View Full Version : How good is McClain?

10-30-2009, 02:20 AM
I don't really follow college football a lot (I am usually working while it is on). I was wondering just how good this guy is? From the games I have seen, he looks pretty awesome. Can some of the more draft savvy guys help me out? How would he compare to, say, Patrick Willis coming out? Who would you guys compare him to?

10-30-2009, 03:36 AM
It's hard to say....because it's not comparing apples to apples.....very few teams in college run a 3-4 defense....but I'll dive into this the best I can...

I've seen a lot of great linebackers play for the Tide (and I'm only going to go back so far just for the sake of conversation).....DeMeco Ryans, Saleem Rasheed, etc.....I really thought Rasheed was going to be a nice NFL linebacker....not so much....

Bottom line....McClain is the best I've seen since Cornelius Bennett and Derrick Thomas....but it goes even further than that...

He's from right here in my home town in Decatur, AL.....and I watched him almost every Friday night when he played for DHS....and if you know his personal story off the field....he becomes even easier to pull for.....and that is an area where he and Patrick Willis are very similar in character....

McClain is obviously bigger than Patrick Willis....but he's not quite as fast....Willis ran a 4.38 at Ole Miss' pro day....and turned in a 4.49 at the combine....and that was on a partially torn ACL...

McClain came in as a true freshman and made an immediate impact on Bama's defense....earning All SEC Honors as a true freshman.....Willis played in every game as a freshman for Ole Miss and made an impact....

You have to keep in mind that McClain is still barely only halfway through his junior season....his body of work isn't complete yet....but everyone knows that he'd be crazy not to take his talent to the NFL immediately following Bama's last game this season....he's ready.....and not just from the neck down...

I had Patrick Willis pegged as the next great linebacker when I saw what he did his junior season playing through injury after injury....playing most of the season with a club on his right hand.....it was amazing to watch every week....he dominated every week in the most physical conference in the country.....with very little talent around him.....McClain has much better talent surrounding him....but McClain also has more responsibility....and has to take on pulling guards, etc.....Willis was allowed to be more active behind the 4 man front and 2 DT's in front of him....

Then Willis goes to the Senior Bowl and plays against the best offensive NFL talent that his draft class had to offer....with teammates he'd never played with before....coaches he'd never played for before....in a system he'd never played in before....and ran away with the South Team MVP by putting on an 11 solo tackle....1 forced fumble performance....

I will never get over, or understand Miami passing on what I knew was the best defensive player in the draft in favor of a 140 pound, scared kid....who was raw at everything and who's foot was in a protective boot....they passed up a Hall of Famer for a Hall of Shamer with a critical top 10 draft pick....

It's hard to really find a linebacker to compare McClain to....because there aren't any that does what he does in the college ranks.....but to me....Rolando McClain has Brian Urlacher's size and range....and I do think McClain is a little better in coverage than Willis was....but he's obviously got a lot to prove to be mentioned in the same breathe with Patrick Willis...

McClain is top 10 talent in this draft....no question....and with so many teams in the league switching to 3-4 schemes.....I think you're going to see the value of ILB's like McClain be a little higher than it's been in the past....I can't see him lasting 15 picks on draft day....

10-30-2009, 05:33 AM
He'd definitely be a good get. Nice analysis Slimm.

10-30-2009, 07:05 AM
Go get him Tuna!...PLEASE!!

And by the way, nice summary Slimm, apart from the part where you reminded me how we passed on Pat Willis for umm yeah....You know....LOL!:crazy:

10-30-2009, 07:07 AM
Also...Valandui, you can check out Rolando on youtube.

10-30-2009, 10:29 AM
Also...Valandui, you can check out Rolando on youtube.
Thanks. I saw the youtube highlight videos and was impressed. I just wanted some analysis from people who have paid more attention than I have.

10-30-2009, 11:24 AM
I'll sum it up in 4 words...He's the complete package.

10-30-2009, 12:13 PM
what really helps McClain is he plays in a 3-4 already so very little transition for him if we can get him.

He's the best LB I've seen since Willis, but I dunno if he's better. Rey Rey and Cushing from USC were/are better athletes but Cushing has healthy concerns while Rey Rey struggles playing in a system (ie, he's a freelancer so in 3-4 scheme he'd get destroyed).