The Florida State defensive line has more talent than many entire teams. As many as five Seminole linemen could be selected in the 2013 NFL draft. Anthony McCloud might not be the biggest name of the bunch, but he's a part of the group. It's safe to assume McCloud isn't exactly equal to Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, but he isn't an unknown either.
McCloud is a strong defender who displays great upper-body strength. McCloud is great at using leverage to his advantage. He is able to drive offensive linemen backward, and he excels at holding his own ground. McCloud is capable of getting momentum behind him and breaking up plays in the backfield.
McCloud is extremely limited, athletically. He struggles to move side-to-side, and his initial burst is well-below average.
He is not much of a threat to rush the passer, and he struggles to gain penetration against the run. When McCloud is in position to make a play, he often fails to shred blocks and come up with a tackle. Despite his strength and ability to gain leverage, McCloud often ends up on the ground due to a lack of balance.
At 6'2", 305 pounds, McCloud isn't overly big. He lacks length, and he doesn't have the most solid build ever. As an athlete, McCloud is limited. He lacks burst, agility and closing speed, limiting his ability to make an impact behind or around the line of scrimmage. McCloud does show considerable strength, though.
There is limited information available about McCloud's character. He has never been arrested, though, and there are no negative reports to find. Often, when it comes to character, no news is good news.
At Florida State, McCloud primarily played the 1-technique position. However, he would also play the 3-technique, and at times, 1-technique. McCloud's primary responsible was to hold blockers and two gap, but he was occasionally asked to penetrate.
Few defensive tackles are as limited at rushing the passer as McCloud is. His first step is dreadful, and it takes far too long for him to build momentum. McCloud's lack of quickness is also concerning. He is unable to beat offensive guards by moving sideways, and he lacks any pass-rush moves.
On occasion, McCloud will use his strength to bullrush a guard into the backfield. McCloud is good at playing low and gaining leverage. This, combined with his natural strength, can be an asset in overpowering offensive linemen.
It's difficult to imagine McCloud ever being a viable pass-rusher. However, a few adjustments could make a big difference. If McCloud were more active with his hands, he could better utilize his strength to make plays on the quarterback.
Against the Run
This is what makes McCloud a prospect. McCloud uses his natural strength and ability to gain leverage to clog up the run game. Though he will occasionally use his strength and leverage to drive offensive linemen into the backfield, McCloud typically simply doesn't give way. He may not get much push, but he generally won't give in either.
McCloud's lack of balance is concerning. He's a top-heavy waist-bender, and this leads to him often hitting the ground, even when he may not have been overpowered. McCloud's lack of athleticism also keeps him from penetrating and making many plays in the backfield.
Even when McCloud is able to use his strength to position himself for a play, he is often unable to shred a block. McCloud's inactive hands and lack of athleticism are both detrimental here. His short arms don't help either.
McCloud has no problem wrapping up an offensive player. He is strong enough and uses good enough technique to make a tackle. The bigger problem occurs when McCloud can't shred the block to put himself in position to make a play.
Use of Hands
McCloud rarely uses his hands. They don't extend particularly far, and they don't move all that much either. When he does use his hands, McCloud can pack a pretty strong punch, but this happens far too scarcely.
Scheme Versatility/Future Role
McCloud's best role is probably as a 1-technique in a 4-3 defense. He could possibly play nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme, but he probably isn't big or strong enough to really work there. There is next to no chance that McCloud could play 3- or 5-technique due to his lack of athleticism.