FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons training camp begins on Thursday, but the team's newest first-round draft pick, Takkarist McKinley, will have to wait a bit before he can show his new team what he's capable of, said GM Thomas Dimitroff.
The pass rusher out of UCLA is still recovering from a shoulder surgery that took place shortly after the 2017 NFL Combine. Speaking with reporters at a bike-building event at a YMCA in Atlanta, Dimitroff explained that McKinley would be limited to begin training camp, but that he is very much on schedule with his rehabilitation.
"He's going to come in and ease in properly as far as the beginning of training camp," Dimitroff said of his first-round draft pick. "Again, he's a resilient guy and he's a driven guy, as we know. All indications are that he's definitely on the front end of the curve as far as his healing."
Dimitroff said that he is hopeful that McKinley will be ready to go for either the third or fourth preseason game and added that "it's not a concern for us going into the season. This is about the preseason, for sure."
McKinley is a speedy pass rusher who recorded 10 sacks as a senior at UCLA. When he hits the field, the rookie will pair with the NFL's reigning sack leader, Vic Beasley, who registered 15.5 sacks for the Falcons in 2016.
Atlanta's first preseason game will take place in Miami against the Dolphins on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. ET.