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2011 NFL Pro Bowl: Alex Mack Starting AFC Center, Replacing Nick Mangold

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California Golden Bears fans knew how much they would miss Alex Mack after he went onto the pros. Mack was a powerful truck that helped open up gaping holes on the inside, ensuring huge rushing performances for Jahvid Best in his 2008 sophomore campaign. Cal was the 5th most efficient rush offense in the country in 2008, largely in part to the contributions of Mack.

The Cleveland Browns knew that when they drafted Mack 21st in the 2009 NFL Draft, and he immediately upgraded one of the worst offensive lines in the country, particularly in the run game.

Football Outsiders tracks these stats on offensive line that usually can correlate to how well the center is performing, and Mack comes off superbly.

2008: 59% power success (27th), 14% runs stuffed (5th)
2009: 65% power success (14th), 18% runs stuffed (13th)
2010: 74% power success (4th), 13% runs stuffed (1st)

(Power success delineates how well a team performs in short yardage situations, like whether a team attains a first down runs on 3rd/4th and 2 or less yards or scores a touchdown on 1st/2nd and goal for two or less yards; runs stuffed indicates rushes of zero yards or blown up behind the line of scrimmage.)

He'll be joining Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson as the four Cal representatives in the 2011 Pro Bowl.  Mack replaces Nick Mangold of the New York Jets, who was injured in the 2011 AFC Championship game. Here was his official statement.

"I'm very excited to be able to go to Hawaii," Mack said in a statement. "It's unfortunate that Nick had to get injured for me to go, but I'm looking forward to representing the Browns. It has been a lifelong dream for me and from here on, it's working to make many more. I'm excited to be going, and I can't wait to play in this game."

ALEX MACK CAL HIGHLIGHTS (via calbearsgobig)