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Make the Case: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry

CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

As the Ravens head into the 2024 NFL Draft, we're taking a more detailed look at the top players projected to Baltimore with pick No. 30.

Today, we'll focus on Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry:

Why He Makes Sense:

The Ravens are always shopping for corners, and the pipeline of players coming from Alabama to Baltimore never seems to run dry. McKinstry isn't the biggest corner (5-foot-11, 196 pounds), but he is sticky in coverage and plays with big-time confidence. McKinstry started as a true freshman in Nick Saban's defense, showing his high football IQ, and he didn't commit a single penalty last season. He is scheduled to have foot surgery soon, but impressed scouts by running a 4.47 40-yard dash at his Pro Day despite the injury and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. At his pre-draft press conference, General Manager Eric DeCosta didn't rule out the possibility of taking a corner early, and McKinstry would provide more talent at a key position.

Why He Could Make it to No. 30:

McKinstry only had two career interceptions and media scouts see an athlete that's more smooth than twitchy. Most mock drafts don't have McKinstry in their top 25, and the sweet spot for him appears to be anywhere from No. 25 to No. 32. That puts McKinstry right in the Ravens' wheelhouse. The Lions at No. 29 could be a threat to take McKinstry. But the Packers (No. 25), Buccaneers (No. 26), Cardinals (No. 27), and Bills (No. 28) all appear to have bigger needs than cornerback, which could leave McKinstry for Baltimore's taking.

What the Scouting Pundits Are Saying

"McKinstry is patient and well-groomed in matching the outside release and riding the inside release from press. As with most college corners, McKinstry will need to transition some of his open-field hand usage into quality footwork to avoid downfield penalties. McKinstry is more of a pure cover man than a playmaker, but his poise, intelligence and athleticism should lead him toward becoming a good outside corner with scheme versatility." - Lance Zierlein,

"McKinstry is a smooth, athletic cornerback with average play speed. In press coverage, he carries his hands low and prefers to play under control rather than attack. He doesn't have any tightness when opening up. There are some concerns with his deep speed when he's challenged vertically. From off coverage, everything he does is smooth, but he lacks twitch and urgency. He does find and play the ball well, both in front of him and down the field. He isn't ultra aggressive when it comes to getting involved in the run game, but he's a reliable tackler in space. Overall, Kool-Aid has a lot of redeeming qualities. He's not the fastest cornerback, but he showed enough speed at his pro day to help his stock heading into the draft." - Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network

"He was one of the best college cornerbacks over the past two seasons. He has very loose hips and match-and-mirror cover skills. A foot injury kept him from running at the combine, but he was in the high 4.4s in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. McKinstry had 20 pass breakups over the past two seasons." - Field Yates, ESPN

Here's the list of players pundits believe the Ravens could take with pick No. 30 in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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