Xavier McKinney 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Xavier McKinney
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Xavier McKinney Overview

Position: Safety
Height: 6’-1”
Weight: 200 pounds
School: Alabama

Xavier McKinney 2020 NFL Draft Profile

After a successful three-year career with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Xavier McKinney opted to skip his Senior year and try his luck in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Georgia native played in 827 snaps this past seasons, recording 70 tackles, 16 tackle assists, and 10 missed tackles. Nick Saban utilized Xavier McKinney as a free safety, strong safety, slot cornerback, and even sent him on a few blitzes.

A four-star recruit out of high school, McKinney had plenty of suitors when declaring for school. McKinney ultimately chose Alabama and managed to play 97 snaps on Alabama’s stacked defense as a freshman. He earned a starting job as a sophomore, playing 924 snaps while earning an 82.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. He finished his collegiate career on a high note, and improved each and every year he was on the field. This positive year-by-year growth is something scouts love to see and should help his draft stock heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.

Ultimately, McKinney ends his collegiate career with 108 solo tackles, 67 tackle assists, 13 tackles-for-loss, six sacks, and five interceptions. The Alabama product also recorded six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 15 passes defended throughout his three-year collegiate career.

Strengths

  • Jack of all trades capable of playing both safety positions and slot cornerback;
  • Can be effectively utilized as a blitzer;
  • Smart football player capable of reading and offense and understanding route concepts;
  • Good “center fielder” as a free safety and can take away the deep part of the field;
  • Typically takes the most efficient route to the ball carrier and limits yards after catch;
  • Fundamentally sound.

Weaknesses

  • Not an elite athlete;
  • Has more missed tackles than you’d like when playing the run;
  • Needs to trust his instincts more;
  • Inconsistent hands and ball skills;
  • Struggles to hold his own against larger targets in coverage.

NFL Comparison: Devin McCourty

Teams With Need At Position: Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers

Projection: Mid/late first

Bottom Line on Xavier McKinney

Xavier McKinney is arguably the most versatile, well-rounded safety prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. While some argue that Grant Delpit has more upside, nobody has a higher floor the McKinney. The Alabama product has the ability to line up at free safety, strong safety, and slot cornerback while playing all three at a high level. While he’s probably best at free safety, he never needs to leave the field and can play in a wide variety of defensive formations. Throw in his upside as a blitzer and you’ve got a Day 1 starter in your secondary.

McKinney might be a well-rounded player, but he doesn’t have All-Pro potential. The Georgia native is definitely an NFL-caliber athlete, but he’s not an elite physical specimen. Additionally, his work in the run game leaves something to be desired and he doesn’t always trust what he sees. This slight hesitation in coverage leads to some completions on possible pass breakups and pass breakups on possible interceptions. While his run defense might always be a little below average, his ability to trust his instincts could improve with the right coaching staff.

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