First it was Sammy Watkins, then Jadeveon Clowney. Next week, the Detroit Lions will host another probable top-six pick they’ll likely have to trade up if they want to draft — Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. Mack, scheduled to visit the Lions mid-week, is considered one of the top edge rushers in the draft and would fill a need at outside linebacker. He had 100 tackles, 10.5 sacks and three interceptions in an All-America season last year, and said at the NFL combine he can play defensive end if needed. The Lions are sticking with their 4-3 defense this fall, but have room for a pass-rushing linebacker in their system. Mack could be used in a role similar to Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, the No. 2 overall pick in 2011 and one of the NFL’s sack leaders his first two seasons. “I don't want to limit myself to just playing one specific thing,” Mack said at the NFL combine in February. “I feel like that's the biggest thing for me. When I work out, I work out with the defensive ends, I work out with the linebackers, I also go over and work out with the (defensive backs) just to stay fresh. I work hard, and I want to stay loose and don't want to put a limit on myself.” According to various reports, Mack also is scheduled to visit the Houston Texans, who own the No. 1 pick, and Atlanta Falcons (No. 6) this week. Already, he’s visited the St. Louis Rams (No. 2) and Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 3). Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said last month he sees “value” in trading up to land an elite player in the draft, of which he said there are fewer than 10 available this year.
Top prospect Khalil Mack to visit Detroit Lions next week
Detroit Free Press | Apr 19