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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 / 249 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
3111-2

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Value lies with his versatility and raw athleticism. He lines up all over the field for the Bulldogs, taking snaps at middle linebacker, as well as rushing off either edge. His athleticism has been well documented, with McKinney reportedly clocking in the 4.5s and posting a 34-inch vertical jump at 245 pounds.

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.

He is a well-built and fluid athlete for his size, showing good lateral agility and very impressive acceleration to track down ballcarriers from behind. He has long arms and good hand-eye coordination to trip up ballcarriers that appear out of his reach and breaks down well in the open field to deliver strong, wrap-up tackles.

WEAKNESSES: Overly reliant on his speed when rushing the quarterback, showing limited hand technique to defeat blocks once engaged. This issue comes into play not only when rushing the passer but also against the run, where McKinney looks to slip past blockers, rather than showing the aggression and strength to truly stack and shed.

Not a sudden mover and lacks ideal range, causing him to struggle with cover responsibilities, and although he's a smart player, he can be late to recognize plays and ends up a step late to the action. Too often McKinney is forced to turn away from the quarterback and sprint to his coverage responsibility. With his back turned to the action, McKinney isn't in position to help should the quarterback scramble or dump off to another target.

IN OUR VIEW: McKinney bis an impressive athlete for a man his size, but while he's a stout run defender, he isn't as consistent in space. There is a lot to like about McKinney, but there are some concerns that his struggles against the pass will limit him to a two-down thumper role in the NFL.

--Dane Brugler and Rob Rang (11/13/14)

Player Overview

After redshirting his first season on campus while making the transition from high school quarterback to linebacker, McKinney exploded onto the SEC scene in 2012, leading all first-year players in the conference (and finishing second nationally among freshmen) with 102 tackles, despite not emerging as a full-time starter until the fourth game of the year.

McKinney's numbers dropped in 2013, but his importance to the team did not. He led the Bulldogs in tackles (71), tackles for loss (seven) and sacks (3.5).

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Player News
01/09/2015 - All-American McKinney Declares for 2015 NFL Draft...Mississippi State first-team All-America linebacker Benardrick McKinney has decided to forgo his senior season and officially declare for the 2015 NFL Draft, the junior announced Friday. "I have decided to enter the NFL Draft and look forward to the next chapter," said McKinney. "I can't thank enough my coaches, teammates and the Bulldog fans for the memories we have created over the years. It's been a privilege to be a part of one of the best teams in school history. Mississippi State has developed me into the player I am today, and I will always be part of the Bulldog family."

"We fully support Benardrick's decision and know he is ready for the next level," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "He has been a tremendous leader for our football team both on and off the field. His work ethic and intelligence make him a valuable first-round prospect for any NFL team. We are proud that he has helped raise the standard at Mississippi State." At 6-foot-5, McKinney was the Bulldogs' top tackler the past two seasons. The middle linebacker played in 39 games with 36 career starts, racking up 244 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. - Mississippi State football

 

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