Post Draft Scouting Report: Conor McDermott

Although he is a project, McDermott does possess intriguing traits that, if developed, could make him a quality player for the Patriots.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

With their final pick in the draft, the Patriots took another shot at the Offensive Tackle position. McDermott is an interesting player who early in the draft process was considered a potential 1st round pick by many of the big names in the draft media. The season got off to a tough start when McDermott struggled against the eventual #1 draft pick, Myles Garrett. After that game, McDermott kind of became a forgotten man. So, did the Patriots get a steal?

Name: Conor McDermott

School: UCLA (#68)

Drafted: Round 6(211)


Here were my pre draft thoughts on McDermott:

Conor McDermott, UCLA (6’8″, 308 Lbs.): McDermott is a former basketball player with athletic traits that clearly translate to the football field. He has vines for arms and huge hands to lock on and steer defenders. He is an easy mover, using his basketball background to shuffle his feet efficiently. He is naturally athletic with smooth movements. Despite his height, he is a natural bender that does not reach or bend at the waist. He is quick out of his stance and uses his long arms to lock out defenders quickly. McDermott’s body is still developing and needs to get stronger everywhere. He really struggles with power as he lacks the lower body strength to sustain defenders push. He needs work with arm placement as he exposes his chest to defenders way too much, giving them a huge target to push. He lacks the upper body strength to deliver a strong punch. He lacks the lower body strength to keep his legs going and drive defenders back as a run blocker. All the athletic traits are there, but McDermott will need time to develop and may never be strong enough to handle power in the NFL. Grade: 5th round

As you can see, I had McDermott rated a little higher than he went, so at the time of the pick, I thought it was really good value. As I stated in the Garcia post draft report, I did not think any of the top tier talent at the position was going to be available when the Patriots picked, so I was assuming they would grab a later round guy to try and develop. I had McDermott or Dan Skipper from Arkansas penciled in for that type of player. Despite getting Garcia earlier, I still think this was a good choice on a couple of different levels.

From an athletic and physical aspect, McDermott is a perfect fit for what Belichick and Scar look for in their Tackles. Another reason this was a good pick is that Tackles, escpecially Left Tackles are getting harder and harder to find, and if you do, they end up costing a lot of money. If the Patriots can develop either Garcia or McDermott, or hopefully both, they will have young, cheap talent at one of the most important positions.

I am sure if the first tape you put on of McDermott is the one against Texas A&M, you may not have watched any more of him. To say that game was bad would be an understatement. According to PFF (I know) he gave up 11 pressures in that game. The crazy thing is, he started out the game on a high note. He had a few good stops against Garrett, but then the wheels fell off. Garrett got him guessing and he was off balance the rest of the game. However, if you did stick around and watch some additional games, you would have seen a much better player.

McDermott is a much better pass protector right now than run blocker, mainly due to strength issues. He has the footwork, movement skills, and length to force pass rushers outside and away from his QB. Where he struggles is with players that play with power. His height becomes a disadvantage and he can be moved back easily while he struggles to re-anchor. In the running game, he just does not have the lower body strength to move defenders.

McDermott is a lottery ticket. If he can get stronger and fix some of his mechanical issues that stem from his lack of strength, then the Patriots may have struck gold. They will need to be patient with him and I don’t see a scenario where he sees many, if any, meaningful minutes this year. I do think however that he has a legitimate shot to make this roster and push out one of the other fringe Tackles currently on the roster because of his potential. Grade: B

21 Responses to “Post Draft Scouting Report: Conor McDermott”

  1. Stephen J says:

    Are You Ready

    For the 2018 NFL Draft Yet

    Well here is one prospect to keep an eye on this year

    Dallas Goedert TE from South Dakota State University 6’4″ 256 lbs

    Here is a one handed TD catch

    • steve earle says:

      Great one handed catch. How often can he do that? I’ll keep him in mind but need more before getting excited. Just to early for me right now I guess. Your breakdown of the free agents looks about right and given our depth few look to make even PS. What I’ll be interested in will be when teams are forced to cut downs in Aug. Could be a few decent values might be added then.

  2. Stephen J says:

    Sperbeck and Westerkamp showing up at Bucs Rookie Minicamp

  3. GM-In-Training says:

    I like McDermott as a project. I think his traits are good verging on exceptional except for his strength…which may solvable, and his technique, which also may be solvable.

    The Pats seem to have the time to find out what they’ve got with him. I think even if he’s not strong enough in September he still displaces Waddle because he has a higher ceiling and the 4th Tackle doesn’t play much for the Pats anyway.

    I like Fleming OK for his versatility, but could see him getting traded in late August if Garcia shows enough savvy to take on the swing tackle role.

    Last year the Pats kept 3 OG on the practice squad most of the season, and no OT. This year, I could see them keeping at least one OT on the squad, but probably some other project, not one of the draftees.

    • Stephen J says:

      I don’t see them trading Fleming in August even if Garcia shows enough. The 4th Tackle wasn’t used much last year because the OL remained healthy. In previous years they needed not only that 4th but another tackle as well which is why they brought in LaAdrian Waddle. If that were to happen this year(the injury bug) and you let go both Waddle and Fleming leave by trade or otherwise, I wouldn’t feel good about having to use both Garcia and McDermott in their places. Now I”d be OK with Garcia and Fleming even though it would be less than ideal.

  4. Stephen J says:

    One guy that was signed as an Undrafted Free Agent is LB Brooks Ellis out of Arkansas. I watched some of his tape today. He seems to be able to play both the run and pass fairly well. He isn’t the fastest as far as straight line speed goes but his lateral speed is surprising. When I looked up his 3 Cone time 6.80 the only LB’s that tested at the combine that was faster than him was TJ Watt with 6.79 and Tyus Bowswer with a time of 6.75. Then his 60 Shuttle time was equally impressive at 11.28 only Watt had a faster time of 11.20. He was tied for 4th in the 20 Shuttle with a 4.25 time.

    Now here is a highlight clip put together by of him

    • Russell says:

      Ellis was a guy I watched a lot, and had on some early Patriot Mocks. He is highly intelligent, and drops into coverage, a true LB, Not an edge guy. His tape is OK, seems to stay back from the line, to read and avoid blockers, which he has a hard time getting off of. Side line to side line player takes good angles. Good tackler, not a fast guy 4.8- 40 yd. so unlikely a strong special teams guy.

      • steve earle says:

        I’m not as concerned by 40 times for LB’s or DL more so by lateral quickness and 10 yd splits. Getting off blocks I suspect maybe at least in part a function of upper body strength. If I’m right Ellis could compete for a spot at least on the p-sqd.

    • Stephen J says:

      This from Kevin Duffy of MassLive

      LB Brooks Ellis, Arkansas (6-2, 245): Highly productive college player. Made 41 starts and totaled 290 tackles, 31/2 sacks, two forced fumbles and 13 passes defensed. Ellis closed his career with 31 straight starts and served as a team captain as a junior and a senior

  5. Stephen J says:

    This maybe what BB see’s in Harvey Langi

    PFF charted the top run stoppers at 3-4 OLB’s and Harvey is one of them here is the chart

    • Stephen J says:

      Yet Mike Loyko says this about Harvey Langi

      He’ll be an off-the-line ILB, not a DE for NE. The only thing I saw Langi do a decent job at was the run while he was an OLB/DE on the line as shown here in this clip and as the chart by PFF reflects.

  6. Russell says:

    I think after this year Solder walks; unless he is willing to take a friendly contract at age 30. So look for Garcia & McDermott to get a strong look this pre-season, as an affordable replacement, as BB will need the money to sign/pay Cooks, Butler, Garoppolo, Edelman, and others.

    • Stephen J says:

      Thanks Russell for your response on the foot speed question I had.

    • macspak says:

      VERY team friendly and/or very short. Ironic that Mike brings up that Garrett had 11 pressure against McDermott in the first game of the college season. Anyone remember how many Solder gave up in the S Bowl? I’m going to look it up.

  7. macspak says:

    Good stuff Mike. You also going to do the UDFA’s?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Yes, I am working on that post right now. I won’t do one for each, but will pick a handful and put them all in one post.
      Hopefully I will have that out later today. (Monday)

  8. steve earle says:

    Hope so as I had him on my board though he slipped some as things went on. Still think there is good upside here. Good luck Connor.

    Competition for Gostkowski? Anyone seen the videos of Josh Gable kicking” Wow! Pat’s have him in to check him out. Worth watching that story develope.

    • macspak says:

      Interesting. I wonder what it would take for him, or somebody else, to replace Gostowski?

    • Stephen J says:

      Don’t get too excited. I’ve researched Josh Gable’s kicks while playing for the Nebraska Danger. He has missed from 18 yards 36 yards 2 56 yard attempts and 1 that was not specified and that is an indoor stadium. So while his video highlights look impressive he seems to be not as accurate on the playing field.

      • steve earle says:

        Also how is he in wind, rain and snow? Don;t know but Gost had a sub par season and perhaps someone giving him a little incentive wouldn’t hurt, don’t know. Still worth watching.

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