After watching the Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, the world was introduced to what we as Cowboys fans already knew for months: this team lacks a real pass rusher.
Sure, some guys like David Irving and Demarcus Lawrence makes plays here and there, and flash their potential at times, but Dallas is still lacking in terms of a blue-chip edge rusher.
USA Today’s The Draft Wire put out their latest 2017 Mock Draft yesterday, with a bit more accurate projections now that all but four teams know where they’ll be picking. With the 28th overall pick in this mock draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley.
Personally, this pick would make me so happy. Takk is a guy I loved watching play during the 2016 season, as he finished with 10 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. He’s incredibly athletic, explosive, and tends to make those splash plays which the Cowboys defense currently lacks.
In my draft coverage over at Slant Sports, I broke down film from Takk’s final college season and came away with a pretty simple conclusion. Takkarist McKinley is going to be a very good professional pass rusher.
“This play is a great example of everything there is to love about Takkarist McKinley as a pass rusher. He is explosive off the ball, has the speed to dip, rip, and win around the edge with ease, and can convert speed to power when countering the tackle’s punch.
McKinley might have the best traits of any pass rusher in the draft. He has ridiculously long arms which help to create separation from the offensive tackle, win the hand battle, and strike and shed to make plays.
He is incredibly athletic for his size, as he recently promised to run a 4.4 40 yard dash at this year’s combine. Of course, we are just taking him at his word here, but his play speed jumps right off the tape.”
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Of course, for a player with this much explosiveness off the edge to fall to the 28th overall pick, he has some limitations…
“First and foremost, he is an incredibly raw prospect. While he made many splash plays in 2016, most were due more to his sheer athleticism than his technical prowess. He will need to add a few more pass rush moves to his repertoire in the NFL.
Takk also has the tendency to play with high pad-level, and to stick to blocks at times. He doesn’t have a big frame, and while his hands remain active, they aren’t as “heavy” as some other rushers in this class.”
The very raw, but talented, McKinley would make a great addition to a Cowboys defensive line which currently lacks any true speed rushers. Demarcus Lawrence is developing into a solid end, and David Irving continues to get better, but Takkarist McKinley would give the Cowboys pass rush an explosiveness it doesn’t yet have.