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Tarvarus McFadden is a flawed prospect with upside worth taking a chance on

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Michigan vs Florida State Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Among cornerbacks at the Scouting Combine, nobody’s stock was hurt more than Florida State’s Tarvarus McFadden. McFadden was seen as one of the best cornerbacks in the nation heading into 2017, but failed to live up to the hype before following it up with a performance in Indianapolis that included a 4.67 40-yard dash. McFadden was able to buoy his draft stock a bit, improving his 40 time to 4.58 at the Seminoles’ pro day.

Like Holton Hill, McFadden is in the mix as a high ceiling cornerback prospect likely to be selected late on day two or early on day three. With 32 12 inch arms and a physical playing style, he resembles the style of cornerback that have found so much success with the Seattle Seahawks.


When the play is in front of McFadden and he is able to see it develop, he reacts to the quarterback well and with good anticipation. On vertical routes where McFadden has to turn his head around and find the football, it’s a different story.

McFadden will either fail to get turned around at all:

Or fail to locate the football when he does get his head turned around:


With Florida State, McFadden played both in the slot and outside, looking comfortable in both roles. One of McFadden’s best traits as an outside corner is his ability to disrupt a receiver’s path and pin them to the sideline.

McFadden’s inability to locate the football on deep routes is frustrating because he does such a great job of maintaining positioning against deep routes — the finish just isn’t there.

Here, he gets his hands into the receiver’s body, disrupts the path, stays on top and finishes with a pass breakup:


Although McFadden was putting his hands on receivers at the line of scrimmage often, he did display a couple key traits for a press corner. He’s patient at the line, waiting until the receiver gets into his pattern before opening up:

And he mirrors a receiver’s movement really well:

Ball Skills

While McFadden struggles mightily with finding the football, he does possess the length to get into a receiver’s frame and make plays on the ball. Even here, McFadden is late turning around but is able to disrupt the receiver and get a finger tip on it:

This is what the teams that like McFadden will be betting on. A damn near perfect rep, ending with a pass breakup:


Florida State used McFadden as a blitzer off the edge with some regularity. Crucially for any cornerback blitzing, he disguises and times his blitzes well, giving him a chance to get to the quarterback every time he comes. Against the run and after the catch, McFadden is eager to come up and get involved.

Overall, McFadden has the movement, length and physicality to be a solid outside cornerback at the next level, with the ability to move inside. An inability to find the football is a pretty big flaw in McFadden’s game, but he’s able to make up for it with plus length and the ability to win prior to the pass on vertical routes by re-routing his man. If McFadden falls into the draft’s third day, he will be worth the risk and could develop into an above average starter.