Nick Falato kicks off his 2022 draft prospect ratings with a new and improved format that now includes a draft grade.
CB ROGER MCCREARY
Weight: 190 lbs.
A former three-star recruit who will be returning to his hometown for the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl. McCreary attended Williamson High School in Mobile, Alabama. He almost attended South Alabama University, located in Mobile, and plays its home games at Ladd Peebles Stadium (the longtime home of the Reese’s Senior Bowl). McCreary was the 87th ranked cornerback in the 2018 recruiting cycle.
McCreary has 135 career tackles in 42 games at Auburn. The veteran has six interceptions to his name, two of which came in his senior season. McCreary has 38 passes defended through four seasons. He had 12 in 2019 and 16 in this past year. McCreary is coming off a 42-tackle season where he returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown; the interception came on a screen pass against Alabama State.
McCreary was a dynamic offensive high school athlete at Williamson High School. He had 2,100 offensive yards, according to Auburn’s website. He was also a key member in track and basketball during high school.
Although he may land on Day 2, McCreary went from a three-star prospect to a potential first-round selection. His 2021 season earned him spots on the First team All-SEC and First-team All-American for the Associated Press and ESPN.
According to Pro Football Focus, McCreary is the 2nd overall ranked cornerback in college football. He’s tied for fourth in coverage, and he has the third most PBUs in college.
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- Good overall athletic ability for the CB position
- Twitched up athlete with good burst, COD, and short-area quickness
- Fluid hips typically help with most transitions (specifically softer angles)
- Versatile can effectively execute man or zone responsibilities
- Excellent staying in phase in man coverage
- Hangs on the near hip on horizontal breaking routes
- Can keep up with speed deep
- Rides 9-routes off red-line (uses sidelines to his advantage)
- Understands leverage in man coverage
- Read, react, and attack is great in zone
- Understands route concepts and knows how to maintain position while passing routes between zones
- Disruptive at catch point; has a knack for earning PBUs
- Very good technique to disrupt (Just like Jerome Henderson teaches)
- Above-average timing in coverage
- Good ball skills
- Excellent motor, effort, and competitive toughness
- Not scared to tackle, physical at the point of contact
- Does well to disengage WR blocks in run support
- Would contribute on special teams
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- Arm length could be an issue
- Can get grabby when out of phase, could draw flags
- Had ten penalties in the last three seasons
- Transition with 90-degree cut routes 10+ yards downfield can be better
- Aggressive press puts him behind the 8-ball against WR with solid release ability
- Can stand to be better in press
Overall, McCreary is one of the better-covering defenders in the draft. He excels with his disruptive ability, aggressive nature, and overall dual coverage ability (man and zone).
He doesn’t have the ideal length for the position, but he should hear his name called in the second round of the NFL Draft. With a strong off-season and good athletic testing, he may be able to press for the backend of the first round.