NFL Draft Diamonds Scouting Report: McKinley Whitfield, S, University of Tulsa
- Player: McKinley Whitfield
- Position: Safety/ LB
- School: Tulsa
- Height: 6’ 3
- Weight : 216 lbs
- Draft: 2019
- Projected Forty: 4.59
- Projected Round : 7 – UDFA
- Hometown: Spiro Oklahoma
- Number: 5
Stats & Awards
- 56 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 7 PBU 1 FR in 8 games
- 9 tackles vs Tulane 10/27/18
- Played in All of his 38 games since joining Tulsa
- All American Athletic Conference Honorable Mention
- Started all 12 games
- Began the season as starting LB played safety due to injury and excelled
- Led The team in tackles in 2017
- 113 tackles, 67 solo, 6 TFl , 8 PBU’s 1 INT
- 14 tackles vs Tulane & Navy
- American Athletic Conference Honor Roll
- 10 tackles, 3 PBU & a huge 51 yd INT for a TD in a beatdown of Houston 45-17
- Had 2 block punts & a Fumble recovery in that same win over Houston
- 2015- Played in all 13 games as a Freshman
- Played in 11 games sparingly & had 20 tackles as a true freshman
Draft Diamond Report
Converted LB now playing Safety.
Whitfield has the size DB coaches drool over but he is more than just a big DB. Long lean muscular frame perfect for the spear or star LB/ safety hybrid position. Can be moved wherever is needed whether as a linebacker or safety he has great ball presence & the versatility that is needed in today’s NFL.
He is a physical hitter with superb awareness of where the ball is along with a high motor big long physical frame. Consistently making double digit tackles Whitfield is a hard working prospect. Good tackling technique gets down low tackles from the waist down. Squares up his opponents in the open field rarely misses a solo tackle. Can play the run well good LB instincts but would like to see him use his frame more to be more physical on run downs. Have seen him blast guys with a shoulder & show good power using his frame but like to see more of that like above mentioned.
Does quite well in pass coverage using his long frame , absurdly long tree branch arms to get his hands on the ball or in the the way to stop plays from being made. Covers a lot of of ground in a hurry long strides rare size & quickness in the Secondary. Although he plays a lot of off/ zone coverage in Tulsa’s D scheme has shown the ability to play guys in press but it’s not something they do often. Keeps his head up has very good change of direction with great acceleration from standing still to go with quick burst. Keeps good pad level for a 6’3 LB converted to safety. He was converted to safety due to need at the time, not cause he didn’t do well as a OLB. Think he has potential in both safety & LB at the next level especially the way teams are interchanging both these days.
Also a standout on ST he goes full speed on kickoffs flying by would be blocks to make a play on the returner. His laser vision with good burst & consistent tackling, Whitfield could strive early on special teams.
He can over-pursue at times mainly due to his energetic enthusiastic play style.
Ideally i see him as a slot type SS that can drop into coverage but mostly acts almost like a LB in the box. Cover TE’s or big backs out the backfield, he is a hidden gem that has fantastic numbers & size yet flying under the radar. He needs to get more physical & show scouts a few more things physically but technically is a sound ball player that should interest several D minded scouts like myself.