"My goal is to start," said McKinney, who became the fifth center in NCAA Division I-A history to start every game in a career. "I've seen my brother do it. I know it's achievable."
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound McKinney was the third center selected in the draft, after Ohio State's LeCharles Bentley and Maryland's Melvin Fowler.
McKinney saw action at both center and guard at the Senior Bowl, and showed he could do the job at either spot. He then solidified his draft status with an outstanding showing at the NFL scouting combine.
During that weekend in Indianapolis, McKinney turned in a 40-yard dash time under 5 seconds (very good for an offensive lineman) and recorded a 34-inch vertical jump.
"He was probably the most athletic of all the offensive linemen," said Dolphins vice president Rick Spielman. "He jumps at you when you watch him on film and then at the Senior Bowl he showed his versatility with the ability to play guard. At the combine, he just solidified everything he did."
While McKinney can play both guard and tackle, Coach Dave Wannstedt said he would start off at center.
A two-time All-Big 12 Conference selection, McKinney was a finalist for the Rimington Award, given to the country's top center, last year. He did not allow a sack as a senior.
Wannstedt said the selection of McKinney shouldn't be viewed as a knock on incumbent center Tim Ruddy, but rather as a quality addition for the offensive line.
"It gives us another option with some flexibility," Wannstedt said. "He's a very mature kid, a very smart kid, he's a winner, all those things fit in with the idea that with this pick we wanted to get a keeper."