Marcus McCauley NFL Bio

The official NFL bio of the Vikings' third-round draft pick, Fresno State's Marcus McCauley.


A physical open-field tackler, McCauley built a reputation with his ability to take on the powerful running backs while also displaying the quickness needed to shut down speedy wide receivers. But after suffering a concussion in the second game of the 2006 season against Oregon, his performance slipped and he was eventually replaced in the starting lineup for the team's final four games.

McCauley competed as a running back, safety, wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner at Rancho Cordova High School. He helped the team advance to the Division II semifinals, earning All-City honors as a senior. He was considered one of the Sacramento area's best all-around talents by the Sacramento Bee. He also excelled as a basketball player.

In 2002, McCauley enrolled at Fresno State, choosing the Bulldogs over Oregon, Washington and California. He spent the season on the scout team. He played in all 14 games on special teams and nine on defense in 2003, posting 11 tackles (6 solos) while blocking a pair of kicks.

He took over weak-side cornerback duties in 10 of 12 games during 2004. McCauley was credited with 31 tackles (21 solos), a sack and three stops for losses. He deflected eight passes and intercepted three others, returning one for a touchdown.

As a junior, McCauley captured second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors. He posted 45 tackles (38 solos) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage. He caused two fumbles, broke up seven passes, picked off another and gained 18 yards on a kickoff return.

In 2006, McCauley saw his string of 29 consecutive starts come to an end after he was benched during the New Mexico State game. He finished fifth on the team with 55 tackles (40 solos), adding three stops for losses. He caused two fumbles and batted down seven passes. He also had a 14-yard kickoff return.

In 51 games at Fresno State (46 on defense), McCauley started 32 contests. He recorded 142 tackles (105 solos) with a 2-yard sack and 8.5 stops for losses of 20 yards. He caused four fumbles, blocked two kicks and gained 32 yards on a pair of kickoff returns. He added 22 pass deflections and four interceptions for 78 yards in returns (26.0 avg), including a touchdown.


Positives: Has a lean, yet solidly built frame with minimal body fat, defined chest and arm muscles, tapered thighs, big hands to securely field the ball and exceptional quickness...Physical open-field tackler who uses his strength well in run support, doing a nice job of attacking the outside leg of the ball carrier to impede the runner's forward progress...Quick to react to plays along the perimeter, showing the change of direction agility and lateral movement to fly to the ball...Good at redirecting to neutralize the cutback lanes...Has good body control to make open-field adjustments and demonstrates good hand/eye coordination tracking the ball in flight...Tough short-area coverage defender who fires his hands with force in attempts to press and reroute...Squares his shoulders and strikes with good pop on contact...Alert to blocking schemes and does a good job of adjusting to the pre-snap movement...Plays with good aggression, but is not the type who will boast about his accomplishments or talk trash...Was not used on offense in college, but has the high school experience, quickness and natural hands to be an emergency receiver...Generally plays alert in the zone, handling the switch-offs while making sure other secondary performers are aligned to make the play...Has a keen knowledge of the defensive playbook and made the adjustment calls in the secondary...Reacts quickly to the ball in flight, showing the second gear to get under the throw...Has more than enough acceleration to stay tight on the hip of the receiver throughout the route...Even when he gets caught out of position, he has the loose hips and second gear to recover...Likes to get physical in press coverage and with his ability to play his man tight or loose, he could be a more viable free safety prospect at the pro level...Fluid in his retreat, getting good depth in his pass drops...Has the quickness and balance to come out of his breaks cleanly and is quick to recover when he takes extra steps in transition (gets a little rangy at times)...Does a good job of eyeing the backfield and trying to keep the plays in front of him when playing in the zone...Has the timed speed to drop back quickly into the deep areas or come up inside the box to support against the run...Has the pursuit speed and explosion to get back into the play when he over-pursues and shows urgency chasing down plays along the perimeter...Has the leaping ability and timing to compete for the ball at its highest point and shows good body adjustments to contort and make plays on the ball in the air (not a good pass thief, though)...Charges hard to fill the rush lanes and is active with his hands in attempts to shed blocks and make plays working down the line...Likes the physical aspect of run force and does a good job of breaking down and taking proper angles to use the shortest path to the ball...Hard striker who wraps and secures with good force behind his hits...Also shows good timing acting as a kick blocker on special teams.

Negatives: Possibly due to the concussion he suffered in the second game of 2006, but his play tapered off quite a bit as the season progressed, as he seemed hesitant to step up and fill the creases and allowed too much cushion without showing his patented explosion when trying to close on the play...His footwork seemed to be off, as he took false steps in transition and lacked the quick plant-and-drive agility he showed in the past...He was a bit more undisciplined in his reads, as he bit on play-action more often as a senior...Has good hands, but struggled quite a bit to track the ball over his outside shoulder...Seemed to attack and gamble on the ball often in 2006, rather than play off the man...Needs to secure the ball better before attempting to run with it and looked awkward trying to reach and extend to field the ball outside his frame (had three potential interceptions turn into deflections, as he double-caught the balls)...Looked lost at times peeking into the backfield and did not attack ball carriers with the same authority he showed before his concussion (seemed to be hesitant to stick his hat into the action).

Compares To: IKE TAYLOR-Pittsburgh...Both players received national attention for their play in 2005, showing excellent range, quickness and hitting ability. Both seemed to just be going through the motions in 2006, not playing with the aggressiveness or decisiveness they showed in the past. McCauley really struggled on long routes, getting turned around quite a bit as he struggled to track the ball in flight. He will go lower than his athletic ability dictates on draft day due to his inconsistency as a senior. He will need some stroking and a patient coach to see if he can regain that confidence in his ability that he showed as a junior.

Career Notes

Produced a string of 29 consecutive starting assignments that was snapped when he came off the bench in the 2006 Idaho game.

2006 Season

Played in all twelve games at strong-side cornerback, starting until the final month of the season, when he was replaced in the second half of the New Mexico State clash by Damon Jenkins, competing as a reserve in the final three games...Finished fifth on the team with 55 tackles (40 solos), adding three stops for losses of 7 yards...Caused two fumbles and deflected seven passes...Added 14 yards on a kickoff return...Also had one tackle on special teams...Of the 62 passes thrown into his area, 43 were caught for 618 yards (14.4 avg) and nine touchdowns...27 of those catches resulted in first downs while 19 of those grabs were for 10 yards or longer (including eleven for 20 yards or more)...Credited with 17 third-down stops (7 vs. the run, 10 vs. the pass)...Opponents averaged 9.97 yards per pass attempt vs. McCauley.

2005 Season

All-Western Athletic Conference second-team selection...Started all thirteen games at strong-side cornerback...Credited with 45 tackles (38 solos), including two stops for losses of 3 yards...Caused two fumbles and intercepted one pass...Added seven pass deflections and returned a kickoff 18 yards.

2004 Season

Started ten of twelve contests at weak-side cornerback...Registered 31 tackles (21 solos) with a 2-yard sack and three stops for losses of 6 yards...Deflected eight passes and intercepted three others for 78 yards in returns (26.0 avg) and a touchdown.

2003 Season

Played in nine games on defense and fourteen total, seeing most of his action on special teams...Finished with eleven tackles (6 solos) and assisted on one stop for a 4-yard loss... In his first career start, McCauley posted four tackles vs. Nevada...Blocked an extra point attempt vs. Oklahoma and blocked a 40-yard field goal try in the San Jose State clash.

2002 Season

Redshirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2006: Suffered a concussion in the Oregon game (9/09).

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.39 in the 40-yard dash...365-pound bench press...475-pound squat...330-pound power clean...324-pound hang clean...37.5-inch vertical jump...10'5" broad jump...31 1/4-inch arm length...10 1/8-inch hands...Right-handed...23/31 Wonderlic score.

Combine: 4.48 in the 40-yard dash...1.59 10-yard dash...2.61 20-yard dash...4.17 20-yard shuttle...11.5 60-yard shuttle...6.61 three-cone drill...36-inch vertical jump...10'9" broad jump... Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times.

High School

Attended Rancho Cordova (Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Max Miller... Competed as a running back, safety, wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner during his playing days...Helped the team advance to the Division II semifinals, earning All-City honors as a senior...Considered one of the Sacramento area's best all-around talents by the Sacramento Bee...Also excelled as a basketball player.


Sociology major, possessing a 2.7 grade point average...Son of Karla Graham and Marcus McCauley, Sr...Born 9/03/83...Resides in Sacramento, California.

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