Eagles Draft Targets at No. 14: UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley

Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 250 pounds

Philadelphia Eagles

Complete coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles and their NFL rivals from NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Eagles Turn to Veteran as 3rd-String Quarterback

Which QBs Might Eagles Target as 3rd-String Option?

2016: 61 TKL, 18.0 TFL, 10.0 SK, 3 FF
2015: 35 TKL, 7.5 TFL, 3.5 SK, 2 FF
2014: 3 TKL, 2.5 TFL, 2.5 SK, 1 FF

40-yard dash: 4.59 seconds
Bench press: 24 reps
Vertical jump: 33.0 inches
Broad jump: 122.0 inches
3-cone drill: 7.48 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.62 seconds

When you look at the list of defensive ends who have made the Pro Bowl under Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, the group generally has one thing in common: speed. So with that in mind, if any pass rusher in the 2017 NFL Draft makes sense for the Eagles at No. 14, it might Takkarist McKinley.

McKinley's name is rising up rankings sheets as the draft approaches, which is probably less a sign of his stock going up than it is analysts catching up to scouts' evaluations. Truth be told, it's surprising it took as long as it did given the way the UCLA product ran at the combine.

Only one prospect who projects as a potential 4-3 end timed faster in the 40 than McKinley, and nothing against Kansas State's Jordan Willis, he isn't going in the first round, much less the top 15. With a sub-4.6 and a productive senior year to hang his hat on, McKinley certainly may sneak up that high.

A first-team All-Pac-12 selection, McKinley was one of the most disruptive players in the nation in 2016. The two-year starter finished the season ranked 10th in tackles for loss per game, 11th in sacks per game and 22nd in forced fumbles per game. When he was on the field, McKinley was getting to the quarterback and making plays in the backfield.

This is exactly what Schwartz's scheme -- and defense in the NFL, for that matter -- is predicated upon. Except, in the wide-nine front the Eagles operate out of, speed off the edge can be a critical factor in getting to the quarterback.

Somebody like Tennessee's Derek Barnett impressively broke Reggie White's school record for sacks and may be considered a more polished player right out of school. He's also more than a quarter-second slower than McKinley in terms of running in a straight line, which can make a world of difference when lined up far wide of the tackle box.

What sets Barnett apart from somebody like McKinley now is technique. The Bruins pass rusher simply doesn't have many moves apart from racing past his man, which when that doesn't happen, he tends to get stymied at the line of scrimmage. McKinley will need to add muscle and learn how to use his hands and find new ways to beat the protection.

Of course, he's only 21, and while he can hone his craft in the NFL, somebody like Barnett isn't suddenly going to become a lot faster. If speed is the name of the game off the edge, and the Eagles are willing to work with a raw prospect for a year, McKinley may have more upside in Schwartz's scheme.

That's a lot to project at No. 14 overall, which is why many mocks and rankings still push McKinley out of the top 20. That being said, of all the defensive linemen we've looked at for the Eagles, this might be the best fit. If the team winds up trading down from their current spot, McKinley quickly becomes an intriguing option a little later.

Other Eagles draft targets at No. 14:
Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
Michigan DE Taco Charlton
Ohio State CB Gareon Conley
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
Alabama LB Reuben Foster
LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Alabama TE O.J. Howard
Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
Washington CB Kevin King
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
Michigan State DT Malik McDowell
UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley
Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
Washington WR John Ross
Clemson WR Mike Williams

Copyright CSNPhily
Contact Us