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Gerald McRath LB 6'2 231 Southern Miss Jr. 4.61

By: Robert Davis

McRath got off to a quick start as a redshirt freshman before a knee injury ended his season. He had six tackles and a pick returned for a touchdown before the injury. He was granted a medical redshirt so he returned in 2006 as a freshman. He had a big year, finishing with 104 tackles, 11 for loss, and two sacks despite starting just nine games. McRath was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 after finishing the year with 139 tackles, 12 for loss, and 4.5 sacks on the year. He declared early for the draft after a junior year in which he tallied 137 tackles, 9.5 for loss, and 1.5 sacks.

Strengths

McRath is the prototype weakside linebacker physically. He has a lean frame but can run to the football. He is athletic and has the speed to chase down plays. He is very active on the field, and has a nose for the football. He is always around the play, no matter where the ball ends up. McRath has experience inside in college, and could play there for some teams in the NFL but projects outside for most defenses.

Weaknesses

Being a true weakside linebacker traditionally means you lack the bulk or strength to play another linebacker spot, and it holds true for McRath. He lacks the power at the point of attack to disengage from blocks, and can be driven off the ball in the running game. He will need to bulk up to play inside in the NFL, a spot where he is most comfortable.

Future

McRath is a tackling machine that will find a way to get to the football. He will not fit teams looking for a physical run stuffer or big time playmaker but he will be a consistent performer that gets to the ball carrier to make the tackle. He was impressive at the combine, showing a bit more bulk than expected along with great timing in the 40. That speed will make him attractive on draft day, and could get him taken in the second round.


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