2022 NFL draft scouting report: Auburn CB Roger McCreary

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Auburn CB Roger McCreary

5-foot-11
190 pounds

Yahoo Sports' 2022 NFL draft grade

5.83 — possible second-rounder; starter potential

TL;DR scouting report

Short-armed, highly experienced corner with toughness and a nose for the ball, but his short arms are considered a notable hindrance

The skinny

A 3-star Rivals recruit in the Class of 2018 as an "athlete," McCreary chose the Tigers over North Carolina State and other programs. He played in seven games as a true freshman in 2018, making five tackles and one pass breakup. McCreary saw action in 13 games (one start) in 2019, making 36 tackles (one for a loss), one interception, 12 pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

In 2020, he started all 10 games and accumulated 45 tackles (seven for losses), three INTs, nine passes defended and one forced fumble. McCreary returned for his senior season, with 49 tackles (two for losses), one sack, two interceptions, 16 PDs and one fumble recovery. He competed at the Senior Bowl in his hometown of Mobile, Ala.

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Roger McCreary #23 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after a play against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 18, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Roger McCreary #23 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after a play against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 18, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Upside

  • Plays bigger than his size — good play strength and toughness

  • Effective in press coverage vs. smaller receivers — likes to play bully ball

  • Plants and drives well on balls thrown in front of him

  • Good movement skills to react to receivers' break points

  • Aggressive hands at the catch point — several late breakups on tape

  • Good one-on-one battles with Penn State's Jahan Dotson, Bama's Jameson Williams/John Metchie

  • Patterned history of making plays on the ball

  • Playmaking cranked up late in 2021 — 11 PDs in final six outings

  • Nice instincts to locate the ball late in man coverage

  • Effective and comfortable in press and off-man

  • Highly experienced man corner who faced battery of talented receivers for three-plus years

  • Showed some "cat" blitzing talent late last season

  • Solid tackler who typically takes down his man — and can bring some pop

  • Issued first-round grade prior to senior season by Blesto scouting

Downside

  • Disappointing NFL combine testing — poor numbers in 20-yard shuttle, broad/vertical jump

  • Shorter corners who run average 40s (4.5) don't often have long careers

  • Very short arms — 29 7/8 inches is as small a number you'll see at CB

  • Arm length makes press a tougher ask vs. certain bigger receivers

  • Can get "Mossed" at catch point by longer receivers

  • Late recovery speed appears average

  • Lacks spatial awareness in zone at times (see Penn State game)

  • Might be best-suited to play inside in the NFL

  • Only 105 snaps of slot duty in college career

Best-suited destination

McCreary looks most comfortable in man coverage, we believe, although teams that play a large volume of press might want to consider trying him inside to see how he holds up there. Once shorter corners lose a step, they're in trouble, but McCreary has enough ball skills, instincts and toughness to take a shot on.

Did you know

McCreary told Yahoo Sports that his two toughest matchups in college were Metchie and LSU's Ja'Marr Chase. Read more about McCreary's impressive work in his first college start vs. Chase as a sophomore during LSU's undefeated season.

Player comp

Byron Murphy

Expected draft range

Second round.