Jerick McKinnon is an NFL running back from Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to the NFL, McKinnon started out at Sprayberry High School in Georgia. He played all over the field, including quarterback, showcasing his versatility. Outside of football, he also lettered twice for Sprayberry High School’s track and field team. Establishing himself as an all-round athlete, McKinnon was a three-star recruit, eventually choosing to attend Georgia Southern University from 2010-2013.
Initially recruited as a quarterback, McKinnon handled special teams and transitioned to playing tailback over his college career at Georgia Southern. Playing in 13 games as a sophomore, McKinnon was the only player on Georgia Southern’s roster to throw, run, and catch a touchdown that season. In the following 2012 season, McKinnon ran for 1817 yards and scored 20 total touchdowns. With a blend of speed, power, and agility, McKinnon raced to the top of Georgia Southern’s record charts, including setting a single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback, with 316 yards against Central Arkansas in 2012. He had his second straight 1000-yard rushing season as a senior in 2013, getting invited to the Senior Bowl and declaring for the NFL Draft after the season.
McKinnon’s workout metrics put him on the radar as one of the most athletic backs in the 2014 NFL Draft. He ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash, second amongst running backs in the class. He achieved the ninth-highest Athleticism score amongst backs in the class as well. The Minnesota Vikings selected McKinnon in the third round, and he played 11 games as a rookie. He finished with 538 rushing yards on 113 carries and 135 receiving yards on 27 receptions. His season unfortunately ended in December of that year due to injury and McKinnon would go on to struggle with injuries throughout his career.
After a four-year stint with the Vikings, McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million dollar contract with the San Francisco 49ers. However, his stint started off tumultuously. He suffered an ACL injury before he started with the 49ers, missing the entire 2018 season. McKinnon then suffered a setback, missing the entire 2019 season as well. He finally returned in 2020, playing in 16 games for San Francisco.
In 2021, McKinnon played for the Kansas City Chiefs, once again facing an injury-shortened season. He re-signed with the Chiefs in 2022, becoming one of Patrick Mahomes’ primary weapons. McKinnon finished with 56 receptions for 512 receiving yards, scoring a career high of 10 total touchdowns. He had 9.1 yards per reception and 5.56 yards created per touch, both top-four among running backs. McKinnon would go on to win Super Bowl LVII with Kansas City as a key part of the offense. In the late stage of his career, McKinnon profiles as a receiving back, key for catching outlet passes from his quarterback.