NAME: Kaleb McGary
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 58
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 318 lbs
Pass Protection – Issues when facing speed rushers are going to be plentiful in the NFL. Rarely faced edge rushers teeing off from an outside technique, yet still gave up pressure on the handful of reps he did see. Set point range is a concern, too easily pushed through on his outside shoulder. When he lands his strike, can sit down against power rushes, but too many examples of defenders getting their hands inside and initiating the first blow, knocking him back toward the quarterback.
POA Run Blocking – Has a bad tendency to dip his head and eyes when firing off the ball at an opponent. Loses his target area as a result, which can lead to some shoddy hand placement. Needs to bring his legs up underneath him into contact more often, which begins with a lower pad level off the ball. Definitely at his best in a vertical blocking scheme, although his footwork in inside zone appeared to be solid. Mobility is a concern though, on linear paths can create movement and does a great job helping on doubles.
Functional Strength – The amount of reps he didn’t lose (badly) despite bad technique and poor pad level is impressive, and a sheer testament to his size and strength. When he does get the details right, fully capable of generating movement in the run game and man-handling power pass rushers. A few good examples of using rotational force to drive opponents out of gaps is encouraging to build upon.
Pass Pro Footwork – Consistently struggles to gain enough depth in his pass sets. First step is a tad late a handful of times in certain games. Crosses his legs moving up the arc to make up lost ground, but leaves himself susceptible to stabs, bull rushes and inside counters as a result. Speed is going to be a major concern, was consistently run through on his outside shoulder because he didn’t establish half-man relationship.
When facing rushers head up from techniques tighter to the ball, builds his house quickly and shows an impressive anchor. Really struggles to move laterally and re-direct against counters. Hip tightness and heavy feet don’t help him on the edge, but a move inside could make sense.
Strike Timing/Placement – Big-time concerns with his strike timing and hand usage in pass protection. Carries his hands too low and is frequently late with his punch, allowing defenders to get inside his frame and knock him back. This seems especially more frequent when opponents are coming at him from an outside technique, as if the timing is difficult for him to gauge despite starting at right tackle for 3.5 years.
In the pass game or run game (especially the latter) when he does land his strikes the results can be deadly. Grip strength and tenacity to finish the job and send a message to the opposition. Has to be more sudden with his hands to gain an earlier advantage in the rep and jostle more defenders off their spot.
Leverage – Needs to do a better job of finding leverage points with his hands, which would be aided by better pad level. On almost a per-snap basis, McGary plays far too high, allowing defenders under his pads in pass protection by exposing a ton of surface area. In the run game, power is negated due to standing straight up, also leads to getting push-pulled at line of scrimmage and stacked/shed in space by smaller defenders.
Space Blocking – Not asked to pull very often at Washington, when he did his get-off was slow and contained a significant hitch out of his stance. Does not appear to be the kind of athlete you want in space. At the second level was consistently stacked and shed due to high pad level and late hands. Even undersized linebackers like Troy Dye from Oregon worked off his block immediately on multiple occasions.
Competitive Toughness – Was successful in the PAC-12 off sheer dominant will and impressive strength and toughness. Grinder who won’t stop coming. Looks to finish when he can. Has worked through a heart arrhythmia concern which led to three procedures and his family’s house burning down to become a standout at Washington.
Mental Processing – Some “eyes in the back of his head” moments that are pretty impressive. Passes off defenders to pick up late blitzers. Didn’t see a ton of games in the PAC-12, but active eyes almost always found work. Understands his target on every play and rarely see him looking lost.
Athleticism/Size – Outstanding size, length and physique with little noticeable bad weight. Athletically limited, tight in the hips, struggles with change-of-direction and does his best work in a phone booth.
BEST TRAIT – Functional Strength
WORST TRAIT – Footwork/Pad Level
RED FLAGS – Heart arrhythmia issue will be something teams need to look at, but I don’t think he missed a single game at Washington, and was medically cleared to play in high school heading into college, when the issue was first discovered.
A 3.5 -year starter who returned to school last year to help lead Washington to a PAC-12 title, McGary is a physical brute of an offensive lineman who may benefit from a move inside to guard. He lacks the technical footwork and mobility to excel on the edge against quicker defenders, and his high pad level leads to plenty of knock-back, condensing the pocket for his quarterback.
McGary has potential in the run game, showing the ability to move defenders and pave open lanes up front. If his pad level was better and his hand usage more sudden, we could be talking about a more dominant player on the ground, but I don’t know if it is realistic to expect that given his experience. McGary is too limited to play outside in my opinion, but I would be curious to watch his development as a guard, although pad level concerns give me pause there as well.
PROS: Just a steamroller of a human being. For his size (6’6, 320) he’s an excellent athlete. Has a devastatingly powerful punch–one-handed and two–that can shake defenders off their spot. Will wash defensive tackles on down blocks to the other side of the line; will take double teams 8+ yards deep. Does well to frame rushers; is patient in his kick-slide and maximizes his length and power in punch with instinctual timing. Hand location can get a bit inconsistent but is generally very sound; same can be said of grip strength. Keeps post foot very disciplined against twists, stunts, and late attempts at inside moves. Can bury rushers who try to come inside on him.
An aggressor in pass protection who loves the jump set and looks to finish. Torsion strength jumps off the screen when working leverage on zone flow or redirecting rushers past the QB’s set point. Recovery ability, as generated by length, quickness, and poise, excellent for college OT. Rarely loses his head when in a sub-optimal position, maximizing powerful punch to disrupt rushers who’ve worked their way around his cylinder. Takes good angles on clean releases into the second level in the running game; has a high hit rate on both climbs and screens, where his surprising agility wins once again.
CONS: Kick slide doesn’t gain sufficient depth despite athletic profile that would indicate it’s well within McGary’s ability. Often plays too tight into the offensive guard and is forced into a recovery position on the outside track. Wasn’t tested often with speed and an inside counter attached, but when he was, struggled with opening the back door and surrendering pressures as such. Most issues came from alignments wider than a 5-technique.
Feet will fall asleep momentarily on contact in both the running and passing game alike. Particularly egregious on reach blocks: often tries to stop flow immediately once he gains leverage instead of continuing the block through the play, thereby surrendering leverage. Will also show up on jump sets, as he relies to heavily on his length, and can fall victim to push-pull/swim. Kick slide has some bounce/choppiness to it at times, especially when pressed for depth. Upright frame (6’6) can become too stiff in pass sets, losing active base in knees and hips, thereby becoming susceptible to power rushes.