Breaking news: Cowboys will have new Linebacker
UCLA Bruins outside linebacker/defensive end Takkarist McKinley landed in Dallas on Sunday night for a pre-draft visit with the Cowboys. Dallas selects 28th overall in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft on April 27.
During his senior season in 2016, McKinley made a career-high 61 tackles for the Bruins, with 18 of those coming for a loss, including accruing at least 1 tackle behind the line of scrimmage in nine consecutive games to open the year. He would add 10 sacks during the year as well, including a career-high 3 in a single game against Utah back on Oct. 22. (He would also force 2 fumbles and recover another during that game as well.)
McKinley accomplished all that in just 11 games, after totaling 35 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 13 games as a junior in 2015. He played sparingly as a sophomore in 2014, totaling 3 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Coming out of Richmond, Calif., McKinley was a 4-star recruit that first signed with the Cal Golden Bears. He was denied entrance, leaving him to attend Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California, before he was able to transfer to UCLA for his sophomore season.
He was a consensus Top-20 player in the 2014 recruiting class. He saw his win total decrease from 10 to 8 to 4 wins over his three years in Los Angeles, yet saw his production and role improve.
The Cowboys are coming off a 13-3 regular season that saw them win the NFC East, while finishing with the third-highest point differential in all of football. Despite a diverse group of pass rushers who totaled 36 sacks on the season as a unit, their leader was Benson Mayowa with 6 sacks who just 2 sacks during his career entering the year.