The former five-star recruit has gained a lot of buzz over his career at Ohio State University. After losing a haul of players to the NFL Draft this past Spring, McMillan was expected to be the centerpiece of the Buckeyes defense with new defensive coordinator, Greg Schiano. McMillan did not disappoint as he turned in yet another productive season, racking up nearly 90 total tackles after compiling 119 in his sophomore campaign while making his presence felt in coverage. Throughout the year he has been a consensus 1st round prospect based on premature mock drafts, but is that justified?
Name: Raekwon McMillan
School: Ohio State
Draft Grade: 4th Round
@JonValencia_WiB While I am not going to say that he grades out at 99-percent every game, he plays his assignment in this assignment-based D
— Kevin Noon (@Kevin_Noon) December 6, 2016
Positives: Fits the bill as your prototypical inside linebacker with his rock-solid 6’2”/240 frame. Thick lower half and good body proportion. Takes command in the middle of a championship caliber team and has displayed good leadership ability on and off the field. Good athlete. Possesses the speed to cover RB/TE in man downfield. Fluid hips and footwork when backpedaling back into coverage. A lot of experience working in zone coverage in the middle of the field. Productive college career.
Negatives: Watching his film, McMillan really lacked impact from play-to-play and didn’t make many plays. Often gets faked on play action, counters and option plays. Lacks the instincts to start at the next level. Sloppy tackling technique despite his huge tackle production in college. Usually gets beat on one-on-one tackles situations in the open field. Rarely gets sheds block against offensive linemen. Strength will be a liability against NFL linemen. Inconsistent against the run. Takes poor angles to the ball carrier. Doesn’t always give 100% effort in run defense. Will test well in the 40, but that won’t be a testament to his game speed.
Outlook: I expected a lot from McMillan, and came away very disappointed. In the handful of games that I watched, I saw only a couple big plays from him. While he’s enjoyed a productive career at one of the most prestigious schools in all of college football, I believe he’s still riding hype from his freshman season from a draft perspective. While he should test well at the combine, I expect to see his draft stock descend a bit once he is evaluated more. He does play in an assignment oriented defense which typically has him drop back into coverage, but you want to see big plays from a 1st round caliber LB – I saw far too many flaws. I believe there is still untapped potential with McMillan, leading to my 4th round grade. At the moment, I see nothing more than a dime package LB/borderline coverage specialist.