Just about everybody expects Takk McKinley to break out in 2018, but how does Football Outsiders see it? As it turns out, they’re upbeat, if not quite ready to predict a massive second year jump. You can check out the Football Outsiders almanac at their site.
Dave Choate: Takkarist McKinley is going to be counted upon to be a force on this defensive line. Assuming he’s healthy, did he show enough in 2017 for you to feel confident that he’ll live up to the billing?
Bryan Knowles: McKinley’s rookie season was a strong one. His finishing needs a bit of work, but 22 hurries and 10 quarterback knockdowns in relatively limited playtime bodes well going forward, and it wasn’t like he was lucking into those numbers; there’s no obvious signs to point to to predict a sophomore slump. I am concerned about the shoulder, and fear it may cause him to start the season slowly, but if it ends up being as minor of an issue as the Falcons claim, we should see a pretty big uptick in his numbers in 2018. Maybe not the 13 sacks he claims he had a chance at last season, but a substantial increase.