Takkarist Jaune McKinley was born on November 2, 1995 in Richmond, CA where he graduated from Kennedy High School. Due to academic issues, he enrolled at Contra Costa College and appeared in 10 games as a freshman on his way to earn first-team All-Bay Valley Conference honors. He recorded 33 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, three pass breakups and one forced fumble. He transferred to UCLA the following year and started one of 10 games as a sophomore, finishing the year with six tackles, 3.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He assumed the starting role as a junior at defensive end, starting 12 of 13 games. He finished the year with 35 tackles, 7.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one blocked kick and a single punt return for 32 yards. As a senior he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors while starting all 11 games. He finished the year with career-highs of 61 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He also had six pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He was originally selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round (26th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Signed by Atlanta Falcons on May 11, 2017.
Signed a four-year deal worth $10,216,530 with the Falcons. Deal includes a $5,570,204 signing bonus and $7,893,367 guaranteed, factoring in his signing bonus and base salaries in 2018 and 2019. He will have base salaries of: $465,000 (2017); $929,388 (2018); $1,393,775 (2019); and $1,858,163 (2020). His cap hits will be: $1,857,551 (2017); $2,321,939 (2018); $2,786,326 (2019); and $3,250,714 (2020).