Sep 20, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Benardrick McKinney (50) tackles LSU Tigers running back Kenny Hilliard (27) during the third quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Benardrick McKinney #50, LB – Mississippi State
Benardrick McKinney is regarded as one of the top linebackers in the SEC. At 6-4, 249 lbs., McKinney was named one of the top 14 “Freakish” athletes in the nation by NFL.com this pasat season and will be among the top in his position group at the combine. In 2014 he had 71 tackles, eight tackles for loss, one fumble return, three sacks, four pass breakups, and two QB hurries.
A former high school quarterback, Benardrick has played both inside and outside and his versatility will make him attractive to NFL teams. Benardrick exhibits fluid change of direction movement skills and impressive burst to close when chasing down ball carriers in backside pursuit. He also showcases the ability to consistently stack and shed against the inside run. An area for continued improvement will be his instincts in coverage. Benardrick’s best fit is probably inside and he could fit in both a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Likely a second day prospect, Benardrick could sneak into the latter end of day one if he tests as well as expected two weeks from now.
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