Benardrick McKinney has been an integral part of the Texans defense, but he could be poised for his biggest season yet in 2018.
“He’s probably – I don’t want to speak for him – but when you look at the numbers, you look at his body comp numbers, his weight room numbers, he’s probably in the best shape of his career. It shows out here on the field.” Head coach Bill O'Brien
The Texans signed the fourth-year inside linebacker to a contract extension last week. McKinney, a second-round draft pick in 2015, started all 16 games last season and recorded a team-high 95 tackles (62 solo) along with 3.0 sacks, eight quarterback hits, a single-season career-high 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one pass defensed. According to general manager Brian Gaine, McKinney's impact is about both his production and his leadership.
"If you're playing the MIKE linebacker role, you're commanding the huddle, you're leading the huddle," Gaine said. "Production matters, but also the fact that we feel like he's built to last. We feel that he meets the height, weight, speed parameters that we want in the role, but he is now the guy that leads the huddle."
ILB Benardrick McKinney's career as a Texan and Mississippi State Bulldog is profiled here in pictures.