Xavier McKinney Talks Joining Giants, Nick Saban, Playing Against Tua in B/R AMA

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2020

Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney (15) signals during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern Miss, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Xavier McKinney is headed to the New York Giants after being selected with the fourth pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, but first joined Bleacher Report for an AMA session. 

The Alabama product was the first safety off the board last weekend, giving the Giants a playmaker who totaled 95 tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions in 2019.

Before starting his NFL career, McKinney spoke to B/R users about the draft process and joining the Giants, playing for Nick Saban, facing former teammate Tua Tagovailoa and more.

The following is the full transcript from the AMA session.


@TRUEFACTS: Who is the first Giant who reached out to you?

Jabrill Peppers, he actually sent me a DM and then he tweeted something out. So I had a couple of teammates who introduced themselves and we had some talk about the team.


@StephMessi: You have one QB to pick off, who are you picking?

The first one I play, I don't have one in particular, I want to make the play against whoever. At the end of the day, it's just one stat.


@TRUEFACTS: Who was the toughest WR you ever had to guard?

Those are all some competitive SEC guys, it's hard to choose between one of the WR. If you go against any one of them they can beat you.


@StephMessi: Which CB do you model your game after?

I don't model my game after anyone. I try to have my own style of play. I go over my own film, HS, college tape, I do it myself.


@SportFanBeast: What do you think you can bring to the Giants?

I just want to help the team as much as I can. For me, I pride myself on being able to contribute and have an impact on the game. That's what I look forward to the most, whatever the coaches ask of me.


@TRUEFACTS: What did it feel like waiting for the call that changed your life? What is in your mind during the whole draft process?

It was a crazy process, something I'll never take back for anything. Circumstances were obviously different, but just hearing my name on TV was something I was dreaming about my whole life. 


@StephMessi: How does it feel knowing you're gonna be playing in the biggest market in american sports? 

Feels good, just trying to do anything I can and provide a winning attitude to the team. I just want to play football and whatever I need to do I'm ready. It feels good. I'm just trying to do everything that I can


@Steve_Perrault: What was your favorite Nick Saban moment during your time at Alabama?

Tough to say, there's a lot of moments where he is yelling at us or after a game. He jokes around a lot after the game. Lot of tough moments to just choose one. He's strict but like he has his sense of humor, not everyone is going to laugh at it. He thinks it's funny so we laugh along with it haha


@tyrolo: Who is your favorite player of all time?

Michael Vick. That was someone I loved watching play, and I always played with him on Madden, his speed was maxed out. I used to have his cleats when I was younger.


@NBL21_bombasquad: Top 5 safety's of all time?

Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Sean Taylor. Those are people I'll watch their highlights on YouTube because it's interesting to look at. 


@AndrewNYG: Which QB are you most excited to play against?

Tua, yeah pretty excited to play against him. Of course we practiced against each other but never a real game. That's going to be exciting, we've always had battles in practice. We've give each other that look to get inside each other's head. 


@therealGM: Who's your top 5 Bama players of all time?

Ruben Foster, Jalen, Tua, Julio, Mark Darren


@JSG_11: Who's the first jersey swap with?

I talked to Ruggs about it already. There's a couple I've been thinking but I don't know who will be first.


@masani9: Who's your biggest inspiration?

My brother, someone that's inspired me pretty much my whole life, someone I looked up to as a best friend. I always was in hip pocket


@bshan23: You think you can tackle Saquon?

I'm going to have to tackle him either way, yeah I think so.


@KCG_45k: Who is the GOAT?

Tom Brady, he is of course just with the amount of super bowls. That's all you gotta say.


@aakash: Favorite video game?



@KATxDLOADED2020: Favorite TV show?

Not as of late no


What is your favorite game or play of your career?

LSU game, that was a fun game, really exciting and really loud. That was the loudest game I ever played in, my sophomore year and junior year.


Go-to pre-game song or soundtrack?

Young Thug, I listen to him all the time.


How far do you think the moon is from Earth?

I don't know, I don't know how that stuff works. I don't want to get it into it, you know Kyrie with that flat earth stuff.