When the Bills traded up from ninth to fourth in the 2014 draft, some fans thought it could be to select University at Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, who last season became the first player to ever be named first-team All-Pro at multiple positions.
Instead, the Bills took Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins in a move those also cost their 2015 first-round pick. The Raiders selected Mack fifth overall.
"Sammy was the top-rated player on our board," general manager Doug Whaley said that night, although then-coach Doug Marrone reportedly left the room when learning the trade up wasn't for a quarterback. (The top QBs in that draft were Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr.)
With the Bills (6-5) heading to Oakland (9-2) this week, Mack recalled his draft memories with Raiders reporters and joked that Watkins "stole my city."
“I talk to Sammy about that every once in a while and tell him how he stole my city from me,” Mack said, per ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. “But it’s going to be fun to [go] out there and play against them.”
Mack's Raiders beat the Bills in 2014 in their only other meeting, a 26-24 decision that ended the Bills' playoff hopes.
"He’s really an unusual guy," Bills coach Rex Ryan said of Mack. "I mean, some guys are speed guys, but some don’t play with power. Some guys are just power guys, but this guy can do it all. He can truck you, he can run around you, he’s got moves, he’s creative with his pass rush. Him and the Von Miller guy, I think, are the best in the league right now. So yeah, it’s pretty much a nightmare."
Story topics: Khalil Mack