NAME: Daylon Mack
SCHOOL: Texas A&M
POSITION: Interior Defensive Lineman
JERSEY: No. 5
RECRUITMENT RATING: 5-star
WT: 320 lbs
Get-off/Burst – Unbelievably explosive in general, but especially for his size. Quick first step consistently creates a push up front, so fast off the ball at times that opponent cannot even build his house in pass protection or get into his first step as a run blocker. Has some snap-jumping to him, but even when he doesn’t time it up he’s still exceptionally twitchy.
Leverage – Built-in leverage gives him an immediate advantage off the snap, but still plays too upright at times and doesn’t utilize his natural gift. Became more consistent in his technique this season, which was key to his success. Has the power to re-set the line of scrimmage quickly when his pad level and hands are right.
Hand Usage – So much better this season. Still doesn’t have much in the way of pass rush moves, but controlled the line of scrimmage far better due to his ability to get hands inside and bench press blockers off his frame. Finally matched technique with his raw power to create movement at the point of attack. Won his gap consistently this year, maximized arm extension and locked out blockers to keep his frame more clean.
Rush Plan/Counters – Still his biggest area of weakness. Occasionally flashes a club-swim combo, but most of the time is a bull-rush only guy. Slow-burn rusher who isn’t likely to help out much on third downs due to lack of creativity and some lateral stiffness. Often subbed out on long and late downs by Texas A&M.
Mental Processing/Block Recognition – Still coming along in this area, but much improved in 2018. Processed double teams and showed a much better anchor due to his awareness. Still can get knocked back at times, but read and attacked his keys faster this season, which led to more success. Can get reached initially on zone plays, but has the quickness and improved hand technique to climb back across his opponent’s face to get playside.
Range – Playing nose tackle heavily, didn’t have a lot of opportunities to play run-and-hit football, but has displayed impressive wheels for a big man before in his career. Can really move for a big guy, acceleration in the open field and ability to alter angle on the move is impressive.
Bend/Flexibility – Has had some balance issues when trying to turn tight corners before. Built-low to the ground so his lack of flexibility is easier to overcome, but does not appear to stand out in this way on tape.
Tackling – Hits and wraps up. Doesn’t have a big tackle radius, but is physical at the point of impact and will hit if he lines you up. Can’t make those tough tackles outside his frame against more elusive quarterbacks, but throttles down well to stay in control in space.
Competitive Toughness – Played hard and physical this season. Motor was impressive. Appeared to have lost some weight after playing too heavy as a junior. Does get rotated out fairly often, but likely to be the same case in the NFL anyway.
Athleticism/Size – As a five-star recruit, Mack has the rare combination of being a big dude with excellent quickness. I’m not sure he’ll wow at every event at the Combine, but he’s undeniably explosive on tape and has plenty of bulk to handle interior work early on in his career. A lack of great length does limit his ceiling some.
BEST TRAIT – Burst/Get-off
WORST TRAIT – Rush Plan/Counters
RED FLAGS – None
Daylon Mack will remind folks a good bit of Poona Ford, except with way more hype in his background. A former five-star recruit, Mack didn’t blossom into the star he was expected to be at the college level, but staying for his senior year may have been the best move of his young life. A new coaching regime unlocked the potential in Mack, who had a career year and played his best football during some of the team’s biggest matchups (Alabama, LSU, Clemson).
Mack isn’t going to wow anyone as a pass rusher, but his power at the point of attack and improved hand technique could make him a rookie starter on early downs. He’s the rare run stuffer with the power to re-set the line of scrimmage and the explosiveness to disrupt plays in the backfield as well. Mack may never be an ideal three-down player, which will push his stock to the mid-rounds, but he’s capable enough as a rusher that he will be a valuable mid-round pickup for whatever NFL team sees fit to claim him.
Competitive Toughness –Very difficult to move. Even if he’s caught asleep at the wheel with a first blow, he’s quick to recover and reset his leverage to hold ground steady. Functional power and play strength are terrific and he’s a great plug in the middle to stuff up the A-gaps.
Two Gap Ability –Really like his disengage authority, he’s definitive in shucking blocks and uncovering his pads in the alley to challenge the ball. His upper body power allows him to pull blockers off of their sets and he has enough lateral mobility to displace himself into the gap.
Gap Penetration Skills –Is more of a pusher and collapsing presence than a gap shooter who is going to get hip to hip at the point of attack with consistency. When he’s placed in the gap, he does show awareness to try to rip through down blocks…with only modest success.
Tackling –Doesn’t necessarily have a large area of influence due to his play style, but when he pops off a block he’s typically going to finish the play. Powerful upper half and has little issue with wrapping up, does well to move his feet and play through contact of ball carriers.
Flexibility –Nifty little plug in the middle, he brings more than an average nose tackle in the way of flexibility and body control to play with smoothness to his game. Like his ability to break down and come to balance, as well as his skill in anchoring with low hips and pads.
Pass Rush Counters –Deliberate hand usage is there, he simply lacks the extension skills to really work over interior defenders. Lets grasp settle on his chest too much and can’t get hands to pop off his numbers. Has worked on lifts, rips and sweeps in live action.
First Step Quickness –Doesn’t have a great deal of explosiveness or burst, isn’t going to win a ton of reps initially, although he does possess enough spring to really coil himself and with a well timed snap he can shoot past blockers and create instant penetration.
Feet/Change Of Direction –A nimble footed big guy: love his movement skills in space, he’ll surprise you with how well he can move. Natural athlete who does carry poor weight on his frame but has still sustained notable levels of COD and ability to break down on a moments notice.
Versatility –Modest flexibility as a player, would not recommend moving him out of the A-gaps, however. His general style is to attack contact head on and overwhelm athletic interior blockers vs. trying to beat them at their own game with quickness.
BEST TRAIT – Anchor Ability
WORST TRAIT – Pass Rush Counters
BEST FILM – Mississippi (2018)
WORST FILM – Alabama (2017)
RED FLAGS – None
Daylon Mack enjoyed a career revival over the course of the last nine months. Mack was an all-star success story at both Shrine and Senior Bowl week, his natural ability and urgent demeanor were likable qualities. Mack projects best as a 1T in an even front. Mack’s ability to anchor, but subsequently locate and chase the football, are pretty unique to a player of his stature, who can so easily win the point of attack thanks to leverage.