Takk McKinley has had quite an eventful month. After being waived by the Atlanta Falcons on November 11th, the former first-round pick was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers before he was waived by both clubs after failing physicals. But despite those failed physicals, McKinley will get yet another opportunity after he was claimed off waivers by the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday.
McKinley has been dealing with a groin injury that has limited him to four games this season. The 26th overall pick in the 2017 draft, McKinley shed 20 pounds this offseason after the Falcons declined to pick up his fifth-year option. McKinley's speed was one of the things that made him a first-round pick back in 2017. He ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine 4.59 seconds. His 10-yard split was a respectable 1.6 seconds.
"It was a wake-up call," McKinley said during training camp, via the Falcons official website. "It was more motivation, it made me hungry. I'm not saying I wasn't hungry in the past, but I've just got to go prove it."
While he did not start as a rookie, McKinley managed to register six sacks and seven tackles for loss while helping the Falcons advance to the divisional round of the playoffs. He was a part-time starter in 2018, recording seven sacks and seven tackles for loss. And despite becoming a full-time starter in 2019, McKinley tallied just 3.5 sacks in 14 games. He posted a single sack for the Falcons this season before being waived.
A Bay Area native, McKinley will try to join a Raiders' defense that is currently 26th in scoring, 28th in passing, 12th in rushing 27th in third down efficiency and 23rd in red zone efficiency. The Raiders' lack of pass defense was on full display during Sunday night's home loss to the Chiefs, as Las Vegas allowed Patrick Mahomes to throw the game-winning touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce with less than 30 seconds remaining. The loss dropped the Raiders to 6-4 and in seventh place in the AFC playoff standings.