NFL Draft: What's at Stake for Rolando McClain at the 2010 NFL Combine

Kevin HatfieldCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2010

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 5:  Rolando McClain #25 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after Alabama's 32-13 win against the Florida Gators during the SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome on December 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Rolando McClain: 6'4", 258 lbs. Inside linebacker, Alabama, Junior 

Projected Round: First—Top 15

Teams Interested: Kansas City Chiefs (5), Denver Broncos (10), Miami Dolphins (12), New York Giants (15)

Reminds Us of: Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis


McClain is possibly the most sure-thing in the NFL Draft this year. Simply put: McClain can do it all. He has unteachable instincts on the field, and he works just as hard off the field.

Many coaches and teammates describe McClain as another defensive coordinator. He constantly teaches and coaches teammates, and he always backs it up with amazing play on the field.

McClain has ideal size—6’4”, 258 lbs.—and he knows how to use it to his advantage. Because of his length and instincts, McClain becomes an ideal zone pass-coverage linebacker.

However, McClain’s biggest strength may come in his ball-hawking tackling ability. He always seems to be around the ball, and he rarely ever misses tackles. Scouts agree that McClain is also one of the hardest working players.

He is rumored to have nine percent body fat, along with a non-stop motor on the field. When drafting Rolando McClain, teams will not only be getting a great football player, but also a great leader, teammate, and person.


Rolando McClain is one of the few players in the draft without any glaring weaknesses. Still, some scouts question his top-end speed. Many people agree that McClain will not look as impressive at the scouting combine as he does on the field because much of his game revolves around his incredible instincts.

McClain must also work on his man-to-man pass coverage. It is average at this point, but in order to become an elite middle linebacker, it will need to improve.

McClain does not have the best lateral quickness. Scouts agree it is adequate at best, but he can make up this weakness with his amazing instincts.

Lastly, McClain will need to improve his run-block-shedding. Though not often, McClain will sometimes get dominated by bigger guards. He needs to learn to stay low and shed the blockers a little better.

What We Can Expect at the Combine

McClain will look to run his 40 in the high 4.5s or low 4.6s. Either of these times would not be bad for someone who is the size of a dream defensive end. The only way McClain could seriously hurt his status running is if he would run in the 4.7s or 4.8s. This would raise a red flag for many teams considering him.

McClain should do fairly average in the bench press work out. He has very long arms, which will put him at an immediate disadvantage. Still, look for McClain to put up good numbers there.

The part where McClain should do best is the interview. Here, McClain will get to show off his immense knowledge of the game to coaches and general managers. McClain is one of the most knowledgeable prospects of all time, and this could potentially save his stock if he runs poorly.