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Auburn CB Roger McCreary
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
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.
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
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
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.
Expected draft range