A herbal leader that the defense as soon as he to be on the field

The son of a previous Ohio State captain, Mike McCray was born right into Buckeye football. Despite being named defensive Player the the Year and also an Under armour All-American high institution player in Ohio, McCray wasn’t readily available by Ohio State. Instead, he observed his ideal fit at competitor Michigan. There, the fifth-year senior grew into a fertile two-year starter on some of the best defenses in the country. McCray was named team captain this past year in 2017, after ~ the 2016 defense had 8 football player selected in the NFL Draft. Coached by legendary defensive coordinator Don Brown, McCray post back-to-back seasons with 73+ tackles, 13.5+ tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks.

You are watching: Mccray, mike michigan nfl draft profile

Read/React Ability

Reads Down/Down but with the external rush McCray fills B space inside that the puller. I love just how he concerns balance right at the L.O.S, stays clear of the blocker and wraps the round carrier. Pic.twitter.com/kb5B8IMNRI

— Brad Kelly (
BradKelly17) November 10, 2017

McCray has consistently gained on his keys faster than various other Michigan linebackers end the last two years. The reads the violation well and also plays downhill, through the awareness that the line of scrimmage the you favor to see out of stand-up linebackers. McCray comes downhill with speed and brings a great amount the power, and also understands his run fits and gap exchanges. He has no wasted movements when comes downhill, and plays ideal at the heat of scrimmage to not more open up running gaps. McCray does a an excellent job of collection his feet at the heat of scrimmage and also has the size to host up in gaps. He it s okay lateral under the heat of scrimmage when necessary and also doesn’t lose ground or take beatable angles towards the sideline. His prowess as a downhill linebacker resulted in his 16 tackles because that loss this past season. While that is much more of a “traditional” linebacker rather of the sideline-to-sideline burners that are coming to be increasingly popular, versus heavier sets his sound run defense will certainly be a distinct advantage.

Went earlier to look in ~ why I favored Mike McCray together a possibility so much in the summer. Vs Ohio State (2016) film: Reads Down/Down, Taco squeezes into the B gap and also McCray void exchanges to the C. Patience renders the alternative read cloudy. Pic.twitter.com/G4yFtpWYG1

— Brad Kelly (
BradKelly17) November 10, 2017

Pass Rush

McCray is adept as a blitzer, and has presented the ability to rush through decent bend and a dip-and-rip move. He no the most flexible athlete, but he brings decent power and a high motor in a relentless search of the quarterback. While he no explosive or bendy enough to be an sheet rusher, he is an excellent enough as a blitzer native depth and can wrap about the edge at a decent pace. His downhill pat style and also motor could keep the on the ar on third downs as part of a push package.

3rd and 6, 12:50 come play v his team increase by 3. McCray comes on the blitz, dips and rips, gets lateral and wraps. Terrific play in a clutch moment. Pic.twitter.com/RWZT0Ev350

— Brad Kelly (
BradKelly17) November 10, 2017

Pass Coverage

While McCray no a superior athlete to any type of running backs or chop ends, he is occurring as a covering man. Man-to-man coverage no a strong suit, however his motor normally keeps the trailing closely behind potential receivers. Versus Penn State, McCray took part questionable angle in his pass drops, even getting shed by Saquon Barkley for some large plays. However, together the season progressed, McCray’s path came to be faster and also deeper, and also he did a an excellent job of continuing to be on optimal of receivers. In zone coverage, he is feverishly trying to find crossers and also does a quite nice task reacting to them.

In man coverage, continues to be on height of his course to no get captured in the wash and also protect the sticks. He breaks on the underneath route instantly on the throw and also rallies come the sphere carrier. Pic.twitter.com/dbMIE4gGZv

— NFL breeze Videos (
NFLDraftVideos) December 7, 2017

Tackling/Block Destruction

McCray has sound mechanics if tackling in the box and in the open field. He isn’t going to fly in and take a runner’s head off, however his an approach can it is in appreciated. McCray settles his feet at a great pace and also distance from sphere carriers, and also continues to climb right into the wrap. In the open field, he has actually consistently do multiple sound tackles top top shiftier runners, including JT Barrett indigenous Ohio State. That plays with suitable pad level and leverage and, while he have the right to occasionally slip turn off of tackles because of a absence of overwhelming beat strength and speed, in its entirety it is a strength of his game. McCray has an excellent awareness once it concerns destroying blocks, attack the blockers’ chestplate as soon as necessary. However, much longer lineman have given him trouble as far as acquiring off blocks goes. McCray has shown some good lateral agility ~ above tape and a crawl awareness of how to change hips, i m sorry should translate to the next level as a device for his block destruction toolbox.

After zone coverage drop, McCray dram with great leverage as JT Barrett scrambles, maintaining his half man and forcing Barrett to stay inside towards the defensive pursuit. McCray is a certain tackler in the open up field, again coming to balance before wrapping the sphere carriers legs. Pic.twitter.com/Z7XNzzav89

— NFL draft Videos (
NFLDraftVideos) December 7, 2017


McCray has every little thing you might want in a player off of the field. He has the strong pedigree with his dad gift a previous captain at Ohio State, and also a ideal career arc of being a high school All-American turn two-time big 10 honoree. He studied Kinesiology in ~ Michigan and also was poll team captain through his peers. In Mobile, McCray was given the obligation of calling the defense, identifying the offense’s strength, and making checks. That was additionally placed on every one of the distinct teams, provided high duty roles favor being the save on computer player. His perspective throughout techniques was infectious and his power was high. He was the herbal leader the the defense when he to be on the field.

The tiny things that Mike McCray does throughout practice room infectious. Calls the defense, phone call the strength, operation after the sphere on incomplete passes, communicates through his team members pre-snap.

There's a spot on mine team because that him any kind of day.

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— Brad Kelly (
BradKelly17) January 24, 2018

Grade: 3.6 Potential Starter in year 2, 4th-round pick

Interview: Highlights indigenous an interview through Mike McCray during senior Bowl week:

Can friend speak on what the was like being named a captain in your final year in ~ Michigan?

“That was one of the best awards of my life was being called Captain in ~ Michigan because it was a player vote, for them to vote me together captain feel special.”

What to be it like playing within Coach Brown’s system?

“Coach Brown’s defense is aggressive, downhill, and also we don’t need to think a lot to make our reads which permits us to play fast.”

As much as remaining sound and aware of the line of scrimmage, is the something you work on and also recognize before every snap?

“In exercise we job-related as a whole defense in playing at and being conscious of the heat of scrimmage, gift sound and filling our gaps.”

As much as her pass rush and also blitz ability, is the something you see as translatable because that the next level?

“I’m looking front to being about veterans who will be able to assist me construct as a happen rusher and applying that to the field.”

What is it prefer to be able to call plays for the defense so far during an elderly Bowl practices?

“I enjoy being maybe to speak to plays, control the huddle and give the totality defense your calls, and it’s something ns feel comfortable doing.”


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Brad is in his second year together the broad receivers and also defensive end Coach at Portsmouth High school in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the same high school in which the attended. He additionally coaches indoor and outdoor track & field, specializing through the sprinters and jumpers. Brad attend Salve Regina college where he played football and also rugby, dividing time between large receiver and tight end. He graduated college in 2015 v a level in Criminal Justice and also is at this time working in the direction of his Masters.