I’ve had a few people ask me for a review of San Diego State’s Leon McFadden. Usually when people bring players to my attention I end up as impressed as they were. Not this time.
First I should be clear, McFadden is not a bad prospect by any means. But after watching the available game compilations (BYU, Boise St.), I am pretty confident that he’s not what Seattle is looking for. In two full games, I didn’t see a single “wow” play; the closest being a routine looking pass defensed.
The shortest corner that Seattle has acquired during the Pete Carroll era is Walter Thurmond who stood 5’10¾”. McFadden checks in at 5’09⅝”, more than an inch shorter than Thurmond. Only 4 out of 30 corners measured shorter at the combine, and none of them are expected to be drafted high in the draft. Seattle has made it no secret that they prefer big corners, and McFadden certainly doesn’t meet that criteria.
McFadden possesses decent bulk for his height, and tackles fairly well. He’s not particularly physical though and can at times struggle off blocks. There was one play in particular where a quarterback ran past the line of scrimmage at the 16 yard line and ended up scoring a touchdown before McFadden fought off a downfield block in the end zone. He struggled with blocks in other spots too, but that particular play was pretty damning.
In terms of coverage, San Diego State played him outside and mostly in cushion coverages. His man coverage was competent but he seemed happy to stand completely still in zone- a pretty huge contrast to Robert Alford who was not only far better in man coverage, but also remained active and moved with a plan in zone coverages.
His field speed is decidedly ordinary and at the combine he clocked a very average 4.54. For comparison’s sake, Byron Maxwell ran an official 4.43 at his combine at 6’1″ 202, and Jeremy Lane clocked 4.48 at his pro-day while standing 6’0″ even. If Seattle is going to take a corner with 4.54 speed, he’d better stand at least 6’3″ or weigh 220 pounds. In other words, his speed further disappoints because small players are supposed to be faster to help compensate for their size disadvantages.
There are no certainties in life, but I would be pretty surprised if Seattle selected Leon McFadden. With below average height and so-so athleticism (including one of the lesser vertical jumps), he’s not a high upside player and he doesn’t really have the tools or even the press coverage experience to satisfy the Seahawks’ requirements. A team that is willing to overspend on a safe, well rounded corner will select McFadden before Seattle’s 3rd round pick rolls around- another reason why this pick feels unlikely.