Houston Texans Positional Breakdown: Inside Linebackers

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Sep 21, 2013; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Benardrick McKinney (50) prepares for the play during the game against the Troy Trojans at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 62-7. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Benardrick McKinney, 6’4″ 246 Pounds, 22 Years Old

The Texans liked linebacker Benardrick McKinney so much that they moved up in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft to get the big tackler from Mississippi State. At almost 250 pounds, McKinney ran a 4.66 40-yard dash to show he is more than just a big hitter, but also a guy who can move all around the field to make plays.

Some Background Info;

In three seasons at Mississippi State McKinney totaled 243 tackles and seven and a half sacks. He never recorded an interception which points to his lack of playmaking ability in pass coverage. However, the Texans seemed interested in the Mississippi born player for his ability to bring down the ball carrier rather than pick off passes.

McKinney also showed off some versatility in High School as he not only played linebacker, but also quarterback for his football team, while also playing some basketball as well. The small-town kid will be looking to make his mark in Houston for years to come.

What To Expect This Year:

Look for McKinney to fit very well next to Cushing as the two seem to be a perfect fit. McKinney is the thumper and Cushing the playmaker who can take the ball away in pass coverage.

I expect McKinney to be in on the action early and often his rookie year and would not at all be shocked to see him with at least 80 tackles and a couple of sacks in his debut season for the Texans. While I loved all of the first three picks for Houston in this draft, McKinney should be the one who starts right away without much question.

Next: A Young Player On The Rise