Name: Raekwon McMillan
School: Ohio State
Position fit: Inside linebacker
Stats to know: His 25 stops over his last four games was the second-most among Power-5 linebackers during that stretch.
What he does best:
- Has the power to take on fullbacks in the hole
- Stays square to the line of scrimmage when pursuing to the boundary
- Works well off leverage of DT, which allows him to attack holes at the line of scrimmage
- Reads run keys well – doesn’t get fooled by misdirection, doesn’t lose gap integrity
- Wraps up extremely well. Great understanding of the strike zone
- Struggles to find targets, affect throwing lanes in zone coverage
- Almost all of his plays versus the run come unblocked. Rarely plays through blocks to finish
- Struggles to change directions against elusive ball carriers
- Does not consistently get proper depth in zone coverage
- Don’t see the speed required to consistently stay with NFL backs and TEs in coverage
- Lacks explosiveness and agility to be an effective blitzer
Player comparison: C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens
Like Mosley, McMillan is a solid run defender who can give up plays in coverage. This comparison does not apply to pass-rush ability, as Mosley has been productive in this capacity for the Ravens, while McMillan has not displayed the skill set in college needed to be effective at the next level.
McMillan looks the part physically and at times flashes the ability to stand up fullbacks in the hole, but he doesn’t consistently attack (or protect his frame) with his hands, and blockers are thus able to swallow him up off the ball. He had a number of negatively graded plays in 2016 because he did not recognize assignments in zone coverage and failed to get proper depth, and his general play against the pass at Ohio State may have some teams worried that he is just a two-down player at the next level. Teams concerned about his viability against the pass (he also shows limited burst and agility when rushing the passer) may not view him as a full-time starter in today’s game.