HEIGHT: 6'1 1/8"
HAND: 9 1/2"
ARM: 31 1/4"
WINGSPAN: 6'2 3/4"
40-YARD DASH: DNP
— Scrappy, physical player. Willing to play tight to his DL and bring some energy against blockers.
— Disciplined against the run between the tackles. Sees through traffic well and does not run himself out of plays.
— Above-average burst out of his stance and in short areas. Functions well in the box.
— Positional flexibility. Can play on the edge a little bit, mostly on run downs, and set the edge.
— Shows decent bend and burst off the edge for someone who is naturally an LB.
— Reliable tackler. Brings solid technique and strength.
— Poor speed. Struggles to get to the edge and often has to take high angles to even keep himself involved.
— Trigger wavers on plays attacking the edge. Plays unsure of his ability to fire through gaps and take quality angles.
— Short arms hinder how well he can take on blocks. Often resorts to ducking his head and shoulders, producing inconsistent results.
— Coverage responsibilities must be limited to basic underneath zone responsibilities. Cannot run with RBs or vertically up the seam.
12 G, 77 TOT, 15.5 TFL, 6.5 SK, 3 PD, 1 FR, 1 FF
— 3-star recruit in 2018.
— Three-year starter.
— 2021 second-team All-Big Ten, 2020 first-team All-Big Ten, and 2020 third-team All-American.
Micah McFadden will be a nice Day 3 addition for defenses looking to get tougher in the box.
McFadden brings good bulk to the position at 6'1" and 240 pounds. True to his frame, he loves to play scrappy in the box and is willing to hit blockers and ball-carriers between the tackles.
McFadden also plays tight to his blocks and condenses rushing lanes as much as possible, both clouding a running back's vision and making it difficult for them to squeeze past the second level. He plays with good burst out of his stance, too, allowing him to beat blockers to their spot with consistency.
McFadden's primary issue in the box is his short arms, which often makes it difficult for him to take on blocks with good technique. As such, he tends to duck and lower his head upon contact, breeding up-and-down results with block destruction despite his strength and physicality.
The added value with McFadden is he can play on the edge a bit. He has the bulk and strength to set the edge fairly well. As a pass-rusher, McFadden is more useful as a looper and moving piece, but he does flash decent bend and tenacity for someone who more traditionally plays off the ball. In particular packages, even near the goal line, he can have some value here.
However, McFadden's play in space will be a concern in the NFL. He does not have legit sideline-to-sideline speed, and he plays as though he knows that.
Whenever plays immediately go to the perimeter, McFadden tends to be more hesitant to trigger and often has to take high angles to ensure he meets the ball-carrier at some point, rather than taking a sharp angle and risking getting run by. Those mobility issues bleed into his coverage abilities, largely limiting him to underneath zone coverages that do not ask him to cover a ton of ground and allow him to play top-down.
McFadden fits best as a 3-4 inside linebacker who can flex down to the edge in particular packages. He can be a stable depth player who may help a defense "save" a roster spot in the linebacker room with some of the versatility he provides as an edge piece.
GRADE: 6.1 (High-level Developmental Prospect - 5th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 217
POSITION RANK: LB21
PRO COMPARISON: Micah Kiser
Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen