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*** [RD 3] Bengals Select ~ MCKINNLEY JACKSON, NT ***

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  • BlackJesus changed the title to *** [RD 3] Bengals Select ~ McKinnley Jackson, NT ***

McKinnley Jackson

McKinnley Jackson headshot

Prospect Info

Texas A&M
Lucedale, MS
6’ 1 1/2’’
326 lbs
33 7/8’’


Squatty interior defender who felt somewhat miscast as a 0-technique nose over the center. Jackson is explosive off the snap with the ability to get into blockers quickly or to attack their edges as a penetrator. He tends to ride on blocks once they land squarely and needs to develop his hands for better counters as both a run defender and a rusher. Jackson plays with good strength, but he's more gradual than twitchy in his battles. He might be more consistently effective at a lighter weight and as a rotational nose in a one-gapping even front.


  • Two-time captain who was highly decorated by the team.
  • Flashes out of his stance and explodes into center with explosive pop.
  • Strong hips and good balance prevent him from spending time on the ground.
  • Low center of gravity helps him slip off or around the edge as a one-gapper.
  • Patient before unleashing his slide-and-slap move to beat guards in his rush.
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Bit of a disappointment this year, but probably the number 2 "true" NT in the draft.  If they can motivate and develop him, Jackson could eventually be a decent 2-down nose with Jenkins sliding over on passing downs

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21. MCKINNLEY JACKSON | Texas A&M 6014 | 326 lbs. | 4SR Lucedale, Miss. (George County) 12/26/2001 (age 22.33) #3


BACKGROUND: McKinnley Jackson was born and raised in Lucedale and often lived with his grandmother as both of his parents spent time in and out of prison. Jackson started to blossom with sports, especially football, because of his size. He was so dominant in middle school that he was moved up to the varsity team at George County High School in eighth grade. Jackson was a four-year starter on varsity and posted remarkable production for a defensive tackle. He tallied 60 tackles, 30.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and five forced fumbles as a freshman. As a sophomore, Jackson finished with 81 tackles, 36.0 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks and seven forced fumbles as a sophomore. As a junior, he finished with a career high in tackles (91) and sacks (11.5). Jackson was named the 6A Mississippi Mr. Football as a senior with 76 tackles, 37.0 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks and one forced fumble.


After subpar finishes in 2017 and 2018, Jackson led George County back to the playoffs in 2019 and was named a U.S. Army All-American. He finished his prep career with 308 tackles, 135 tackles for loss, 48 sacks and 16 forced fumbles. A four-star recruit, Jackson was the No. 9 defensive tackle in the 2020 recruiting class and the No. 1 recruit in Mississippi (one spot ahead of CB Emmanuel Forbes). He was the No. 62 recruit nationally. Jackson received his first scholarship offer at age 12, when Louisiana offered in eighth grade. It didn’t take long for SEC programs to take notice, and Ole Miss and Auburn offered him toward the end of his freshman year. Jackson originally committed to LSU midway through his sophomore season, but he decommitted a few months later and reopened his recruitment. He attended multiple camps throughout SEC country and ultimately committed to Texas A&M over Alabama, Auburn and LSU. Jackson was the No. 6 recruit in head coach Jimbo Fisher’s 2020 recruiting class (one spot behind RB De’Von Achane). Jackson opted out of the 2023 bowl game and accepted his invitation to the 2024 Senior Bowl.


YEAR (GP/GS) TKLS TFL SACK FF PD INT NOTES 2020: (10/1) 13 2.0 1.5 0 2 0 SEC All-Freshman; Enrolled in May 2020; Pandemic-shortened season 2021: (10/4) 14 1.0 1.0 0 0 0 Suspended first two games (offseason arrest) 2022: (8/7) 37 7.0 2.0 0 0 0 Blocked PAT; Team captain; Missed five games (elbow) 2023: (12/12) 27 5.5 3.0 1 0 0 Team captain; Missed bowl game (opt out) Total: (40/24) 91 15.5 7.5 1 2 0 HT WT HAND ARM WING 40-YD 20-YD 10-YD VJ BJ SS 3C BP COMBINE 6014 326 10 33 7/8 80 1/4 5.26 3.01 1.78 23 8’10” - - - (no shuttle, 3-cone, bench press — choice) PRO DAY 6014 336 10 33 7/8 80 1/4 - - - - - 4.90 7.89 24 (stood on combine run and jumps)


STRENGTHS: Broad-chested with burly thighs and natural girth in his upper body … uses low center of gravity and knee bend to his advantage, establishing early leverage … able to reestablish the line of scrimmage when he times up the snap and generates power through his hips … exceptional length with heaviness in his massive hands to create thump at contact … uses a fairly fluid arm-over move to clear the blocker … flashes bull-rush potential when he continues to drive his lower body … plays with the balance to keep his feet through traffic … moves well laterally to attack the edges of blocks … stays active to clean up on coverage sacks … twoyear team captain and was respected in the Aggies’ locker room.


WEAKNESSES: His second and third steps don’t match his first step … feet stall out too quickly once blockers lock on … snap anticipation runs hot and cold (jumped offside on the 2023 Miami tape) … doesn’t look natural when attempting to patch together rush moves … inconsistent backfield vision and often late to diagnose the play design … can be moved by double teams and when caught out of position … missed almost half of his junior season because of an elbow injury (September 2022) … arrested on drug charges (August 2021), including possession of a controlled substance, and suspended for the first two games of the 2021 season … averaged just 35.8 defensive snaps per game in 2023, as the coaches tried to keep him fresh.


SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Texas A&M, Jackson was the nose tackle in former defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin four-man front, playing primarily over the Agap. He was drawing early-round draft grades from NFL scouts the summer before the 2023 season, but his final season in College Station was uneven in b oth production and performance. Jackson has the long arms and initial burst to rudely slam his hands into blocks, displaying contact balance and natural strength to hold the point. Though he flashes explosion out of his stance, his momentum quickly stalls out once he meets any resistance, lacking the pass rush moves/counters to easily shed and disrupt the backfield. Overall, Jackson has a desirable nose tackle body type with his arm length, low center and raw power, but his disjointed hand usage and positional instincts are concerns for his next-level transition. He is a candidate to provide depth as a shade in a 4-3 front. GRADE: 6th-7th Round

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16 minutes ago, JC said:

Think I’ll view this similar to the Shelvin pick. Hope it pans - but very skeptical.

Shelvin is my fear too. But the Bengals had a massive hole at NT, and almost no other draft options to fill it. The NT position group was almost non-existent.

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McKinnley Jackson DL, TXAM

Height: 6-2, Weight: 325

Challenging DT to peg because he plays significantly more athletically than his workout, which was very poor. Was big recruit who gets up the field and disrupts like a smaller DT but has awesome size and length to play even at nose tackle. Hands are great and very slippery upfield or across the line. Does have stretches of complacency. (Chris Trapasso)


Rating: 81.05 (Starter)

McKinnley Jackson plays with a low pad level, is able to explode from the hips with power and has good initial quickness at the snap. He is a gap splitter against the run but can be moved by elite competition.

  • Career: 32 games played (20 starts)
  • 12.5 TFL over past two seasons
  • Can stand up double-teams all day
  • Can consistently move pocket from over the center
  • Great hand usage to get across interior OLs and be disruptive in the backfield
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3 hours ago, T-Dub said:

Well I thought they might get a 2nd DT tomorrow but here we are.  Think I would've preferred a C/G but it was a comp pick at the bottom of the 3rd round so :shrug:

He's the real thing at NT..

Like a Rock that won't budge n🥣

Gonna freeup others to make plays.

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6 hours ago, dex said:


if I remember right Orlando Brown Jr tested like historically bad too.  Also drafted in 3rd round.  He turned out alright.  Sometimes the nerd scores overlook obvious good football players as a result of not using the old tried and true eye test process.

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