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Old 09-20-2012, 02:34 PM    (permalink
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Default TJ McDonald.... FS or SS?

How do you think he projects in the NFL?
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:41 PM    (permalink
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Better than Taylor Mays?
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:54 PM    (permalink
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Better than Taylor Mays?

Not by much. Dude is stiff as a board. I actually had a few good laughs watching him try to break down and tackle in space in the Syracuse game.

Can't intercept anything unless he just happens to be standing there and the ball is thrown right to him.

He's a free safety though.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:20 PM    (permalink
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In a nutshell, either. They play a zone there at SC with their safeties so it's hard to say if he would be a great cover guy but he's very instinctive and he can hit.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:27 PM    (permalink
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I was rewatching that Stanford game and he showed up pretty dang good against the run. Didn't see the Syracuse game, but have seen him enough to know he's not a stiff. He's not a cornerback with swivel hips either... but I don't think he's as laughable as JHL thinks.

Mays was stiff... but I was sold on him because of his speed and hitting power. I thought it would overcompensate for his stiff hips, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:41 PM    (permalink
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I remember a few big, effective run stopping USC safeties who went on to fail miserably in the NFL. Darnell Bing, Taylor Mays...I see more fluidity in TJ McDonald then I did in those guys, but the pedigree isn't exactly stellar when dealing with those type of players.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:56 PM    (permalink
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I remember a few big, effective run stopping USC safeties who went on to fail miserably in the NFL. Darnell Bing, Taylor Mays...I see more fluidity in TJ McDonald then I did in those guys, but the pedigree isn't exactly stellar when dealing with those type of players.
Then with that logic, you must be a big fan of RayRay Armstrong. No?
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:45 PM    (permalink
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I remember a few big, effective run stopping USC safeties who went on to fail miserably in the NFL. Darnell Bing, Taylor Mays...I see more fluidity in TJ McDonald then I did in those guys, but the pedigree isn't exactly stellar when dealing with those type of players.
Troy Polamalu turned out alright...
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:26 AM    (permalink
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He actually is a bit stiff. Unlike Mays, his instincts and football I.Q. sort of mask it. He's opportunistic when it comes to playing the ball in the air, but you won't see him jumping routes or attacking the ball. Excellent in the box safety (see stanford).
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:10 AM    (permalink
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He actually is a bit stiff. Unlike Mays, his instincts and football I.Q. sort of mask it. He's opportunistic when it comes to playing the ball in the air, but you won't see him jumping routes or attacking the ball. Excellent in the box safety (see stanford).
Yeah that's why I created this thread. Got me wondering..


So what do you think? SS or FS?
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:59 AM    (permalink
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Seems to take a few steps to get up to full speed - would expect a decent 40 time, but not a great 10 yard split. Struggles a bit changing directions - but he can get downhill and hit. Zone coverage seems to be quite popular in the NFL at the moment, so he might still go fairly high, but I don't know if he'd be great in man coverage.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:26 AM    (permalink
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He's a flashy but versatile, FS in my book. He has the rare skill of being truly functional at both position - an interchangeable safety. This is something that, from what I understand, becomes more and more important to NFL decision makers. But of course, not having a clear is also a risk...

However, before he'll project as a true SS at the next level he could fill out his frame a bit and improve his tackling game. When he hits, he hits hard, but I think he is a bit sloppy sometimes - both being fooled into missing relatively easy tackles and commiting foul hits due to over-pursuing.

He's much better in coverage where he uses his electric speed-and-size combo, tremendous range and closing speed to dominate in zone and natural strength to cover TEs.

Do not really think he has that stiff hips to be honest - think he may be able to cover slot receivers at the next level after some practice. If I am forced to point out a true weakness in addition to his occasional over-aggressive style, I'd probably go with his below average ball skills. He'll never be a ball hawking FS due to his hands.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:59 AM    (permalink
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He's a flashy but versatile, FS in my book. He has the rare skill of being truly functional at both position - an interchangeable safety. This is something that, from what I understand, becomes more and more important to NFL decision makers. But of course, not having a clear is also a risk...

However, before he'll project as a true SS at the next level he could fill out his frame a bit and improve his tackling game. When he hits, he hits hard, but I think he is a bit sloppy sometimes - both being fooled into missing relatively easy tackles and commiting foul hits due to over-pursuing.

He's much better in coverage where he uses his electric speed-and-size combo, tremendous range and closing speed to dominate in zone and natural strength to cover TEs.

Do not really think he has that stiff hips to be honest - think he may be able to cover slot receivers at the next level after some practice. If I am forced to point out a true weakness in addition to his occasional over-aggressive style, I'd probably go with his below average ball skills. He'll never be a ball hawking FS due to his hands.
I agree that he won't be a ball-hawk, but I wouldn't say his hands are the reason for that. He's rarely makes plays on the ball, but when he has his hand s on it, it's usually his.

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So what do you think? SS or FS?
SS for most.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:47 AM    (permalink
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He's more fluid than Mays and Bing. With that being said I think that Mays was a better Center Fielder. Mays took away that deep middle of the field while he was in college mainly because his speed was so freakish he could make up with his speed. While TJ does take advantage while hes around the ball and gets his hands on it, his strength is when hes going against the run and gets to pin his ears back.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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I remember a few big, effective run stopping USC safeties who went on to fail miserably in the NFL. Darnell Bing, Taylor Mays...I see more fluidity in TJ McDonald then I did in those guys, but the pedigree isn't exactly stellar when dealing with those type of players.
Bing and Mays got most of the pub but you could make an argument that Kevin Ellison was the best safety on the roster at SC. TJ has better instincts imo than Mays and Bing, and a much better family pedigree...it helps a lot when your dad is Tim McDonald and he's helping you break down tape every week.

That all said, I think the best safety prospect on USC's roster just might be LB Dion Bailey.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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I really think McDonald is capable of playing either free safety or strong safety at the next level. Not only a rangy athlete but also aggressive and physical. Gun to my head I guess I would say free safety but either way he's a much better football player than Taylor Mays is / was.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:17 PM    (permalink
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Either one. The rare true safety prospect.
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