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.
5122

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
---- ----

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
03/05/2015 - Benardrick McKinney's two scholarship offers outside of Mississippi State were from junior colleges. Preston Smith received a little more attention during his high school days, but not much from anyone in the Southeastern Conference. A lot has changed in four years. The two defensive players worked out in front of dozens of NFL scouts and coaches at Mississippi State's pro day on Wednesday. The Bulldogs haven't had a first-round pick in the draft since Fletcher Cox in 2012, but both have at least an outside shot at ending that mini-drought. McKinney and Smith were part of the defensive nucleus for a Mississippi State team that won 10 games last fall and had a five-week stretch as the No. 1 team in the nation.

McKinney measured at 6-foot-4 and 247 pounds and went through position drills on Wednesday, though he did not participate in the 40-yard dash or bench press. He ran a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February, which was decent for his position, but his 16 repetitions on the bench press were low for a linebacker. If McKinney is underestimated because of a few measurables, well, he's used to it. He was barely noticed during his high school days in Tunica, Mississippi, before becoming Mississippi State's first All-American linebacker since 1999. He made 244 tackles over 39 career games. "I think I'm a football player," McKinney said. "You've got to do those (workouts) to stay healthy and stay on top of your game, but I'm a better football player than a track star." - AP Sports

 

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