5’10, 193 pounds | Cornerback | Rutgers
Agility: Is very smooth in his backpedal with fluid hips. Shows he has the kind of quick-twitch agility a cornerback needs. Turns and runs with ease. Shows good leaping ability.
Ball Skills: Stat line doesn’t indicate McCourty’s ball skills. Only had six career interceptions, but he did break up 27 passes. Makes plays on the ball, but doesn’t intercept a lot of passes.
Instincts: A long-time starter who shows the reaction skills to contribute immediately in the NFL. Really showed his instincts in special teams blocking seven kicks.
Man coverage: Not the best press coverage cornerback. Knows how to properly read routes, which helps his anticipation. But when he’s up in the air, larger receivers can over-power McCourty. Better at playing off instead of press. Keeps on the hip of receivers.
Pursuit: Gives a lot of effort in pursuit. Makes up for a lack of great speed by taking solid angles to the ball carrier.
Size: Has decent size for a cornerback. Not especially large, which gets him in trouble against bigger receivers.
Speed: Playing speed is only average. Much more of a quick cornerback. Can be beaten deep by fast vertical threats. Still, McCourty has good enough recovery speed and doesn’t allow a lot of yards after the catch.
Tackling/Run Support: Showed his talent as a tackler playing as a gunner on punts. Can break down in space and take on agile ball carriers. Has some trouble getting off blocks, but shows a lot of effort as a tackler.
Zone coverage: Much better in zone than man. Shows good awareness and typically keeps the play in front of him. Reads the quarterback really nicely. This allows him to get a jump on the pass.
Final word: McCourty is a seasoned cornerback who has started 39 games over the past three seasons. Played in a defensive scheme that used man and cover-2 coverage. Plays every play on special teams – returning kicks and covering.
McCourty was a team captain for Rutgers in 2009. Earned first-team All-Big East honors as a senior.
Although McCourty may never be an elite NFL cornerback, he’s incredibly solid. His special teams ability will get him on the field from day one. He may start as a nickel corner but has the skills to develop into more.