PFF scouting report: Conor McDermott, T, UCLA
Name: Conor McDermott
Position fit: Tackle
Stats to know: Had the No. 24 pass-blocking grade among the nation’s offensive tackles at 83.5 in 2016. Gave up 11 of his 18 season pressures in Week 1 against Texas A&M.
What he does best:
- Light on his feet, good at positioning his body to block defenders.
- Was asked to perform a variety of different and difficult blocks.
- Smooth fluid movements.
- Great at working body around on reach blocks.
- Strong arms to press and steer defensive lineman.
- Showcases ability to be a great outside zone blocker.
- Overall solid in pass blocking, as he wins more than loses.
- McDermott plays on his toes at times. How strong is his lower body?
- Very tall, can be an issue. Doesn’t squat hips naturally in pass protection, susceptible to powerful bull rush.
- Bad posture on some pass protection (head down, weight forward). Will be a work in progress in the NFL.
- Did not grade particularly well as a whole, struggled mightily early in the year against top prospect Myles Garrett.
- Can he be trusted to consistently protect the edge against top NFL pass-rushers.
- Run-blocking grades regressed over the last three years.
Bottom line: McDermott passes the eye ball test with his athletic body and length. He has flashed great skill and ability on film but also struggled with consistency. McDermott has a high ceiling for improvement through refinement of his technique at the next level, though his play-by-play grading does not jump off the page. He’s been solid in pass protection, though he had a disastrous game against Texas A&M to start the 2016 season, most of the damage coming against Myles Garrett. A lack of power in anchoring down rushers in pass protection is probably the biggest concern for McDermott. His quickness coupled with his ability to cover up and steer defenders, especially in the run game probably outweigh concerns over consistency for McDermott. With refinement of his skill McDermott can be a solid tackle in the NFL.