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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.
2411

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
10/29/2014 - 3 SEC West teams, FSU in CFP's top four...Three teams from the Southeastern Conference's West Division made the top four in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday. No. 1 Mississippi State (7-0), No. 3 Auburn (6-1) and No. 4 Mississippi (7-1) are joined by an Atlantic Coast Conference team, No. 2 Florida State (7-0). The top four teams as selected by a committee on Dec. 7 will compete in college football's first-ever playoffs. The semifinals will be played Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl, with No. 1 facing No. 4, No. 2 playing No. 3. The winners will compete for the championship Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas. As the rankings currently stand, the semifinals would feature an all-Mississippi matchup.

Rounding out the top 10 in the CFP rankings are No. 5 Oregon (7-1), No. 6 Alabama (7-1), No. 7 TCU (6-1), No. 8 Michigan State (7-1), No. 9 Kansas State (6-1) and No. 10 Notre Dame (6-1). The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25, which has the Rebels at No. 7. The rest of the CFP's top 20: No. 11 Georgia (6-1), No. 12 Arizona (6-1), No. 13 Baylor (6-1), No. 14 Arizona State (6-1), No. 15 Nebraska (7-1), No. 16 Ohio State (6-1), No. 17 Utah (6-1), No. 18 Oklahoma (5-2), No. 19 LSU (7-2) and No. 20 West Virginia (6-2). No. 21 Clemson (6-2), No. 22 UCLA (6-2), No. 23 East Carolina (6-1), No. 24 Duke (6-1) and No. 25 Louisville (6-2) complete the CFP list. Marshall (8-0) is unranked despite being one of just three unbeaten teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Thundering Herd are No. 23 in the AP poll. - The Sports Xchange

 

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