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2020 NFL Draft Profile: Xavier McKinney

As we get closer to April’s draft we must look at prospects past the first round. Xavier McKinney is where we start. Now, his stock is rising and some seeing him going as high as the middle of the 1st. It’s warranted, however I can see the Giants grabbing his services by trading back in, or the early 2nd. We’ve discussed how they can build into their young secondary, let’s take a look.

Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Xavier McKinney (15) reacts against the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The primary feature that stands out about McKinney when watching him play is his pursuit. Much like his counterpart Grant Delpit, he is wired towards the ball on most every snap. His explosion out of his stance, especially shown in run defense, is very prolific. He’s not very aggressive in the box but makes up for it with his speed. McKinney sometimes struggles finishing plays but when he does can come with serious pop on contact. In coverage, he has the size, frame and strength (most importantly strength) to be physical in man coverage and additionally has the speed and agility to close angles in zone. One of the most impressive aspects of the Alabama safety’s game is his ability to change directions on a whim. He’s very light on his feet, especially his back foot in his stance. However, on the down side, he can get lost in deep routes.

The Wrap

There isn’t much separating Xavier McKinney and Grant Delpit as football players besides finishing rate and better coverage from Delpit who is overall more clean and complete. McKinney has the higher ceiling at the next level, he hits hard, has good closing speed and agile side to side movement. For very similar reasons I’d like them on the Giants and that’s stated in the Delpit article.

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2020 NFL Draft Profile: Xavier McKinney

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