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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jerick McKinnon, W, Georgia Southern

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Can the most freakish athlete in NCAA football this year be an option for the New York Giants?

Stacy Revere

I know of one Big Blue View community member in particular that will be thrilled to have this come out. Jerrick McKinnon is an intriguing prospect and is likely the most "versatile" of any player in this draft. Let's explore why he might be so highly coveted in the big leagues after coming out of small school Georgia Southern.

Pros

- The conversation begins and ends with McKinnon's combine. Want athleticism? Try a 4.41 40 -ard dash, 32 bench press reps, 11-foot broad jump, and 40.5-inch vertical. How many players in combine history have ever run a 4.4, benched over 30 reps, and broad jumped 11 feet? Only one. Jerrick McKinnon.

- Compactly built as a runner at 5-foot-9, 210 pounds. Low center of gravity.

- Powerful inside-the-tackles runner. Great initial burst and doesn't fall after the first hit.

- Versatility is amazing. Was a triple-option quarterback in addition to being a runner. He's so athletic that teams are bringing him in for private visits as a cornerback. Notice the headline of this story. I listed McKinnon as a "W" for weapon. Offense or defense.

Cons

- Awareness and vision are questionable. Saw at least a few times where he chose the wrong gap to pursue.

- Runs upright too much and as a result doesn't get the most out of his runs.

- Pass protection is a huge question mark.

- Only has 10 career receptions, so his catching ability is also very much in the air.

- While he has top line speed, it doesn't always show on tape.

- Played almost exclusively out of the triple option, so a lot of his open space was manufactured.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Sort of. He honestly can fit into any team with those kinds of measurables. It's up to the team to put him somewhere. He's not really elite at anything at the moment. He would be draftable for the Giants as a mold of clay to put on special teams in the late rounds. His athleticism gives him the upside to be a potential change of pace back. Don't see him as a true "3rd down" back because of the lack of experience at pass protection and pass catching.

Prospect Video

Jerick McKinnon vs Florida (2013) (via Aaron Aloysius)

Thanks again, to draftbreakdown for the incredible work they do!

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - Not in top 100

Mocking The Draft - Not in top 200

CBS Sports - 137

Draft Countdown - 175

Draft Tek - 276

Final Thoughts

Some believe that Jerick McKinnon's superior athleticism will get him drafted as high as the 3rd round. I don't think that will happen simply because teams cannot agree on what he's going to play in the pro game and there isn't enough tape on him doing anything other than running back.

He will end up being drafted, and if I had to guess, a team enamored with his physical skills will nab him in the 5th. He's got the perfect makeup to be a solid CB, but it will take some time. He's unafraid of contact and he's aggressive. There's little to no wiggle in his game as a runner and his hips seem a bit tight, so he'll have to work on that. He's essentially a lump of clay at this point. It might take 2 years to develop him, but if he does end up developing, he can break out as some team's secret weapon and wreak havoc.