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2015 NFL DRAFT

Benardrick McKinney, ILB

School: Mississippi State  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Tunica, MS
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 246 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
9143

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.662.731.6316 40 1/210'1"4.277.21
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Raw, versatile athlete. Lined up at middle linebacker and rushed off both edges. Runs in the 4.5s with a 34-inch vertical. At his best with the ballcarrier in front of him. Physical taking on blocks with long arms and physical punch. Fluid athlete for his size, showing good lateral agility and very impressive acceleration to track down ballcarriers from behind. Long arms and good hand-eye coordination to trip up ballcarriers.

At his best with the ballcarrier in front of him, where he can use his physical demeanor and battle the big bodies, taking on blocks with active hands and long arms to control the point of attack.

WEAKNESSES: Limited hand technique. Attempts to slip past blockers, rather than showing the aggression and strength to truly stack and shed. Not a sudden mover. Lacks ideal range. While intelligent, he can be late to recognize plays and ends up a step late to the action. Slow to recover from missteps. Loses sight of the quarterback to turn and run with receivers.

Compares To: Aaron Curry, retired: Like the No. 4 overall pick in 2009, McKinney possesses remarkable size, explosiveness and general athleticism. There are concerns about McKinney's awareness, especially in coverage. He's athletic enough to project to any linebacker role but may never become a star.

--Dane Brugler and Rob Rang

Player Overview

A redshirt making the transition from high school quarterback to linebacker, McKinney led all SEC players and was second among freshmen nationally with 102 tackles. McKinney led the Bulldogs in tackles (71), tackles for loss (seven) and sacks (3.5) in 2013 and nearly duplicated those numbers in 2014 (71-8-3), earning All-American honors.

McKinney statistics are impressive. His combination of size and athleticism has the NFL more intrigued. McKinney is an impressive athlete for his size, but while he's a stout run defender, he isn't as consistent in space. There are some concerns that his ineffectiveness defending in coverage could limit him to a two-down thumper role in the NFL.

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Player News
02/17/2015 - 2015 DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64 DRAFT PROSPECTS: 57/3. *Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State, 6-4, 249, 4.58, 2...A two-way starter at Rosa Fort High School (Tunica, Miss.), McKinney was a prolific quarterback who accounted for 2,036 total yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior. Still, high school coaches knew linebacker was his best position and selected him to play defense in the North/South All-Star game. After redshirting one year at Mississippi State, McKinney left no doubts what position he should play when his 102 tackles at inside linebacker were the second highest total in the nation for a freshman. Coaches are impressed with McKinney's football character and intelligence and he is a natural leader on the field. He should be more versatile than many inside linebackers with measurable athletic ability that includes a 40-yard time in the mid 4.5-second range and a 34-inch vertical jump. Although that speed and range gets him within reach of a lot of plays, he needs to learn to use his hands to fend off blockers and finish more plays. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
 

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