Winner of the Main Event: Raekwon McMillan
In my most recent big board, October Top 64 Big Board, I had Raekwon McMillan ranked 25th and Anthony Walker at 63. I don’t have the needle moving too much in either direction for either player after this Big Ten matchup.
The stat-line shows a very close competition. Walker finishes the game at the Shoe with 8 tackles while McMillan tallied 9 for the home team. While both players play all 3 downs for their respective teams, McMillan made a huge play in the passing game today by athletically tipping a pass that lead to an interception by freshmen CB Damon Arnette.
While the tipped pass is the only real difference between the 2 players in the box score there seems to be a larger separation in athletic ability between the two LBs. They share the ability to chase down ball carriers in pursuit and in coverage. Both McMillan and Walker will run well at the combine, assuming both juniors declare for the draft.
What sets McMillan apart from Walker, athletically, is the smoothness and ease McMillan turns and cuts in game action. His hips are fluid and he is able to play even faster as he thinks the game at a high level. Ohio State rarely asks their star LB to line up man to man with a TE or back. Instead, they’ll have him drop into a zone and follow the QBs eyes or rush him from an OLB spot on obvious third downs.
McMillan has the NFL size, instincts, and athletic ability to contribute and likely win a starting spot on Sundays in his rookie year. His skill set is versatile and complete enough where he will be able to play 4-3 MLB, 4-3 weakside LB, or inside will in a 3-4 as well. With all of the NFL talent on OSU’s defense it’s not easy to stand out on film but Raekwon performs at a high level consistently.
On a side, the Big 10 is back!
Updated on 10/29/2016
While you are enjoying college football this weekend join NFL scouts by putting your grade on these marquee individual match-ups with draft implications. We will revisit the “Main Event” early next week to see who came out on top of their battle.
#5 Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State, LB
#18 Anthony Walker, Northwestern, LB
#52 Mason Cole, Michigan, C
#4 Malik McDowell, Michigan ST, DL
#4 Deshaun Watson, Clemson, QB
#12 Deondre Francois, Florida State, QB