Lions Linked to ‘Immensely Talented’ CB With Newly Discovered Injury

Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry hit a snag in his early NFL career when doctors at the NFL combine discovered a fracture in his right foot.

Mutual Interest Between Texans and Alabama's Kool-Aid McKinstry?

But that didn’t stop The Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer from projecting the Detroit Lions to draft McKinstry at No. 29 overall in his newest NFL mock draft.

McKinstry has been one of a few top cornerbacks connected to the Lions at No. 29 overall in mock drafts this offseason. On January 29, Bleacher Report’s NFL scouting department argued the Lions should trade up 15 spots to draft McKinstry at No. 14 overall.

But whether McKinstry’s injury will impact his draft stock is uncertain.

Although Farmer referred to McKinstry as “immensely talented,” he added that his draft stock could fall after the medical problem at the NFL combine.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that doctors diagnosed him with a Jones fracture, which consists of a broken bone on the pinky toe side on the inside of the foot. Typically, the injury occurs from overtraining or more pressure on the foot because of weight gain.

Rapoport also reported that McKinstry will work out at Alabama’s pro day on March 20 despite not participating in drills at the NFL combine. Afterwards, McKinstry will have the injury repaired. He should be 100 percent by training camp.

Why the Lions Could Still Target Kool-Aid McKinstry

There several reasons to think the Lions won’t allow McKinstry to fall past No. 29 overall.

General manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell haven’t been afraid of targeting prospects dealing with injuries in the past. Two years ago, the Lions traded up for wide receiver Jameson Williams, who was recovering from a torn ACL that offseason.

Last year, the Lions picked quarterback Hendon Hooker in the third round. He also had a torn ACL that was going to prevent him from playing much as a rookie.

A Jones fracture is obviously a lot less serious than a torn ACL. McKinstry could still participant in most of his team’s offseason workouts.

The Lions also appear to love Alabama players. In the first two rounds the past two years, Detroit has drafted Williams, running back Jahmyr Gibbs and cornerback Brian Branch, all of whom were from Alabama.

Drafting McKinstry late in the first round could be similar to the Lions grabbing Branch at No. 45 overall in 2023.

“Last year, another former Alabama defensive back fell out of the first round because of concerns about his long speed,” wrote’s Kyle Meinke. “Brian Branch wound up landing with Detroit in Round 2, then went on to become one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league as a rookie.”

Prior to his Jones fracture, McKinstry’s long speed was perceived to be his biggest weaknesses. However, McKinstry will aim to show off his speed at Alabama’s pro day.

Is Cornerback Detroit’s Biggest Need Heading into 2024 Free Agency?

The team’s big need at cornerback is another reason the Lions could still target McKinstry.

Detroit finished the 2024 season ranked 27th in passing yards allowed and 29th in net yards allowed per pass attempt. Cornerbacks Kindle Vildor, Jerry Jacobs and Emmanuel Moseley will also be unrestricted free agents.

If McKinstry is the best cornerback prospect available at No. 29, then he will be an obvious draft choice for the Lions.

Holmes must address cornerback this offseason. The question is whether he aims to make the biggest upgrade at the position through the draft or free agency.

ESPN’s Eric Woodyard wrote on March 1 that the Lions could be quiet in NFL free agency. However, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on March 3 that “Detroit is pretty set on adding a high-end corner.”

That, and not his injury, could be the reason why McKinstry falls past the Lions at No. 29. If the Lions are able to acquire a “high-end corner” through free agency or a trade, then perhaps they have a bigger need to fill in the first round of the NFL draft.

Related Posts

Mike McCarthy discusses what he expects from Ezekiel Elliott

UDFA QB John Rhys Plumlee Reveals Why He Chose Steelers

With John Rhys Plumlee seeing action at wide receiver at UCF, there was speculation that he could play wide receiver in the NFL, but he put that…

Zach Frazier explains wearing No. 54 with Pittsburgh Steelers

Zach Frazier can’t help his toughness. It’s embedded in his soul. The Steelers rookie loved Pittsburgh’s physical style of play when he was growing up in West Virginia….

Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell Strikes Down Scrutiny Facing Rookie J.J. McCarthy

Thіѕ ѕtаɡe of the NFL offѕeаѕon іѕ fіlled wіth hіɡhlіɡhtѕ аnd lowlіɡhtѕ of pаdleѕѕ prаctіceѕ — whіch Mіnneѕotа Vіkіnɡѕ coаch Kevіn O’Connell аrɡued to not reаd too…

Justin Simmons has 1 classy request to fans about Broncos rookie

The Denver Broncoѕ hаve ɡotten themѕelveѕ іnto а trіcky cаp ѕіtuаtіon. Denver trаded ѕіɡnіfіcаnt аѕѕetѕ for QB Ruѕѕell Wіlѕon from the Seаttle Seаhаwkѕ two yeаrѕ аɡo. The…

Coveted Free Agent Receiver Turned Down Kansas City Chiefs

Zаy Joneѕ ѕіɡned wіth the Arіzonа Cаrdіnаlѕ on Frіdаy, but before joіnіnɡ the Cаrdіnаlѕ on а one-yeаr deаl, he hаd drаwn іntereѕt from the Kаnѕаѕ Cіty Chіefѕ….