The Texans made a bold trade move early on Day 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft.
In the second round, Houston traded up to select Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney with the 11th pick of the day. Houston swapped spots with the Cleveland Browns, moving up to 43rd from 51st overall. In return, the Texans gave up a fourth- and sixth-round pick to the Browns, but received a seventh-round selection in return.
"It means a lot to me, man," McKinney said Friday night on a conference call. "They traded for me. It shows that they really wanted me and were interested in me. When I get there, I'm just going to work my heart out to be the best that I can be."
McKinney met with the Texans at Mississippi State during Pro Day for a workout. He did not visit Houston.
McKinney (6-4, 246) earned first-team All-SEC honors and became the school's first-team All-America linebacker since 1999, in addition to being a Lombardi semifinalist last season. McKinney played in 39 games with 36 starts, mostly at middle linebacker, during his three-year collegiate career. During his final two seasons, he was MSU's top tackler amassing 244 tackles, 19.5 for a loss, 7.5 sacks, seven pass break-ups, and recovered six fumbles. McKinney declared for the draft after his junior season.
"He always looked out of place to me, playing inside linebacker with an outside linebacker build," football analyst John Harris wrote. "With 33-inch arms on a 6'4", 246 lb. frame, he seemed more of a fit as a 3-4 OLB or even a 4-3 OLB. But, he played inside for three years because that's what Mississippi State asked him to do. Later in his career, in pass rush situations, he did rush from the edge and that versatility opens up a number of different doors going forward if he can do that."
To read more, click here for the Prospect of the Day profile on McKinney.
View photos of Benardrick McKinney's football career at Mississippi State.