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Miami Hurricanes 2018 NFL Draft Profile: Guard KC McDermott

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Helping to raise the standard of play along the offensive line for UM, KC McDermott looks to have a similar impact in the NFL.

Florida Atlantic v Miami

Nature vs Nurture used to be the biggest debate before Steph vs LeBron was even quantifiable. For Miami Hurricanes’ draft hopeful guard KC McDermott, he exists somewhere in between the two having grown up in Wellington, Florida, and being the younger brother of two other offensive linemen, Tyler McDermott and former UM alum Shane McDermott.

The youngest McDermott now looks to take his game to the pro level in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. Winner of the Miami Touchdown Club’s R. Dale Melching Leadership Award on offense, McDermott has been vital in helping Hurricanes Football return to prominence over the past few seasons.

Although he played left tackle for UM in his senior season, McDermott is projected to return to play offensive guard—a position he has moonlighted at during four seasons at Miami. State of the U goes over the strengths that McDermott will deliver at the next level as well as some of his deficiencies that need to be ironed out to enjoy sustainable employment at the NFL level.

Measurables and Path to the Draft

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 311 pounds

Arm Length: 32½ inches

Hand Size:9¾ inches

High School: Palm Beach Central High School

Best Game Film: Notre Dame (2017)

KC McDermott’s Senior Profile

Strengths

Good Mobility Regardless of Direction

Starting out with the good. McDermott is not limited in his movement regardless of the flow of the play. Illustrating excellent eye discipline, McDermott holds up well in one-on-one or combo blocking situations. Able to locate the direction of the pressure, it’s not too often that you will catch No.52 unable to lay a hand or two on a defender.

McDermott kicks back incredibly well. In games against the ACC’s best pass-rushers, McDermott was able to keep in front of them, coming up with a stalemate along the outside of the pocket—essentially a win for the offense in the larger perspective of the game. No one will mistake McDermott to be fleet of foot, yet his ability to ride speed-rushers out of the pocket and slide back to pick up a blitzer deserve solid marks on his draft resume.

Fluid to the Second Level

Getting to the second level is an art into itself, one that McDermott does well. Showing good agility to not get in front of second-level defenders such as linebackers or box safeties, he’s able to get both hands on the defender to steer them away from the play.

Picks up Stunts and Twists Well

Picking up stunts and twists is not as sexy as laying a defender on his back for a pancake block, but KC McDermott is no slouching defense playing games along the the line. Going back to his eye discipline tag-teamed with patience to hold his ground for the looper, McDermott has excellent discipline on blitz pickup, considering that he rides edge defenders out of the pocket and away from the QB. According to Pro Football Focus, McDermott gave up just 10 total pressures (two sacks, two hits, six hurries) from the start of the season to end of November.

Has Experience Both as an Offensive Guard and Offensive Tackle

Versatility is always in demand in the NFL. McDermott is no stranger to playing inside or outside on the offensive line. Over the course of his Miami career, he has worked as a guard and tackle, whether to fill in as the Hurricanes tried to figure out the best starting five along the line or simply since he was the best blocker the team had. McDermott has been a plug-and-play guy for UM, and while there are no guarantees heading to pros in that department, his experience playing both positions could be invaluable to his future employer.

Weaknesses

Not a Bully

NFL franchises would love to have five guys that are bullies in the trench when it comes to their offensive line personnel. McDermott is certainly not a finesse player by any means, but a criticism that has been brought up is that the guard does not have that ‘nasty’ streak in him to maul defenders at the point of attack. From what we’ve seen on film, McDermott does wrestle some guys to the ground, but those moments tend to happen infrequently. Earlier, we gave PFF’s stat on McDermott’s efficiency pass-blocking. While those impressive numbers may sit well with team officials given that NFL is majorly a passing league, some draft analysts wish for McDermott to add more bulk on the chance that he can handle the athletes throughout the NFL.

With the weight added to his frame, there will be intrigue as to how that will affect McDermott’s style of play. We will have to wait and see how it all pans out.

Scout’s Take

“Underweight tackle who needs to build more strength to sustain his anchor at the next level. Good technique getting his hands inside but doesn’t have the grip to maintain blocks and is susceptible to counter moves.”

CBS Sports Staff

Guard Kc McDermott is an explosive lineman but is another who must also get stronger.

Tony Pauline Draft Analyst

“The youngest of three brothers (Tyler, Shane) to play college ball, KC McDermott has the requisite skills to earn an NFL look. He doesn’t have the foot quickness or fluidity to pass set as a tackle and will have to get comfortable with a move inside. Despite his height, McDermott has enough hip flexibility to sink into his stance effectively. A thin, narrow base will cause concern and will need building up, but a training camp opportunity shouldn’t be in doubt.”

Matt Miller Bleacher Report

“He plays with some tenacity, but there are too many snaps where he can’t get his blocks secured or where he struggles to sustain utilizing desired body control. He looks the part of narrow tackle, but he’s missing the foot quickness to survive there. Without better technique and body control he is likely to struggle against the quickness and power he will see in the pros.”

Lance Zierlein NFL.com analyst

Final Wave

McDermott played at the tackle position the last couple of seasons for the Hurricanes, but projects to be a guard in the NFL. With an ability to stay engaged and not so worried about speed rushes at the guard position, McDermott will be a project initially, with the potential to be a starter should he earn the opportunity. A team captain for the Hurricanes in his final season, wherever KC McDermott ends up, he’ll not only be an solid teammate, but among the hardest workers along the offensive line.

Best Fits: Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams

Draft Projection: Fifth-Seventh Round

Good Luck KC!