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Scouting Report: Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary

Scouting Report: Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary

NFL talent
By: Pete Davidson : April 25, 2015 11:36am

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Rotobahn regulars know that while we exercise bias for things like size and speed, we do not rule out small school talents without doing our homework. And, let me tell you, William and Mary’s Tre McBride was some enjoyable homework. When you watch his film, you see a smooth athlete with a versatile skill set who loves to get after the football and make plays. He’s also willing to get his hands dirty as a blocker and on special teams. There’s plenty to like.  And, while McBride comes from a smaller program, it’s worth pointing out that William & Mary plays as good a FCS schedule as you’ll find from a FCS school.

Here’s McBride on his versatility at the combine. “I can play anywhere. In college, coach never limited me to any one position. I can move all the way around the ball, I can motion, I can block, I can run jet sweeps, I can get reverses, I can run deep, whatever needs to be done on the field, I can do it all.

On what he’s looking to accomplish at the combine. “I’m confident in what I can do. I'm not sure that anybody else knows yet, so that's what I'm here for. I kinda made my money in college making the contested catch. High-pointing the ball, I run good routes, score touchdowns, the whole nine.

McBride was a standout at the East-West Shrine game. Here’s an interview he gave during that week.

COMBINE

  • Height - 6’0”
  • Weight - 210
  • Hand - 9”
  • Arm - 32 1/8”
  • 40 - 4.41
  • Bench - 16
  • Vertical Jump - 38”
  • Broad Jump - 10’2”
  • 3 Cone - 6.96
  • 20 Yd Shuttle - 4.08
  • 60 Yd Shuttle - 11.70

First of all, give McBride credit for not ducking any drills. He also didn’t show any big areas of weakness—performing well in all areas. He showed nice explosiveness in both the vertical and broad jumps and his 4.41 40 surely opened some eyes. He was much stronger in the short shuttle (top 5 time) versus the long shuttle, and his 3-cone time was competitive especially for a 210 pounder. McBride had a good weekend and it’s important when you come from a smaller program like William and Mary.

ATTRIBUTES

  • Size - He’s well built for the next level at 210 pounds.
  • Speed - He’s fast on film and was even faster at the combine, so we’re satisfied on the speed front.
  • Ball skills - Here’s where McBride really shines. He gets a good early head turn, tracks the ball well and high-points the football with remarkable consistency. These are all NFL traits that pay the bills at the next level. I talk about Rotobahn’s affinity for calm athletes, and McBride is one of those. Very smooth, in-control and fluid.
  • Routes - McBride’s routes are easy to see on the provided film, so you can draw your own conclusions, but we are impressed with his versatility. He’d help himself by dropping his hips a little more at the top of the route stem. This will help him create more separation and get more bite on his double moves.  
  • Hands - He’ll have a drop here and there but he’s a pure hands catcher and we like what we see on the whole. You can talk about his level of play when it comes to separation and yards after the catch, but catching the ball is a skill you can evaluate at all levels. Not much else matters for a receiver if they can’t catch the ball. McBride takes care of job one.
  • Release - While we like his pure release off the line, we don't have much film in terms of press or even man-to-man coverage.  With the exception of the games against West Virginia and Virginia Tech, McBride played a high percentage of snaps against zone coverage.  On the upside, he's very effective against zone.  Dealing with the jam/press at the next level should present some challenges, but we think McBride's a good enough athlete to make the transition.
  • Blocking - McBride is a good athlete and a motivated blocker who plays hard until he hears the whistle. He employs good technique with consistency. One trait I like is the way he sells a route before locking onto a defender. Too many receivers fail to do this.
  • Return skills - He’s not a game-breaker, but he brings some upside and plenty of reliability as a punt returner and that can help you stick on a talented roster. Not to say that he’ll be fighting for a spot. I doubt he will.
  • Production - McBride’s stats are solid though not spectacular, but he was a consistent force over the last three years.

FILM ROOM

I’ve embedded the only available game from Draft Breakdown.

McBride’s highlight reel will leave you wanting at times in terms of resolution, but you get a lot of looks at his full routes, which is helpful.

CONCLUSION

The NFL has enough game film on McBride against strong competition to have a good gauge on his next-level value. Our guess is that he’s off the board in the first ninety picks and perhaps even the first sixty. He does too much well to last much longer than that.

Will it happen right away for McBride in terms of production? It could, but he would need some help in terms of circumstances. He can’t afford to play with a quarterback who is learning, because McBride will be learning himself and facing a new level of competition on an every-snap basis. The speed of the NFL could be a bigger adjustment for him than for some others.

I’ve heard McBride compared to everybody from Brandon LaFell to Pierre Garcon to Amari Cooper. Let’s look at the two NFL comps. Garcon developed relatively quickly, but he was working with Peyton Manning, so take that with a grain. LaFell developed slowly but really came into his own last year when he was teamed up with a future hall of famer in Tom Brady. McBride may not be so lucky, so we’ll have to wait and see what type of depth chart he lands on and whose passes he’ll be catching on Sundays.

When I watch Trey McBride, I see elements of Rod Smith and Jimmy Smith (both broke out in their third season), and he could have a career arc similar to those two players, who also came out of smaller college programs. He’s not as fast as those two, but he’s got an edge with ball skills, so he has a chance to have that kind of success in time if he continues to refine his routes.

The takeaway with McBride is that he’s an NFL talent, and he should see success at some point in the next few seasons. He should be an early round consideration in dynasty leagues and he has enough talent to be a redraft factor if the stars align for him.

I’ll update his fantasy value in our post-draft rookie rankings. 


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