2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect:  Raekwon McMillan


   

School:          Ohio State
Ht:  6'2"       Wt:  243
Eligibility:      JR
Uniform:       #5
Position:      LB







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Scouting a prospect is not always as easy as watching what he does in his role on his college team. Most prospects play a position that they are best suited to play at the NFL level too. McMillan is a guy that is most likely playing out of position in college. At Ohio State, he plays middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme and does an admirable job at it. Still, if that were going to be his position in the NFL, he would likely be an early day three pick at best. Where I think he has more potential is as a strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 or a Mike linebacker in a 3-4. Because of that, I rarely get to see the skills I think he can excel with at the next level.


McMillan is a physically imposing player with the ability to get even stronger if he wants. He has good instincts against the run and usually plays very physical. My biggest issue with McMillan is middle linebackers need to be able to run sideline-to-sideline, which is not his strength. He has marginal speed and is a much better player going north and south than he is in pursuit to the sideline. When the ball is run at him, and he steps into the hole, he is not only a great tackler but also attacks blocks without giving up much ground. That is why I see him more as a strong-side linebacker in a 4-3. He can always be that aggressive player at the point of attack. That is also a trait that the Mike in a 3-4 displays. The Mo linebacker is usually more of the pursuit player, while the Mike is the aggressive guy that takes on blocks and fills the gap. The only area he could improve here is if he could get better with his hands to disengage blockers quickly.

As a finisher, I like McMillan a lot. When he closes in on a ball carrier, he punishes them. He wraps up well and is relentless in getting them to the ground. He is built extremely well, and he brings that power with him as a tackler. These skills will also help him on special teams where he can be an asset as both a blocker and a tackler.


Space is not his best friend. Whether as an open-field tackler or in coverage, he just doesn't have that initial explosion that gives him the advantage to make plays in this area. That really makes me wonder if he can truly play on most third downs at the next level. He does occasionally get used as an edge-rusher or on the blitz, but outside of that, I am not sure what he gives you. He isn't going to be able to matchup against backs or tight ends either.

Overall, McMillan has great make-up as a person. He works hard and appears to be a humble young man. He is very coachable and displays leadership tendencies as well. I know I have listed a number of things he doesn't do well but once again, he doesn't need to be expected to do those things by any team that picks him. He is a player that should play in the base defense whether it's as a strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 or a Mike linebacker in a 3-4. On passing downs, he should come off the field. That may drop his value a bit among scouts, but the added value is a starting-caliber player that plays on every single special teams unit because he isn't a full-time player in your defense. That is what he gives you, and in my opinion, that boosts his stock into the day-two range.

Compares to (Current NFL Player): DeAndre Levy (Detroit Lions) or Blake Martinez (Green Bay Packers)

Strengths
- Powerful at the point of attack
- Strong wrap-up tackler
- Good instincts
- Terrific character
- Solid build to withstand punishment

Weaknesses
- Doesn't have much to offer on third down
- Lacks the first-step quickness to be effective in the open field
- Less-than-desirable speed for the position
- Needs to improve handwork to disengage


Austin Smith
Austinjs14@aol.com
December 30, 2016



Articles/Links
1)   How a recruiting trip to Clemson brought Raekwon McMillan and Jalyn Holmes to Ohio State   - Cleveland.com
2)   Why Raekwon McMillan is the perfect Ohio State Buckeye - almost: Doug Lesmerises   - Cleveland.com
3)   Ohio State football | Raekwon McMillan still trying to tackle expectations    - ColumbusDispatch.Com
4)   Raekwon McMillan Twitter
5)   Raekwon McMillan Instagram





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