Rookie Profile: Kool-Aid McKinstry

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Rookie Profile: Kool-Aid McKinstry, Cornerback, New Orleans Saints

Welcome to the Rookie Profile for Kool-Aid McKinstry, a cornerback from Alabama. He is from Birmingham, AL, and was a 5-star Pinson Valley High School recruit.

Kool-Aid started his collegiate career in 2021 with Alabama. He appeared in 15 games as a freshman where he recorded 9 solo tackles, 17 assists, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 1 pass defended in a solid, unspectacular freshman season.

He took his game to the next level in 2022 as a sophomore. That season he flourished for the Crimson Tide when he totaled 29 solo tackles, 6 assists, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 15 passes defended. It was a truly electric breakout for the elite defender.

His final season in college came in 2023 as a junior where he once again put up outstanding numbers. He racked up 24 solo tackles, 8 assists, 2 tackles for loss, and 7 passes defended before declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft.


Kool-Aid McKinstry

Draft Capital & Landing Spot

Draft Capital- Round 2 Pick 9

  • McKinstry was in the group of cornerbacks that were battling for first-round draft capital. Unfortunately, he fell short and slid into the second round to the Detroit Lions. If it weren’t for a historic run on offensive players, it’s all but certain that he would have found himself going about 20 picks earlier. While this isn’t the draft capital he was hoping for, it’s still a sizeable investment in his future. That investment combined with an Alabama legacy should allow him ample opportunity to produce.

Landing Spot- New Orleans Saints

  • The Saints are paying the price for years of poor cap management. Years of chasing a Super Bowl have led to them seeing many talented defenders walk out the door. McKinstry is a perfect fit on this roster and should walk in as a rookie and immediately find himself as a starter in a depleted secondary. He is an excellent defender on the boundary and should see more than his fair share of interceptions.

Team Depth Chart

Expected Role: Starting Cornerback

New Orleans Saints IDP Depth Chart

Depth Chart via Fantasy Pros

Fantasy Impact

McKinstry joins a Saints team that has no other option than to roll with its rookies. Salary cap issues and injuries have left them severely depleted on the roster. He dealt with a foot injury that left him sidelined for periods of his final season at Alabama. If he can get a clean bill of health for the start of the season he should be a full go for Week 1.

The long-term value here is excellent as he is one of the most talented cornerbacks isn’t this rookie class. As I mentioned above, he should slot in immediately as the perimeter corner for the Saints. This role should allow him to be productive in both tackles and interceptions from day one.

Check out our 2024 Rookie Rankings Page for a full breakdown of this rookie class.

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