Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mississippi State Bulldogs

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Pro Football Focus' Mike Renner passed along that "all of our analysts who broke down his games agreed they wouldn't trust [Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney] as anything more than a two-down linebacker."

"That still has value, but not early-round value," Renner wrote. McKinney is a divisive prospect. He boasts elite size (6-foot-4, 246 pounds) and athleticism (4.66 in the 40-yard dash; 40.5-inch vertical leap), but some evaluators say they just don't see those skills all the time on film. This is what they're talking about: "McKinney's 0.81 yards per coverage snap was below the class average of 0.71, and he made a paltry five stops in coverage all season, 66th among inside linebackers (Eric Kendricks led with 28)," Renner wrote. "His biggest problem was bringing down receivers in space, as he had only seven solo tackles in coverage, compared to five missed tackles."
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 26 - 2:39 PM

Mississippi State edge rusher Preston Smith is visiting the Steelers on Wednesday.

Smith is a player we really like... so we aren't sure if the Steelers would select him. In all seriousness, Smith would be a larger edge rusher for the Steelers and would never be asked to drop into coverage. He wins with speed to power and flashes bend for his size. Smith also offers pass rushing ability from the interior on sub-package downs.
Apr 22 - 11:06 AM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports the Rams will "target linebackers early in the draft" and "love" Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney.

"The team worked out McKinney last week and came away very impressed," Pauline wrote. "The tenth pick of round one is too early for McKinney which lends many to believe the Rams could trade down in the first round or trade up from the second round to secure McKinney." The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder projects best as an edge rusher or two-down thumper in a 3-4. He recorded 243 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, eight passes defended, and one forced fumble during his MSU career.
Apr 22 - 12:40 AM

Scouts Inc. projects Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney as a 4-3 middle linebacker.

"But he has the size and athleticism to be a strong inside linebacker and even a 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 right defensive end," wrote Todd McShay. McKinney will attend the NFL Draft in Chicago, an indication that there's a chance he could go in Round 1 (though we see Round 2 as a more likely possibility). The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder, who boasts an impressive combination of size and athleticism, recorded 243 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, eight passes defended, and one forced fumble during his MSU career.
Apr 18 - 11:37 PM

Mississippi State DE Preston Smith "has very good size (6-5, 271 pounds) and strength, and he holds up well against the run while contributing as a power-rusher, especially when kicked inside on obvious passing downs," notes ESPN's Todd McShay.

McShay believes he could be a 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 or a 4-3 left defensive end. As a quick descriptor for the latter designation, McShay writes: "Generally speaking, these tend to be the bigger and stronger defensive ends in a four-man front. They're usually not as effective rushing the passer but they are more stout versus the run." Josh Norris ranks Smith as a top-20 talent.
Apr 18 - 3:22 PM

Mississippi State senior DL Kaleb Eulls had an official visit with the New Orleans Saints, according to Fox Sports' Ross Jones.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Eulls started 12 games at defensive tackle and one game at defensive end for the Bulldogs in 2014. The Mississippi State prospect recorded 34 tackles, three tackles for a loss, and three sacks for the Bulldogs. Eulls could be a late round selection in this year's draft.
Apr 16 - 3:12 PM

Miss State LB Benardrick McKinney is visiting the Rams on Tuesday, according to Tony Pauline.

The Rams could use a linebacker like McKinney, as we think their players are the position are some of the more overrated ones in the NFL. McKinney is a no nonsense defender, wanting to play at the line of scrimmage with aggression. However, he can absolutely falter when sucked in on play action and tends to struggle with recovery.
Apr 14 - 10:16 AM

Miss State EDGE/DL Preston Smith is visiting the Vikings on Wednesday, according to Tony Pauline.

You know this section leads the Preston Smith fan club, so we are obviously in favor of Smith landing with Mike Zimmer. Dating back to his time with the Bengals, Zimmer focused on "bigger" edge players with some possessing the skills to move inside in sub-packagae situations. Smith checks each of these boxes and is also a plus athlete. He sits at No. 13 on Josh Norris' board.
Apr 8 - 9:52 AM

Miss State LB Benardrick McKinney is scheduled to visit the Cowboys, Ravens, Browns, Vikings and Texans, according to Ian Rapoport and Aaron Wilson.

Per Rapoport, McKinney was scheduled to visit the Cowboys on Monday but was sick and rescheduled. We doubt the linebacker is selected in the first round (other than the Panckers), but McKinney offers thumping skills and agility to work through trash. He fits the old school mentality but has success against "new school" systems.
Apr 7 - 12:55 PM

TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline reports that Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney has received an invitation to attend the NFL Draft in Chicago.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound McKinney's combination of size and athleticism has gotten the attention of many LB-needy teams drafting in the first two rounds. The Mississippi State prospect was quite busy during his career, racking up 243 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, eight passes defended, and one forced fumble. While McKinney gets knocked for his ability in space, he projects best best as an edge rusher or two-down thumper in a 3-4.
Apr 6 - 3:20 PM

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.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 26 - 1:59 AM

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

Miss State WR De'Runnya Wilson was arrested on marijuana charges on Friday.

Wilson and three other men were charged with possession of marijuana second degree and possession of drug paraphernalia. The four were driving to a friend's 21st birthday and told police they could not pass a drug test when pulled over at 9:00 p.m. Wilson is Miss State's top offensive prospect.
Mar 14 - 11:52 AM


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