TJ McDonaldHt/Wt: 6-3/205 lbs
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T.J. McDonald's 2012 ProfileThere is a lot to like about TJ McDonald starting with his bloodlines. He plays the same position as his former pro bowl father Tim McDonald, he is a former 5 star recruit and has become a defensive leader as a jr. Also, he is 6ft2 and change, over 200lbs and playing at a university that has a long tradition of studs at the safety position. What I like about TJ is that he is a complete player, he makes plays in the passing game and is also know for being a hard hitter. He is a physical player that does not shy away from contact. I also like the fact that he is playing in the Pac 12 which has by far the best QB play in the country which is great experience as he transitions to the next level. The fact that he is tall for a safety prospect plays well since the NFL is turning into a tight end league and safeties are asked more to cover the opposing teams TE who are usually 6ft3 or taller.
McDonald has a lead lower half and thicker upper body, he is not too chiseled and lacks raw athleticism and speed to be able to blow up plays all over the field. Also, his height should serve him well in the passing game but he will have to work harder in the run game to break down and get low in the box to make plays against the run. His change of direction and make up speed is limited.
I really like McDonald’s upbringing for the safety position. He has great experience to carry over. He has a nice combination of length and toughness. He is ready made to play free safety, he is advanced at the mental side of playing the position and will not make a lot of mistakes. I don’t think that he has the elite tools to be a super star at the position but he should be a player who can step in right away and stay in the lineup for a decade. Being that his Dad was a old school DB my comparison would be Eugene Robinson, a cerebral yet physical player who is solid against the run and pass.
Profile submitted by: Tom Patterson
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