John McCargo   DT   North Carolina St
John is an excellent 1-gap DT.  He has really good size and quickness off the ball and uses his hands very well to defeat his man.  He shows natural feet, balance and strength to control the gaps in the run game.  But his natural abilities to disrupt and get into the backfield quickly are as good as any DTs in this draft.  On film, he looks like he's a good teammate and does a good job in doing the dirty work so that others get the credit without too many problems. 
Needs to Improve
John is a long way from becoming a complete DT, but he is without a doubt, an excellent developmental DT.  As he learns, he will help a team early that uses a 1-gap system.  If he wants to make a lot of money after his first contract in free agency and he's smart, then he should do everything he can to learn to become a complete DT.
Talent Board Round   2
John reminds me of Tim Anderson (DT-Ohio St) drafted by the Bills a couple of years ago.  Tim was drafted, then thrown into a 2-gap system and the Bills have not had that much impact from him until this last season when you could see him start to come on and make some plays.  Now, if Tim had been drafted by a team that uses a 1-gap system, I believe his length-to-impact (LTI) ratio would have been quicker.  I profiled Tim as a DT that would be able to play in any kind of defense, but the truth is that most DTs come out of college and take a few years to impact in a 2-gap system even if they have the athletic talent.  The reason for this is that along with the athletic talent, you need the right mindset.  Some players want all the glory and press clippings that a 1-gap system will give them.  Others are more team oriented and will do anything as long as the team wins.  John can play in any system and should be an excellent complete DT but if you use a 1gap system and you draft him, he will impact on the field right away.  If you are a team that uses a 2-gap system, then he'll take a couple of years before he can impact because of the usual reason.  He will have to get bigger, stronger and learn better techniques.  John has first day talent and I will be surprised if he falls into the second day of the draft; however, this is a draft loaded with LBs and big WR s.  If there is a run on them in the first three rounds, then some lucky team on the second day is going to find a damn good DT just sitting there waiting to help that lucky team out.
by Drew Boylhart


March 2006