Where Will Kool-Aid McKinstry Get Drafted? Exploring CB’s Draft Stock and Potential Landing Spots

Plenty of talent remains on the board heading into Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Which teams could be targeting Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry?

With the run on quarterbacks and offensive tackles in the rearview, plenty of stars remain on the board in the 2024 NFL Draft going into Day 2.

Alabama CB Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry is one of many talented players still on the board on Friday. His nickname, given to him by his grandmother, along with his talent, made him a star at an early age.

McKinstry was Alabama’s Mr. Football as a senior in high school, and in turn, he was rated as a five-star and four-star recruit across the board, with no national ranking lower than 27th.

The Alabama Crimson Tide has a long history of cornerback production at the professional level, and McKinstry could be the next to become a quality NFL starter.

Update: Kool-Aid McKinstry was drafted in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, who traded up to No. 41 (from the Green Bay Packers) to land the CB.

Kool-Aid McKinstry’s Draft Stock

McKinstry was a favorite to be CB1 in the 2024 NFL Draft in the summer months. Since that time, he’s gained plenty of competition, but he still profiled well as a likely first-round prospect.

As a sophomore, McKinstry took over a full-time starting CB role for the Crimson Tide, but he also took over as their primary punt returner. McKinstry earned All-SEC honors at cornerback. His 332 punt return yards ranked second in Division I, as did his 15.8-yard average.

After accumulating 15 pass breakups in 2022, McKinstry’s ball production was cut in half in 2023, coinciding with the ascent of Terrion Arnold on the other side. However, he is still a high-level 2024 NFL Draft prospect.

During a face-to-face interview with Pro Football Network, McKinstry said he brings “exactly what you want” to the 2024 NFL Draft.

“I bring hard work, I bring confidence,” McKinstry said. “I bring energy to the defensive backs group. I’m a guy who can play in any scheme, a guy who can do anything at a high level. I’m exactly what you want.”

Pro Football Network draft analyst Ian Cummings said McKinstry grades out as a top-25 prospect and a worthy first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and he’s his CB3 behind his teammate Arnold and Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell.

MORE: Ian Cummings’ Full Scouting Report on Kool-Aid McKinstry

“McKinstry is the lower-ceiling counterpart to Arnold in Alabama’s secondary, but that’s more a nod to Arnold than it is a knock to McKinstry,” Cummings wrote. “McKinstry is still a very good athlete with exceptional explosiveness and fluidity, and his short-area twitch and foot speed serve as central components of his game.

“McKinstry is ice cold — always calm and never in panic mode — an apt quality to have given his nickname. And that trend carries over in zone coverage as well. McKinstry is an adept processor who can smoothly adjust and maintain his hip leverage while managing space and tracing routes.”

Potential Day 2 Landing Spots for McKinstry

Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders are staying put, which gives them a great set of young players. After adding their next QB at No. 2 in Jayden Daniels, Washington will look to strengthen the roster.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Draft: Top 50 Best Available Prospects Remaining

The Commanders lost Kendall Fuller in free agency, and McKinstry gives them an active playmaker with some shutdown upside after falling behind Arnold.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals have a history of stocking the secondary before they need to, and McKinstry could be a solid addition. Waiting until the third round and finding a more ideal slot corner to be Mike Hilton’s replacement seems more likely, but if McKinstry falls to 49, the Bengals could end his slide.

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans have a star at cornerback in Derek Stingley Jr., but there are question marks in the depth department. Jeff Okudah has dealt with health concerns at times in his career and could be the second starter, but a high-ceiling rookie like McKinstry would likely challenge for that role.

Looking for everything you need surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft? Make sure to check out the latest draft results, overall team grades, and updated best remaining players available at every position!

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