Sometimes it takes until a player’s senior season before he gets a chance to realize his potential -- as McCray will tell you. A four-star prospect from Ocala, Florida, he had three tackles in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl after putting up over 200 tackles and 20 sacks in his junior and senior seasons in high school. But it took until his senior year to become a full-time starter, mostly due to an injury to talented sophomore Ronald Powell, before he could be healthy enough to saty on the field. Despite this delay, scouts have seen enough of his raw size and athleticism to consider him a potential contributor at the next level.
McCray played in eight games on special teams in 2008, making five tackles on the season. He only played three games the following year, again being credited with five stops as a reserve before receiving a medical redshirt. McCray got in 10 games as a reserve in 2010 (six tackles, one for loss) and nine in 2011 (five starts, 24 tackles, 7.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass break-ups), but missed seven games over those two seasons due to shoulder and ankle maladies. As a senior, McCray recorded 25 tackles (4.5 for loss), three sacks, and an interception.
Versatile defender who rushes the passer from either side of the line, with his hand down or standing up. Solid get-off from a hand-down position, can stay low and has excellent flexibility to turn the corner, length to wrap up quarterbacks and separate the ball on impact. Also wins B-gap by coming off low and strong. Uses his length to get leverage when bull-rushing or facing double teams on the edge despite his slight build. Powerful hands that result in a jolt on contact. Works hard through blocks to reach the quarterback if the ball stays in the pocket. Hustles to chase plays across the line and downfield. Stays on his feet through cut blocks, uses his hands to keep balance. Agile enough to drop into a zone. Shows hands for the easy interception.
Has an injury history, also rotated out of games regularly; must prove stamina to be an every-down player. Lean defender who can be knocked off his path as a pass rusher by a strong punch. Relies on outside rush too often, needs counter moves to take advantage of inside lane. Struggles to get off blocks when leaning into his man on the edge. Must prove he has the agility and bend to move with receivers outside in coverage.
One particular game of note for McCray this season came against Texas A&M and Luke Joeckel, where McCray's powerful hands and strength gave Joeckel noticable issues. McCray has missed nearly two seasons of games due to injuries. But when healthy, the former four-star high school recruit flashes enough strength, length and athleticism to be a mid-round pick capable of contributing as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.