PROS: Has good speed and decent hips. Does best work when he can keep things in front of him and shows potential to play in zone. Can play as a press corner showing ability to get the jam at the line. Does a nice job coming off the corner and defending in run support. Can deliver the hit. Does a nice job as a kickoff returner.
CONS: Doesn't have ideal hips and burst out of his breaks to match up in man coverage. Can be a bit hesitant at times when coming out of his breaks and not sure he has ideal instincts. Needs to do a better job wrapping up when he's defending the run.
OVERVIEW: His twin brother Jason was drafted by Titans last year, and he was the superior cover man of the two. Productive three-year starter that had 6 career picks and 27 pass breakups. Also had 7 blocked kicks in his career. Averaged 25.4 yards per return on kickoffs this past year with 1 score. For his career also averaged 20.4 yards on 5 punt returns.
NFL FORECAST: Personally, I'm not sure why McCourty is so highly rated by other "experts." I see a good corner, but nothing great. I think he's a guy that doesn't have great skills to play in man coverage and while I think he could be a capable starter in a zone-heavy scheme, I don't see the ball skills or ability to make me think he'll be anything more than an average No. 2 guy. I think he's probably destined to be a solid nickel corner, but I think he'll be exposed quite a bit as a starter. I think his real value will be on his contributions on special teams, showing good ability in coverage and also flashing big play ability as a returner. He's got good size, good speed, and he's physical so he'll endear himself well with coaches. But I obviously must be missing something in terms of what I saw on tape to make me think he has the pure coverage ability to be a quality starter. To me, I'm reminded of D.J. Moore last year from Vanderbilt, who I ultimately rated as a borderline first round pick, but mainly because others thought so highly of him and I saw a flash of that ability in his final college game. But in two previous games I watched him I didn't see much more than a third round pick. I assume that's the case here with McCourty, which I guess is the drawback of watching television instead of coach's tape, because I don't see much to indicate that he'll be more than a very good backup/average starter.
ATL FORECAST: He can definitely help the Falcons depth because he brings good size and speed. I think his value here may be on specail teams because his production is good enough there in college to make you think he could give Weems a run for his money. But in Atlanta, I'd expect him to play mostly special teams his rookie year, and maybe by his second year be a serious challenger to the nickel job. Maybe he develops into a capable starter two or three years down the road, but I would bet that would be more because he's the physical type of corner that Mike Smith likes and none of the other guys (namely Owens) managed to step up to a degree to the coach's satisfaction.
VALUE: I think the earliest he should be taken is the third round and mainly because of his value on special teams. Purely as a corner, I don't see him much better than some of the other guys that should be available in the fourth and fifth rounds.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
MAN COVERAGE: 2.0
ZONE COVERAGE: 3.5
BALL SKILLS: 2.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.