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Todd McShay Mock Draft 2.0: New York Giants get a surprise edge rusher

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ESPN analyst selects Takkarist McKinley for Giants

Arizona v UCLA
Takkarist McKinley makes a tackle.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Todd McShay of ESPN has added a new name to the list of players being connected to the New York Giants. In version 2.0 of his 2017 NFL Mock Draft [Insider only], McShay has selected Takkarist McKinley, an EDGE player from UCLA, for the Giants with the 23rd overall pick.

Here is McShay’s reasoning:

Tight end would also be a strong possibility if either [O.J.] Howard or [David] Njoku were still on the board. With both gone and Jason Pierre-Paul slated to become a free agent, the Giants could be in the market for another pass-rusher. McKinley has versatility, and I love his motor. He's a natural pass-rusher with elite speed off the edge, recording 18 TFLs and 10 sacks in 2016.

McKinley is ranked No. 33 on the Big Blue View Big Board released earlier Wednesday. We have yet to profile him. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein calls him “an ascending edge prospect,” but believes the 6-foot-2, 265-pound McKinley is a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah ranked McKinley No. 23 on his top 50 Big Board:

McKinley is an undersized player that projects to outside linebacker at the next level. He split time standing up and putting his hand in the ground in UCLA's scheme. He is a dynamic edge rusher because of his elite get-off and burst. He wins early with speed and he has an explosive inside counter move as well. He is very smooth changing directions and can bend and wrap around the edge. Against the run, he flashes some stack-and-shed ability but he will also get pushed around at times. He is at his best when he's shooting gaps and relying on his quickness. Overall, McKinley could struggle on run downs but he's a major force on passing downs. He has double-digit sack potential.

Valentine’s View: I honestly have yet to study McKinley, so I can’t comment directly on the player. What I can say is that Chris has constantly driven home the point this offseason that the Giants can use a speed rusher off the edge, whether or not they are able to re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul.

This nugget (kudos to @DanPizzuta for bringing it to my attention) from NFL.com’s Matt Harmon in Next Gen Stats backs up the idea that the Giants need pass-rushing help off the edge:

No player registered more pass rush attempts than Olivier Vernon who had 484 and played a ridiculous 94 percent of the Giants snaps. His teammate Jason Pierre-Paul was on an even higher pace, with 367 in 12 games, before missing the end of the season with an injury. Vernon's pressure score (4.52) was just below the 30th percentile and Pierre-Paul (4.72) finished in the 17th. Both are effective pass rushers, don't get that wrong, but this just goes to underscore the importance of having a rotation to keep players fresh.

McShay left offensive tackle Garrett Bolles of Utah (25th, Houston Texans) and Cam Robinson of Alabama (26th, Seattle Seahawks) on the board to select McKinley.

Your thoughts, Giants, fans? Would you approve if this were the move?