Non-position specific categories
Linebacker Specific Categories
Very good instincts. Reads and reacts quickly to the ball. Flows well to the outside. Outstanding lateral movement. Uses his hands well to keep blockers at bay and/or get off blocks. Sure tackler. Sniffs out the screen pass as well as any linebacker I’ve seen. Does a nice job reading the QBs eyes in coverage. Gets his hands up when passes are in the air. Very smart player and was the unquestioned leader of the best defense in college football for 2009. Does a nice job cleaning things up when runners are contacted. Has all the physical tools you look for in a linebacker. Decent range. Does a nice job getting through crowds to get to the ball carrier.
Can get high in his tackles sometimes and will try to use his arms to drag the runner down. Lower body strength could improve. Motor runs cool at times in certain game scenarios. Not frequently a big time hitter, but will deliver a strike when given the opportunity. Needs to do a better job of keeping blockers from getting to his legs. Has all the tools, but there is room for improvement. Can get sucked in on play actions or misdirections at times.
McClain is a very smart player with all the physical tools. Also played on one of the few 3-4 defenses in college football, giving him a huge advantage in the draft. McClain produced at a high level at all times with Alabama, which plays in arguably the toughest conference in college football. Nick Saban’s defense isn’t vanilla, so McClain has the aptitude to comprehend any NFL scheme. Not only does he have the tools, but McClain also probably hasn’t topped out in his abilities yet. There is room for improvement in his skill set, but is still unquestioned top inside linebacker in the draft. Recently revealed that he suffers from Chrons Disease, but this should not affect his play or draft stock.
Played in all 13 games as a freshman, starting 8. Started every game as a sophomore and junior.
Awards and Honors
2009: First team All-American. First team All-SEC. Dick Butkus and Jack Lambert Award winner. SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
2008: Finalist for the 2008 Butkus Award. Third-team All-American by the Associated Press. First-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press, Sporting News, SEC coaches and Phil Steele.
2007: First team Freshman All-SEC selection by league coaches. First-team Sporting News Freshman All-American.
Unknown major at Alabama.
Minor injuries in offseason motorcycle accident in 2008. Never missed a game due to injury.
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