Former Pro Bowler Willie McGinest knows a thing or two about rushing the passer, and he sees a lot of potential in Falcons second-year defensive end Takkarist McKinley.
McGinest, who played 15 years in the NFL and recorded 86 sacks during his career, listed five young pass rushers he believes could break out in 2018 in a piece for NFL.com, and he had some high praise for McKinley.
"The one thing that struck me when I first saw McKinley play was his explosiveness off the edge," McGinest writes. "The 6-2, 250-pound defensive end has a great motor and plays with good leverage. Primarily a speed-to-power guy, McKinley's numbers will improve if he adds more moves to his arsenal -- including long arm, up-and-under and slap techniques. I think he recognizes this is an area where he needs to improve and wants to learn. If he does incorporate new moves to his game, which already includes impressive explosiveness and effort, McKinley could be one of the best pass rushers in the league."
McKinley recorded six sacks as a rookie last season despite having a relatively limited role in the rotation, and he continued that production in the playoffs, earning a sack in each of the Falcons' postseason games. McGinest projects McKinley to earn 10 sacks in 2018.