Exhibits the ability to play off blocks, be patient on the edge and make his way toward the ball. Didn't bite for nearly as many play fakes and wasn't a guy who consistently took himself out of plays like the year before. Would crash down inside occasionally and take a false step, but there was a dramatic improvement in his overall feel from year one.
Exhibits the ability to anchor when run at and for the most part does a nice job using his length and powerful hands to keep himself clean on the edge. Exhibits good suddenness and power on contact when asked to disengage and can quickly shed one-on-one and close on the football.
Possesses a good, not great, first step off the edge as a pass rusher and isn't a guy who is going to threaten the edge in the NFL. However, sits into his stance well, can keep his butt down off the snap and knows how to gain leverage on contact. Even stood up in a two-point stance at times and looks very comfortable rushing off the edge. Is a strong bull rusher who does a nice job extending his long arms into blocks, getting under opposing tackles' pad level and simply overwhelming them into the backfield.
However, it's his suddenness and short-area quickness on contact that allows him to quickly gain a step and use his length/power to fight his way up the field and get into the backfield. Really impressed with the improvement using his hands and using his length to dictate to blocks. Loves to work his powerful rip on the outside and get up the field, but has also worked on a clever spin to counter off it and looks really polished working off the edge.
Impression: Seems to have taken that next step in year two. The guy was much more clever as a pass rusher, was physical vs. the run and his combination of body control, power and athleticism makes him really tough to block off the edge. Plus, his ability to stand up and rush from a two-point stance gives him a chance to play as a potential 3-4 rush guy on teams looking for bigger backers."
Positive: Smallish yet athletic defensive line prospect with some upside. Fluid moving in every direction of the field, quickly alters his angle of attack, and plays hard until the whistle blows. Flashes speed off the edge, works his hands well, and plays with good pad level. Has a physical nature to his game, fast in all directions, and keeps his feet driving up the field. Deceptively strong and effective defending the run.
Negative: Struggles getting off blocks once engaged the point. Neither quick nor fluid moving in reverse when asked to drop off the line. Comes off a somewhat disappointing senior season.
Analysis: McPhee made a major impact in the SEC during the 2009 season and showed an array of next-level skills. He does not possess classic defensive line size, but his combination of athleticism and explosiveness gives him potential in a variety of defensive systems."
Negatives: Not overly explosive... Lacks real suddenness to his game... Not overly flexible... Does not change direction real well... Lacks overall instincts... A bit slow around the edge, can be taken out of plays when forced outside... Will not be an explosive pass rusher in the NFL... Can over pursue on run plays... Can wear down toward the end of games... Production was limited this season, did not have a sack through first 10 games... Did not take his game to another level after a very solid junior season... Only two seasons at Mississippi St., played from 2007-2008 at Itawamba Community College."
While he stars at end, he can play either outside or inside at the next level. He has decent speed and has been clocked as fast as 4.65 in the 40-yard dash, but that needs to be improved if he wants to be a starter in the NFL. Furthermore, McPhee's production--at least in 2010--is a concern. McPhee was on first-round radar screens prior to this season, and he definitely has the talent to return to such a status. However, he must finish the season much stronger than he started it before showing his stuff at the combine next spring. For now, McPhee looks like a possible third-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft."
First off, listed at 6-3, 285 pounds, McPhee doesn’t look anywhere near that heavy — looking more like he’s 270-275 — and because of it has shown impressive fluidity, balance and acceleration getting after the football this season when asked to stand up from a two-point stance. He has rushed as an outside linebacker a lot this year, moving all over the line of scrimmage creating mismatches before fending off blocks and using his power and burst to get after the passer. He’s been able to generate a lot of pressure from all angles this season, which is where his ten QB hurries come from. And with more and more 3-4 defenses wanting bigger outside linebackers who can set the edge and rush the passer, McPhee could end up being a real hot commodity come draft day. In my view, the guy’s stock hasn’t taken a hit at all in 2010."
He probably projects to a 4.3 Defensive End, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that he ends up at Flanker ~ OutSide LineBacker ~ in a 3.4 System.
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