I have a confession to make. Just the other day, if you would have asked me who Tyriq McCord was, I would have looked at you funny and said, "That is a great question, because I have no idea." However, while perusing the BTSC comment section, I couldn't help but notice a member posted a link to Tyriq McCord's highlight reel from the University of Miami.
The commenter was ecstatic about the Steelers grabbing this player as an Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA), so, of course, I clicked and watched the video. Needless to say, it is impressive (especially the part where McCord uses the opposing player to tackle the ball carrier...).
Just watch the video...
The highlight reel is nice, but these are just McCord's great plays. What about is overall game? After watching the highlight film I was beyond curious. I reached out to SB Nation's University of Miami website State of the U to see what they had on McCord.
Here is what they said:
OLB/DE - 6'2 239
Key Stats: 19 career stats, 21 TFL, 14 sacks, 3 INT, 110 total tackles.
Pro Day Results; 21 reps bench press, 4.7 40 yard dash.
McCord spent the majority of his career as a pass rushing specialist, coming off the edge from a three point stance.
But as a senior he worked mostly at the OLB spot.
The Tampa native is still at his best coming around the corner, whether standing or lining up as a D lineman.
He also occasionally showed decent ability to drop back in coverage, but was not exactly a stalwart setting the edge on running downs.
McCord does not project to be an every down player at the next level, but with some development could be a pretty good nickel/dime LB or simply rush the QB on passing downs.
His ability to cover kicks/play ST may be the deciding factor in whether he makes a roster or not, as he projects to be a late draft pick/UFA.
Explosive, versatile, good hands/moves as a pass rusher.
TM was asked to do a lot at UM, yet shared a lot of snaps, both factors perhaps negating from what could have been a much more productive career.
He has an excellent swim move, as well as a great first step, making him tough to stop when he comes off the edge.
McCord also was surprisingly effective covering TE's and backs. Miami even lined him up over WR's on occasion (much to the angst of 'Canes fans).
While he's not suited for making many plays inline, he showed good toughness and play making ability fighting off blocks out in space against bubble screens/swing passes.
Tweener, strength, consistency.
While McCord made his share of big plays during his time in Coral Gables, he also sometimes disappeared. Some of this can be attributed to nagging injuries, but the rest was likely due to his limited repertoire.
He often got stoned when trying anything other than a speed rush.
And on outside running plays, much of the time he was completely wiped out by above average ACC offensive lineman.
He appeared to be out of position as a stand up OLB, something he was forced to do as a senior because of the Hurricanes depth issues at the position.
7th Round to UDFA.
McCord is a very interesting player.
His talent is evident, but he does have some glaring weaknesses.
He'll have his work cut out for him to make an NFL roster, but because pass rushing is at such a premium on the next level he's got a shot.
If he comes to camp and makes an impact covering kicks, he might stick around long enough to get reps as a pass rusher.
From there, his ability to get to the QB will be the deciding factor on if he makes it.
Do some more digging on McCord, and you will find the fine folks at State of the U were spot on in many different ways. Not only was McCord's draft projection spot on, but he does have a layer of intrigue surrounding his style of play. If refined, he could be an asset to an NFL team, especially one like the Steelers which lacks depth at outside linebacker.
However, he will have his work cut out for him. Some might view him as just another camp body, but watch his film and you see a player who is able to get after the quarterback. The team could use someone like McCord, as long as he works hard to make those weaknesses strengths. Watching an undrafted player blossom into a player of significance is about as sweet a story that can be written.
Will McCord's be one of success, or tragedy? Only time will tell...