Scouting the NFL Draft: UCLA EDGE Takkarist McKinley

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Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
Ht. 6'2", Wt. 250, Arm: 34¾", Hand: 9¾", Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Stanford, Colorado, Utah

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After recording 26 sacks during his final two years as a high schooler in California, where he also ran a 10.58 in the 100 meters, Takkarist McKinley committed to Cal. He was ruled a nonqualifer, though, and enrolled in Contra Costa College for one season. He finished the year with 10 sacks and 18 TFL and transferred to UCLA.

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McKinley was mainly a rotational player in 2014, making little impact in 10 games. He started 12 games as a junior and finished the season with 35 tackles, 4 sacks and 7.5 TFL. His production jumped in 2016, when his 10 sacks and 18 TFL landed him on the All-Pac 12 team.

Strengths

• Athleticism - Elite raw tools
• Speed - Closes quickly, converts speed to power
• Burst - Quick first step
• Quickness - Change of direction, added spin
• Strength - Anchor
• Length - Ideal arm length
• Motor - High-effort player

Weaknesses

• Raw - Relies on athleticism, lacks rush repertoire, doesn't use length
• Inconsistent - Flashes, disappears
• Hands - Easily engaged, trouble disengaging
• Pad Level - Plays too upright at times
• Flexibility - Mediocre bender

Verdict: First Round

McKinley has great speed, but he doesn't bend well around the edge. He has length, but doesn't use it. His play looked like that of a second rounder on tape, but his raw tools give him an intriguing upside. If he lands with the right team, he could end up being the best pass rusher from this draft.

McKinley will be more attractive to 3-4 teams that can get him on the field sooner, but his upside will appeal to any team that wants to improve their pass rush. The Cowboys need his upside on the edge of their defensive line and Rod Marinelli is the type of coach to bring out the best in him. Right now, the Cowboys and McKinley seem like a perfect match.

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