DE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

6’2” – 265 lbs. – 4.75e

Originally committed to Cal but ended up spending his first year at Contra Costa College before transferring to UCLA. Worked his way into the starting lineup as a junior, then enjoyed an outstanding senior season. Possesses adequate height and length, with solid bulk; has added over thirty pounds since arriving at school. Rushes out of both two and three-point stances and from both sides of the line, most typically as a stand-up rusher off the left tackle. Aggressive, high-motor player who consistently works through the whistle. Has enough speed to challenge the edge in the passing game, often using a rip move to get free; able to bend back to the quarterback effectively. Explosive both off the line of scrimmage and when closing. Can successfully convert speed to power and walk tackles back into the pocket, creating congestion. Mixes in inside moves to keep opposing tackles off-balance; has a pretty diverse array of approaches when rushing. Good awareness to go for the strip when in position to do so. Gets his hands up to contest screens. Spin move looks a little bit sluggish when the quarterback climbs the pocket. Has violent, active hands and can shed blocks pretty well in the run game. More of an attacking player but appears strong enough to hold the edge; has the leg drive to create some push. Could probably play in either a one or two-gap defense. Can scrape down the line when the play direction is to the opposite side of the field. Doesn’t have a particularly wide tackling radius but looks reliable when he’s in position to bring down ballcarriers, with some pop on contact. Makes an effort to tackle while engaged. Seems to do a pretty good job when working as the free defender on read-options. Will pursue plays to the sidelines and down the field. Had some trouble protecting his legs on cut blocks. Wasn’t really asked to make many drops into coverage, so his technique and fluidity when asked to do so will probably be an important part of his pre-draft process; does appear to have the raw speed for that type of role. Breakout senior season will earn him first-round consideration, which he may be able to solidify with good measurements and testing. Probably makes the most sense as a rush linebacker in an aggressive 3-4 defensive front, both because that’s been his primary role thus far and because it’s more commensurate with his physical profile.

Games watched: Colorado (’16), Stanford (’16), Utah (’16)

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