2011 NFL Draft Profile: LB – Colin McCarthy – Miami (FL)

It was well-documented by Vic Ketchman that the Jaguars had an interest in Penn State linebacker Sean Lee prior to last year’s draft. Ultimately, the Cowboys were able to draft Lee because the Jaguars didn’t have a 2nd round pick they could use on him.

So it really isn’t all that surprising that the Jaguars have shown interest in Miami’s linebacker Colin McCarthy, as he is a very similar prospect to Lee.

Let’s compare. Sean Lee is 6’2 1/8, 236 pounds, Colin McCarthy is 6’1 3/8, 238 pounds. Lee ran a 4.60 40 yard dash, McCarthy ran a 4.59 40 yard dash. Lee did 24 bench press reps, McCarthy did 23 bench reps. Lee has a 37.5 inch vertical jump, McCarthy has a 36.5 inch vertical jump.

Both players missed most, if not all, of their 2008 seasons due to severe injuries that afforded them another year of eligibility. McCarthy accumulated 297 tackles, while Lee accumulated 324. Both intercepted three passes. The similarities are very evident. For those reasons, it is very likely that McCarthy will be drafted close to the same area in the draft that Lee was (round 2, overall pick 55).

Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very big fan of Sean Lee watching his tape, and similarly I’m not overly impressed with McCarthy. He doesn’t look as fast as his 4.59 would indicate and he doesn’t look very explosive when making plays. He puts himself in the right spots and diagnoses plays well, but doesn’t appear to be very much of an athlete, especially one deserving of a 2nd or 3rd round selection.

A scouting director for an unnamed NFL team told National Football Post:

“Yeah, he’s a tough kid. He runs around. He’s active. He’s instinctive, always working to the football. Gives up a little in terms of size, he’s not 250, 260 pounds, but he plays pretty solid for an undersized guy.

Very competitive player, great intangibles, comes with high remarks from the staff at Miami. So, he’s definitely a quality player and a quality kid.”

I wouldn’t argue that he’s not instinctive or active, those are evident. I just wonder if he has the athletic ability to make up for his lack of size. With that said, Sean Lee was described as an “average” athlete and I wasn’t sold on him either. He’s shown a lot of promise for the Cowboys, earning Rookie of the Week honors after intercepting Peyton Manning twice in Week 13.