Scout Report: Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State

Name: Benardrick McKinney
Age: 22
Position: LB
College: Mississippi State
Height: 6’4
Weight: 246
Grade: 3rd Round
Comparison: N/A

Athletic Ability

Benardrick McKinney is a very clunky athlete struggling to change directions (C.O.D) and take great angles to make a tackle. If he isn’t able to use his straight line speed to get to a player then I do not see him making the play. I see he does have quick feet that allows him to make a quick adjustment but his lack of coordination and C.O.D takes him out of most plays and leaves him chasing, rather than breaking down and making the play.


This kid is very competitive, you never see him giving up on a play or unwilling to chase someone down, regardless of how far out of the play he is. I just do not see the production that one would want to see out of a top-flight player. He also lacks play-making ability past the line of scrimmage into his linebacker territory.

I have seen him make devastating sacks that have changed the direction of the game and also he is very vocal after making a play or seeing a teammate make a great play. He is a very tough player.

Mental Alertness

Benardrick delays when the play starts to read the play, rather than just reacting to what he sees, which could be coaching or it could be him knowing his athletic limitations.

I would prefer to see him react to the play and get moving prior to a hand-off or pass because he is very susceptible to play-action.


NFL ready body, but looks out of position when playing MLB in college football. Struggles to stay low, which affects his flexibility. He has a solid frame giving him great durability and allows for a greater impact when he explodes to the ball carrier. I have seen him make some devastating hits, due to his size and ability to explode to the ball carrier.

Position Skills

Benardrick struggles to react to a play and would rather read while staying in place, which puts him behind on most plays and he doesn’t have the athletic ability to make up for it.

When you look at his straight-line speed you automatically see a top-tier prospect, but when asked to move laterally or backpedal his athletic ability diminishes greatly. When asked to read and react while being blocked he will mostly be out of the play as he gets focused on the block rather than getting after the ball carrier.

Great pass-rushing ability and, when ran directly at, is one of the better prospects in this draft. Struggles mightily in coverage, but has shown ability in short-range situations.


I am not too big on McKinney playing in Dallas’ Tampa style defense.

His change of direction and overall cover skills are lacking, which is something a linebacker will need to be able to excel in. But I wouldn’t mind seeing him put his hand in the dirt and get after the quarterback, as that is his greatest attribute.

Time will tell what teams plan for this kid, but I could see a switch to the outside in a 3-4 scheme or, like previously stated, putting his hand in the dirt and going from there. Right now I see him as a 3rd down situation guy that will have to develop his skills greatly to get on the field more, or just master his current craft.

He has everything you typically look for at LB so someone will latch onto him and see where they can take him. Look for a team where position coaches have a more dominant presence on the team to take him.

What do you think?


Written by Josh Wingate

Josh is an avid football fan who aspires to be a professional scout one day. He has been was mentored by Russ Lande and John Wooten from Sports Management World Wide. He is also a member of the Football Writers of America.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Cowboys Blog - Evaluating The Signing of Greg Hardy

Evaluating The Signing of Greg Hardy

Draft Blog - Scout Report: Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State 2

Scout Report: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor