Onterio McCalebb: Draft Prospect Preview

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Down on “The Plains” this guy was one of the most electric Auburn Tigers that fan base has seen.  Onterio McCalebb dazzled thousands weekend after weekend with his blazing speed and game breaking ability.  The former senior running back at Auburn, McCalebb never amassed the prototypical every down running back kind of carries or stats for but he was definitely a highlight creator.

McCalebb was certainly the lone star in Auburn’s awful 3-9 season last year.  When he was able to get through holes or out in the open space, he was able to show off what he has been doing his whole career, making guys miss and out running everyone on the field.  McCalebb, a small running back at 5’10” 168 lbs., is a very versatile player.  He can run the ball, catch the ball and is a very good returner.  These aspects certainly heighten his quality and his draft interest from teams.

McCaleb was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and he showed off his speed in tremendous fashion.  McCalebb ran an official 4.34 40, and one of his runs was around the 4.28 range.  Certainly something the scouts loved to see and one thing that got McCalebb on everyone’s watch list.  He also showed a 34 inch vertical leap and some leg power with a 121 inch broad jump.  Even though he is small he has certainly showed his leg strength with his leaping ability and running ability.

Onterio McCalebb, Cameron FullerMcCalebb is a very fast back that would fit perfectly as a third down back and a change of pace back.  He doesn’t have the every down back mold or size which doesn’t help his draft status.  Even with that, he does possess really good hands and has shown his whole career to effectively catch the ball out of the backfield and can even line up in the slot and play a little receiver.  His return ability helps him out because it makes him more dangerous and a more valuable commodity.  He lacks the size and overall strength to make solid blocks and maintain blocks.  His main strength will definitely be using his speed and vision to follow blockers and get out in the open space and just flat-out run.  If he can work on his blocking some more he could be used more as a running back.

I would project McCalebb as a 6th-7th round pick and fall to a team with an established running back that is looking for someone to change the pace with their starter.  His returning and receiving ability will help him get on a team and be used without having to be put in the backfield.  If he can get better at blocking and catch on with the right team, he certainly could be a great addition.  Don’t sleep on him because he is a deep sleeper in this draft and be excited with his potential if your team drafts him.

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