New York Giants draft alum Xavier McKinney

Rajath Prabhakar, Sports Editor

On Day 2 of the 2020 NFL draft, Roswell High School made history when Xavier McKinney, star safety out of Alabama, was drafted by the New York Giants. McKinney is the first Roswell alum to be drafted into the National Football League.  

University of Alabama Athletics
On April 24, Xavier McKinney, the junior out of Alabama, made history for Roswell High School by being its first alum to be drafted into the NFL.

At Roswell, McKinney was a multisport star, playing multiple positions on the varsity football team and shooting guard on the basketball team. A four-star recruit, he was the 5th-ranked player in the state of Georgia and ranked in the top 100 nationally. In 2016, Xavier was named the 7A Defensive Player of the Year.  

Hudl

After choosing Alabama over schools like Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, and Ohio State, McKinney primarily spent his freshman year on special teams, recording 8 tackles in 13 games. The 2018 season saw a considerable improvement in playing time for the safety. McKinney finished his sophomore year recording 73 tackles (6 for loss), third on the team in the 2018 season. He also came up with 2 interceptions, one of which was returned for a score against Ole Miss. In his final season at Alabama, Xavier McKinney earned Second-Team All-American Awards from The Sporting News and third team All-American by the Associated Press and Pro Football Focus. 

 

“He’s a great kid. He’s smart, he plays smart, he lines up the back-end for us. Versatile. You can put him down low. He can cover tight ends, he’s got ball skills, and he’s a good tackler. So we’re excited and feel we got a real quality person and player.” said David Gettleman, general manager of the New York Football Giants

 

McKinney is an extremely versatile player, and offers the Giants coverage help over the top as well as blitzing as a pressure player. Said Giants head coach Joe Judge: McKinney “stuck out as a guy on the field who flies around, plays with a lot of passion and energy. He also has that ability to get to the quarterback on the back end and really be a signal caller for our defense.” 

College Films

That “signal caller” is what the Giants sorely missed last season, resulting in them being ranked 20th in rush defense and more importantly for McKinney, 28th in pass defense. The safety out of Alabama will bring much-needed organization to a beleaguered Giants defense. 

In short, the Alabama alum is a “do-it-all defender and a plug-and-play starter.”