We noted before the Combine that former Georgia Southern quarterback Jerick McKinnon would work out with the running backs in Indianapolis as he attempts to show NFL teams that he can play a different position as a pro. So how did McKinnon do?
He did as well as any player at any position, at least in terms of showing off his raw athletic ability. McKinnon ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash, had a 40.5-inch vertical jump, broad-jumped 11 feet, and bench pressed 225 pounds a whopping 32 times. The Wall Street Journal crunched all the numbers from the Combine and concluded that no player at any position did better than McKinnon in all the various measurements of strength, speed and athletic ability.
Of course, football is not the Olympic decathlon, and just because McKinnon can run and jump and lift a lot of weight, that doesn’t mean he can succeed in the NFL. But NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said McKinnon showed off exactly the kind of measurables that NFL teams are looking for in a running back.
“As far as the running backs, I think McKinnon from Georgia Southern is a real wild card in this draft,” Mayock said. “He had a big day.”
The 5-foot-9, 209-pound McKinnon, who ran an old-school triple-option offense at Georgia Southern, said he hopes NFL teams recognize that he can pick up yardage with his legs, whether he’s lining up at quarterback or running back.
“I love to make plays,” McKinnon said. “I can make defenders miss and I feel like I have good balance and patience. I can make a cut and get north-south real quick.”
Before the Combine, McKinnon looked like he’d probably have to go the undrafted free agent route if he were going to make it to the NFL. Now McKinnon seems like he has a real shot at getting drafted. He’s just the kind of player who can boost his draft stock at the Combine, and he made the most of his opportunity.