Pats Draft Rd.5/177 LB Cameron McGrone

SeoulSoxFan

I Want to Hit the World with Rocket Punch
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Another high-character LB from Michigan. I guess BB, Ernie, and the rest of the F.O. only scouted Alabama, Oklahoma, and Michigan last year. From The Draft Network:

Cameron McGrone projects as a starting MIKE linebacker at the professional level. McGrone is just a redshirt sophomore who enters the NFL draft process with just 19 games and 15 starts at Michigan under his belt—a significantly small sample size that will leave teams needing a little extra clarity in order to decipher his ceiling within their respective defensive systems.

McGrone claimed the Wolverines' starting MIKE LB position in 2019 after injuries forced the team to shuffle around their defensive depth chart and McGrone never looked back as a redshirt freshman. He was tremendous throughout the course of the 2019 season and while he did not quite play to that same caliber or level in 2020, he clearly has all of the physical tools needed to become a dynamic defensive playmaker for an NFL franchise as the heartbeat in the middle.

McGrone operated as the MIKE in Dom Brown’s blitz-heavy defensive scheme, which has groomed McGrone to offer an NFL defense ample value on third downs and obvious passing situations. There’s not a great deal of exposure to more pure coverage reps, although he was afforded a handful of opportunities to pick-up back releases in man coverage or go flexed out wide against tight ends (Indiana 2020).

McGrone also showed admirable toughness this past season, playing with a cast on his hand and continuing to play with a twitched presence who wasn’t afraid to lock horns with offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage. McGrone’s value stems from an explosive athletic profile and three-down value for the NFL game—meaning he should get a chance to crack a starting lineup fairly early on despite his lack of experience at the college level.
BB was honest when he said he'd value the 2019 tapes more than 2020. I'm thinking he has a decent ceiling given the fact that he is so young.
 

SMU_Sox

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@EL Jeffe and I are big on McGrone. I saw him as a high ceiling athletic LB who is world class at stacking and shedding OL. He’s a good blitzer too. Here are some of my thoughts and why I thought McGrone was a perfect fit for the Pats. One of the better selections they made and one I am stoked for. Cam McGrone is a heat-seeking missile. We’re collectively going to enjoy the hell out of this outstanding young man as long as he comes back healthy. What a great pick!
 

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SeoulSoxFan

I Want to Hit the World with Rocket Punch
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Jun 27, 2006
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Do you see him strictly as a 2-down LB @SMU_Sox?

I thought Roberts made more than his share of misdiagnosis on plays and crashed the wrong gap. Is DeGrone better in this aspect?
 

axx

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Isn't he the guy Bill said might miss the season with a ACL tear? Thing I would worry about is that he ends up not playing this year and gets lost in the shuffle with next year's draft picks.
 

ZMart100

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BB not paying attention to detail is pretty low on my list of concerns. He can go on the non-football injury list and then get a chance next year if need be.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Robert’s seemed slow because he had terrible play recognition and awareness. He was playing catch up more often than not.
 

EL Jeffe

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Roberts was certainly fast enough coming downhill, but he had subpar lateral quickness without the sideline-to-sideline range. McGrone is the more natural athlete who moves like a Will LB (although he essentially played MIKE exclusively at Michigan, and could probably play either in the NFL).

Of all the Patriots picks, McGrone was probably my favorite value for where he went. Jordyn Brooks was one of my favorite 2019 LBs (he ended up going 1st round) and I thought McGrone's 2019 play as a 19 year old was pretty close to Brooks's. 2020 was a bit hot and cold for McGrone, and then he tore his ACL. But he looked a little less explosive, a little less urgent. You could pretty much say that about the entire Michigan team (outside Paye), but it's a little concerning. Still, for a 5th round flier, McGrone's 2019 looked like a future starting NFL LB. Redshirt him, hope he matures (physically and mentally) and go from there. He's definitely the kind of guy where you might look back 3-4 years from now and wonder how he was a 5th rounder. The talent and gifts are certainly there.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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Robert’s seemed slow because he had terrible play recognition and awareness. He was playing catch up more often than not.
Watch this from the Falcons Super Bowl. We all will remember the play. Late in the fourth quarter. Ryan hits Freeman (who runs a 4.58 40) for a huge gain. The guy who tackles him is Roberts. But watch Roberts from the beginning of the play to the end. It's quintessential Roberts.

Playing right in the middle, the first thing that happens is he steps up, being suckered in a little by a mediocre play-action by Ryan. Then, realizing he'd been duped, he spins around to get into coverage and gets knocked to the ground by old friend Mohammed Sanu. Instead of covering Freeman out of the backfield, he ventures to the middle of the field (which already has McCourty in coverage there, and Sanu is being manned up by another DB...so who exactly is Roberts covering?).

This leaves Freeman WIDE open for a huge gain.

Nobody within 15 yards of him. Freeman speeds upfield. And who catches him from behind? Roberts. Sprinting after a faster player, he catches him and maybe even saves the game. Because if Roberts doesn't catch him, Freeman might go all the way.

So a bad read, bad coverage instincts, but great hustle and uses his speed to make a play that saves the game (even though it gives up 40-something yards). LOL.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3udP07O_hZs