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2021 NFL Draft Profile: Isaiah McKoy, WR, Kent State

Kent State’s top prospect in the 2021 Draft aims to be school’s first selection in 7 years.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 20 Frisco Bowl - Utah State v Kent State Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One storied Kent State wide receiver retired earlier this month. After 12 seasons with the New England Patriots, Julian Edelman rides off into the sunset as a decorated player with three Super Bowl rings, a Super Bowl MVP, and the second-place spot on the all-time postseason receptions and receiving yards lists. He was a seventh round pick, falling 232nd in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Now, another Kent State receiver follows in his footsteps: Isaiah McKoy. Although he did not play quarterback for the Golden Flashes à la Edelman, McKoy hovers around a similar position in the draft board. He aims to be the first Golden Flashes wide receiver selected out since 2009 and the first Kent State alum to hear his name called since 2014.

McKoy declared for the NFL Draft in December after his COVID-19-shortened junior season. As a freshman in 2018, he helped instate Sean Lewis’ aerial-friendly offense by catching 42 passes for 423 yards. McKoy broke out on another level in 2019, securing 56 receptions for 872 yards, and eight touchdowns while leading Kent State to its first bowl win in program history. Despite playing only four games last fall, McKoy completed his Golden Flashes’ career in stellar fashion, hauling in 25 receptions for 455 yards and five touchdowns — averaging more than 100 yards and a touchdown per contest.

He was the No. 1 wide receiver on the FBS’s top scoring offense, one which ranked 10th in passing yards per game and third in completion percentage.

McKoy presents a lethal grade of speed in his game, and the former track star possesses dangerous ability to get open downfield. The 6’2”, 200 pound receiver takes considerably long strides which allowed him to become Kent State’s go-to on streak routes. His running style can be described as the opposite of Kyler Murray — while he looks like he moves at half speed at times, his sizable strides carry him into the end zone when open field is ahead.

McKoy is a fantastic separation creator in one-on-one coverage and possesses decent strength to come down with receptions through contact. This strength also applies to run blocking, and he propelled Kent State’s rushing offense — a unit which saw considerable success outside the tackles — to second in the country in 2020.

McKoy has experience in the slot and on the boundary and can be placed anywhere on the field to benefit the offense. He also has dipped his feet into the return game, fielding eight kickoffs and one punt in his college career. The Kent State standout can further elevate his game to the next level by improving route running and preventing drops. He displays big-play potential which should improve his draft stock, and McKoy could feasibly come off the board in the sixth or seventh round. If not, he will be a priority free agent for a myriad of teams who could use his separation in man coverage.

Last time a Kent State player was involved on draft day (Dri Archer, second round pick in 2013), the college football world was transitioning from the BCS era to the College Football Playoff era. It’s been a long time coming for this program on the rise, and McKoy has the potential to continue an impressive Kent State-to-the-NFL pipeline which includes Edelman, Joshua Cribbs, James Harrison, and Jack Lambert.

And as one legend from the university departs, another under-the-radar Kent State wide receiver prepares for new beginnings and a prosperous career at the highest level.