NEW YORK – It was an historic evening for the University at Buffalo football program as Khalil Mack was selected fifth overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2014 NFL Draft held at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday. Mack became the highest drafted player in school history as well as the second highest drafted player in the history of the Mid-American Conference.
"I'm excited to be an Oakland Raider. I'm grateful," Mack said. "It's a blessing. It's all about playing football now and that's what I'm looking forward to most."
Mack became the 12th player in school history selected in the NFL Draft and the highest since Gerry Philbin was picked in the third round by the Detroit Lions in 1964. He became the sixth UB player selected in the past seven NFL Drafts.
"It's a special moment and Khalil is certainly deserving of it," UB head coach Jeff Quinn said. "It's a tremendous opportunity for Khalil, his family and the entire UB nation. That's what it's all about. Bringing in the right kind of people and having a plan and Khalil has followed that plan. He's where he's at today because of the energy and effort that he put into it."
Mack will join six other former Bulls who are currently on NFL rosters. James Starks is with Green Bay, Trevor Scott plays for the Bears, Josh Thomas is in Carolina, Steven Means and Jake Schum are with the Buccaneers and Naaman Roosevelt recently signed with the Lions.
Mack is the second player from UB selected by the Oakland Raiders in the NFL Draft. Scott was picked by the Silver and Black in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
"It's been a journey, man. I've been a blessed young man," Mack said. "God has been good. He showed me a lot of favor. I put in a lot of hard work, man. It wasn't just me thinking that I was good or everybody telling me I was good. I wanted to go out and show it every time I stepped on the field. When I wasn't on the field, then practicing. If I wasn't practicing in the off-season, then I was grinding, grinding trying to get better. That's the mindset I have, and I'm continuously going to do that."