Benardrick McKinney began the 2014 season as one of college football’s most coveted NFL prospects at the linebacker position. Friday night McKinney completed his path to the NFL when the Houston Texans took him 43rd overall, the 11th pick in the second round of the 2015 draft.

McKinney led Mississippi State in tackles each of the last two seasons, and he was second on the team in tackles as a freshman in 2012. For his career he logged 243 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss, and each of the last two years his MSU defense ranked in the top half of the SEC against the run, thanks in large part to McKinney’s play in the middle.

Standing 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds, McKinney can play both inside and outside linebacker. He’d likely play inside linebacker for the Texans, who have J.J. Watt as a pass-rushing nightmare and drafted Jadeveon Clowney first overall last year.

McKinney is now the 11th Mississippi State defender drafted since 2010 and the fourth linebacker, following in the footsteps of now-established NFL stars like Fletcher Cox, K.J. Wright and Pernell McPhee, among others. He’s the second Mississippi State Bulldog taken in this year’s draft, following Preston Smith (38th overall), and he’s the highest-drafted Mississippi State linebacker since Johnie Cooks went No. 2 overall in 1982.