FanPost

Draft Profile: Vance McDonald/Ryan Swope

With the posting of all the draft profiles I thought I would post one of my own. I know, I know, you're saying: "here he comes again with mentioning the offense. Doesn't he know that all 7 picks should be devoted to DEFENSE??" If you are of that school of thought then that's exactly why I'm profiling offensive players. There is no way, repeat, no way Shanahan devotes that many picks to defense. He has never done that nor should he. In fact, it's completely within the realm of possibility that up to 3 picks could go towards the offensive side of the ball. Let's look at 2 of those possibilities, shall we?

Vance McDonald TE Rice 6'4" 267 lbs: This is a guy that's growing on me the more and more I watch his games. In Rice's offense he lined up mostly as a slot WR ( I know! at 267 lbs) but he was used mostly as a blocking TE that was split out in the right-side slot postion. Although he wasn't a primary option in the passing game from the games I saw these games did showcase his ability to block in space. He demonstrated solid blocking fundamentals with establishing a solid base, driving and staying with his block.

The combine showed his underrated pass-catching skills and athletic ability. If anyone can have favorable comparisons to Aaron Hernandez or Chris Cooley it would this player. However, I think he could be a better all around player than Hernandez is.. He is, undeniably, a prototypical H-back with the capability to line up on the line of scrimmage, go in motion and get in space for the catch and line up at fullback in a pass blocking or pass catching role typical at the H-back position. If you went with a package containing Paulsen and Davis on the edge at TE and McDonald motioning or staying in for pass-blocking, teams would hard-pressed to guess who's staying in to block and who's going out in the coverage. The only knock I see is height. Although 6'4 is adequate. It's on the bottom end of what you want in terms of height. I wouldn't really want to go shorter than that for a TE. I would like for him to be in the 6'5" or 6'6" range but his fundamentals, athletic ability, blocking skills, and natural pass-catching abilities trump his height, in my opinion. I know he's the same height as Davis but he weighs more and has a much more well-rounded skill-set than Davis and that would allow them both to be on the field at the same time. I think some teams may be put off by his lack of experience as an in-line TE (but intrigued by his athletic and pass catching abilities) and that may cause him to drop to somewhere to around the 4th round.

Ryan Swope Texas A&M 6'0" 205 lbs: This player, more than any other WR in this draft, would single-handedly transform our offense and would be a welcome spark we sorely need. The energy that he displays during games is something we haven't had on offense in years. He makes you want to yell "Rahhhhhhh!!!" as he does after he scores. I think it's worth noting that having Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel as a QB has exposed him to both a pocket-passer as well as a mobile QB. His last season showed me just how much of a weapon he could be with a mobile QB. I saw him take off at the line of scrimmage and work all the way to the opposite side of field while Manziel ran around buying time in the backfield. He has the blazing speed (4.2 40) to line up in a wing position and attack the seams and the hands to make the tough catch with a safety or LB ready to blow him up and separate him from the ball. I know some on here would like to compare him to Wes Welker but I think he's much bigger and faster than Welker ever was. Also, he has the quickness to beat press coverage off the line then hit a 2nd gear to gain separation after. We currently have no one besides Garcon and Moss that can consistently get open off separation. That's a problem. Even if you can't see it now as one, it could be blatantly obvious by November and by then it's too late. A player of his skill set level would create all kinds of problems with match-ups and coverage because you go to zone and he's got the speed to slice up the zone and get in the holes before the defensive linemen can get to the QB. He's a four-year player with fantastic instincts. His short area quickness tells me he can be productive on screens (imagine Paulsen, and McDonald blocking on screens) and also on punt returns. Now, he hasn't demonstrated that he can run other routes on the route tree but early on in his 1st year he wouldn't really need to, seeing as his routes could be limited to drags, curls, and 5 and 7 yard down and outs, streaks up the seams and screen patterns. If he's there in the 3rd I would draft him in a heartbeat because of the efficiency and all you would get with one draft pick. I couldn't pass that up no matter what my priorities are. Especially because the draft is so deep at DB and it seems as if there might be a run on the safety position. If that winds up being the case, he could land right in our laps and that should be scary for a lot of teams.

Our offensive needs are currently- WR, 3rd down RB, TE and RT, PR, KR. That being said, Swope and McDonald are extremely versatile players that could represent true efficiency for us. Swope could also help in the return game and McDonald could provide a variety of roles in the blocking, receiving, special teams areas for us. I think that any additions to the offense should be players that can fill multiple roles and with completely different skill sets that are not currently on the team.

These two players would give us options on offense that we were sorely missing last year and are going to be sorely needed this year in RGIII second year of development. The chips are in place for another run at the NFC East with contract years and 1 year contracts at various key positions and we all know how players perform in contract years. (LaRon Landry comes to mind. Last year just happened to be a contract year and it, coincidentally, was his 1st year playing all 16 games, going to the Pro Bowl, and practicing during training camp) So with that said, we need to have players ready to step up seamlessly and fill the roles that could possibly be vacated. These could 2 of them.

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