Minicamp, as fun as it is, does not have many heavy implications for the vast majority of players on the roster. The Falcons did some shuffling toward the back end of the 90 man, sure, but that’s to be expected with inveterate tinkerer Dan Quinn at the helm.
The only player who did not get to directly benefit from the good times at minicamp was UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley, who flew in yesterday but wasn’t able to participate in camp practices with the team due to a rule that bars players from schools with classes still in session from participating. The Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey, a Stanford standout, was also impacted by the rule.
As Michael Cunningham notes in the piece above, that has meant that McKinley has missed out on three days with his new team. Everyone else got a slight head start with the coaching staff and showing out, and McKinley will have to fight for playing time in his first year, as good as he figures to be.
But as Takk notes, he has the playbook. He’s rehabbing from an injury and would have only gotten so much out of being there, frankly. The focus is rightly on getting him back to full health not only in time for camp, but in time for the season. Even with the team’s deep, capable rotation at defensive end, McKinley is one of the most talented options and certainly projects to be one of the team’s better pass rushers.
The only real obstacle between him and relevance in 2017 is health. The rest will take care of itself, because on a Dan Quinn defense, talent finds a way.