Has good size and the tall, long frame you like. Flashes some pop and uses his size well to get position as a run blocker, as he can engulf smaller defenders. Flashes some mean streak as a run blocker. Does a nice job initiating contact in pass protection, has the long arms to get extension and keep defenders at bay. PLays with a wide base, and hard to beat with a power rush.
Is a limited athlete that lumbers when asked to move and block in space. Has poor feet and is slow to set up in pass protection. Struggles matching up with speed, especially when the defender can beat him to his outside shoulder. Struggles to adjust in space. Has a poor punch, tending to get overextended there. Lacks ideal pop, and won't get a ton of push. Plays too high and doesn't fire off the ball to get the necessary leverage as a straight-ahead run blocker. Needs to do a better job using his hands to get position as a run blocker. Bends his waist too much and struggles to bend his knees.
McClain looks the part of an NFL guard, frankly, he looks the part of an NFL right tackle. But he's a limited athlete that doesn't have the mean streak or technique to really make up for it. He has enough ability that a team might like his physical tools to keep him on as a backup, but his upside is limited unless he really takes to NFL coaching. He came to Clemson as a highly-rated tackle, but is leaving as a marginally improved guard which doesn't bode well for his NFL future.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(10/1) at Virginia Tech: 1 key block; 1 missed block, 3 pressures; Pull: 2/3
(10/22) vs. North Carolina: 1 missed blocks; Pull: 0/2; Cut: 0/1; Screen: 0/1
(1/5) vs. West Virginia:
2011: 14 GP/14 GS, right guard
2010: 13/13, right guard
2009: 14/14, right guard
McClain is good enough to play at the NFL level, but really only as a backup. He'll just be exposed by the quicker, most explosive defensive tackles if he was pressed into the starting lineup. And while he can be effective against power, he still doesn't have the ideal technique to do a lot better there. And what makes things worse is that despite his kingly size, he's not really a dominant run blocker. His size makes him an effective position blocker, but he's not a guy that can consistently push defenders off the ball. He has the potential to develop there, but the reality is that his next position coach will be doing the brunt of the work that apparently never happened at Clemson. He'd be a decent project to have, but he's more in line with the sort of guy that sits a couple of years on the practice squad, and then might be good enough to make a reserve spot. But the minute he gets significant reps on offense, it'll probably be his last opportunity. All he really has going for him at the end of the day is size, and while that can get you a shot in the NFL, it's not going to keep you in the NFL for very long. He's a player that I suspect will be out of the league by his fourth or fifth summer at best.
McClain could work as a body for the Falcons to bring to camp, and if he shows enough toughness and size might be a guy they keep on their practice squad. But in a few years when it's time for him to get a shot at making the actual roster, he's a longshot. Better, and more polished players are just going to come along that make what he brings to the table limited.
McClain can get looks at the pro level, but he's not worth a draft pick regardless of what upside teams like when they eyeball him.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Pass Blocking: 3.5
Run Blocking: 5.0
Mean Streak: 5.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.