McMillan couldn't pull off the double Butkus Award win as the best linebacker at both the high school (won in 2013) and collegiate levels (finalist in 2015), but his play during his three years in Columbus won over NFL scouts. He graduated from high school a semester early to join OSU football for spring practice, which paid off in the fall when he played in all 15 games, lining up for more snaps than the starter in nine of those contests. He won second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2015, leading the team with 119 tackles (four for loss, four pass breakups). McMillan didn't rack up quite as many tackles as a junior (102, seven for loss) but still gained recognition for his play as a second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection.
Downhill movement after the snap is his norm. Understands angles. Can outpace pulling guards to the spot with his play quickness. Reads his keys and responds. Plays with good anticipation of lane choice by the runner. Attacks hands-first into blockers with good arm extension to keep his frame clean. Good zone-cover ability. Reads quarterback's eyes and slides into passing lanes. Has added additional thickness during his tenure.
Struggles to leverage his gap as a take-on linebacker. Gets widened out of his gap by size. Gets trapped on the wrong side of the block. Tends to play over the top of a block rather than under it. Slow to disengage and tackle. Tight in his lower half. Missing the quick, reactive change of direction to consistently secure shifty runners. Delayed in stop-start pursuit to the sideline. Has some limitations in man coverage.
Sources Tell Us
"I see him as a backup early on who will become a starter at SAM (strong-side) for a 4-3 team. He's been pretty productive but I don't see anything special." -- South area scout for NFC team
McMillan has too many issues standing his ground and leveraging his gap as an interior run defender and could end up outside in the pros. He might have benefited from playing alongside a slew of NFL talent, but he's active and plays the game with good instincts. He has the potential to become an average starter in the league.