to Mack.

Instead, it's a lot more likely the Bucs would ask Mack to bulk up a little and play defensive end -- probably right defensive end, at that. That puts them in a weird predicament with Adrian Clayborn, though, who's also mostly a right defensive end rather than a base end. William Gholston and Da'Quan Bowers are most likely to compete for the base defensive end spot.

And for the "linebackers-to-defensive-ends never work out in Tampa" crowd: Eric Curry and Keith McCants were drafted 20 years ago. Get over it. And then realize that Simeon Rice was a linebacker in college.

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