Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Darcel McBath
Darcel McBath (CB)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 198
College: Texas Tech
Conference: Big 12
Hometown: Gainesville, TX
High School: Gainesville
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Denver Broncos
Round: 2
Pick (Overall): 16 (48)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The former corner-turned-safety has outstanding range and instincts. Though he isn't polished in coverage, he gives the Broncos a safety capable of playing as their deep middle player. Along with their other additions on the day, the Broncos have added some youth and athleticism.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

It's easy to understand how a defensive player can fly under the radar when he plays for a team with one of the most prolific offenses in the nation.


That didn't stop Darcel McBath from being one of the best playmakers in the Big 12. Having to practice against a top offense -- namely sophomore WR Michael Crabtree -- is sure to help any defensive back hone their coverage skills. McBath, a former cornerback, was the Red Raiders' secondary anchor at the demanding free safety position since shifting there as a sophomore, going on to start his final 39 games.


The opposition, often playing from behind and passing on most every day, challenged the middle of Tech's defense last season. McBath more than stood up to the challenge, pulling in seven interceptions that included a school season-record tying two returns for touchdowns. Six of his seven pass deflections came on third-down plays.


At Gainesville High School, McBath was rated the 36th-best cornerback in the country by Rivals100.com. He was named District 9-3A Most Valuable Player by the Dallas Morning News, as he helped lead GHS to a 16-0 mark and Class 3A Division I title as a senior. That year, he picked off six passes, returning one for a score as a defensive back and logged 75 tackles (50 solo). He also caught 14 touchdown passes as a wide receiver and had two punt returns for touchdowns. As a junior, he totaled 50 tackles and rushed for 800 yards as a running back.


McBath enrolled at Texas Tech in 2004, turning down scholarship offers from Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Notre Dame, but spent that season on the scout team. His college career would be delayed further, as he suffered a broken arm in 2006 fall camp and did not get on the field until the final six games. Seeing action mostly on special teams, his only tackle came vs. Oklahoma State while being listed second on the depth chart at left cornerback.


During his rehabilitation, McBath bulked up to the point that the coaches felt his speed and hitting ability would be best at free safety in 2006. The move was a total success, as he earned All-Big Twelve Conference second-team honors, ranking third on the team and 11th among the league's defensive backs with 75 tackles (35 solo). He also picked off three passes and deflected five other throws.


The 2007 campaign saw McBath firmly entrenched at free safety, as he received All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention, as he led the team with eight pass deflections. He ranked third on the squad with 73 tackles (48 solo), causing one fumble while returning a fumble recovery 16 yards for his first career touchdown in the Iowa State. He also had a pair of interceptions for a defense that ranked 32nd in the nation during his sophomore year and 12th in 2007.


McBath received All-American and All-Big Twelve Conference first-team accolades in 2008. He registered 75 tackles (55 solo), good for second on the team. He caused a fumble and broke up seven passes. He also led the conference and tied for third in the NCAA with seven interceptions, tying a school season-record with two returns for touchdowns.


High School

Attended Gainesville (Tex.) High School...Rated the 36th-best cornerback in the country by Rivals100.com...Named District 9-3A Most Valuable Player by the Dallas Morning News, as he helped lead GHS to a 16-0 mark and Class 3A Division I title as a senior...That year, he picked off six passes, returning one for a score as a defensive back and logged 75 tackles (50 solos)...Also caught 14 touchdown passes as a wide receiver and had two punt returns for touchdowns...As a junior, he totaled 50 tackles and rushed for 800 yards as a running back.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

Analysis

Positives: Centerfielder with the build of a strong safety and good upper-body development. Comes downhill in a hurry, diagnosing the run and attacking receivers over the middle. Solid last line of defense and secure tackler in space. Reads the quarterback's eyes and has the speed to jump routes. Good hands for the interception. Finds his way through trash to the ballcarrier when near the line. Became a more vocal leader as a senior, and has always tried to lead by example. Directs the defense from the deep secondary. Contributes on special teams and should do so in the NFL due to his size and speed.


Negatives: Only adequate height for a free safety and might have to move down into the box. Better when the play is in front of him and lacks the lateral quickness and recovery speed to stay with quick tight ends or receivers in space. Must improve his hand usage to get off the blocks of bigger wide receivers. Slow in run-pass recognition. Not a dominant hitter.


Injury Report

2005: Suffered a broken bone in his arm during fall camp, sitting out the first four games of the season vs. Florida International (9/10), Sam Houston State (9/17), Indiana State (9/24) and Kansas (10/01)...Also missed the Texas and Baylor games (coach's decision).


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

NFL News
CONTENT
15