Verone McKinley III says NFL club that drafts him will get a leader who'll 'do everything right'
In the upcoming NFL Draft, Verone McKinley III provides a potentially unique value.
In Mel Kiper Jr.’s updated draft rankings, the former Oregon standout is the fifth-best safety prospect available. In 2021, McKinley earned First Team All-Pac-12 recognition and consensus All-American honors. The 5-foot-11, 194-pound safety was an iron man at the position for the Ducks, appearing in each of the team’s last 35 games. He started all 14 games in 2021.
McKinley was an FWAA Freshman All-American in 2019 after posting six pass breakups and four picks, then followed that up in 2020 with 41 tackles, three pass breakups, an interception, and a forced fumble in seven games. Last season, his 78 tackles ranked second among Pac-12 defensive backs and his six interceptions tied for the most in the nation, good for seventh-most in a season by an Oregon defender all-time.
Surely the ball-hawking safety is destined to hear his name called during the 2022 NFL Draft. During a radio appearance this week on 105.3 The Fan, he was asked what the NFL team that does indeed select him can expect to get.
His answer wasn’t just about interceptions or tackles. Have a listen:
— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) January 26, 2022
“Off the field, you’re going to get somebody that’s a leader. I don’t get in trouble, I’m very laid-back. I like to watch movies and play video games, just relax. Just somebody who’s going to uphold the culture. That’s something we established at Oregon, (I’m) somebody who upholds the culture, and I want to take that into whatever organization I go into.
“Then on the field and throughout the facility, just somebody that other people can look at and think, ‘He’s doing everything right.’ I’m always going to do everything right and then some because that’s just how it needs to be. I take pride in continuously helping others get better. It’s not just about me, it’s about the team. Of course I want to make myself better, I want to be the best safety, I want to make sure I’m getting all the picks and whatever, but also you’ve gotta have a whole bunch of other guys on that same page and having that same mindset, so (I’m going to be) somebody that’s gonna be able to get guys around them in the right place, doing the right thing, wanting to follow in general.”
The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft takes place on Thursday, April 28. The draft ends on Saturday, April 30.