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Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary has the kind of story that one can't help but like. 

From the Mobile area, he was a three-sport standout at Williamson High, with basketball and track being the others. He was good in all three, but wasn't considered a top prospect. 

Even after notching eight interceptions and more than 100 tackles as a senior, plus more than 2,100 offensive yards for Coach Dedrick Sumpter. That was good enough to make him a first-team Class 5A all-state selection, yet he  still hardly made a dent in recruiting services. 

At 5-11 and about 160 pounds, McCreary was thought to be too small for the top schools. The recruiting services at the tie considered him a three-star prospect who was registered as an athlete, without a true position to play. 

He just wanted a chance.

Auburn finally gave him one and McCreary made the most of it, to the point that he even held off on the NFL last year to both graduate and improve his draft stock. 

He's now considered one of the best cornerbacks in the college football and could be selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. 

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Roger McCreary

Jersey: No. 23
Position: Cornerback
Height: 5-11.6
Weight: 187
DOB: February 10
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
High School: Williamson

Pros

A feisty cornerback who won’t back down from a battle, McCreary possesses great hip fluidity and good change of direction to stick with receivers at the top of routes. He has experience in press, off-man, cover-two and deep thirds. Consistently establishing contact with opponents later in routes, he also does a good job bumping wideouts in zone to prevent them from having free access to the field. In press, he is patient, winning reps at the line when he can and rerouting receivers to the sideline from inside leverage. McCreary is an above-average tackler who gets the job done in space, aiming for the hips and hanging on. He works towards gaining outside leverage in the run game. Occasionally, he makes excellent plays, anticipating routes and breaking on passes to come away with interceptions.

Cons

Average long speed allows fast receivers to get on top and stack him. McCreary is not twitchy, costing him recovery ability. Wideouts can set him up with jabs and hesitations. Lacking length prevents him from making a play on the ball at times. Inconsistent ball tracking causes him to get beat out at the catch point as he finds himself in bad positions. McCreary has mental lapses which are especially costly in the red zone. He is not aggressive coming downhill in the run game.

Summary

Fluid cornerback with short arms and feisty nature. McCreary is best in press-man where he is patient and physical. He is an average athlete and has mental lapses at times. McCreary projects as a quality backup who can become a starter with the versatility to play as a nickel cornerback. He has to iron out his mistakes and break on the football instinctually with more consistency. Even if he reaches his potential he will likely be limited to being a second cornerback on a depth chart.

Grades

7.6 (current value)/8.1 (potential value)

BamaCentral Analysis 

Though Auburn has shifted to more zone coverage under defensive coordinator Derek Mason, McCreary has had a really solid season and already accepted an invitation to participate in the Senior Bowl. He had a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown against Alabama State, and then another pick the next week at Penn State. To go with the two picks he's made 42 tackles, of which 35 were solo. He's also broken up 10 passes and recovered a fumble. The Bednarik Award semifinalist leads the SEC and is tied for 10th nationally with 1.09 passes defended per game. With 34 career passes broken up, McCreary is seventh among Auburn players since 1996. The leader in that group is 2004 Thorpe Award winner Carlos Rogers (40 from 2001-04). During last year's game he had six tackles, one for a loss and a quarterback hurry. 

All this week, BamaCentral will profile numerous Auburn players as the Crimson Tide prepares to face the Tigers in the Iron Bowl. Also check out NFL Draft Bible for more evaluations.

DL Derick Hall 

Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary has the kind of story that one can't help but like. 

From the Mobile area, he was a three-sport standout at Williamson High, with basketball and track being the others. He was good in all three, but wasn't considered a top prospect. 

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