Image Credit: Alabama Athletics
With the 36th overall selection, the Giants selected Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney, making him the first safety selected.
McKinney started two full seasons at Alabama along with four games during his freshman season. He is 18th in SEC history with six forced fumbles in his collegiate career.
McKinney’s three interceptions in 2019 ranked eighth in the SEC, while his 95 tackles ranked sixth in the conference. He can cover and make tackles with the best.
At the NFL Combine, McKinney ran a 4.63 40-yard dash and had a 36-inch vertical, both among the tops for safeties in the 2020 class.
In 2018, his first season starting at safety, McKinney earned the Orange Bowl Defensive MVP and had 73 tackles, good for third on the team. In 2019, his junior year, McKinney earned Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording eight tackles and a forced fumble in the Iron Bowl. McKinney earned the same award against Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Miss, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU, and Western Carolina.
As a junior, McKinney was named as a semi-finalist for the Thorpe Award given to the nation’s best defensive back and was a semi-finalist for the Bednarik Award.
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What the Analysts Say
McKinney has good reactions when playing in coverage. He can close quickly when coming downhill. He will be a solid tackler at the next level because he rarely whiffs on tackle attempts. He is very much a swiss army knife in that he does a little bit of everything. He can play coverage, blitz off the edge with success or be an extra body in the box in run defense. Well rounded and seems to do everything well.- Patrick Conn, USA Today
The Giants get McKinney at a great value, as he should have fallen in the mid-first round. McKinney, paired with Oshane Ximinies, should help build a great core for the Giants who are going to be a hot, young team in 2020.