« Ricky Williams rolling as LT declines | Main | Mike Mayock: Dolphins should pick Kindle »

Tell me why Rolando McClain is special

I am not a scout and do not pretend to play one on the Internet. I'm not a personnel guy. I don't know squat about grading players or projecting players. My gig is to tell you what the scouts I speak with tell me.

But I know a good football player when I see one. And I know a great one when I see one.

I haven't watched Rolando McClain enough to give a fair judgment on whether he's good or great. But in watching the videos below I kept waiting for the monster raves about to show up. And I waited. And I waited.

And that guy never showed.

I expected Ray Lewis. I expected Mike Singletary.

I got Rolando McClain. Just Rolando McClain.

I saw a guy that made routine plays. I saw a guy that didn't seem faster or more explosive than everyone else on his defense. I saw a guy that tackled high. I saw a guy that usually took the right path to the ball carrier, but not always. I saw a lot of tackles in which he cleaned up, rather than was the first guy on the scene. I saw a good, not great, blitzer.

I was impressed by McClain's ability in pass coverage. That stood out for me.

But dominant as a run-stopper? A man to be game-planned for? A game-changer?

I failed to see that.

What am I not seeing? What am I missing here?

All the draft pundits claim McClain is special, that he's the second coming of Dick Butkus. Well, McClain won the Dick Butkus Award last year, but I failed to see him as Dick Butkus.

I saw a player that played well on an outstanding defense. I saw a guy that obviously understood his assignments and carried them out. But this guy isn't even Patrick Willis, in my humble opinion.

So watch the videos and you tell me. What am I missing?

I'm two people from the magic 3k on twitter. Get me there and I'll stop whining about it already. 


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Tell me why Rolando McClain is special:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

NJ Phin Fan...thanks...I don't think he's the 2nd coming of anything...but will be a solid LB. To many on here that apparently know more about football then coaches, players, scouts, etc. he's a wasted pick...good for a backup role that will never amount to anything special, mediocre at best...surely not qualified for the 1st round, the 2nd, and most certainly despite the plethora of experts that seem to disagree with "fans"...he surely isn't a top 10 pick...lol. To each their own.

Well, either way, whether in a fins uniform or not, we'll find out I suppose. I don't really care... I'd like to see a WR (Dez only) or and ILB / OLB if we stay at #12...(I don't see a FS / NT worthy at that point) and I wouldn't mind trading down to pick up a 2nd round pick...but that'd be about all I'd move for, nothing lower.

Indiana I would do a conditional third next year to Denver for Marshall. I'm not convinced he's even available and I'm not convinced that's going to get it done. He's a great player.....no question. I just don't see the trifecta selling the farm for him.

Armando, the greatestest thing about McClain is that he isn't a one trick pony, his numbers productivity increased every season, he has the mental aspect of for the game, and most valuable of all he's already affluent in the phase of the game where extremely few lb's ever fully learn or have the physical affinity for, pass coverge. That's now a must in today's high flying nfl.

In Armando's previous blog about LT he used stats to demonstrat LT's decline why not forget the video and look at the stats; someone here previously posted stats.

Rolondo McClain's career stats 2007-2009 270 tackles 1 ff 5 ints.

Brandon Graham's careen stats 138 tackles 0 ff 0 ints.

IMO even though they play different positions he seems like the kind of ILB you want a tackling machine that plays sideline to sideline and is always around the ball.

I have nothing against Brandon Graham but similar to his predecessor Lamar Woodley he will be making the switch from DE to OLB and may take a year to get comfortable in that position whereas with McClain he is already there and would provide immediate upgrade.

Wait for the draft and see who is available Armando, but don't let your personal preference to B. Graham cause you to not do your due diligent when comparing the other players we possibly could take Sergio Kindle, Pierre-Paul; etc. etc.

McClain looks slow to me. Let's see how well he runs at the combine(if he runs)!

I didn't say anything about anything... I was just wondering where yall were at cause we have been having this discussion for the past month. And if Mando came on here and said McClain was the second coming... You would have been jumping up and down saying I told you so...

NJ, I here you and can appreciate your passion for the game... But I think you get tunnel vision sometimes when it comes to the prospects... I have not seen any of the major analysts break down McClain yet... They keep mentioning his name as a top ten prospect but they have not broken him down completely yet... So I guess I will have to wait until for someone to let some air out of his balloon...

Craig M - That is why I was totally against getting Marshall, because I figured they would want a ton (similar to Cutler trade) and that would NOT be worth it. If the rumors are true, I almost think it may be worth a 2nd for Marshall, but that is stretching it IMO...

If a conditional pick one way or the other, PULL the trigger and WR position would be looking really good with a young QB in Chad Henne.

Ny scott. also excellent posts. i saw the same things in the video's on open field tackles. we know what this story was all about. slow new day and a long wat to the draft to kill that time and space. Congrats mando , that's what a good sports writer is all about. keep the debate going and the hits coming . LMFAO !!!

I agree. I do think he is getting a lot of extra hype due to both our need and Parcells history of taking LB's. I may be wrong here but I personally dont think the Phins will take a LB 1st. I think it will be either WR,DB,RB,DT and even an outside chance of OL before LN

McClain maybe the best by far cover lb in the draft. Hasn't this become a pass happy league?

LMFAO @ AZFINFAN . " i've been telling everybody for 4 years that mcclain was the wrong guy ". REALLY ????? MCCLAIN ONLY PLAYED 3 YEARS AND IS A JUNIOR WHO DECLARED FOR TH DRAFT . You didn't even know who mcclain was before this year nice try and thanks for stopping by :)

We need a lb who is solid against the run and pass, McClaon is that guy.

NJ, you remember our discussion last year over Darius Butler? You kept telling me how he got abused by Kenny Britt...(Which I heard Mayock say as well so I wonder where that came from) So went back and watched all 7 catches for 100 yards that Kenny Britt had in that game. 3 were against Butler. 1 was actually a good 15 yard catch. The other 2 were underneath were Butler gave him cushion and he got decent yardage on those plays. So 3 catches for 40 yards or so = abuse? I don't think so... When Darelle Revis does that to someone in the pros, they say he got shutdown... So I kept bringing this up and you just kept shouting about he's too small, duck and swipe tackler (Also something I heard Mayock say)... And I wanted to know what that had to do with the example you gave me? Nothing really...

Patrick Willis? Whatchyou talkin about Willis?

Michael Jordan didn't look likr much coming out of college either guys I'm sure there are 2 teams wishing they had a do over, Jordan was selected 3rd.

Alan Pager,

You REALLY think the trifecta would pick a DB, RB or OL in the first round? Really? That was a joke, right? Did you realize we picked two DB's with our first three picks last year? and you know they stand a chance to be really good, right? And offensive line? Are we going to start playing SIX guys on the line?

Did you watch this team last year? They couldn't stop anybody. There's a lot of more important things that we need on this team than what you mentioned. I think you've been smoking the funny stuff that some of these other guys smoke.

We need a guy at ILB who is 8 feet tall weighs 542 lbs, runs a 3.5 40 and has 8" retractable claws , a photographic memory and does not like other people.

Nice to see alot of rebuttle's to armando's blog with stats to back it up . also good comments on mcclain's pass coverage which was a major hole in miami's defense this year. Good job Kyphinfan

Only way you pass on McClain is if he's not there at #12.

So here we are again... I ask you, give me a game where McClain was completely dominant? Just one... Cause I don't think you can. He is a solid LB. But you don't draft solid LB number 12 overall. Because Pro Bowlers are found in the 20's and 30's every year. If you draft McClain 12 overall and all he is is 100 tackles and someone who can say the plays in the huddle, that is a bust. Crowder can do that.

Marcus what you don't understand is McClain isn't truly dominant in one phase of the game, it's his overall game that is truly dominant and he's only getting better folks.

Marcus i was right about britt destroying butler and mike mayock said the same thing. . Believe me , i'd take mayock's word over yours any day. I was also right with davis over butler with you in our debate. I was done with that a long time ago. :)

A rookie with 100 tackles is a bust????

I gave you 2 games where mcclain was dominant awhile ago. vs kentucky and ole miss. if you don't see it , then wahat can i tell you. you see what you want to see.

McClain isnt just another ilb in the front 7, the guy's unquestionably a defensive qb, his leadership qualities are off the chart.

LMFAO @ westvafins.

Crowder's a clown not a leader, we desperately need young leadership ability in our D moving forward too.

How were you right? I just broke down the game for you. 3 catches 40 yards. And Mayock said he thought Butler was a 1st rounder. NJ, And you see what you here from Mayock. I would love to hear an original thought from you.

Dying Breed and NJ arguing for the same cause! Wow! Small miracles happen every day..,..

I like the arguement that james made. I'm a Phin fanatic and likewise the Alabama Crimson Tide (National Champs) are my college team. I've watched McClain since he got to Bama and no he isn't making highlight reel hits every game but the guy STAYS around the ball. His defensive audibles are amazing and he reads defenses like nobody else coming out of this class. He's the Peyton Manning of a defense. This guy does not miss tackles and he's no slouch at 6'4" 260...i dont think many of you realize just how big that is running a 4.6 forty. McClain's size makes him extremely durable and that's what the trifecta and parcells in particular likes. You guys don't know much about football not even Armando. Rolando McClain INSTANTLY upgrades Crowder and Ayodele. Crowder's a moron that hasn't showed anything but his mouth. McClain will solidify the middle of this defense and bring a freak athlete to the middle.

Crowder even looks like a clown in dredlocks with that big wide goofy looking smile he paints on his face.

100 tackles is what Channing Crowder had a year ago and you want to replace him. It is common place for an ILB to get a 100 tackles. That is the norm. My point is he is average. You don't draft average players at 12 overall.

I've been saying this for the longest. McClain is good but he has become very over-rated very fast. If it wasn't for Alabama's run last season he would be a mid to last 1st rounder at best.

He doesn't dominate the way other LB studs coming from college have.

ok.... Armando...I'm going to follow your line of logic here. Review the following highlight clip of Dez Bryant and you tell me why everyone is making such a fuss about this guy..??? I mean...I just don't get it....other then a handful (and I do mean a handful) out of the 30 or so catches shown, he almost never gets YAC on this highlight film, except those handful of times. Most is just him jumping up and grabbing the ball because he's taller. He's playing against 2nd rate CB's that most will never step foot on an NFL field, and this is as good as he can do against that level of competition? The guy is almost almost covered by these 2nd tier CBs, either blanketed or within a yard...I never see that guy separated. Boy...he's going to have a much harder time in the NFL against real CBs.


I think he's a 3rd rounder at best for sure......I see nothing special for sure, I mean hell, I was expecting to see Randy Moss, Chris Carter, the Marks brothers type highlights....and this? This is what, amateur night apparently....nah... no way he's drafted above #64 as every coach, scout, player he's played against, is full of it and pulling a huge conspiracy...??? lmao....

Come on man...


You might call it dreaming but I call it the options that Miami may want to look into. I am not saying they will succeed at each task. I do however think that these are a few options to pursue. If we can complete a few of these objectives we’d be heading in the right direction. Agree or disagree?

Would you rather have a 3rd or 4th or Ted Ginn. Again I am not saying it would happen but it would be something I would pursue. I would take a 7th for Joey - its better than nothing.

Dansby or Rolle… I’ll take either one and we will be better!

His defensive audibles are amazing? How do you see he made defensive audibles? I doubt Nick Saban is letting anybody change what he is calling. He is a control freak.

CJ Spiller??? People we need DEFENSE! Please, go back and watch the games this year again. The defense is what lost the majority of the games. And they lost because they could not stop the pass. We need DEFENSE with the first 2 picks. Stop getting exfixiated with offensive players high in the draft. If we don't stop offenses next year then all the offensive fire power in the world won't help this team. It's not built to get into shoot outs, and adding one stud WR,RB or whatever won't make us into a team that can win shoot outs. We need to focus on stopping opponents from scoring, instead of focusing on increasing our own ability to score. That will be the goal of next year's draft not this one.

Marcus those are things you dont get to see in youtube videos

James, no one thought Michael Jordan was anything special coming out of college neither.

if he has 100 tackles and is the play caller in his rookie year... that is not a bust.. That is what you get at pick 12.....

Lmfao @ carlito . can you believe that regarding you know who. we agrred on some things in the past.

NJ PHIN, DyingBreed, others.....I think it's a waste of time talking to some one these people about McClain. They'll never get it, even when he's playing in the Pro Bowl. They want a guy whose going to come in and do everything....lead the league in sacks, have a 1,000 yard receiving season, run back kids. It's crazy stuff!! The comment about the rookie having 100 tackles and being a bust is hilarious!!

Crowder and Ayedole are not the answer. It's time to realize that and start upgrading. Ayedole is passable at best and Crowder's a mouthpiece who can't back it up on the field and can't stay healthy any more. Time to realize these guys are on the way out guys and McClain is a good place to start.

CJ Spiller argument is ridiculous at #12, anyone doing thier homework will find he was onle a 13-15 carry a game rb at Clemson he was more of an all purpose back.

Carlito NJ and anyone else agreeing with McClain at #12 if available has it right.

Where did you get this film from, an Auburn fan? Don't sleep on this one Miami. Remember I told you so.

NJ, off topic haha, but I have been looking at all my top 5 guys relentlessly. I have a question for you. In looking at Earl Thomas, I think he is also a legit NFL CB. Do you see this? I am really fighting hard not to make this my fav player to hope for at 12. Our pass rush still got 47 sacks, yes it needs some upgrade. But where we got KILLED last year was TEs and big plays. McClain helps with that, but if hes gone, I think Thomas really fits that role as far as coverage. I think he has legit CB skills.

AZ Phinatic,

I am listening to Bob Marley…
lava lamp is on…
insence burning…
eating a brownie…
playin Madden… lol

Tree Free :(

Kenny britt 7 catches for over 100 yds vs butler. He physically destroyed him. miami passed on butler for davis because of his physical strengths over . i was right . enough said.


ANY offensive player at #12 would be ridiculous in my opinion. We need to go defense.

Also believe McClain's coverage skills will translate better on the pro level than collegiate level because the SEC isn't exactly a pass happy conference.

Carlito, tell me one thing you have seen in an actual game from McClain other than what you read off of someone else's scouting report? When you talk about someone's intelligence and intangibles so much, it means they are really lacking in athletic ability. It's like saying the fat or ugly girl is so nice or smart. She still ugly!

Also, I watched the whole championship game from beginning to end. How many plays did McClain make in that game? I remember one screen he broke up. That was it. He ended the game with 2 tackles. And Texas was up and down the field in the second half with a QB who hadn't played all year. Anyone want to talk about that?

bootang. thomas came into texas as a CB . He's played cb before. he switched to safety. his coverage skills are excellent.

Bootang, Earl Thomas is a safety, not a cb and yes IMO worthy at #12 if everyone else is gone. I would actually take him over Brandon Graham at 12. You could probably trade down and still get a Brandon Graham type.

NJ, I just told you that you get tunnel vision. I watched every catch Britt had. 3 were only against Butler. The other 4 were against someone else. I will look the player up for you if you like. HE DID NOT CATCH 7 BALLS FOR 100 YARDS AGAINST BUTLER! That makes you WRONG!

Earl Thomas can be an excellent free safety if McClain isnt available.


It's nice to have someone on here who makes some sense.

Marcus, to compare McClain to Crowder is a joke. They're not even close character-wise. And then to say 100 tackles from your rookie is average.....man!! You're really showing your ignorance, Marcus!!

I suppose Aaron Curry at 4 last year was a wasted pick for Seattle? There's a guy who just makes plays and is a tackling machine. Same thing about Patrick Willis a few years ago. Tackling machine, perennial Pro Bowl player, 100 plus tackles a year, non-impact guy, average, wasted pick at 11, right? Your logic is very flawed man!!

We don't have anybody like that on our team. Time to add somebody like that!! YES to McClain!!

Strengthning the free safety position is still strengthning the middle of your defense


Dying, I know he is a S. I'm saying if you matched him up against all the other CBs, I don't know that there's another guy after Joe Haden I'd take before Thomas. I think he would be great for anyone, but in a league now pass happy more than ever, if you have a secondary with Davis, Smith, and Thomas, we can line up with anyone. I would love to see that.

Hey NJ:

I do have to revisit the Davis vs. Butler debate. Davis has done very well and looks like an excellent pick as does Butler. Their production and numbers were almost identical, Davis had I believe 4 picks and Butler 3, each returned 1 for a TD. Overall I think both will turn out to be good players and we would not have gone wrong with which ever one we drafted.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 »

The comments to this entry are closed.