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Falcons coach Dan Quinn gives promising update on Takk McKinley

Dan Quinn, Takk McKinley, Falcons

Defensive end Takk McKinley was one of a handful of players Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn hoped to see improvement from this offseason.

On offense, it was Jake Matthews and Calvin Ridley. On defense, it was Takk McKinely, Vic Beasley, and Isaiah Oliver. Overall, Quinn was happy with what he saw from his team during organized team activities and minicamp.

The 2017 first-round pick has had a strong offseason, transforming his body and impressing Quinn in the process.

I think he’s lighter, his speed and versatility seem ramped up,” Quinn said via the team’s website. “For him to go through his first offseason, as you know he missed with his left shoulder, his second year with his right shoulder. To see him lighter, faster and more explosive, that to me was someone who jumped out.”

McKinley battled injuries early last season, missing a week 3 matchup against New Orleans. Despite that fact, a majority of his sacks came during the early portion of the schedule. In the first three games, he recorded 4.5 sacks and only had 2.5 the rest of the season, including a seven-game stretch, where he went sackless.

That’s far from what the Falcons were looking for when they drafted him 26th overall, but it also might not tell the whole story. According to Next Gen Stats, McKinley had the second overall pressure rate in the NFL last season.

The Falcons have struggled to find a consistent pass rush in recent years. Getting McKinley to translate a strong offseason into the new year would go a long way to solving that problem.