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Benardrick McKinney | Linebacker

Team: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Ht / Wt:  6'5' / 245

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Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney grades out as NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein's No. 2 linebacker.
The analyst compares him to Brian Cushing. McKinney has also been compared to Dont'a Hightower. "Productive, steady performer in the middle with above-average size and length for the position but below-average agility," Zierlein wrote. "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." McKinney, who recorded 243 total tackles and 7.5 sacks over his college career, has been "drawing strong interest from the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and New York Jets," TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported recently. He led MSU in tackles in 2014 and 2013 and was named First Team All-SEC and Second Team All-American in 2014. Mar 26 - 1:59 AM
Source: NFL.com

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Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney is the type of "dedicated player coaches love, although somebody must decide where he will best fit in the NFL -- inside linebacker, outside linebacker or maybe defensive end," noted NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.

McKinney (6-foot-4 1/8, 246 pounds) ran a 4.66 forty at the combine, though he hoisted up only 16 reps on the bench. "I think I'm a football player. You've got to do those (workouts) to stay healthy and stay on top of your game, but I'm a better football player than a track star," said McKinney. McKinney, who recorded 243 total tackles and 7.5 sacks over his college career, has been "drawing strong interest from the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and New York Jets," TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported recently. Concluded Cooney: "He is still improving his ability to diagnose offenses, but McKinney's explosive speed compensates for any milliseconds lost while reading and reacting. Although not a vicious hitter, McKinney fearlessly takes on lead blockers, often creating a play-ending pile even if he doesn't get the tackle."
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 22 - 8:00 PM

Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney is visiting the 49ers, Cowboys, Broncos and Texans, per TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound McKinney was quite productive in his time at Mississippi State. McKinney recorded 243 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, eight passes defensed, and one forced fumble during his college career. The Mississippi State prospect has the ideal size and length for the position at the next level, but gets knocked for being a possible liability in the passing game. McKinney shows a nose for the football and possess good speed and athleticism for his size. To improve his stock, McKinney will have to prove to evaluators that he's more than just a two-down thumper.
Mar 17 - 2:54 PM

Miss State LB Benardrick McKinney is visiting the Eagles on Monday and Tuesday, per Tony Pauline.

This counts as one of the Eagles' 30 allotted in-house visits. McKinney's NFL projection is an interesting one. He's an old school thumper at middle linebacker, but might be able to stay on the field as a drop linebacker at the line of scrimmage in an odd man front. He will likely be selected in the top two rounds.
Mar 16 - 10:40 AM

Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney showed "light feet and quick, heavy hands" during pass rush drills at his pro day, according to an NFL scout.

"[Those are] traits that have scouts from 3-4 and 4-3 teams alike intrigued," wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang. The 6-foot-4, 246-pound McKinney has been "drawing strong interest from the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and New York Jets," TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported recently.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 5 - 9:59 PM

Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney "looked good in pass-rush drills" at Wednesday's pro day, noted TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline.

The analyst reported earlier that McKinney met with the New York Jets, who reportedly have great interest in the Bulldog prospect and have a potential ILB vacancy with David Harris testing free agency. Connecting the dots a bit more, New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers was on hand to watch McKinney's workout. Almost 30 teams in all were represented at the scouting event.
Mar 4 - 9:45 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay doesn't think Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney is "a first-rounder based on his tape, instead giving him a second-round grade, but I know some teams like him more than others and it wouldn't surprise me if he snuck into the late first."

McKinney (6-foot-4 1/8, 246 pounds) ran a 4.66 forty at the combine. He added a 40.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump, but his 16 bench reps were meager for an athlete his size. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported that McKinney has been "drawing strong interest from the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and New York Jets." Of note, Jet ILB David Harris is a free agent.
Mar 4 - 12:10 AM

Draft insider Tony Pauline notes that Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney has a meeting lined up with the New York Jets.

"The Bulldogs' pro day is tomorrow, Wednesday, but I'm already told there will be a crowd on hand for Benardrick McKinney. Nearly a dozen linebacker coaches are expected to watch McKinney, who's been drawing strong interest from the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants,Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and New York Jets, who are meeting with the linebacker for dinner this evening," Pauline wrote. Jets' ILB David Harris -- who led the Jets in tackling the last four years-- is set to be a free agent. The Jets may be interested in Mckinney's combination of size, length and athleticism at the position, and may see him has a possible option to man the middle of their defense.
Mar 3 - 3:19 PM

Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney was compared to Dont'a Hightower by an NFL scout.

"Big, physical guy. I think he can (play every down)," the scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. McKinney (6-foot-4 1/8, 246 pounds) ran a 4.66 forty at the combine. "I don't know if he's a dinosaur or he's a new-breed backer," another scout said. McKinney's football instincts have been questioned, as has his speed.
Mar 3 - 12:02 AM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler "likes the idea" of Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney "moving to DE in the NFL."

"I might be alone here, but I like the idea of Benardrick McKinney moving to DE in the NFL. Fits his skill-set best. Practiced there at MSU," Brugler tweeted. The Mississippi State prospect has the ideal size(6-foot-4 1/8, 246 pounds) and raw athleticism evaluators like, but he is not a natural mover in space. Brugler believes if McKinney were to play ILB in a 3-4, he sees him as a "two-down thumper," But his "long-term potential" would be at defensive end.
Feb 26 - 2:05 PM

On tape, Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney "around the football, but didn't make as many plays as you'd expect," said NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock.

Fellow analyst Daniel Jeremiah agreed that McKinney wasn't as productive as he expected on tape. Jeremiah said McKinney is "a true flash player," and added that the more tape he watched, "the more I got concerned." He questioned McKinney's football instincts. McKinney (6-foot-4 1/8, 246 pounds) ran a 4.66 forty.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 23 - 9:05 PM

The Kansas City Chiefs are "considering" Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney "as a possible replacement for Justin Houston," according to TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline.

"I presently rank Benardrick McKinney at outside linebacker and so do a number of teams. Sources tell me the Kansas City Chiefs are considering McKinney as a possible replacement for Justin Houston who they may lose in free agency," Pauline writes. If the Chiefs aren't willing to open the bank for Justin Houston, they may have to look towards the draft to fill a major need. However, it looks like the Chiefs are thinking that they could utilize McKinney's combination of size, length and athleticism as an OLB.
Feb 23 - 3:33 PM

Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney "could go a long way toward helping his stock by showing well when his movement skills are put to the test," notes NFL Media analyst Charles Davis.

"He's competing against the likes of Miami's Denzel Perryman and TCU's Paul Dawson to be the top inside 'backer off the board, and teams want to know if McKinney, the biggest of the three at 6-foot-5, 249 pounds, can play all three downs at the next level," Davis wrote. "Any drill that shows his fluidity, change of direction and speed will be huge for him." In other words, check out McKinney's 3-cone and shuttle drills.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 20 - 10:02 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang notes that he was not as high on Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney as others, but expects him to "turn heads this week in drills."

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney is expected to post a 42" vertical jump, and a 10’3" broad jump at the combine. McKinney has also been clocked at 4.56 in the 40-yard dash, which should easily impress evaluators.
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 17 - 2:34 PM

Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney is likened to Brian Cushing by NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

"Both of them are big for the position and have limited lateral agility. However, both are physical," Zierlein wrote. "They will come downhill and hit you." McKinney collected 71 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, three sacks and four passes defended in 2014. CBS ranks him as the No. 24 overall prospect.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 5 - 1:18 AM