Reggie McKenzie’s son, Kahlil Mckenzie Jr., tore it up at U.S. Army All-American Bowl Week in 2015. He threw opposing offensive linemen to the ground often and with ease in drills and in the game. He showed why he was the No. 1 high school recruit despite not playing football in 2014.
Like most No. 1 recruits, it looked like Kahlil would become a top-10 pick when eligible. But his college career didn’t work out that way and gives the Raiders a chance to pick him in the later rounds.
In 2016, his first as a starter at Tennessee, McKenzie Jr. started to flash his NFL potential. In 152 snaps, Pro Football focus ranked him No. 2 among Power 5 interior defenders. They also ranked him No. 2 against the run and No. 1 in bull-rush pressures in the span he played in. But a torn pectoral muscle ended his season after just six games.
He would eventually make his way back into the starting lineup putting up 35 tackles, 3.5 for loss and 2.0 sacks in eight starts in 2017.
Many draft experts around the NFL then thought he would go back to school to get a shot at being drafted early in 2019. But he declared for the draft and is projected as high as Round 5 and as low as undrafted.
McKenzie Jr. looks like the typical high-ranked recruit with plenty of talent that it didn’t work out in college for reasons out of his control. Those guys often end up being draft steals in the NFL. So McKenzie Sr. might want to take a shot at him late in this year’s draft. The Raiders have a need at the zero and-or 1-technique so it could work out. They also currently are projected to have a slew of sixth round picks.