The Chicago Bears have traded for the 3-time pro bowler, but was it worth it?
Draft capital is always precious cargo, especially for a team who is trying to get themselves over the hump of mediocrity. The Chicago Bears are one of those teams who needs as many assets as possible, as they are attempting to give sophomore quarterback Mitchell Trubisky some talent to work with. The young QB’s success in the NFL is no guarantee, but the Bears seem to be putting plenty of faith in the North Carolina product.
On the other hand, the Oakland Raiders may be heading for a rebuild, as the team has a shortage of young talent. With Mack heading to Chi-town, they are now desperate for a young playmaker. In return for trading Mack, however, they garnered two first-round picks and a third-round pick, which is a large haul even for a star player like Khalil Mack. If the Raiders are attempting to rebuild, this trade was a good way to add young talent.
What the Bears are getting
The Bears acquired one of the best defensive players in the league in Khalil Mack. At 27 years old, Mack is right in the middle of his prime, and is a threat to record double-digit sacks every single season. Some may even argue he is the best defensive player in the entire league.
To say that Khalil Mack is dominant is an understatement. There are few players in the NFL who can generate the kind of disruptiveness that Mack puts out on a weekly basis. In 64 career games played, Mack has been able to get to the quarterback successfully, with 40.5 career sacks and 311 total QB pressures. The productivity, the consistency and the dominance are exactly why the Bears thought it was worth giving up two first-round picks for the 5th year pro.
Mack rounds out a very stout young defense in Chicago. Looking at the Bears roster, they have no shortage of talent at any position on the defensive side. From Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos in the secondary, to Akiem Hicks, Leonard Floyd and Kahlil Mack along the defensive front, this defense is beginning to look scary. Adding a top-ten player to an already productive and athletic roster is what puts a team over the top in the playoff race.
Look for Khalil Mack to absolutely wreck the NFL this season. While his sack numbers have dropped more and more every year, that may just be a result of teams attempting to slow him down with double-teams and quick-passing downs. Mack has been a top player in the league since he entered in 2014, and that will not be any different come this season.
Chicago may be in for a treat in 2018…
What the Raiders are getting
Investing in draft capital is a smart move…for a team that is rebuilding. Many have been questioning the offseason moves of new Head Coach Jon Gruden and the front office, and the Khalil Mack trade may have solidified those doubters’ claims. Sure, the first-round picks are extremely valuable, and they may turn into future star players. However, the odds of those picks adding up to the production that Mack put out on a down-to-down basis is extremely low. Not many players in the NFL are as productive as the Buffalo product, and he is a rare talent.
This is why fans are questioning Jon Gruden’s leadership thus far. Players like Mack do not come around very often, but when they do, you have to make sure you lock them up for the sake of your franchise. The Raiders failed to do so, and fans are not happy about it. The team will most likely take a step back this season, as the impact that Mack had on the defensive side of the ball helped them win plenty of football games.
Let’s look at the positive side now. The Raiders can use one of those two first-round picks to draft Mack’s replacement, or they can use the money that they were going to offer to the pro-bowler and offer it to a 2019 free agent, such as Demarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler Jr., or Ezekiel Ansah.
There are many things that you can do with draft picks, and I’m sure Jon Gruden is excited to utilize those assets. Depending on how the Bears perform this season, the Raiders could be selecting in a very good slot come May 2019. This pick, along with a 2020 first-rounder, a third-rounder in 2020, and a 2019 fifth-rounder. Accumulating draft capital is a great way to build your team’s young talent, and that is exactly the direction the Raiders are going in with their trade of Khalil Mack.
So who won this trade?
As of right now, the Chicago Bears won this trade by a long shot. While they gave up a big chunk of their assets to acquire Khalil Mack, now is the time to be investing in a star player. The Bears spent the 2018 offseason building the roster around their new franchise QB (some guy named Trubisky), and giving him weapons to help him succeed in his young career. Both on the offensive side and the defensive side, the Bears were loaded with talent, and then the team added Mack…
The move is going to put them in playoff contention.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, things are not looking good for them in the near future. While Jon Gruden is one of the best football minds in the sport today, he has been out of the coaching game for ten years. With the oldest roster in the NFL full of aging veterans, and Mack now in Chicago, the Raiders are headed for a rough patch.