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Takk McKinley had the 2nd-highest pressure rate in the NFL last season

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Only Jerry Hughes had a higher pressure rate in 2018.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Takk McKinley quietly had a very productive 2018 season, as far as Next Gen Stats are concerned. The one-time UCLA Bruin finished second in the NFL in highest pressure rate out, of players who tallied at least 350 pass rush snaps, according to Next Gen Stats.

What this tells us is that McKinley, who’s known for his relentless motor and aggression on the field, was around the quarterback a lot last season. The next step in his maturation will be to convert a few more of those pressures into outright sacks, but the fact that the pressures are there is a very good sign.

The guys directly behind Buffalo’s Jerry Hughes and McKinley on that list are arguably the three best defensive players in football because of their ability to both get to the quarterback and to wreak havoc when they do so.

Both Hughes and Takk each totaled 7.0 sacks last season.

Von Miller had 14.5, which marked the seventh time in his eight-year career where he’s tallied double digit sacks (the only year in which he failed do so was in 2013, when he missed seven games).

Khalil Mack tallied 12.5 sacks in what was the fourth straight season of double digit sacks for him.

Aaron Donald set the record for most sacks by a defensive tackle with 20.5, in a year where he was a First-Team All-Pro selection for the fourth straight time.

2018 was just McKinley’s second season in the NFL, and at just 23 years of age, he seems to be on the cusp of something great. We saw flashes of that greatness at the start of last season, when he totaled 4.5 sacks in his first three games played before slowing down.

Takk is close to figuring it all out, and when he does, there will be hell to pay for opposing NFL quarterbacks.