Jerick McKinnon NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Vikings RB

Ryan LownesFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 23:  Quarterback Jerick McKinnon #1 of the Georgia Southern Eagles runs the ball through traffic for a first down during their game against the Florida Gators on November 23, 2013 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Georgia Southern defeated Florida 26-20 (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern (HT: 5’8.875”, WT: 209 lbs)

Minnesota Vikings

Third Round: 96th Pick

Combine Weigh-In
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle



  • Demonstrates burst to go from 0-60 quickly, can accelerate out of cuts to create separation as a runner or receiver.
  • Displays good vision, can pick-and-pop and find cutback lanes in space.
  • Had an outstanding NFL combine workout, where he displayed phenomenal athleticism. Finished at or near the top of his position group in most of the athletic testing and looked very good in drills.
  • Possesses the speed to turn the corner.
  • Good size for an NFL running back, compact and muscularly built.
  • Able to change speeds well and stop on a dime.
  • Shows good agility, has fairly light feet and is capable of sidestepping defenders.
  • Extremely versatile player that did a little bit of everything for Georgia Southern. Served as a tailback and option quarterback where he ran, threw, and occasionally caught the ball. He even had two interceptions playing on defense as a sophomore.
  • Patient runner that will let his blocks develop and will stay on his blocker’s hip before exploding through the hole.
  • Runs low with good pad level.
  • Earned a reputation for having a very strong work ethic, won several awards and is a high-effort player.
  • Intrigued scouts so much that he was invited to both the NFL Scouting Combine and Reese’s Senior Bowl.
  • Has caught the ball pretty well during workouts and in Senior Bowl practices.
  • Very productive in his college career, especially during his last two seasons.



  • Weight room strength does not translate to running power. Is not a physical or bruising runner.
  • Inconsistent leg drive does not often generate much movement, unable to push the pile.
  • Was not asked to catch the ball much in college and has limited experience as a receiver.
  • Does not break many tackles or gain consistent yardage after contact.
  • Lacks ideal arm length and has fairly small (8.625”) hands
  • Very limited pass protection experience playing in a run-heavy option offense.
  • Ball security is a big concern, as he had fumbling problems in college. Does not switch the ball to his outside hand and is prone to being stripped.
  • Questionable stamina, as speed appears to fade at times. Can be caught from behind despite exceptional timed speed.
  • Appears linear in his movement at times, lacking wiggle in space.
  • May have played so many positions that he did not get the chance to master one. Is a project at running back and may be seen as a bit of a tweener.
  • Did his damage playing mostly against Football Championship Subdivision competition in a gimmicky offense.
Rushing Statistics
2010Georgia Southern1094954.53
2011Georgia Southern805376.77
2012Georgia Southern26918176.820
2013Georgia Southern16110506.512


Personal Notes

  • First-Team All-Southern Conference running back in 2013.
  • Selected as a member of his team’s leadership council in 2013.
  • National Strength and Conditioning (NSCA) All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year in 2012.
  • Team MVP as a junior and senior.
  • Brother Lester Norwood played free safety at Florida 1998-2002.


Ratings Chart



A former option quarterback that even played some cornerback before earning a full-time role in the backfield, Jerick McKinnon was one of the most versatile players in all of college football. He dazzled onlookers at the NFL Scouting Combine, displaying speed, strength and explosiveness.

Though lacking power to grind out the tough yards between the tackles, he could excel in a scheme that allows him to use his speed and run outside.

He may be a bit of a project, but his work ethic, versatility and athleticism should allow him to compete for a roster spot.


Draft Projection: Fifth Round