With the No. 26 overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA.
McKinley’s speed and competitive toughness gives him the opportunity to be an impact player immediately in Atlanta, according to head coach Dan Quinn.
“We’re excited to add another guy to our defense who has the run and hit factor in full effect,” Quinn said. “It’s the initial quickness that we look for as rushers. He had one of our highest CT grades, what we’re looking for to add to our group, and like I said, we’re thrilled to add a player of his caliber to our defensive front.”
And that seems to be the consensus among the media as well as the Falcons have received high grades from the media for their pick.
Here’s a look at the compilation of grades thus far:
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco's Grade: A
"Love this pick. This kid has big-time edge-rush ability, and while he does have medical issues, he should be OK." – Pete Prisco
*Bleacher Report Grade: A- *
“McKinley plays like someone who knows the importance of every snap. He runs like a safety, can get low and anchor as a run defender, has the leaping ability to knock down passes and is like a shark approaching the USS Indianapolis when he penetrates the backfield.” – Mike Tanier
*Yahoo Grade: B *
“The defending NFC champions only had six picks to begin with in this draft. They just gave up two of them (95 and 249) to move up five spots for McKinley. That’s the type of risk a team can take when it feels like it’s one guy away from a championship-the Falcons obviously were about as close as it gets to reaching the mountaintop last season.” – Chris Burke
NFL.Com Grade: A-
“McKinley and Vic Beasley will make it difficult for Tom Brady (or anyone else) to pick apart the Falcons' defense in the second half as he did in the Super Bowl. They chose to given up a third-round pick to move up for him, but it's hard to blame them with the Cowboys, Steelers, and Packers ahead of them -- they were all looking for edge guys.” – Chad Reuter