Name: Takkarist McKinley
Position fit: 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end
Stats to know: McKinley's 16 combined sacks and hits were the most in Pac-12 play this past season.
What he does best:
- Angle-changing burst off the line of scrimmage is enough to get tackles to overset
- Special straight-line speed when chasing down plays
- Impressive start/stop when he wants to counter
- Extremely active hands; doesn’t have a lot of clean losses
- Success as a pass-rusher from both sides; 32 pressures lined up on right, 24 on left
- Fantastic length for his size (34 ¾” arms) and knows how to use it
- Plays low in the run game, allowing him to get under blockers and play with good leverage against the ball carrier
- Wore down easily; had some very low-effort reps
- Limited to the edge only, and may be limited to playing with his hand off the ground
- Most of his “wow” plays come unblocked and not defeating blocks
- Disappeared in a handful of game (Washington State, Arizona State)
- Doesn’t turn the corner extremely well, despite his burst
Player comparison: Shane Ray, Denver Broncos
Ray and McKinley both love to challenge tackles upfield before playing the hands game. Neither profiles as a huge factor in the run game, but if they are winning as a pass-rusher, does it matter?
Not many pass-rushers in this class can match some of the raw traits that McKinley possesses. His explosiveness and length are rare for the position. There’s much more that goes into being a successful pass-rusher than just that, though, and it’s the other things that cause concern. He’s still very raw and has a ways to go before he can be a dominant rusher at the next level.