Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: ILB Benardrick McKinney
Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State
6-4, 246 pounds
Hometown: Tunica, MS
40 yard: 4.66
3 cone: 7.21
News and Notes:
A potential 1st round pick when the NFL draft hype really got started, McKinney has seem some of his sizzle fizzle somewhat in the meanwhile as teams and media types alike try to figure out something to really sell him as. While he possess great size, versatility and good production in college, McKinney might harken back to the older days where linebackers were thumpers and didn’t have much responsibility in the passing game. However if a team is looking to shore up its run defense and field a big, physical and technically sound linebacker on 1st and 2nd down, then McKinney is your guy
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “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.”
- NFL.com: “Productive, steady performer in the middle with above-average size and length for the position but below-average agility. McKinney plays within the scheme and finds himself near the play frequently. He plays with strength and has an ability to take on offensive linemen and get downhill to finish his tackles. McKinney looks like an above-average NFL inside linebacker who could become part of a really good defense. He lacks star-making talent, though.”
- While not spectacular, is a good all around player. There isn’t any real “wow” factor but plays with good awareness and is around the play more often than not.
- Pass coverage has something left to be desired, isn’t really fluid or sudden enough to really cover quicker receivers but does have the size to match up well against some of the leagues bigger tight ends.
- Very good tackler and makes good use of his impressive size.
- Has the capability of rushing the quarterback as he played outside linebacker.
- Has great versatility, for instance the Packers could replace Hawk as the blocker at inside linebacker and could also replace Mike Neal/Nick Perry as the run outside linebacker.
If drafted by the Packers
To be honest, I’m not sure Packers fans could handle Ted Thompson drafting McKinney; the player he reminds me most of is AJ Hawk in the sense that he a great athlete but only a decent linebacker who will likely have a long career in the NFL due to his stability but lacks any real calling card and is definitely a liability in pass coverage. You could do a lot worse with Hawk/McKinney but you could also do a lot better. Simply put that’s not exactly the type of player you want to draft in the first 2 rounds, where every team should be shooting for a difference maker. If McKinney were to fall to the 3rd or 4th round then I would have no problem with the Packers taking him.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.