2015 NFL Draft: Houston Texans Recap, Analysis

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Nov 16, 2013; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Benardrick McKinney (50) tries to pump up the crowd noise against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first quarter at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Benardrick McKinney, Linebacker, 6’5″ 249 Pounds

After staying put in round one the team moved up to the 43rd overall selection in the draft. The Texans gave up their second rounder, their fourth and a sixth rounder in exchange for the selection, and they also received an additional seventh round pick from the Cleveland Browns.

With this pick they took Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney. A 6’5″, 249 pound linebacker, McKinney is a thumper, who will punish teams that tray and run the football. With 71 tackles and three sacks in 2014, he showed he has a knack for being around the ball, but will not consistently rush the passer.

How he helps the Houston Texans

McKinney helps the texans by being a solid tackler that will limit the running game for opposing teams, which could be very helpful in freeing up players like defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus to attack the passers.

McKinney also gives some insurance should current inside linebacker Brian Cushing suffer another unfortunate injury. Although not the first selection by Houston, he seems like the safest bet of all the rookies to be a day one starter as the roster is currently structured.

This was a smart selection and well worth the price to move up and get the linebacker. Good move by general manager Rick Smith to pull the trigger on the deal and the pick.

Next: Jaelen Strong, Third Round Pick