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Perhaps not since the days of future New York Giants' first round pick and star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a prospect at South Florida earned as much attention from scouts as Mack, a splashy running back who eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in all three seasons in which he played for the Bulls.
This past season, Mack was the obvious centerpiece on offense for then USF head coach Willie Taggart, helping guide the Bulls to a school record 11-2 overall mark, including an overtime win over South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl. Mack averaged a career-high 6.8 yards per carry in rushing for 1,187 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016, adding 28 receptions for another 227 yards (also both career-highs) for Taggart, who has since left USF to become Oregon's head coach.
If Mack ended his career on a high note, consider his debut. He galloped for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the 2014 opener against I-AA Western Carolina and dominated the competition at this level in the three years since, ending his college career with 3,609 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns in 36 games.
Mack's production may have been inflated by the relative lack of competition on USF's schedule but he possesses a legitimate NFL-caliber frame and burst, ranking as one of the more intriguing "second tier" runners in a class loaded at the position.
STRENGTHS: Mack's calling card is his instant acceleration and a hesitation move and stiff arm that beautifully complement it. He zips through gaps in the defense and shows good vision and awareness of cutback lanes, darting to and through the line of scrimmage with sharp angles that make it difficult for defenders to square him up. Mack shows good balance to tightrope the sideline, as well as to keep his momentum through contact. Though not a particularly powerful runner, he shows at least adequate leg drive as well as determination to fall forward. Though most of the routes he was asked to run at South Florida were of the relatively simple variety, Mack possesses the athleticism to develop in this area and has improved over his career as a receiver, showing at least adequate hands. Mack is willing in pass protection, bending at the knees and showing good strength and effort to protect the quarterback. He has the frame to add at least another 10 pounds without a significant loss of quickness.
WEAKNESSES: Mack is a bit of a glider who too often attempts to bounce runs outside rather than lower his shoulder to get what he can. There is too much wasted movement in his runs with Mack waving his arms, at times, to help maintain his balance and thereby exposing the ball. He needs to show more urgency in his route-running and in carrying out fakes, tipping the defense off, at times. Mack may need a year in an NFL weight room, showing a lack of muscular development over his college career.
IN OUR VIEW: Mack possesses intriguing natural running ability, including the instant acceleration to be a big play threat at the next level. If he can convince teams through workouts and interviews that he possesses the work ethic to take advantage of his gifts, Mack could surprise as a middle round pick.
COMPARES TO: Isaiah Pead, retired: Pead earned the 50th overall pick of the 2012 draft out of Cincinnati's spread offense, flashing big play ability in stints with the Rams (which drafted him) and Dolphins before a car accident tragically cut his NFL career short. Mack will have to prove that he has the toughness between the tackles to remain on the field but his elusiveness, speed and production will surely give him a shot.