My Scouting Report for Xavier McKinney

Xavier McKinney

Team : Alabama Crimson Tide (FB) | Sports : Football | Position : CB | Status : Active | Location :United States

Player Scouting Report

Players Scouting Reviewer : mrossi78 . Position :Free Safety [FS]

He ran a 4.59 as a high school senior. He plays slightly faster than that but pro scouts will have concerns. Might not be able to stay with receivers on deep routes or crossers from one side of the field to the other. Has good burst.
Had 2 solo and 2 assisted sacks in 2018. Relentless effort to get to the ball. Had IQ to get his hands up and bat down a ball on a play where he didn't get home. He split two O-Lineman with his speed. I want to see if he has any moves to get by a tight end or running back who can match his speed.
It's okay. He loses a step to receivers on a hard cut in man coverage. He doesn't really get juked in open space by ball carriers so he has the agility to make those plays. In coverage: below average. When tackling: good.
Play Recognition
Like many young safeties, he had some trouble with play action and was manipulated by QBs eyes. He reads what is happening in the backfield and reacts quickly. Very quick to read run, jet motion, bubble screens and option. Needs to work on reading receivers and route combos. Just needs experience and film.
Didn't play a centerfield, free safety role so that range is a question mark. His tackling range, however, is sideline to sideline as you see him make tackles near the sideline. He reads the QB well so he may be able to get a jump and make plays near the numbers in coverage. Will depend on his instincts because his speed is not great.
3rd on the team with 73 tackles. Has bad intentions when tackling. Not afraid to stick his nose in to give an extra shot. When he hits he drives with force and wraps up well. His aggressiveness leads to a few missed tackles. Doesn't always take good angle to ball carriers toward the sideline.
Man Coverage
Well suited to cover tight ends and big slots, may have trouble with smaller slot types. Better route runners can get a step on him. Does a good job of taking angles to decrease distance when he lines up off the line. May not have top end speed to carry deep routes 1-on-1 against faster guys.
Zone Coverage
Reads the QBs eyes very well. Although a good thing, this allows QBs to freeze him or bait him to open up another area. Always looking forward trying to make plays underneath. Sometimes lets the deepest receiver behind him when the corner is on an island. Breaks hard on anything in front of him.
Had 2 INTs in 2018, one returned for a touchdown. Also had 10 Pass Break Ups (PBUs). Has good length to get a hand on balls but will have to rely on instincts, not speed.
Started every game without injury in his sophomore year. Was a backup and special teams guy as a freshman so not a lot of PT. Clearly takes care of himself well (check the weight room stuff).
Praised for his leadership and "practice habits" by Nick Saban. Did media interviews regularly as a sophomore showing how much trust Saban has in his character.
Plays like a linebacker from the SS position. Has a mentality that if he hits you he's going to make it hurt. Has good but not great instincts. Has to improve his IQ in coverage. Brings great energy to the Bama defense but this year he will have to be a leader with Deionte Thompson gone to the NFL.
Got better as the year went on. Decreased his mistakes toward the end of the year. Didn't miss a game. Only a one year starter so can't tell by his stats.
Weight room freak. He power cleans 315, squats 455, benches 405, has a 36 inch vertical, and carries just 3% body fat at 6'1, 200 lbs. He hits with bad intentions and doesn't miss often. He is versatile, able to play SS, FS, nickel, or hybrid linebacker. He is a smart blitzer with relentless pursuit. He is taking a leadership role on the Tide defense with the departure of All-American Deionte Thompson to the NFL. I love his mentality of a thumper and the raw emotion he plays with. He is explosive and has good enough instincts. Produced 4 turnovers and was tied for 3rd on the team in tackles (73).
Does not have the top end speed to cover wide receivers. Will fly by some tackles looking to make a big hit. Coverage skills are not developed enough yet. Doesn't always stay disciplined with his eyes, he looks into the backfield most of the time. Change of direction and agility are good for tackling in space but not good enough for man coverage. Can improve his football IQ.
Overall Analysis
His insane strength combined with his frame most likely mean he will be a strong safety or "box safety" in the NFL, playing closer to the line. He might be able to be a free safety if he gains a step before he enters the league. He might even play a hybrid linebacker role if he packs on even more muscle weight. Teams looking for a versatile enforcer that wears his heart on his sleeve and gives relentless effort are going to love him. Teams that need a rangy ballhawk at safety probably won't. If he gets in a good scheme to fit his talents he will thrive at the next level. Even if he doesn't hit his ceiling, he will be coveted on special teams covering kicks.
Compares to
Kenny Vacarro
Untapped potential
peak potential
post peak