Jack Del Rio critical of Jon Gruden’s decision to trade Khalil Mack
Former Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio got an up-close look at the way Khalil Mack can impact a game, but he never really shared his opinion on the trade that sent the star pass-rusher to the Chicago Bears prior to last season. On Monday, Del Rio finally weighed in on the move.
In an appearance on NFL Network’s “Up to the Minute,” Del Rio said he felt the Raiders got “good value” when they acquired multiple draft picks — including two first-rounders — for Mack. However, he made it clear that Mack is a player he would have paid to keep.
“I think Khalil Mack is a future Hall of Fame player,” Del Rio said. “To me, when you have that talented of a player, you keep those guys.”
Del Rio added that it is now up to new Raiders general manager Mike Mayock to turn the draft capital into impact players, but it’s obvious he could not think more highly of Mack.
“We’re going to find out if they can parlay those picks into something special, but they clearly decided not to pay one of the great human beings and great football players that I’ve ever coached,” Del Rio said.
While you could easily make the argument that Del Rio is biased as someone who was replaced by Gruden, he certainly isn’t the first person to question the trade. Gruden has gotten extremely defensive when asked about the move, and it didn’t help that Mack terrorized opposing quarterbacks with the Bears last season to the tune of 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles. If the Raiders don’t find another Mack in the draft, the Mack trade will always be heavily scrutinized.