Alabama S Xavier McKinney
2019 stats: 13 games, 95 tackles (59 solo), 3.0 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three interceptions, one touchdown, five passes defended
Height / Weight: 6'0" / 201 lbs
Accolades: First-Team All-SEC (2019), Orange Bowl Defensive MVP (2018)
2020 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 - #18
The Giants selected Alabama safety Xavier McKinney with the 36th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. McKinney appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2017, serving in a reserve role and playing on special teams. The safety blossomed as a sophomore, recording 73 tackles, three sacks, six tackles for loss, two interceptions, and 10 pass breakups before emerging as one of the top defensive backs in the country in 2019.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson -- "Ascending safety prospect offering a combination of plus athleticism, field awareness and versatility. McKinney split time equally at slot, free safety and in the box and is accomplished in each. His coverage instincts, athleticism and quick-twitch burst are more cornerback than safety, which is why he's likely to be a coveted toy for teams looking to upgrade and diversify their sub-packages."
Pro Football Focus: Malcolm Jenkins -- "While splash plays at safety often catch the guy, guys who can consistently execute their role at a high level can be more difficult to spot over a small sample size. One of the biggest advantages of having PFF grades is that they allow us to identify the guys, like McKinney, who fit the bill of the latter. Whether it's his work in run support, underneath zone coverage, as a blitzer or as a deep safety, McKinney did it all extremely well over the past two seasons. For only a true junior, McKinney has a feel for the game that's rare for a player of his age."
View photos of former Alabama S Xavier McKinney.
The Ringer's Danny Kelly: Malcolm Jenkins -- "McKinney has a long, slender frame and the versatility to play in multiple spots on a defense. He has experience playing deep in two- or one-high looks, over the slot, and on the edge as a blitzer. A semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (presented annually to the nation's top defensive back), McKinney was asked to do it all in Alabama's scheme: He ran from sideline to sideline, covered receivers out of the slot, and flew through gaps as a blitzer. He closes incredibly quickly on ball carriers and delivers some pop as a tackler. He's shown good ball skills, ripping the ball away from pass catchers or reaching into passing lanes, and has strong instincts to recognize the play and react instantly. McKinney racked up a team-high 95 tackles in 2019—5.5 going for a loss—adding three sacks, three picks, five passes defensed, and four forced fumbles. He notched six tackles for a loss, two interceptions, 10 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles in 2018. Put more simply: He just makes plays."
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller: Justin Simmons/DeShon Elliott -- "McKinney is a modern safety prospect who blurs the line between free and strong safety. He can play in the box as well as he plays over the top, and he has the athleticism to match up in man coverage against tight ends or running backs. McKinney is an immediate NFL starter with Pro Bowl potential."
The Draft Network's Joe Marino: Jimmie Ward -- "Xavier McKinney is a versatile defensive back that can fill multiple roles at a high level for an NFL defense, just like he showcased at Alabama. Whether it's deep zones, man coverage from the slot or lining up close to the line of scrimmage, McKinney can execute. He showcases good processing speed, functional athleticism and the size needed to perform. For a defense that likes to be matchup-specific with its defensive backs, McKinney's presence should lend itself to more scheme multiplicity. His blend of size, range and processing skills are a strong foundation for him to build upon at the next level and he's already experienced functioning in a variety of roles for a Nick Saban defense."