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Seahawks GM describes Khalil Mack as 'explosive,' 'instinctive' and 'dominant'

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INDIANAPOLIS -- John Schneider has proven to know great defensive talent when he sees it.

The Seattle Seahawks' general manager won the Super Bowl with a defense that was obnoxiously awesome.

Schneider has identified stars in the first round (safety Earl Thomas), second round (linebacker Bobby Wagner), fifth round (cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Kam Chancellor) and seventh round (Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith).

The Seahawks own the last pick of the first round this year. Since they are deep at linebacker, and Khalil Mack will be long gone when they pick, I figured Schneider would give a straight assessment on the University at Buffalo phenom.

"All I'm going to say about that is he's an extremely explosive athlete, very fast, very instinctive, probably can play three or four positions for you on defense," Schneider said today in a news conference at the NFL scouting combine.

"But that stays right here."

Of course, John.

Schneider claimed Mack's talents are obvious despite the fact Mack competed against Mid-American Conference competition.

"It factors in," Schneider said. "He's a dominant football player at that level, but there's been some very, very good players that he's played against, too. So we've watched him play against good people."

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.