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Raekwon McMillan Scouting Report

Raekwon McMillan

NFL

Raekwon McMillan Summary

Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan is one of the best middle linebacker prospects in this year’s draft.  He has a unique blend of size and strength that makes him look like an old-school middle linebacker.  Despite that look, McMillan has sneaky athleticism.

McMillan had an up and down college career that saw a few nagging injuries slow him a few steps in 2016. When healthy, McMillan is a top-tier inside linebacker prospect who will star against the run and hold his own in pass coverage.  His college productivity is the best in the class.

Scouting Report

Raekwon McMillan is a rare athletic talent for the linebacker position.  He weighed in at the combine at 6’2″, 240 lbs and ran an impressive 40-yard dash time of 4.61 seconds.  His combination of speed and strength is rare, even for middle linebackers.

McMillan is very good against runs at the point of attack.  He uses his good football intelligence and quick mental processing to key and diagnose runs.  He uses his active hands to disengage from offensive linemen blocking him and his stout lower body to not get driven off the point of attack.  McMillan consistently puts himself in good position to make a tackle on run plays.  When he is in position, McMillan is a sure tackler who wraps up and consistently brings runners down.

McMillan’s speed allows him to play sideline to sideline effectively versus outside runs.   He shows good ability to sift through traffic and can meet runners at the sideline.  When his feet are there, he effectively breaks down and makes tackles in open space.

McMillan has a marginal ability in zone coverage.  He does a solid job of following the quarterback’s eyes and constantly moves his feet laterally in the direction the quarterback is looking.  He is best on short passes or screens where he can doesn’t need a deep drop and can break down and make a quick tackle.

McMillan effectively uses his football intelligence when matched up in man coverage against tight ends and running backs.  While he isn’t the most explosive or sudden athlete, he uses a good knowledge of route concepts to cover both types of players.

McMillan has active hands that he utilizes to break up passes and create fumbles.  He shows a very good ability to turn his head and break up passes.  He uses his violent hands in his attempts to punch the ball out or strip the ball from ball carriers.

When blitzing, McMillan relies on his instincts to read the flow of the ball and make plays in the backfield. He is good at reading the offensive line coverage and exploiting the gaps of a pulling guard or tackle.  When he does encounter a block, McMillan uses his hands to shed the block effectively.

Against runs at the point of attack, McMillan can struggle against misdirection plays.  McMillan will freeze his steps when the offense runs counter, jet sweep, or play action.  He lacks the suddenness to beat blocks when he doesn’t quickly diagnose plays and doesn’t use his arms to keep distance between himself and linemen.

When playing the outside run, he has a tendency to lose awareness of the ball carrier when he’s getting blocked.

McMillan is not comfortable in zone coverage. He struggles to get depth into his zone and quarterbacks can easily look him off when he’s in coverage.  Average ability in man coverage against elite route runners due to his poor change of direction ability and suddenness.  Route runners easily create separation at the top of their routes.

Overall, Raekwon McMillan is one of the best linebackers in the draft.  He will best succeed as a 3-4 ILB in a system where he isn’t asked to play Zone coverage.  With some coaching and technical refinement, he has the potential to be a future Pro Bowler.

Pro Comparison

Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson

Raekwon McMillan is a physical specimen who will need some refinement to reach his ceiling in the NFL. He will thrive playing in a similar system to Avery Williamson