Miami FL Senior
40: 4.65 (estimated)
An active linebacker with good speed to cover ground. Has nice burst downhill and shows upfield burst to be a factor as a blitzer. Shows ability to shoot upfield and sneak through gaps to make stops in the backfield. Wraps up and drag downs the ballcarrier in the open field. Gets nice depth on his zone drops and shows comfort in coverage. Willing to take on fullback in the hole.
Undersized and not a major factor vs. the run. Gets stuck in traffic and trash at the point of attack. Rarely wins a battle vs. the lead blocker, whether it's a fullback or pulling lineman. Gets more than he gives as a tackler and hitter. Struggles when defending the inside run and can get caught out of position. Doesn't take great angles in pursuit and overpursues, giving up cutback lanes. Doesn't have great hips when trying to match up in man coverage and will get caught looking at times in the backfield.
Some draft sites have McCarthy listed as one of the better ILBs in the country, and I just simply did not see it. He's not a factor vs. the run and seems to make more mistakes than plays. Moved to starting middle linebacker after 2.5 seasons as the starting strongside linebacker. Had his best season this past year with 119 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss. His junior year he had 95 tackles and 10.5 for loss. Only appeared in 4 games in '08 due to a shoulder injury. Prior to that he started in '07 as a sophomore with 74 tackles and 12 tackles for loss. Also for his career, he had 4.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 picks, 5 pass breakups, and 1 blocked punt.
He's a guy that I think can have a nice career as a backup MLB in a 4-3 scheme and special teams player. But he lacks the size, toughness, and physicality you want in a MLB at the next level. And while his speed and decent coverage ability might make him a better fit as a WILL in the 4-3 scheme. But either way, his value to a team is on special teams, not as a prospective starter. He just doesn't make any plays vs. the run, and is rarely in position to do so in the games I saw this past year. So perhaps he was a much better player as a junior on the outside, but I didn't see it this past year. I've seen fullbacks destroy him in the hole, and he constantly seems to be the victim when opposing teams are making plays vs. Miami's defense. He may grade well in intangibles and be a hard worker that down the road might carve himself a niche as a nickel linebacker like Coy Wire for the Falcons, but I see no permanent future as a starter.
McCarthy could add depth to the Falcons roster, but he's only valuable as a special teams player. He is a similar player as Wire, and his only value is because he's younger than Wire. Eventually he might improve enough in coverage to get some reps in nickel situations, but he'd be too much a liability vs. the run to be trusted for extensive playing time. Unless he became one of the team's captains on special teams, he's not going to last beyond his rookie contract.
A team looking for a backup might snag him in the seventh round, but he's not really any better than talent you'd find on the undrafted market.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 2.0
Pass Rush: 2.0
Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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