DE Takkarist McKinley, 6’2 250 UCLA
What He Does Well:
Possesses an explosive first step, able to win battles using only his burst. Solid athlete with great speed and change of direction ability. Moves laterally very well. Has a knack for finding the ball, large amount of his production comes close to or behind the line of scrimmage. Possesses a very good spin move. Relentless motor, might be the best in this EDGE class. Will win some battles based solely on his never give up approach. Works until the whistle blows, willing to pursue.
Where He Needs Work:
Gets by too often on effort and athleticism, still quite raw as a pass rusher. Needs to add strength and become more physical, can get manhandled by bigger, stronger offensive linemen. Is on the smallish size at 6’2” 250 pounds. Has a tenancy to play too upright which leads to poor leverage. Needs to develop his hands, lacks any real impact move other than his swim. Does not utilize his arm length to the maximum. Surgery after the Combine to repair torn labrum will delay the start to his rookie season.
Takkarist McKinley possesses the athleticism and motor to become a successful NFL defender most likely as a 3-4 outside linebacker but is far from a finished product. He will need to put in a lot of work at becoming a complete rusher instead of one who simply relies on his speed and hustle. This makes his decision to wait until after the NFL combine to repair his shoulder a bit puzzling. McKinley will now likely miss the early parts of training camp, time which I think would be invaluable to a prospect in need of so much development. I still see McKinley as a mid-first round prospect though thanks to his athleticism. I see him entering the league as part of a pass rush rotation where he can learn the nuances of the NFL for a season or two before becoming a potential stud pass rusher.
NFL Comparison: Whitney Mercilus