Is it Time for “Mt. McKinnley” to Leave Texas A&M Football for the Draft?
One of the bigger offseason coups for the Aggies was the decision by McKinnley Jackson to return for another season on the defensive line. Jackson was a highly-regarded recruit out of high school, and was pursued by every power program in the nation; thus, the Aggies winning out for his signature over the other finalists of Alabama and LSU was a huge get at the time. Jackson saw time even from the very first opportunity he had, registering a sack against Vanderbilt in the first game of the 2020 season. He rotated in and out along the defensive line that year and showed great upside. However, the last two years have been marred by injury for Jackson, and he hasn’t been able to put together a full season. Thus, he’s flown under the radar a bit.
This season, though, Jackson has drawn no shortage of attention. He’s been graded as a top defensive tackle prospect and seems to be slotted in the third or fourth round at the moment. Given that he has played for four years and seemed to be considering the draft following last season, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see him capitalize on where his stock currently is. He has the measurables to impress at a combine or pro day and possibly drive his stock even further up than it currently is.
I’m more skeptical of his potential to return to the Aggies than a guy like Diggs, but the Aggies of course have no shortage of talent lining up behind these guys to step into bigger roles—Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, David Hicks, the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, McKinnley has been one of the most impactful players on the whole team this year; he’s absolutely killed it. But the Ags roll extremely deep on the defensive front, and should be able to replace production with some of their rising stars.