Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Kenny McKinley
Kenny McKinley (WR)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 189
Conference: SEC
Hometown: Mableton, GA
High School: South Cobb
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Denver Broncos
Round: 5
Pick (Overall): 5 (141)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The former Gamecock is a productive slot receiver with outstanding quickness. McKinley is a polished route-runner with good hands, and he'll give the Broncos another athletic receiver to add to their spread formations.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

The Gamecocks struggled mightily without McKinley in the lineup for a three-game stretch in 2008, when he was clearly the team's most indispensable player. Called the best receiver he has ever coached, head coach Steve Spurrier had more than enough evidence to back up that statement.


McKinley's production stands out, especially when the Gamecocks' instability at quarterback is factored into his output. He set school career records for receptions and receiving yards, while also closing out his career second on the school's all-time touchdown catches list.


McKinley placed his name in the Southeastern Conference record books. His 207 receptions placed third in conference annals, becoming just the fifth SEC player to amass more than 200 catches in a career. He also became the 12th player in league history to record more than 2,700 receiving yards (2,781).


At South Cobb High School, McKinley earned All-County honors as a junior and senior. The team's quarterback threw for 1,470 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 750 yards and scored 12 more scores his senior year. As a junior, he ran for 400 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing for 1,575 yards and 12 scores in 2003. He was rated the 29th-best athlete in the state of Georgia and the 54th-best athlete in the country by Rivals.com.


As a true freshman at South Carolina, he quickly adapted to life as a wide receiver, starting six games in the team's multiple receiver formation. He ranked third on the team with 25 catches for 291 yards (11.6-yard average) and a touchdown. While waiting for the opportunity to start, he occupied his playing time by returning 18 punts for a 4.6-yard average and also got to "return to his roots" briefly by taking a few snaps at quarterback.


As a sophomore, McKinley started all 13 games at flanker, beginning a string of 33 consecutive starting assignments. He pulled down 51 passes, the 10th-best season total in school history. He generated 880 yards (17.3-yard average), which ranks sixth on the Gamecocks' season-record chart, added five touchdown grabs. He also averaged 8.9 yards on 17 punt returns and completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to QB Syvelle Newton in the Kentucky clash.


Despite playing with turf toe most of the year (would undergo surgery after the season for arthritis in the toe), the second-team All-Southeastern selection moved to split end. He led the league and set the school annual record with 77 receptions. His 968 receiving yards were good for fourth on the school record chart and his nine touchdowns placed sixth.


The preseason All-American missed three games and a good portion of another due to a right hamstring strain in 2008, but still garnered All-SEC honorable mention. He led the Gamecocks with 642 yards and four scores on 54 receptions (11.9-yard average) in a return to the flanker position. He was invited to the prestigious Senior Bowl, but after impressing scouts early in practices, he re-injured his hamstring.


High School

Attended South Cobb (Mableton, Ga.) High School, playing football for head coach Shane Queen...Earned All-County honors as a junior and senior...The team's quarterback threw for 1,470 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 750 yards and scored 12 more scores his senior year...As a junior, he ran for 400 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing for 1,575 yards and 12 scores in 2003...Rated the 29th-best athlete in the state of Georgia and the 54th-best athlete in the country by Rivals.com.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

Analysis

Positives: Good initial quickness off the snap. Not a physical player, but uses his hands and lateral quickness to get a clean release off the line of scrimmage. Savvy route-runner. Good short-area burst and varies his speed and utilizes his good body control to generate separation against tight coverage. Reliable hands for the reception. Strong hands. Good vision as a runner.


Negatives: Lanky, almost skinny build that could use additional mass, but not at the expense of losing speed. Lacks the straight-line speed to challenge deep and break away after a short or intermediate reception. Can be pulled down from behind. Characterized as a tough player, but can be intimidated with a good pop. Doesn't show great toughness crossing the middle in front of safeties.


Compares To: TODD PINKSTON, ex-Philadelphia -- With his lanky frame, McKinley might not be able to stand up to typical NFL punishment. Evaluators are leery of receivers that start to develop hamstring issues, which is what eventually ended Pinkston's career. With his timed speed, McKinley should have had much more long distances receptions, but he lacks the second gear to avoid being caught from behind.


Injury Report

2007: Underwent surgery in late December for arthritis in his toe and was limited in 2008 spring camp as a precaution.


2008: Left the Vanderbilt game (9/04) with a right hamstring strain that would sideline him for the next three contests vs. Georgia (9/13), Wofford (9/20) and Alabama-Birmingham (9/27).


2009: Re-injured his hamstring at Senior Bowl practices (1/24).


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

NFL News
CONTENT
15