The Dallas Cowboys are in serious need of pass rushers yet again. The team tried to fill that void with Randy Gregory but after a 14 game suspension in 2016 and a full year ban through 2017 the Cowboys are once again in the same predicament. The upcoming draft class is chock full of pass rushers. One such man is UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley, who could be a step in the right direction for this defense.
Weight: 265 lbs
Position: Edge Rusher
Where he excels:
McKinley has a relentless motor that always keeps him in the play. Plays outside contain very well with the speed of a linebacker who can get sideline to sideline. Many times McKinley will capture the ball carrier with backside pursuit. There were not man plays where the runner got too far beyond the line of scrimmage before Takk brought him down.
He will use his speed to catch backs and quarterbacks in the backfield. At times he is converting his speed to power barreling through offensive linemen and extra blockers. McKinley also shows good length to combat left tackles at the next level. This allows Takk to keep linemen from getting their hands on him to run McKinley out of the play.
Where he needs to improve:
While Takk will show flashes with his hand fighting, he needs to be more consistent at the next level. Working with Rod Marinelli and the coaching staff will help him immensely. McKinley is able to rip inside of linemen but with proper coaching can add to tool belt.
Proper work in the weight room is going to benefit him as well. Getting stronger will allow McKinley to play at the point of attack holding off blockers before making a tackle. He was able to get away with his raw skills due to his speed and motor at the collegiate level.
Takkarist McKinley is viewed as a weakside defensive end. This is paramount for this team to succeed, employing a plethora of strongside defenders. Lining him up on the weakside will give him one on one opportunities with players such as Demarcus Lawrence taking more attention.
McKinley is expected to go in the first round even given his torn labrum. Cowboys fans need to hope that when Dallas is on the clock that he is still sitting there.