By Jeremy Hritz
This is our final undrafted free agent rookie profile for The Steel Study, and we saved a super-intriguing prospect for last, Isaiah McKoy out of Kent State.
At 6’2, 200 pounds, McKoy has good size, and while at Kent State, he showed a penchant for the deep ball. While his 40-yard dash time does not meet NFL standards for a wide receiver at 4.68, his play in college showcased his ability for stretching the field and hauling in the long pass, a characteristic missing from the Steelers’ deep, talented wide receiving corps. To stick with the team, McKoy will have to double down on his vertical strength, in addition to developing his overall game to prove his value as a pass catcher.
In his tenure at Kent State, McKoy steadily improved each year, increasing his output in terms of yardage and touchdowns, and had 2020 not been impacted by COVID, he would have had his best statistical season to date. This past season he caught 25 balls for 455 yards and 5 touchdowns with an 18.2 yard per reception average. And, oh yeah, he has experience as a kick returner, providing value on special teams, returning 8 kickoffs for 139 yards during his career. Should he be able to provide a combination of both consistency at the wide receiver position and productivity on special teams as a returner, McKoy could carve a niche for himself on the team.
McKoy looks natural in his stride and plays faster than his timed speed, and can quickly accelerate and get behind defenders. This enabled him to experience the success he did on the long ball, in addition to drawing pass interference calls on defenders as a result of his ability to stress and beat coverage. However, there were times he was as handy as defenders and drew OPI calls, hurting offensive drives as a result.
On the flip side, McKoy must develop his concentration, as he was hampered by drops in college. Additionally, he must improve his consistency in all areas of his game, including blocking and show he can bring it from start to finish in every contest. Under the coaching and mentorship of the Steelers staff, he will have elite resources at his disposal to ameliorate these areas for improvement, as the team’s track record with wide receivers is unquestionable.
The Steelers have had success with UDRFAs out of Kent State (see James Harrison), and while I’m not arguing that McKoy will be the wide receiver equivalent of one of the most revered Steelers defenders in history, he does offer some promise and excitement in what he could possibly deliver to the team. You can’t always put stock in testing times, as the game film is the true indicator of what a player can do. And based on what McKoy has put on tape, it’s easy to see why he will be in Steelers training camp.