By: Shawn Williams
This University of Michigan (RS) Junior is as explosive a prospect as anyone in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Cam McGrone’s high motor and game speed made him a forcible defender for “The Big Blue.”
Michigan employed a blitz-heavy scheme, and McGrone’s instinctive play, vision, and processing speed continually allowed him to find open rush and pass lanes, hit them quickly, and make big plays in the backfield. He showed excellent pursuit skills and the ability to track the opposing quarterback and runners. McGrone is a very technically sound tackler who often wraps up and tackles at the legs. He shouldn’t be the cause of many missed tackles in the NFL.
Cam played Middle Linebacker for Michigan, but is a bit undersized (6 ft, 234 lbs.) for that role at the next level. Despite his lighter build, he does have good core strength, but could struggle shedding bigger, stronger linemen in the NFL.
McGrone, unfortunately, has a small sample size for NFL Scouts and GMs to study. The Wolverines have served as a Linebacker/EDGE pipeline to the NFL recently, with players like Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, Josh Uche, Chase Winovich and Khaleke Hudson, so his opportunity to hit the field didn’t come quickly. He didn’t start playing until his (RS) Sophomore season and opted out after 5 games last year to rehab a minor injury and prepare for the draft.
McGrone’s best fit will likely be a team that runs a blitz-heavy scheme like he did in college (and like Brian Flores’ unit in Miami). He may not be able to serve as a 4-3 MIKE, but could thrive playing ILB in a 3-4, or a 4-3 WILL. He participated in Michigan’s Pro Day, but didn’t take part in most drills. He did put up 20 reps and got measured with a 77-3/4” wingspan and 9-2/3” hand size.
Cam McGrone should find himself off the board on Day 2 of the draft.