Kahlil McKenzie, DT, Tennessee
Draft Prospect Outlook:
Good fire out of his stance. Thick build. Adequate athlete. Gets stuck to too many blocks and doesn't deploy a variety of pass-rushing moves.
The son of Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was one of the top recruits in the 2015 class, but he never quite lived up to his five-star billing at Tennessee. After transfer rules in California ruled him ineligible to play his senior year of high school, McKenzie got off to a slow start as a freshman in 2015, though he was firmly in the rotation for the Vols and occasionally flashed his power and ability to plug holes in run defense. He was starting to turn the corner midway through the 2016 season when he tore a pectoral muscle against Alabama and missed the rest of the year.
McKenzie was quietly solid as a starter in 2017. Though his numbers (35 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two quarterback hurries in 11 games) don't jump off the page, McKenzie graded well among his Tennessee defensive teammates and SEC defensive tackles and was most effective as a run stopper. McKenzie surprisingly passed on the chance to improve his NFL stock with a year under the guidance of Jeremy Pruitt's new staff and elected to enter the NFL draft. -- Patrick Brown