May 27, 2024

The Detroit Lions may be eyeing Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry in the upcoming NFL draft, despite a recently discovered foot injury. McKinstry’s Jones fracture, detected at the NFL combine, has raised questions about his draft stock, but projections still place him as a potential target for the Lions.

Raiders NFL Draft: Drinking the Kool-Aid McKinstry - Silver And Black Pride

Sam Farmer of The Los Angeles Times forecasts McKinstry as the Lions’ pick at No. 29 in his latest mock draft, joining a list of top cornerbacks linked to the team. While McKinstry’s injury may influence his draft position, his immense talent remains recognized, even amid uncertainties about his health.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network revealed McKinstry’s diagnosis, describing the fracture as a Jones fracture, a type of break on the inner side of the foot. Despite this setback, McKinstry plans to showcase his abilities at Alabama’s pro day on March 20 before undergoing surgery, aiming for a full recovery by training camp.

Several factors suggest the Lions’ interest in McKinstry. General manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell have shown willingness to select players recovering from injuries in the past. Additionally, the Lions have a history of drafting Alabama players and could see McKinstry as a valuable addition to their roster, akin to their selection of Brian Branch in 2023.

Cornerback emerges as a pressing need for the Lions, given their defensive struggles and impending free agency for several players at the position. McKinstry could address this need if available at No. 29, potentially providing a significant upgrade to the team’s secondary.

While questions remain about the Lions’ approach to cornerback acquisition in free agency versus the draft, recent reports indicate their intent to pursue high-quality options at the position. This pursuit may influence their decision regarding McKinstry in the draft, depending on their success in securing cornerbacks through other means.

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