2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kool-Aid McKinstry




  • Kool-Aid McKinstry, 6-1/188
  • Cornerback
  • Alabama

Kool-Aid McKinstry Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell

Strengths:

  • Press-man corner
  • Can turn and run
  • Fast
  • Quality feet
  • Good speed
  • Length
  • Height
  • Tracks the ball well downfield at times
  • Upside
  • Good length
  • Long arms

Weaknesses:

  • Inconsistent
  • Had some struggles in off man coverage
  • Press man only; not a good fit for off man or zone
  • Lack of interception production
  • Poor work ethic
  • Bad body
  • Didn’t play as well in 2023 compared to 2022

Prospect Summary:

Playing cornerback at Alabama can cause a lot of people to overhype players, and aided by a catchy name, that happened with McKinstry. To McKinstry’s credit, he played as a freshman and recorded 26 tackles, an interception, a pass broken up and a sack. His best season came as a sophomore, when he totaled 35 tackles, a sack, an interception and 15 passes broken up. In 2023, McKinstry recorded 32 tackles and seven passes broken up but zero interceptions. Many in the media have projected McKinstry to be a top-10 pick. However late in the season, I spoke with sources at seven teams, and none of them had McKinstry graded as or projected as a high first-round pick.

One NFC director of college scouting told WalterFootball.com:

He is way overhyped and isn’t a top flight athlete … He knows how to play, but isn’t freaky in any way. His body is odd, like a 40-year old man who works out at the YMCA, and he is a super lazy practice player. He thinks he can just show up and will himself to play because he’s very confident and football smart. However, the lack of work ethic is showing up and will continue to deteriorate the player he is moving forward. He’s taken a slight step back this year.”

There is no doubt that McKinstry has the talent to play at the NFL level. He is a long cornerback who has good height, arm length, and physicality. McKinstry show zero hesitation to get physical and will not allow wide receivers to push him around. McKinstry’s best attributes are his instincts, confidence, and a natural understanding of how to play the game. His innate football IQ helps prevent him from getting out of position consistently.

In coverage, McKinstry is a fit as a press-man corner. He has the size and strength to jam wideouts at the line to disrupt their routes and the timing of plays. McKinstry can reroute and will use his size to disrupt passing lanes. With good speed, McKinstry is fast enough to carry verticals downfield. He could stand to improve his targeting of the ball for interceptions rather than just slapping the pass away. McKinstry is composed and does not panic when the ball is coming toward him. He gets his head turned around in coverage, doing a nice job of locating the ball while staying close to the receiver.

Agains the run, McKinstry is a willing tackler who will come downhill and cut the legs out from underneath ball-carriers. McKinstry will wrap up running backs and shows the strength to get them to the ground. With his size, McKinstry could be a good contributor as a run defender at the pro level.

For the NFL, McKinstry would fit best as a press-man corner. Team sources have called him rigid and said he does not have good stop/start quickness or explosion. That limits McKinstry’s coverage versatility, which makes him a less-than-ideal fit for a team that plays a lot of zone, and a poor fit for teams that like to play off-man coverage.

McKinstry looks like a late first-round or second-round prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Prospect Comparison:

Dre Kirkpatrick. McKinstry reminds me of Kirkpatrick. McKinstry is almost identical in size to Kirkpatrick (6-2, 186), with both having good height, length and straight-line speed. Kirkpatrick was more fluid athletically, but in the NFL, I think McKinstry could end up being similar to Kirkpatrick if McKinstry discovers a work ethic and applies himself.





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