The 2020 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Xavier McKinney 2020 NFL Draft profile.
Size: 6-foot, 196 pounds
2019 stats: 95 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions, 1 touchdown, 5 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery, 4 forced fumbles
McKinney joined Alabama as a four-star recruit heading into the 2017 season. Since that point, he has developed into a great college safety and should be able to work his way into being a solid pro as well.
In his first year on campus, he mostly appeared on special teams with six tackles on the season. He entered the starting lineup as a sophomore and made a huge impact. McKinney finished the season with 74 total tackles, two interceptions and 10 passes defended. Alabama finished the season with a loss in the National Championship Game in 2018. McKinney was an All-American on plenty of publications as a junior. He had 95 total tackles, three interceptions and five passes defended as the Crimson Tide won 11 games, including the VRBO Citrus Bowl over Michigan.
After a solid college career, McKinney is well set up for the pros. McKinney is a candidate to be the first safety selected and could even sneak into the back half of the first round.
McKinney is a solid athlete for the safety position. He has decent speed and has tremendous quickness, which helps him close down on opponents. His athletic ability allows him to be very versatile, as he can play in a deep zone or in man to man coverage. Occasionally, he also lines up near the line of scrimmage.
His football IQ is among the best of the safeties in this class. He recognizes what plays offenses are running and makes sure he is in the best position to make the play. His ability to read a quarterback’s eyes helps, as does his ability to find the ball carrier in the running game.
He has great competitive toughness and that shows up in his ability to set the tone defensively. McKinney isn’t afraid of trying to lay down a big hit and is definitely not afraid of contact. He is willing to help against the run as well.
In man to man coverage, McKinney often loses leverage on receivers, which allows them to get open more often. He has the necessary athleticism to stick with receivers, so if he corrects his ability to give up leverage, he can improve his man to man coverage.
He shouldn’t be trusted to cover big wide receivers or tight ends, as he has trouble matching up with them. They use their bodies well against him and he doesn’t have the size to cover them. McKinney is vulnerable to giving up touchdowns to these big-bodied pass-catchers.
While he doesn’t mind laying down a big hit, McKinney could be a better form tackler. At times he comes in too high and misses tackles because of it. If he can be a better form tackler and wraps up ball carriers better, he can clean up this area of his game.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick
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