PROSPECT SUMMARY - JAVON MCKINLEY
Notre Dame wide receiver Javon McKinley will enter the NFL draft process as an underachieving pass-catcher relative to the flashes of talent he put on display with the Irish during his graduate season in 2020. McKinley enjoyed a career year, posting 42 receptions for 717 yards (17.1 YPC) as a vertical target for Ian Book. The Irish offense served as a nice foil to McKinley’s vertical skills; he successfully stacked defenders with hand fighting and physicality and showed effective over-the-shoulder ball tracking skills to help consistently pick up chunk gains as a pass-catcher. The Irish did sprinkle in some alternate usages, such as a now screen out of trips to give him run after catch opportunities, but McKinley is a slow-burn, long strider and his appeal in pass-catching comes down the field, not in creating for himself with the football. Medicals are a cause for concern for McKinley as well; he played in just 10 games between the 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons combined in large part because of a foot injury that forced him to miss the entire 2017 season. Given his low usage (31 games) as a graduate senior, McKinley is understandably raw as a pure route-runner and will need development. But his athletic ceiling may be a barrier to long-term investment and McKinley will need to impress on teams in order to stand out and stick as a young NFL receiver. The good news? He was asked to participate in plenty of blocking at Notre Dame and he was pretty good at it.
Ideal Role: Special teams contributor.
Scheme Fit: Vertical passing offense.
Written by Kyle Crabbs