Raekwon McMillan 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position
: Inside linebacker
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 243 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.61 seconds (third among linebackers)
Bench press: 23 reps (tied for fifth among linebackers)
Vertical jump: 33 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 1 inch
Three-cone drill: 7.15 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.39 seconds
60-yard shuttle: 11.84 seconds (tied for fifth among linebackers)

Raekwon McMillan 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Ohio State football has a long-standing tradition of producing standout players in the linebacking corps. Names such as Darron Lee, Ryan Shazier and A.J. Hawk immediately come to mind among Buckeye fans. Those three have made or are currently making their mark at the next level, and Raekwon McMillan hopes to follow in their footsteps.

McMillan came to Columbus amid much fanfare. Out of high school, he rated as the top middle linebacker in the country and the 19th overall prospect according to Rivals.com. His accolades before arriving at OSU included winning the high school Butkus Award in 2013. And suffice it to say his three seasons in Scarlet and Gray lived up to expectations.

Though he functioned as more of a depth player behind Doran Grant as a true freshman, McMillan still played his part on a team that won the inaugural College Football Playoff. In nine games, he saw more snaps than Grant and took part in 573 total plays including 102 on special teams. He also returned an interception for a touchdown against Maryland.

McMillan truly realized his potential over the next two seasons. He led the team with a combined 221 tackles when taking into account both years, a total which was second in the Big Ten during that time. He also added 3.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, nine pass break-ups and a fumble recovery. His final year in a Buckeye uniform saw him earn second team all-American honors and a spot on the all-Big Ten first team.

Strengths

  • thick, muscular build ideal for the position.
  • takes optimum pursuit angles towards his target.
  • possesses great instincts in anticipating how a play develops.
  • high motor competitor who covers an immense amount of ground.
  • doesn’t need to sack the quarterback to be an effective interior pass rusher.
  • can overwhelm blockers at the point of attack with his upper body strength.
  • proved to be a highly durable player in college.

Weaknesses

  • gets held up on initial block at times, leading to missed tackle opportunities.
  • has a tendency to use more arms than body when making tackles.
  • can get caught flat-footed on running back counter moves to the outside.
  • needs to expand coverage ability to more than just zone schemes.
  • could use a little extra fluidity in lower body.

NFL Comparison: Bobby Wagner

Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins

Projection: early to middle second round

Bottom Line

McMillan currently projects as one of the top middle linebacker prospects in this year’s draft. The comparison to Wagner stems from their similar builds, top notch on-field instincts and the fact McMillan looks to be a mid-second day selection. His athleticism and versatility make him a solid fit for a SAM (strong-side) role in a 4-3 scheme. Though he’ll need to show improvement in his man coverage ability, especially against athletic tight ends, McMillan has the skill set necessary to become a regular starter in this league.

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