Giants Select Xavier McKinney with No. 36 pick in NFL Draft

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The New York Giants selected S Xavier McKinney with the No. 36 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. McKinney was born in Georgia and attended Roswell High School. He caught the attention of scouts after recording 82 tackles and seven interceptions during his senior season for the Hornets.

McKinney (6-foot, 201 pounds) attacks the run game with extreme confidence and is very good at finding a lane to get to running backs. He also has very good coverage skills for a strong safety. A versatile defender, he has the skill set required to guard receivers in man coverage and does well against tight ends and running backs out in space. To put it simply, McKinney is always around the football and he has a knack for making big plays in big moments.

He finished his career at Alabama with 108 solo tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, five interceptions and six forced fumbles. McKinney made the 2019 All-SEC team and was also a 2019 All-American. Prior to the draft, William Hill sportsbook set the draft position number at 24.5 on McKinney. Ahead of LSU S Grant Delpit, he was the favorite to be the first safety selected.

Here’s why SI’s Kevin Hanson ranked McKinney as the No. 26 overall player on his big board:

An instinctive and versatile defender, McKinney has the skill set to play either safety spot and has no glaring weaknesses when it comes to pass coverage or run defense. A fluid mover with excellent range, the junior safety tied for the team lead in interceptions (three) in 2019.

2019 stats (Junior; Alabama): 59 solo tackles, 95 total tackles, 3 sacks, 3 INT (13 games)

2018 stats (Sophomore; Alabama): 45 solo tackles, 74 total tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INT (15 games)

2017 stats (Freshman; Alabama): 4 solo tackles, 6 total tackles (4 games)

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