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2015 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State

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Is Benardrick McKinney the answer to the hopes and dreams of the Beezer Brigade?

Derick E.Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Beezer Brigade wasn't born by accident. The need for a dominant linebacker has been at the source of the heartache for many fellow New York Giants fans. Is Benardrick McKinney the answer to all our woes? I'm not sure but he definitely seems like a quality prospect, so let's put him under the microscope and find out:

Pros

- Ran a 4.78 40-yard dash at the Combine, with a 40.5-inch vertical leap

- Prototypical length at 6-foot-4, 246 pounds pounds and great arm length at 33 inches

- Reportedly his work ethic is off the charts (*obviously can't confirm, so take with grain of salt)

- Instinctive player in run defense. Always fills right gaps.

- Versatile and can play any linebacker position.

- Strong pass rusher with fantastic speed off the edge.

- Sideline to sideline range with tremendous lateral agility

Cons

- Avoids taking on blocks and shedding them. He tries to run around them at times.

- Way too many lapses in coverage and there's at least a few times each game where he's late in coverage.

- Is not overly aggressive

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Sort of. I'm not sure if he should play SAM or MIKE at the next level. His strengths and weaknesses seem more in line with what a 3-4 inside linebacker might do as he's insulated on both sides. He could certainly be an uber-athletic SAM linebacker that is opposite Devon Kennard at the WILL. He wouldn't have as many coverage responsibilities in Spagnuolo's 4-3 Over scheme as the MIKE either, but he just doesn't seem aggressive enough for me to be a surefire shot in the middle. He certainly could be, but I can't say for sure.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 25

Mocking The Draft - 30

CBS Sports - 26

Draft Tek - 12

Final Thoughts

I think McKinney is a player trending down because it is a passing league and his mess ups in coverage are being noticed more and more. I do think he's got the ethic and athleticism to improve in that regard, and he's flashed some great coverage ability. I see him as a more athletic Akeem Ayers, capable of playing any position at linebacker and really being a jack-of-all-trades. I'd be comfortable drafting him at the second round with the caveat that he's going to need some time and development in pass coverage.