Scouting on DT Clinton McDonald, Part II

Joe Goodberry of Cincy Jungle was gracious enough to share his scouting report on the Seahawks' new defensive tackle Clinton McDonald yesterday, but I wanted to bring you another perspective. Derek Stephens runs The Blue Bird Herd, scouts for Lindy's, works with Rob Rang on other projects, and I respect his opinion highly so I was stoked to find out that he had a detailed scouting report on McDonald that included updated notes on his time in Cincinnati. Here's what Derek had on the player the Seahawks got in exchange for Kelly Jennings, Clinton McDonald:

Strengths:

Thick, powerful lower body and compact frame. Explodes off the snap with consistently low pad levels. Flexible hips and low center of gravity enable him to get into the chest of his opponent and gain leverage to knock him off balance or turn a tight corner around him.

Powerful punch to create space right off the snap. Possesses a powerful rip and impressive upper body strength to throw much bigger, heavier blockers off the line completely. Extremely high motor. Quick hands and good use of arm extension to disengage and close. Consistently plays through the whistle.

Good vision to spot runner in the backfield and maintain target while fighting off taller, bigger linemen. Can anchor well enough to play as a run-stuffing nose tackle, but possesses the quickness and motor to get up field from the 3 Technique spot as a pass rusher.

Weaknesses:

Not the biggest guy on the line, and doesn't have ideal nose tackle size. Can be overshadowed by taller O-linemen and erased completely when he doesn't get off the snap quickly. Inconsistent get-off leaves him having to simply hold position rather than advance up field at times.

Will stop moving his feet laterally on crash plays or runs to the outside, and will angle late to the ball carrier leaving him out of the play completely. Doesn't anticipate interior run consistently and will often get his arms out too late to be a factor in shutting lanes.

Doesn't use his punch enough, and tries to bull rush more than he should given his quickness and impressive spin move.

Opinion:

McDonald possesses burst, explosiveness, power and quickness to be a pass-rushing threat from the inside. He has several tools that he doesn't use enough, and needs to be more consistent coming off the line, but given the high-motor, he should be able to improve and be a consistent contributor at the NFL level.

Some upside to work with.

Pretty positive report to go along with Goodberry's take. Overall, though expectations should be tempered, McDonald is an intriguing player that could have and play a specific role on the Seahawks: rushing the passer on passing downs. If he can use his skills effectively to get to the quarterback on 10-20 snaps a game, he'd be a huge steal considering it's likely we were just going to cut Kelly Jennings anyway. As Goodberry pointed out in the last report, McDonald had been the toast of Bengals camp this season, racking up eight tackles and one tackle for a loss against the Lions in preseason week one.

Thanks again to Derek and Joe for the scouting reports, much appreciated. 

 


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