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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Greg McCrae

  • The Draft Network
  • January 31, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY - GREG MCCRAE

Greg McCrae was a steady contributor at UCF throughout his career, but his best year came in 2018 when he collected 1,298 yards from scrimmage while averaging 9.2 yards per touch with 11 touchdowns. McCrae is a lean back with a narrow build. His game is predicated on quickness, twitch, and agility while the power components are missing. While he’s a highly competitive runner that battles, he doesn’t have the power or mass to be effective with yards after contact or breaking tackles. For a running back with McCrae’s physical traits, more receiving production would be preferred since that will likely need to be a major part of what he can do to claim a role in the NFL. For his career, McCrae logged a total of 33 catches and was under 10 catches in three of four seasons. He looked sufficient catching the football in my exposures to him, but was credited with seven drops on 44 career targets. McCrae can bring a speed dynamic to an NFL backfield, but his game is missing some key elements and he is quite undersized. 

Ideal Role: Third/fourth running back.

Scheme Fit: Gap blocking.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by: Joe Marino 

Games watched: Temple (2018), Memphis (2020), Tulane (2020), Georgia Tech (2020), Cincinnati (2020)  

Best Game Studied: Temple (2018) 

Worst Game Studied: Cincinnati (2020) 

Vision: McCrae is a run to daylight back that follows his blocks. With that said, he doesn’t offer much in terms of nuance in the way he presses the line of scrimmage to help widen lanes and make blocks right. McCrae is creative in the open field, but I would not call him a consistent anticipator between the tackles—although he does stay the course. 

Footwork: McCrae has springy feet and he can make dynamic cuts outside of his frame. While he is guilty of being too cute, for the most part, he is efficient with his cuts and jukes and does well to string moves together. McCrae does well to angle himself to attack creases and maximize his touches. 

Contact Balance: McCrae features a lean and narrow build that does not project well to picking up yards after contact in the NFL. With that said, he runs hard and is difficult for defenders to square up, so he did find some success doing so in college. McCrae won’t be confused as a powerful runner that can move piles and grind out tough yards. 

Durability: McCrae was a four-year contributor for UCF and managed to avoid serious injury despite a lean frame. He enters the NFL with 438 career touches from scrimmage in college and was very much part of a rotation. He isn’t the type of back that will be identified as a bell-cow back that is going to shoulder the role. He’s a complementary back. 

Explosiveness: McCrae is a quick and explosive runner. In 2018, McCrae averaged 8.9 yards per carry on 133 attempts, which speaks to his burst and ability to hit the home run. With that said, McCrae has a diminutive frame and his ability to accelerate is critical to him finding production in the NFL. I do think he is actually quicker than fast. 

Versatility: McCrae was typically used out of the backfield for his entire career unlike his teammate Otis Anderson, who got frequent opportunities to also play in the slot. McCrae is a surprisingly effective inside runner but that could be attributed to the light boxes UCF’s spread offense often attracts. For a back of his stature, more receiving production would be ideal. 

Elusiveness: McCrae is quite elusive with terrific agility. He has a loose and narrow build which is favorable for being shifty and sudden. His twitch and elusiveness are critical traits for why he has found success. 

Ball Security: McCrae fumbled the ball three times on 406 career rushing attempts in college, so ball security wasn’t much of a concern. He was deliberate about protecting the football and I did not find instances of him being loose with the ball in my exposures. 

Passing Down Skills: McCrae gave an honest effort to pass block in college and he had some impressive moments. With that said, his frame projects poorly to being a face-up protector in the NFL. Surprisingly, the most catches McCrae had in any season in college was 14 in 2020 and never reached double digits in his first three seasons. In my exposures, he did appear to catch the football without concern and ran good routes. 

Discipline: McCrae can be a bit eager to widen his tracks when his path is congested. He does a good job of protecting the football. I love how assertive and willing he is in pass protection despite not having ideal physical traits to perform. 

Prospect Comparison: Brandon James (2010 NFL Draft, UDFA) 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 67.5/100

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