With the 26th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Takkarist McKinley officially became an Atlanta Falcon, but the linebacker out of UCLA has another affiliation in the NFC South.
McKinley is a lifelong Carolina Panthers fan, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch spoke to McKinley in November about the linebacker’s affinity for the Panthers and the possibility of playing with his football idols.
“My uncle always (asks) me, ‘How would you feel about tackling (Panthers’ quarterback) Cam Newton?’ ” McKinley said according to the Los Angeles Times. “I tell him, ‘I just couldn’t do it.’ … I would just let him score, to be honest with you.”
Bolch writes McKinley then laughed and said, “I’m just messing with you... I wouldn’t do that.”
The Falcons are scheduled play the Panthers on Nov. 5 and Dec. 31 this season giving McKinley plenty of time to prove he was, in fact, joking.
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