Tha Sports Junkies 101

Takkarist McKinley Selected With The 26th Pick In The 2017 NFL Draft

Takkarist McKinley Steve Cheng via flickr

Takkarist McKinley looks to be a viable pass-rush threat for the Atlanta Falcons

Takkarist McKinley from UCLA has been drafted by the _ with the _ overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. McKinley looks to be able to make an impact on defense. This could be on the line at defensive end or off the edge at outside linebacker.

McKinley Had a Very Solid Career at UCLA

Takkarist McKinley proved that he was a very outstanding athlete for his size at an early stage.  Along with being a great talent on the football field, McKinley was also a very prominent track star in high school at Kennedy High School in Richmond, California.  After high school, McKinley played for one season at JUCO, Contra Costa College (California).  In his one season for Contra Costa, McKinley received first-team All-League.  As a result, McKinley was named a 4-star defensive end and was recruited by many major Division I programs.  McKinley chose UCLA over schools such as USC, Oregon, and California.

At UCLA, McKinley thrived at the strong-side defensive end position.  He played in 10 games in his first season with the Bruins (1 start).  In that season, he finished with six tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.  McKinley then started 12 games as a junior, finishing with 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.  2016 was McKinley’s break out year.  He finished with 61 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and six pass break ups.  Those numbers earned him first-team All-Pac 12 honors.

“Takk” Impressed in the Pre-Draft Process

Measuring in at 6’2″, 250 pounds, McKinley has been looked at as a prospect at both defensive end and outside linebacker.  At the 2017 NFL Combine, he ran a 4.59 second 40-yard dash, which was third among defensive end prospects.  He also finished with 24 reps on the bench press, a 33″ vertical jump, and ran the shuttle 20-yard shuttle in 4.62 seconds.  With his speed, many scouts have viewed him as a guy who can be a stand-up outside linebacker and rush off the edge.

McKinley Will be a Player to Watch in the 2017 Season

McKinley will definitely be a player who will have an immediate impact on defense.  As I have mentioned, McKinley’s versatility will be crucial as he will be able to move around the defense in different packages.  I would not be surprised at all to see McKinley’s name in the Defensive Rookie of the Year discussion at the end of the season.

*All stats found via NFL.com

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