After deciding to make a big free agency splash at defensive tackle, the Falcons were bound to draft an edge rusher. They got their choice in the 2017 NFL Draft with the hyper-athletic Takkarist McKinley, and they had to move up to do so.
McKinley has as much upside as any player in this class, given his athletic profile and obvious talent, but he’s not as polished as say a Charles Harris or a Derek Barnett. He’s also more likely to play linebacker than defensive end in this scheme, but eventually he’ll be counted upon to be an asset as a pass rusher, regardless of where he winds up.
Falcons trade up for pass rusher McKinley https://t.co/ja7PMD53wS— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) April 28, 2017
McKinley was clearly fired up to be drafted by Atlanta, the important thing to note is that he’s a plus athlete, a relentless and driven player, and someone who certainly has the ability to be an impact pass rusher at the next level if he’s coached up. I’m not 100% sure he’ll stay at defensive end, but I think that’s where he makes the most sense in Atlanta, and given a little time and guidance I think he’ll be a fine player at minimum. You can bet the Falcons saw more than just a fine starter when they traded up to take him, however.
Welcome to Atlanta, Takkarist McKinley.
Round 1, #31: Takkarist McKinley, DE/LB, UCLA
Round 2, #63
Round 4, #135
Round 5, #175
Top Remaining Needs
- Tight End
- Defensive Tackle
How would you grade the Takkarist McKinley pick for the Falcons?
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