Mississippi State saw its first player, Preston Smith, selected 38th overall in the NFL Draft on Friday.
Five picks later, a second Bulldog was off the board as the Houston Texas took linebacker Benardrick McKinney with the 11th pick of the second round (43rd overall).
The 6-foot-4, 246-pounder is the second-highest MSU linebacker to be drafted since Johnie Cooks was taken second overall in 1982. McKinney is also the first Bulldog selected by the Texans franchise.
Houston traded a fourth and sixth round pick to the Cleveland Browns to move up and draft McKinney.
“It means a lot to me, man,” McKinney said. “They traded for me. It shows that they really wanted me and were interested in me. When I get there, I’m just going to work my heart out to be the best that I can be.”
The Tunica native attended the NFL Draft in Chicago.
McKinney chose to forgo his final season in Starkville after leading State in tackles in each of the last two years. The first team All-American started 36 of his 39 carrer games and finished with 244 tackles, 19.5 for loss, 7.5 sacks and six fumble recoveries.
As a junior, the former three-star prospect from Rosa Fort make 71 stops including eight for loss, three sacks, four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.