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Mekale McKay will need more than size, speed in NFL

Leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft, each day NFL Fantasy will profile a prospect who could make a splash in fantasy next season. Today's subject is former Cincinnati wide receiver Mekale McKay.

The Cincinnati offense can be a tough one to thrive in, as the team spreads the ball around like Oprah giving away gifts. That being said, Mekale McKay showed a knack for big plays during his time with the Bearcats (19.74 career yards per catch average in Cincy). Can that ability translate to the NFL game? I dove into the tape to find out.


     » Knows how to use big frame
     » Works back to the ball often
     » Uses subtle contact at top of routes to create separation

McKay's best asset is his big body, which he is adept at using to shield defenders and go up for high passes. He is savvy enough to work back to the ball often to prevent defenders from getting a hand on it, and shows some wiggle in the open field for a big man. While is route-running is far from refined, McKay did show a knack for using subtle contact at the top of his routes to gain needed separation.


     » Poor hands/catching technique
     » Seems to play slower than he is
     » Rounds routes too often

McKay can be a frustrating watch because of his inconsistencies when it comes to catching the football (a rather important trait for wide receivers). He suffered through plenty of drops (career drop rate greater than 11 percent, per Lance Zierlein), and seemed to misplay plenty of catchable balls based. McKay's routes are rounder than a basketball, and his stride/running posture seems to limit his ability to properly fake out cornerbacks with his head and body. Lastly, while McKay tested pretty well at the combine, he doesn't seem to play at the same speed that was clocked by scouts.

Ideal NFL fantasy fits

     » New Orleans Saints
     » Detroit Lions
     » Minnesota Vikings

While the Saints brought in Coby Fleener in free agency, they could use some more size at the wideout position, especially in the red zone. McKay could step in early in sub-packages near the goal line as he adjusts to the pro game. Learning from two good technitions in Golden Tate and Marvin Jones would serve McKay well, and he could also chip in in the red zone as well. Minnesota will need bodies in the passing game, and could look to McKay in the later rounds as a developmental prospect.

Early fantasy draft projection

McKay has good size (6-foot-4) and speed (4.55 40-yard time), but he's still far too raw of a prospect to make an early impact in the NFL or fantasy. He could be a late bloomer if he gets into a good program and puts his nose to the grindstone, but for now, fantasy fans would be better suited looking elsewhere for wide receiver help, even in dynasty formats.

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-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

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