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Getting to know the Steelers 2021 UDFAs: Isaiah McKoy

The former Kent State Golden Flash only had four games to showcase his skills in 2020.

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

After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected nine players in the 2021 NFL draft, they continued to adding to the roster with eight undrafted free agents. With many draft profiles focusing on those players towards the top and middle of the NFL draft, it is time to get to take a look at these other members of the Pittsburgh Steelers who will have just as much opportunity to make the roster in 2021 as those who were selected in the draft, despite the more difficult path.

Remember, some draft profiles for these players are quite harsh as they are looking at them as a draftable prospect. Taking a flyer on an UDFA is a completely different story as many times the potential the player shows is what lands them on an NFL offseason roster.

Next on the list is wide receiver Isaiah McKoy.


Isaiah McKoy

Wide Receiver
Junior
Kent State
6’3” 200 lbs

In three seasons at Kent State, Isaiah McKoy had 123 receptions for 1,750 yards and 16 touchdowns. This came in only 24 games. With the MAC having major issues with holding much of its 2020 season, Kent State only played four games. With 25 receptions for 455 yards and five touchdowns over those four games, McKoy decided to take his chances and enter the NFL draft after only three seasons.


Current Steelers at the position:

Wide Receiver

  1. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  2. Diontae Johnson
  3. Chase Claypool
  4. James Washington
  5. Ray-Ray McCloud
  6. Anthony Johnson
  7. Cody White
  8. Tyler Simmons
  9. Matthew Sexton
  10. Isaiah McKoy
  11. Ricco Bussey

Draft Profiles:

Here is a recent breakdown following the 2020 season from NFL.com:

Overview

There can be no doubting the smooth, striding deep-ball talent McKoy brings to the table, but his lack of true top-end speed and explosiveness will hurt his draft stock. He consistently found a way around coverage in his conference and stepped up the competitive juices when matched up with Auburn’s neighborhood bully, Noah Igbinoghene, in 2019. However, he still managed to have the same number of drops as touchdowns during his time in school. While he can work on his hands, his issues with deep-ball tracking could be a long-term concern. He must improve his route-running and become a more viable target as a possession receiver to have a chance to make a roster.

Strengths

Former anchor of his high school’s 4x100 relay team.

Finds gas pedal and quickly tears into coverage cushion.

Long strider with smooth gait.

Stride length never changes through the stem.

Subtle hand fighting to separate and stack the cornerback.

Competed hard and caught long touchdown versus 2020 first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene in 2019.

Agility to become more proficient with his routes.

Threat of long ball opens easy catches underneath.

Forced multiple pass interference penalties against Buffalo.

Weaknesses

Will have to be taught more proficient press release.

Needs to hit the weight room and add play strength.

Lacks salesmanship to manipulate coverage.

Hears footsteps and loses focus in the middle of the field.

Deep-ball tracking is filled with uncertainty.

Gave away easy touchdowns with drops.

Picks and chooses when to involve himself as run blocker.

Needs to eliminate unnecessary holds and offensive interference penalties.

Here is another breakdown courtesy of si.com:

Overview:

One of the few Golden Flashes who backs the name up, McKoy has adequate long speed for his size and he was able to use it regularly to threaten MAC defenses. He has an excellent variety of moves along his routes and he does a good job of constantly changing tempos and angles to make defensive backs think instead of react. He seems fairly twitched up with his movements around the line, although that does tend to dip once he has to begin making adjustments after building up speed. McKoy’s routes are fanciful but there is quite a bit of wasted movement that will hurt him against disciplined corners who won’t bite. McKoy’s passive style of playing the ball and lack of ability after the catch hurt his projection and those limitations put him into a peculiar category for how he can be used. If he improves his hands and ability to create separation out of the break point, he could be a valuable asset in the league. For now he’s a developmental player who checks fewer boxes than desired.

Background:

Raised in Brooklyn, New York and also lived in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Three star recruit according to 247Sports. Communications major. Started 8 of 11 games played as a freshman. Played in 11 games as a sophomore. Declared for the NFL Draft with one year of traditional eligibility remaining.

Finally, here is on last breakdown of McKoy from thedraftnetwork.com:

PROSPECT SUMMARY – ISAIAH MCKOY

Kent State wide receiver Isaiah McKoy is a vertical threat who wins most consistently on deep shots up the field. He’s got a big frame, long strides, and when he’s picked up the flight of the ball in the air, he subsequently does well to track the ball over his shoulder. McKoy was also sparingly utilized in designed screen game to the boundary, but he will not be as effective there in the pros on account of his long strides and a lack of lateral agility. While McKoy does track the ball well in the air, he does have some issues with securing the football consistently at the catch point without double catches or drops—which is something to monitor as he looks to find his pro footing. In all, McKoy does not profile as someone with a high ceiling as a special teamer, so he will need to impress quickly to command early reps and an active roster spot as a downfield target.

Ideal Role: Developmental Z receiver.

Scheme Fit: Vertical passing offense.


Film:

To finish off the breakdown of Isaiah McKoy, no evaluation is complete without film:

(WARNING: Audio could contain explicit material)


Previous Breakdowns: