By Jay Skurski
Khalil Mack was too focused to notice that a crowd had formed.
Representatives from all 32 NFL teams gathered this morning inside the Buffalo Bills' field house, with all eyes focused on the former University at Buffalo linebacker.
Although the show lasted only four-and-a-half seconds, nobody left disappointed.
That was the consensus time it took Mack to run the 40-yard dash at the Bulls' Pro day, further solidifying his status as a top-10 candidate for the first round of the NFL Draft in May.
"That's a blessing," Mack said when told that every NFL team was represented. "It felt good being out here, especially on a field I've practiced at a couple times throughout my career. It felt like home."
Mack chose to run the 40-yard dash and go through positional drills today, choosing to stand on his results from the NFL Scouting Combine last month in Indianapolis in other events.
"I knew I wanted to do the 40 coming in after the combine. Based on the time that I had, I knew it was important for me and my confidence to go back out and try to get under 4.6, which I knew I'm capable of doing, said Mack, who ran an official 4.65 in Indianapolis. "I decided to do the drills because you can always get work in, especially if there's 32 teams watching."
One veteran scout reportedly had Mack timed as low as 4.45 seconds today, but most other stopwatches had him anywhere between 4.53 and 4.55.
Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie, Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine and Bills General Manager Doug Whaley were among NFL personnel from teams with top-10 picks who watched Mack work out.
"He' as advertised. He's not just a guy that looks the part," said Pettine, the former Bills' defensive coordinator. "He's an explosive athlete. He's had production -- one of his best games was against Ohio State -- that's something you have to factor into it. This is a rare guy."
"It just perpetuates what most people think about him. He's an explosive player that has range and speed," Whaley said. "You see it on tape, and this just confirms it. I'm happy for the guy. I'm happy for UB."
Mack said he's tried to block out any of the talk about where -- and how high -- he'll be drafted.
"I don't try to notice that, you know what I mean? I try to keep that on the back burner," he said. "I'm still working hard, and that's what it's about with me. I don't focus on the attention toward me, but I'm out here working hard. ... I want to continue to get better."
taggedUniversity at Buffalo