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Benardrick McKinney | Linebacker

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

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NFL Media reporter Albert Breer reports that an AFC college scouting director said Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney looks like a "Rolando McClain or a poor man's Brian Urlacher"
"At 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds, McKinney has more size than most linebackers who project as three-down players in the pros. Because of that -- and because of a skill set that another AFC college scouting director said makes him look like a "Rolando McClain or poor man's Brian Urlacher" -- he's got a shot to eventually go late in the first round," Breer wrote. Breer adds that a second AFC director has noted that McKinney's performance against Alabama "is a huge game for him," and it will give scouts an opportunity to see how he handles himself against a massive line, and running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry and quarterback Blake Sims. Nov 14 - 3:47 PM
Source: NFL.com

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CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that there are some concerns that Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney "struggles against the pass will limit him to a two-down thumper."

"McKinney is at his best with the ballcarrier in front of him where he can use his physical demeanor and battle the big bodies, taking on blocks with active hands and long arms to control the point of attack. There is a lot to like about McKinney, but there are some concerns that his struggles against the pass will limit him to a two-down thumper role in the NFL," Brugler writes. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney isn't elite in space, and he's not great in pass coverage, limitations that may keep him out of the first round. If he drops out of the first, McKinney should hear his name called in the 2nd round of the draft. The Bulldog's prospect is huge, athletic, and doesn't mind doing the dirty work in the trenches.
Source: CBS Sports
Nov 13 - 3:32 PM

Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney is "likely" to enter the draft early, reports TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

"McKinney considered the 2014 draft from arm’s length and as of two weeks ago the word from the program was 'he’s gone' in 2015," Pauline wrote. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney isn't elite in space, and he's not great in pass coverage, limitations that may keep him out of the first round. If so, he'll get plucked in the second stanza. The Bulldog's prospect is huge, athletic, and doesn't mind doing the dirty work in the trenches.
Oct 24 - 6:16 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes that Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney is "lacking a natural feel for pass defense at this point."

"However, there are still areas where he needs to show improvement before NFL scouts will stamp a first round grade on him. McKinney isn't as natural in space or when asked to retreat in coverage, lacking a natural feel for pass defense at this point," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney's limitations may keep him out of the first round, but, if so, he'll get plucked in the second stanza. The Bulldog's prospect is huge, athletic, and doesn't mind doing the dirty work in the trenches. Brugler still questions if McKinney has the "requisite skills to be an every down pro linebacker."
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 23 - 2:26 PM

Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney was "exposed in space more than a handful of times" against Texas A&M, wrote ESPN's Kevin Weidl.

"Fan of Benardrick McKinney's instincts, point of attack skills and versatility as a PR," Weidl wrote as a preface. "But he was exposed in space more than a handful of times vs. A&M." The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney's limitations in space might keep him out of the first round, but, if so, he'll get plucked in the second stanza. He's huge, athletic, and doesn't mind doing the dirty work in the trenches.
Oct 8 - 12:06 AM

Draft sources tell TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline of Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney: "He's gone."

Expect to see the 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney in this spring's draft. McKinney collected nine tackles -- one for a loss -- and posted one sack and a pass break-up in Saturday's win over Texas A&M. "What was impressive Saturday was his play in space, the was he played assignment football and how McKinney was never caught out of position," Pauline wrote. "He did well in the middle, on the outside in two linebacker sets and oozed an understanding of what was happening during the Bulldogs blowout victory over Texas A&M. McKinney is more forceful than fast and a difference maker in the front seven." CBS Sports' Rob Rang wrote over the weekend that both McKinney and DE Preston Smith "looked every bit the part of future top 64 picks" against the Aggies.
Oct 6 - 7:46 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang wrote that Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney and DE Preston Smith "looked every bit the part of future top 64 picks" in Saturday's win over Texas A&M.

The Bulldogs bullied an elite Texas A&M offense and intercepted Heisman-frontrunning QB Kenny Hill three times (linebacker Richie Brown had two himself). Last week, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah spoke with an NFL executive who said McKinney can play in any scheme. We see the 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney playing near the line of scrimmage primarily, where he can play enforcer to opposing team's rushing attacks.
Oct 5 - 5:42 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah spoke with one NFL executive who believes Miss State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney can play in any scheme.

The exec praised McKinney's athleticism, physical tools and instincts. We'd guess this specific evaluator believes McKinney could fit as an inside linebacker in an odd man front, however, we'd like to see him used as a line of scrimmage linebacker on some occasions.
Source: NFL.com
Oct 2 - 12:06 PM

TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline believes Mississippi State redshirt junior Benardrick McKinney "has top 32 potential in the draft."

"I’ve raved about Benardick McKinney since he was a red-shirt freshman at Mississippi State and believe he has top 32 potential in the draft," Pauline wrote. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney is a "powerful linebacker who forces the action up the field, something that was on display during the Bulldogs victory over LSU two Saturday’s ago," Pauline added. The Mississippi State prospect must prove he’s "effective making plays in reverse and in open space" in his next two games against Texas A&M and Auburn, according to Pauline.
Sep 29 - 2:24 PM

Mississippi State redshirt junior Benardrick McKinney is "one of the top inside linebackers in college football," writes NFL.com's Charles Davis.

McKinney has a crucial matchup on Saturday against LSU, a game in which Davis jokes that the LB "might have to make 20 tackles" to give his team a chance at a victory. "He'll be tested against the deep LSU rushing attack, which features running backs Kenny Hilliard, Terrence Magee, Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams," Davis wrote. "If the Bulldogs' front line does its job and allows McKinney to roam free, he'll have to be involved a lot because LSU, which is inexperienced at quarterback, wants to grind it out on the ground. The front seven of Mississippi State has looked really good in the early going this season, and this will be a very intriguing test for McKinney." The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney runs a 4.5 second forty, and has a 34-inch vertical.
Source: NFL.com
Sep 19 - 8:17 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes Mississippi State redshirt junior Benardrick McKinney's "value lies with his versatility and raw athleticism."

"McKinney's value lies with his versatility and raw athleticism. He lines up all over the field for the Bulldogs, taking snaps at middle linebacker, as well as rushing off either edge," Rang wrote. The 6-foot-5, 245 pound McKinney runs a 4.5 second forty, and has a 34 inch vertical. The "well-built and fluid athlete" has ideal size and shows "good lateral agility and very impressive acceleration" tracking down ball-carriers from behind, Rang notes. The Bulldogs prospect lead the team with 71 tackles, with seven tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and recovered two fumbles last season.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 20 - 4:12 PM

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman calls Mississippi State junior Benardrick McKinney "the SEC's most underrated star player."

"Perhaps the SEC's most underrated star player, the NFL scouts know plenty about the 6-5 linebacker's outstanding athleticism," Feldman wrote. The 6-foot-5, 245 pound McKinney runs a 4.5 second forty, and has a 34 inch vertical. McKinney was even a former star prep basketball player, and even his high school's starting quarterback his senior year. Last year McKinney came into his own, leading the Bulldogs with 71 tackles, recorded seven tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and recovered two fumbles for the Bulldogs.
Source: FOX Sports
Jul 9 - 6:00 PM

Mississippi State junior Benardrick McKinney grades out as Mel Kiper's No. 1 preseason underclassman inside linebacker.

"McKinney has great length and athleticism for the position," Kiper wrote. "He stands at a full 6-5 and will run well. Given his explosiveness and style, there will be debate for some teams about moving him out on the edge." At 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, McKinney runs a 4.5 second forty, has been measured at 34 inches, and was a high school QB. Today, he's arguably the SEC's best defender. The NFL is watching closely.
Jun 15 - 4:02 PM

Mississippi State junior OLB Benardrick McKinney runs a 4.5 second forty.

The Tunica product is a rangy 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and a "high-caliber athlete who might -- might -- be the best defensive player in the SEC this fall," opines NFL.com. McKinney's vertical jump has been measured at 34 inches -- is it any surprise that he was a star prep basketball player? -- and he was a QB as recently as his senior year in high school. The NFL will be watching this Bulldogs' defender closely.
Source: NFL.com
May 30 - 8:16 PM