The Bears have not made the playoffs since 2013. 14-34 in the past three seasons. Sounds crazy, but hear me out: there is one acquisition the Bears could make that scenario a reality: Khalil Mack. Mack seems to be on the trading block, and I think the Bears should absolutely go for it. NFL Odds list the Green Bay Packers and the Bears as the teams Mack could most likely be on after the trade deadline.

One could argue that when he plays, Khalil Mack is the best defensive player in the NFL. This guy is an absolute animal when you watch him play. Listed at 6 foot 2, 252 pounds, he is a force to be reckoned with. A three-time pro bowler, two-time first team all-pro, and 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Khalil Mack has racked up the accolades and is just 27 years old. He has recorded 40.5 sacks through four NFL seasons, and just brings a presence on the field that I haven’t seen a pass rusher bring in a long time. When you watch him play, you can tell that he has only scratched the surface with his arsenal of pass rush moves. He can easily beat tight ends, and some better tackles with just his sheer power, which shows you how strong this guy actually is. He can also beat players to the edge with speed, which shows you how gifted of an athlete he really is. He reminds me of James Harrison, but more complete and versatile. I don’t know how guys lined up against Harrison without taking a gulp first, and think they should treat Mack the same way. The guy is an absolute monster. He is only 27 years old, and, I would argue, hasn’t even reached his prime yet, which is really scary.

Coming out of Buffalo in 2014, Khalil Mack played outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, and would sometimes play end. For the Raiders, Mack started out as an outside linebacker, but was transitioned to defensive end full time in 2016, his Defensive Player of the Year campaign. In the Bears’ 3-4 scheme, I see Mack fitting best at the left outside linebacker spot, which would make Sam Acho good depth. I like Sam Acho, but after watching him last year, I believe he has no business rushing the passer at the NFL level. In one of my previous articles, I mentioned the Bears biggest weakness of defense was the lack of a proven pass rusher, and adding Mack would make the position a strength immediately. His style of play as a power rusher and Floyd’s style as a speed rusher would compliment each other quite nicely. Having a proven guy in the film room would help Leonard Floyd develop more quickly too. And with our pass rush theoretically giving opposing quarterbacks less time to throw, in turn, it will make our secondary look better. Three of the most coveted positions in football in today’s’ game are the quarterback, people who protect the quarterback, and those who sack the quarterback, and Mack does the last one very efficiently.

The Bears would have to give up some serious pieces and draft capital to land a guy of Mack’s caliber, but that is the way it should be when you get arguably the best defensive player in the league in return. A fellow writer of mine wrote a very good article on mock trades the Bears could make for Mack. You should go check it out to see the scenarios he plays out. My favorite mock trade from his article had us shipping out our 2019 and 2020 1st round picks and James Daniels for Khalil Mack. I like Daniels a lot, but something needs to push the Raiders to bite on the deal, and I think he’s it. I think we have rather good depth on the offensive line, so I think losing him wouldn’t be the end of the world.

All in all, I think if the Bears land Mack, they are better than the Packers and Lions on paper. The Vikings are still very much overpowered, but can very well stomp on the Lions and perhaps the Packers with such an acquisition. If the Bears were to make this happen, I could see them competing with teams like the Panthers and 49ers for wild card spots. And those are two very good teams in my opinion. The Bears boasted a top 10 defense last year, and when you add a guy of Mack’s caliber in the mix, it automatically makes them wild card contenders in a tough NFC in my book. I covet first round picks unlike any other asset, but there are simply times where you just go for it. Ryan Pace, go for it.

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