Leon McFadden

Solid, but not spectacular

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.


  1. Kenny Sloth

    I watched some tape and couldn’t agree more. Pedestrian DB.

  2. Kenny Sloth

    in other news, Brice Butler measured at 6’3 1/4″ and 216 lbs. At his proday. He ran a 4.37 and a 4.41 fourty, a 6.9 three cone drill, a 4.16 shuttle. Had a 39″ vert and a 10’9″ broad jump.
    Sure sounds like a Seahawks corner to me. He’s very well spoken in interviews, too.

    • Kenny Sloth

      With those numbers, he could potentially be a fit at receiver!!

    • Bryan C

      Sure sounds like we have ourselves a CB draft candidate.

  3. Kenny Sloth

    whoa! Just realized that at Rutger’s pro day, Greene weighed 10 more lbs. Than at the combine and ran a tenth of a second faster. 4.61 at 240 6’1″ is a little under what you’d want in a WILL, but his tape speaks for itself and I would love Greene in the second.

  4. Ukhawk

    Would LOVE to get Jonathan Banks in Round 3. He’s been dropping in the rankings to his straight line speed (4.61) but he has the length, technique and attitude to takeover from Browner at some point in the outside. This should be the priority position as the slot is less tough to fill and Lane/Thurmond could already man the middle.

    • Kip Earlywine

      I’ll cover Banks pretty soon. He’s not far down on my queue. : )

      • Maz

        Are you going to cover Tharold Simon as well Kip? I find him an interesting developmental prospect that could replace Browner in a year or 2.

  5. Hawkfin

    I did reviews for LB’s, TE’s, and CB’s this weekend…
    Have to disagree about McFadden. I really like this kid. I had him at 5’10, but I loved the way he covered and his smart on zone reads. He’s not a superstar by any means, but a PERFECT nickel corner. I thought he was good in both coverage and run support.

    He was a sleeper on my list and plugged into the 3rd round.

    Here’s me and my brothers ranks. (Not providing to many details)
    But, I will say the CB’s are GOOD and DEEP. I originally didn’t even want one, until I actually reviewed them. Now I could go with wanting two of these guy’s. I like the CB’s this year!

    first round grade:
    1. Dee Millner – Love this kid!
    2. Xavier Rhodes –
    3. Jamar Taylor – Really like him too

    2nd round grade:
    4. Desmond Trufant – Could be a 1st, and was not tested, but I never did like the elder Trufant much
    5. Logan Ryan
    6. Johnaton Banks

    3rd round grade:
    7. Leon McFadden – I actually think he fits perfect for us. Shifty Nickel corner that can man up
    8. Robert Allford – There’s some red flags, but super fast. Another decent fit.
    9. David Amerson – Put a extra “like” on this guy.
    10. Sanders Commings – Really like him! Sleeper steel. 4.41 at 6’2 216. Covers the fastest WR’s.

    4th round grade:
    11. DJ Hayden
    12. Dwayne Gratz
    13. Jordan Poyer

    5th round grade:
    14. Terry Hawthorne
    15. Darius Slay – Extra high mark on him. Biggest problem – He plays to deep, never see man up.
    16. Johney Adams
    17, Blid Wreh Wilson – Lowered him a lot.

    6th-7th round grade:
    18. Rod Sweeting
    19. Josh Johnson

    Have a hard time eliminating a lot of corners, but we did go thru about 30+ of them.
    Sorry no real descriptions.

    • Nolan

      Sanders comings is one of my favorites in this class

      • Hawkfin

        Yeah, I agree! I’ll probably move him higher and above McFadden now. He was ranked so low that I plugged him into the bottom of the 3rd at the time, but I’m not sure why he was so low?
        Maybe he won’t be when it’s all said and done, or maybe a Sherman type who falls.

        I think Sanders should be the top of the list in the 3rd now. I agree! I like him a lot.
        Going to move him there on my ranks.

        • Maz

          Worst tackler ever. Not much of an over-exaggeration either. Totally let’s the rest of his team try and tackle a guy first. Too many last ditch, shoelace attempts.

          • Hawkfin

            Are you refering to Sanders Commings? Worst Tackler?

            I’ve seen much worse, and don’t really agree. I thought he did decent in run support or I would have never rated him high. That is one of the big things I look for.

            He’s not the best in this area, but decent/average and better then a lot.
            His number log shows 50+ tackeles, and an amazing 40+ solo’s. So to me this doesn’t agree with you either.
            He also missed the first 2 games of his Sr year, so you could technically add in another 8-10 tackles per average, putting him into the 60 range.

            For a late round prospect with that size and speed, and tackle numbers I don’t see a lot to complain about. I would question more his Pass Defense numbers as that is a bit low.
            But, from what I saw on tape, size, speed, run support, etc. He could be a nice CB pick.

  6. CHawk Talker Eric

    Some interesting unknowns:

    James Nelson OT UTEP: 6-6 320lbs, 36.5″ arms. Combine drill #s not great – 5.77s 40yd, 24.5″ vertical, 83″ broad, 18 reps on BP. But hey, 36.5″ arms! Projected UDFA

    Terrell Sinkfield WR/KR Northern Iowa 6-1 192lbs. Ran a blistering 4.19s 40yd at his pro day. Projected UDFA.

    Terrell Brown OT?DT? Ole Miss. 6-10 388lbs, 38″ arms, 92″ wingspan. Those are NOT typos. This guy is MASSIVE. But apparently too massive to play football. Played in only 2 games last season, because he struggles to get low, lacks flexibility and doesn’t have any burst out of his stance. Ole Miss tried him on both sides of the LOS, but kept him mostly on the sideline. Pro day #s: 5.80s 40yd, 23.5″ vertical, 81″ broad, 22 reps BP.

    • Kip Earlywine

      Sinkfield sure looks impressive on youtube. Doesn’t look at all like a 4.19 guy though. I think someone had an itchy trigger finger on the stopwatch.

      • Maz

        Never been clocked higher than a 4.35 either though. More impressed by his will to go and get the ball than his speed on tape.

  7. CHawk Talker Eric

    Seahawk Pro Day sightings (and further proof that the FO is looking to build competition through late rd picks and UDFA acquisitions):

    UMN – despite there not being a single projected draft pick on the Golden Gophers. So why was SEA there? QB MarQueis Gray? Maybe, but then he’s supposedly trying to switch to TE. If not him, then perhaps either (or both) of:
    Keanon Cooper OLB. 6-0 220lbs. 4.50s 40yd.; and/or
    Mike Rallis ILB. 6-2 245lbs. 4.69s 40yd, 38″ vertical. Both are projected UDFAs.

    Missouri Southern – BWilliams, who else?

    Alabama A&M – Jamaal Johnson-Webb OL. 6-5 310lbs. 5.33s 40yd, 22″ vertical, 103″ broad, 18 reps BP, 7.90s 3-cone, 4.70s 20yd shuttle. Projected UDFA.

    Fordham – Brendan Melanophy S. 6-1 209lbs. 4.44s 40yd, 38″ vertical, 126″ broad, 19 reps BP. Projected UDFA

    California Lutheran – Eric Rogers WR. 6-4 200lbs. 4.48s 40yd, 37″ vertical, 122″ broad, 9 reps BP, 6.89s 3-cone, 4.10s 20yd shuttle. Career: 220 recs. for 3,461 yds, 41 TDs. Last season: 91 recs for 1,298 yds, 18 TDs. Note: Rogers had NEVER run a timed 40 before this.

    SEA is interested in Kent State LB Luke Batton – 5-11 228lbs. 4.74s 40yd (1.62s 10yd split), 34″vertical, 112″ broad, 17 reps BP, 6.90s 3-cone, 4.29s 20yd shuttle. His on-field play is much more promising – led K State last season in total tackles (132) and fumble recoveries (4). Also had 5.5 tackles for loss (3.5 sacks), 2 int, 7 passes defended, 5 broken passes and 1 ff. He’s projected to be a UDFA.

    SEA is interested in UCF RB/FB Latavius Murray – 6-3 222lbs. 4.45s 40yd, 36″ vertical, 124″ broad, 6.80s 3-cone. Career: 453 rushes for 2,424 yd, 37 TDs. Last season: 198 rushes for 1,106 yds, 15 TDs

    SEA has/will give Rufus Johnson (DL Tarleton State) a private workout. Rufus has been mentioned on SDB before, so I won’t repost his stats here.

    SEA has/will give Martel Moore (WR Northern ILL) a private workout. Moore is 6-0 188lbs. 4.56s 40yd, 35″ vertical, 126″ broad, 10 reps BP, 7.04s 3-cone, 4.51s 20yd shuttle. He had 1,083 yds and 13 TDs last season (incl. Orange Bowl). Projected to go in RD7 or as an UDFA.

  8. Hawkfin

    My personal draft wants:
    (In order of rank)

    2nd round pick – K. Greene/LB, S. Williams/DT, M. Teo/LB, K. Short/DT, Tyler Eifert/TE,
    J. Jenkins/DT, B. Williams/DT, S. Moore/LB, Chase Thomas/LB, Jamar Taylor/CB, R. Swope/WR
    (One of these I think should be there)

    3rd round pick – The above guy’s plus: Jessie Williams/DT, J. Banks/CB, L. Ryan/CB, S. , Kiko Alonso/LB, Alec Ogletree/LB, Kevin Reddick/LB, J. Hawkins/DT, A. Spence/DT, S. Commings/CB
    S. Bailey/WR

    4th round pick – The above guy’s plus: M. Harrison/WR, K. Davis/RB, L. McFadden/CB, D. Amerson/CB, R. Alfford/CB, DJ Hayden/CB, Q. Patton/WR, C. Jones/DT, J. Hill/DT,

    I think I’ll just stop there…. 🙂

    Recap of what I really want though based on who could be there? Hopefully:

    2nd pick – S. Williams/DT (Love K. Greene here though, but I think he’s gone)
    3rd pick – Chase Thomas/LB
    4th pick – M. Harrison/WR
    5th pick – K. Davis/RB
    5th pick – Sanders Commings/CB (A. Brown/CB, P. Steward/CB)
    6th pick – Joseph Fauria/TE
    7th picks – Oline/Open

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