Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scouting Report: James McCluskey

This is my annual attempt at being Mel Kiper or Todd McShay. I'll cover the big names and the likely BC free agents. Today's profile is James McCluskey.

I am a huge fan of James McCluskey's NFL upside...and this has nothing to do with his agent being a friend of mine. Think of all the rave reviews we've heard about Mike McLaughlin from Baltimore and Denver. How versatile he is...how the NFL needs more blocking fullbacks, etc. Now imagine a player who fits many of the same needs but can also catch the ball.

The flipside is that for all the hustle and hype people have for pluggers, scrappy fullback types, they are also a dime a dozen. McLaughlin is on his second team without ever having played a snap in a live game. I see McCluskey in that same mode, but I think his offensive skills will keep him on a team as a free agent.

If anything McCluskey was underutilized due to injuries and offense during the later part of his BC career. In 2008 -- before he broke his leg -- he was a solid runner and pass catcher. As his career progressed and the offense changed, he didn't touch the ball as much. But that didn't stop his blocking. McCluskey opened holes the past two years and won most of his one-on-one battles.

As for measurables, McCluskey has the size. He's probably a little slow at 4.92 for what any NFL team would want, but as a FB/special teams player, he can get away with that.

I am 99% sure that McCluskey will not hear his name called this weekend. Conversely, I think he will be a popular guy once the lockout really ends. If he finds the right offense and the right depth chart, he can make an impact in 2011.


Herzylax22 said...

James McCluskey could be the most underrated player at BC for the last several years. I watched a Montel Harris highlight video recently and the one thing you notice if you're looking is that James is lead blocking on about every play that's included.

mod34b said...

McLaughlin did not make the Raven roster? IR right? did he practice with the team?

And as for the Broncos, i assume McLaughlins's contract is just a contract that allows him to try to make the team -- no guarantees. right?

Nice to see some interest in him.

JBQ said...

McCluskey was "thrown under the bus" by Spaziani. He was another good senior player sacrificed in the notion that playing underclassmen now and losing now would be good for the future. Unfortunately, it appears that losing begets losing.

Benjamin said...

Seriously, the thrown under the bus line is getting old. We get it. You think Spaziani put these seniors to death by drowning them like little puppies. I can name many other seniors that had plenty of playing time in favor of younger guys.
McClusky was utilized actually rather well his senior. He didn't get a lot of touches, but as Bill and Herzylax22 point out, he was instrumental in our running game. What's your argument for him being thrown under the bus?