Todd McShay of ESPN.com released his third mock of the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft on Wednesday and he has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting UCLA edge-rusher Takkarist McKinley 30th overall.
At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, McKinley plays harder than any pass-rusher I’ve watched in years. He’s a lock to make my All-Tape Team this year. He has really long arms (34¾ inches) and terrific speed (4.59 40), but he hasn’t quite figured out how to use his hands. If he develops in that area, he has the ability to be really dangerous off the edge.
McKinley, who Daniel Valente broke down for you on the site several weeks ago, registered 14.5 total sacks during his two seasons at UCLA after transferring from Contra Costa College. He measured in at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine at 6020, 250-pounds with 34 3/4-inch arms and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds in addition to doing 24 reps on the bench.
After competing at the combine, McKinley underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum and fractured glenoid that had been giving him problems for some time and because of that is expected to be sidelined for up to six months. In short, there’s a good chance he’ll miss most of, if not all, of training camp and thus his development will be stifled right out of the chute.
While the Steelers certainly do need an edge-rusher early in this year’s draft, McKinley’s semi-limited playing time at UCLA combined with his rawness and recent surgery will make him a somewhat risky first-round selection this year should that ultimately wind up being where he’s drafted.
Valente projected McKinley to be a day-two selection in his breakdown for what it’s worth and that’s certainly understandable and fathomable all things considered.
The UCLA pro day is currently scheduled to take place on March 21 and it will be interesting to see who the Steelers send to observe it and potentially talk to McKinley. Additionally, it will be interesting to see if the Steelers bring McKinley in for the always important pre-draft visit in the coming weeks.