Broncos Draft Reports: Linebackers

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*Benardrick McKinney (6’4 246), Mississippi St.

2014 stats: 71 tackles, 8.0 TFLs, 3 sacks, 1 FF

Games evaluated: @ LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn

-Gets great explosion from his legs, being able to drive through ball carriers and deliver powerful hits. Is also able to extend and get a hit on guys from awkward angles and positions because of this.

-Shows pretty fluid hips in coverage for a player his size. Is more than capable of sticking with tight ends in man coverage.

-Feet are on the heavy side, but they aren’t terrible. Can struggle making hard cuts and will be a liability against quicker players.

-When he hits you, you feel it.

-Can still take players down even if they slip through his initial wrap up. Will grab whatever he can to bring the ball carrier down.

-Doesn’t have elite range, but it is really good for a player his size. Not slow by any means.

-Will probably always struggle with leverage due to his height. It does show up on things like cut blocks.

-Great stack and shed player. Is able to get off his block right when the ball carrier gets to him. Is also able to scrape through garbage on his way to the ball.

-Shows great speed going downhill.

-Pretty good at sniffing out play action and diagnosing run or pass quickly.

OVERVIEW: McKinney is the big man in the middle. He has huge size and utilizes it. He packs a punch and swallows up ball carriers. He gets through traffic at will and runs downhill with force. However, with his big size comes a bit of a downside as well. He’s not overly quick and will get picked apart in coverage at times on more athletic backs and tight ends. He’s a smart player, though, so his positive plays should heavily outweigh his negative ones. McKinney would be a good fit inside a 3-4 scheme or on the strong side of a 4-3.

THREE WORDS- Thump, thick, downhill

PROJECTION: 2nd round