Alex Mack, C, Cal
Name: Alex Mack
School: Cal – Berkeley
Height: 6041 V
Weight: 312 V
40 Time: 5.1 E
For his size, Mack is an extremely athletic player, and even compared to the smaller centers Mack is pretty athletic. In the NFL, Mack’s quickness and fluid hips would be significantly above average, and he has decent balance for the position.
Physical Talents: 6.5
Mack is a very talented player. He has prototype size, strength, and explosion from the center position. If you were to design a center, physically you’d probably end up with Mack. He’s plenty athletic to play guard as well, and would be one of the top guards in this class if considered one (behind Andre Smith, and probably nobody else).
Body Type: 6.5
Mack is an Draddy (think academic Heisman) award winner who’s smarts translate to the football field. He makes line calls at the LOS for his team, and usually when Cal got beat it was due to the tackles not fulfilling their assignments, even if they knew them. He plays will good technique for the position and is smart enough to improve (needs to improve punch in pass protection) in the areas where he needs to. Mack displays very good instincts locating linebackers and should be an asset mentally for whatever team takes him.
Understands Playbook: 6.5
Proper Technique: 6.5
Mack has a bit of nastiness in him, which I like. He’s a very consistent player who plays best at the goal line, showing the willingness to cut block well (get himself dirty) if that is what is needed to make the play work.
Clutch Play: 6.5
Football Character: 6.5 Leader of the Cal Line. Good build shows weight-room dedication.
Personal Character: 6.5 Very smart kid who should present 0 problems in the NFL.
Durability: 6.5 No medical red flags, is durable and tough.
Play Strength: 6.5 Has plus strength for the position.
vs Speed Rush: 6.0 Should win most battles vs speed rush.
vs Bull Rush: 6.5 Should not be a problem at the NFL level.
Footwork: 6.5 Does a good job with his feet, sealing to create big holes and making downfield blocks.
Hand technique: 6.5 Very good technique, sometimes catches DL with his body instead of arms, but workable. Refined for a college kid.
2nd level blocking: 6.0 Does a great job getting to the second level, but sometimes whiffs on blocks.
Quickness off snap: 6.0 Can be beaten by elite LBs blitzing inside, but usually does a good job.
Proper Balance: 5.5 Sometimes can get too high, which leads to him overextending, which leads to him not sustaining blocks. Not a big problem, but something he could work on.
Lateral Slide: 6.0 Good lateral slide, will struggle moving to a spot before a blitzing LB.
Errors: 6.0 Mack plays a little nasty and drew a flag for that, and while I don’t think this will be a big problem, it is a minor annoyance. Also sent a snap above the QB’s head in the shotgun, though he was mostly accurate.
Summary: Mack was a guy I loved when I first saw him, and while he has a couple areas to improve upon (blitzing LBs inside, blocking LBs on the move, balance), I believe he will eventually be one of the best centers in the NFL. Mack is a rare player who is a great fit for any scheme – he has the traditional power to play in a man blocking scheme, and the quickness to get to the 2nd level in a zone blocking scheme. Like all college players, he needs to improve his hand use, but if any college player can, I’d place my hopes on the high character, intelligent center from Cal.
Note: While Mack’s grade is a top-10 talent, I wouldn’t recommend taking a center that early. That said, a 6.8 is a player who I expect to go to 5+ pro bowls, which is what I expect from Mack.
Final Grade: 6.8
Note: There is the chance that I will grade Mack in more games, for that reason I reserve the right to change this grade up til Mack is drafted.
Games Scouted: USC, Maryland, Miami