Weight: 200 lbs
2019 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist
2019 Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist
2019 First-Team All-SEC
Two-year productive starter for the University of Alabama. Consensus four-star recruiting prospect out of high school. In this scouting report, we’ll breakdown his mechanics and evaluate his future as a safety in the NFL.
What I Like:
Pass Rush and Blitz Ability
Xavier McKinney is on an outside blitz from a typical linebacker position here. McKinney uses his speed to get around the left tackle, which the quarterback isn’t able to pickup. His ability to get his arms up to affect the pass is exactly what you’d like to see from him.
What I Dislike:
If there’s an area in Xavier McKinney’s game that needs workout’s his run support. On this play, McKinney bites early as the running back breaks the line of scrimmage. Once Xavier McKinney is sucked in, the back is able to bounce the run outside and eludes McKinney.
Where I’ve Seen Improvement:
Mental Processing and Range
Xavier McKinney pops on this play fairly well. His ability to read and diagnose the play quickly is great. However, his ability to navigate through traffic and ‘see ball, get ball’ are fantastic. While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and throw on top of that a nice tackle to keep the play from continuing.
Has good height and solid weight for the defensive back position. Displays good speed and acceleration. Shows to have solid change of direction abilities. He’s a Swiss army knife that can play multiple positions on defense. Displays a good ability to read and diagnose plays quickly. Has a solid ability mirror receiver and stay within attack range in man coverage. Displays solid lateral agility in zone coverage. Shows to have a solid ability to tackle the ball carrier in the open field. Has a good ability to navigate through traffic efficiently and wrap up the ball carrier. Displays solid range from the middle of field to sidelines. Has good range from the secondary to the line of scrimmage. Shows to have a good ability to get his hands up to disrupt the pass when asked to rush the quarterback. Displays good patience to let the play develop and allow for gaps to form before attacking the quarterback to collapse the pocket.
Has an adequate ability to read and diagnose run plays to the outside. Displays an adequate ability to handle quick moves from the running back in the flats or out in open space. Shows to have an adequate ability to keep the runner in front of him in the open field.
2020 NFL Draft Projection
Mid-First to Early-Second Round
While Xavier McKinney isn’t as polished as others at his position in this draft class, he still displays abilities that scouts like to see at the next level. He does a great job to contribute at a high-level on obvious passing situations, but leaves quite a bit to be desired in run support. Due to this, teams could look at playing him closer to the line of scrimmage or in outside coverage, rather than as an over the top safety.