It didn't take the Bears long to see how valuable Khalil Mack is to their defense, elevating the group from the moment he first stepped on the field.
He's been among the league's best outside linebackers since he first broke out in 2015, and the analytics back up the eye test.
He was the highest edge defender on Pro Football Focus' list of the top 50 players in the NFL, and their "wins above replacement" metric shows why.
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) June 13, 2019
It's Mack and Von Miller, then everyone else.
"Foremost, Mack is a slightly more complete player than Miller when it comes to defending the run," PFF's Ben Linsey wrote. "Yes, run defense is significantly less important than an edge rusher's ability to disrupt the quarterback, but with so little difference between the players, everything gets put under the magnifying glass."
Over the past four seasons, both players have exactly 49 sacks, although Mack missed two games over that span. The Bears outside linebacker has the edge in interceptions, forced fumbles and tackles for loss, most coming with a lower quality defense around him than what Miller has had in Denver.
It's no surprise Ryan Pace was willing to trade multiple first-round picks to make Mack the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. He's the best in the league.