Ever since he was drafted in 2017, Takk McKinley has had some ups and downs as a pass rusher. McKinley wasn’t intended to be the primary rusher when drafted, but he was certainly drafted to have an impact as an EDGE rusher. A player with speed and good power, McKinley simply hasn’t seemed to put it all together.
After the Falcons declined his 5th year option, this is definitely a make or break season for McKinley as he looks to finally live up to his potential as a fearsome EDGE. He certainly has the tools, so how will 2020 shake out for McKinley when it comes to bringing in sacks for the defense?
During his career, Takk has averaged a little over 5 sacks over 3 years. This isn’t completely horrible considering the shoulder injuries he’s endured coming out of college and into his NFL career.
I actually saw Takk as an 8 sack a year type of complmentary pass rusher coming out of UCLA. He’s perfectly capable of that if fully healthy. Considering that he was hovering around 6 and 7 sacks before a disappointing 2019, I’m going to set his baseline at 7 sacks. After all, this is a make or break season.
The case for the over
McKinley looks fully healthy and seemingly more focused this offseason. Given this is a contract year, he’s certainly going to put his best foot forward to try to secure a long term deal either in Atlanta or elsewhere. Through his social media accounts, it also looks like he’s made a conscious effort to lose weight and be in very good shape heading into the season. McKinley has shown that he can impose his will on Offensive Tackles, and being on the Defensive Line across from another fierce competitor like Dante Fowler could be an advantage for him.
The case for the under
The one concern I have about Takk is that he still hasn’t really put together a primary rush move. He’s certainly a relentless rusher, but he often rushes without a plan. He has the ability to convert speed to power, but I haven’t seen him consistently use a move that he can use off the snap.
Another concern is his health. He’s had continuous problems with his shoulders to which he’s missed time in previous seasons. How he performs will greatly depend on his health and development as a rusher.
So what are we thinking Falcons fans? Is this the year Takk finally shows some consistency(there’s that word again) rushing the QB? Does he finally get double digit sacks, or does he hover around 6-7 sacks for 2020?