Former Alabama DB Xavier McKinney calls out ESPN's Mel Kiper
Xavier McKinney should become another former Tide defender to become a first-round pick in this month’s NFL Draft. Nick Saban has had a slew of them during his Alabama tenure.
During an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter, McKinney called out Mel Kiper for not having him ranked as the No. 1 safety ahead of the NFL Draft.
McKinney: “So, I’ve watched a lot of safeties in this year’s draft. And so for Mel, I just want to ask, how am I not the No. 1 safety in this year’s draft, based solely off of film? Nothing else, just film. And for Todd, I want you to please explain to Mel why I am the No. 1 safety in the draft, based solely off of film because film never lies. Ever.”
Kiper: “He’s the best pure safety. Antoine Winfield is a slot corner/safety with more versatility, ran 4.45. Xavier ran 4.63. But as a pure safety, Xavier McKinney is No. 1 on my board. But as a versatile guy who can do a lot of things and wear a lot of hats, it would be Antoine Winfield Jr. Both are going to go in that 20-25, 20-28 range.”
McShay: “I’ll tell you what, Mel. You were on Winfield earlier, and I admit it — I hadn’t watched the Minnesota tape, but my goodness, he’s good. That Penn State game — that first drive. The ability to get off of a block and then make the tackle and then turn run and go up and get the ball, I mean, he’s special. There’s no question. But he’s not McKinney. I mean, McKinney, to me, is the difference-maker in terms of the safety position this year.
“Now, Grant Delpit coming in from LSU, I thought was going to be a top-10, top-15 pick. But these other two players, Winfield — I agree with you — but also McKinney have outplayed, and I think they’re going to both be somewhere in that top 20. I think Delpit’s going to be a little bit later in the first if not early in the second round.”
McKinney was a second-team All-American during 2019, making 95 tackles and 3 sacks. He also recorded a career-high 3 INTs. He’ll likely go on to become an impact NFL player in the secondary.
You can watch the full exchange below:
Alabama safety Xavier McKinney called me out. And he’s not wrong … pic.twitter.com/J1hj9SnYFo
— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) April 7, 2020