McKinney has good closing speed and acceleration that leads to some powerful hits in the run game. However, it is far from elite speed.
He can annoy QBs and get in the backfield to pressure passers when he has an open lane. However, his inability to shed blockers will make it difficult for defensive coordinators to rely on him as a blitzer.
He can move fluidly and quickly when he trusts his eyes. However, he often wastes steps because he often hesitates on play-action and run plays. Improving his footwork would do wonders for his NFL career.
McKinney has impeccable play recognition and is a very smart safety. He doesn't get fooled often but needs to do a better job trusting his vision.
He can move laterally and has pretty good motion running throughout the field. However, his reluctant playing style hinders his range.
He can deliver some powerful hits due to his speed and power. Although he often tackles too high and needs to desperately improve his tackling angles and timing because he is often too aggressive.
He is a matchup nightmare for offenses because he excels at covering all pass-catching positions. He sometimes trails behind speed demon WRs but his length helps him be disruptive in the passing game.
He is a disciplined safety who can bait QBs into throwing interceptions. He is well-known for his ability to cover deep down the field.
He is an underrated ballhawk who is phenomenal at ripping the ball out of receivers' hands. He can force interceptions due to his instincts and ball skills.
No known injuries.
McKinney is a former team captain who is known for being a great teammate and hard worker.
He has a great football IQ, discipline, work ethic, and coachability.
Not the most consistent safety throughout any game and struggled to be consistent throughout last season.
Xavier McKinney is a brilliant safety with impeccable play recognition. He doesn't get fooled often and can constantly disrupt plays when he trusts his vision, especially in the run game. His discipline, coachability, diligence, and play recognition will make him a coach's favorite at the next level. Speaking of the run game, McKinney can deliver some impactful hits to running backs due to his fantastic closing speed and power.
From a coverage aspect, McKinney has excellent instincts in zone coverage. His intelligence and discipline allow him to take calculated risks that often pay off in dividends to create spectacular fumbles, interceptions, and pass deflections. As a result, he is an underrated ballhawk who is almost always around the football. In man coverage, McKinney is a matchup nightmare for offenses because he can take on running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. He sometimes trails behind speed demon WRs, but his length helps him be disruptive in the passing game.
First and foremost, Xavier McKinney absolutely needs to work on his tackling. When he is open space, McKinney is often overaggressive when it comes to his tackling angles and timing. Plus, he often tackles too high and becomes a liability after the catch. McKinney won't likely be a great blitzer at the next level because he struggles to fend off blockers of any sort, but that also won't be a massive weakness for him in the NFL.
While McKinney's play recognition is off stellar, he frequently hesitates on play-action and run plays because he distrusts his eyes. As a result, he often wastes steps in the run game, hindering his range. Speaking of range, McKinney would significantly improve his draft stock if he refines his footwork.
As of right now, Xavier McKinney will likely be a first-round draft pick. His stellar football IQ, play recognition, and discipline will do wonders for his draft stock and NFL career. He is often lauded for his versatility because he excels in man and zone coverage, due to his ability to cover any position and force turnovers. At the next level, he will likely be plugged in for multiple assignments, but excel as a single high safety. However, his inability to shed blocks and poor tackling technique should alarm defensive coordinators before they put him in blitzing assignments.