NFL Hot Press: Benardrick McKinney Received Second-Round Grades

Benardrick McKinney Received Second-Round Grades

Updated June 9, 2014
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Every year, late in the college football seasons, scouts will put together draft grades on some players who end up returning to school. Some of them are a result of players who petition the NFL Advisory Board and end up remaining in the college ranks. Other times, scouts hear or anticipate that a player is coming out, yet they end up changing their mind to return.

The 2014 NFL Draft set a record for early entry prospects that left eligibility on the table to go pro. Many of them made regrettable decisions in leaving school. One of the few good players who decided to return to college was Mississippi State inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney. According to sources, McKinney received second-round grades and had a lot of believers in the scouting community.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder was considered to be a three-down middle linebacker who has the ability to play in pass coverage. Sources like his size and feel that McKinney has good instincts. McKinney has upside, and it is possible that he ends up improving on his draft grade during the 2014 season.

After redshirting in 2011, McKinney made a splash in 2012 and was a First-Team Freshman All-American by numerous media outlets. He recorded 102 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and four passes broken up. As a sophomore McKinney had 70 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2013.

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