OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) hosted DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) Sept. 16 in a WCAC-MIAA matchup. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout four-star Maryland commit Jordan McNair, a 6-foot-5, 325-pound tackle.
Our analysis on McNair's game is below, while an interview can be seen above:
McNair is being recruited as a tackle, although he's a bit of tweener and could probably fill either a guard or tackle spot at the next level. Either way, he has the athleticism; length; strength and flexibility to become a potent lineman anywhere along the line in college.
Physically, McNair has a wide frame and relatively long arms, along with big, strong hands. His base is stout, his upper body muscle-strewn and his wingspan wide. McNair has a bit of bad weight, but his conditioning will improve once he arrives at Maryland.
At the snap, when run blocking, McNair has excellent burst, responding instantaneously and firing forward. He comes off low and hard, has a formidable initial punch and usually strikes underneath the pads. His feet keep moving after contact, allowing McNair to push his man off the ball and scrape up to the second level.
Indeed, McNair routinely gets past the initial line of defense, sliding up to the linebackers in a hurry. The McDonogh tackle has the athleticism, short-area quicks and deft footwork needed to navigate tight quarters and execute in space.
It follows that McNair can pull and block around end as well. He does a good job moving laterally, his agility and deft feet letting him run down the line and locate linebackers.
When pass blocking, McNair quickly enters his stance and shows solid form (straight back, arms extended, chops his feet). He slides well, his steps are precise, and his punch is above average. He's also able to readjust to edge rushers and remain patient with his blocks. McNair doesn't lunge, allowing rushers to come to him. He anchors well too, either guiding his man past the quarterback or turning him to the outside.
To take his game up a notch, McNair needs to become even more powerful at the point of attack. He's added strength since last year, but he's not yet a mauler. We'd like him to get meaner and more powerful, knocking defenders straight off the ball. He has to develop that killer instinct where he routinely finishes his man.
Also, McNair must continue honing his hand placement. He has to make sure he strikes inside and under the pads. Sometimes he'll play high and deliver a less-than-effective initial strike.
Moreover, McNair's initial thrust has to be even quicker. While he's quick off the ball, sometimes he doesn't get his hands up fast enough for an effective punch.
Furthermore, McNair can’t "lose" his block. Once in awhile he'll punch, but then relent, letting his man slip inside.
Lastly, McNair must continue improving his conditioning. His form is compromised during the latter parts of games when he's tired.