There’s a tremendous need around the NFL for starting caliber offensive linemen. That often forces teams to look high and low for prospects with the potential to be a contributor on game day.
The New York Giants are one of the (many) teams who need to continue to build their offensive lines. And while the Giants have players who could be answers on their offensive interior, they don’t have any “sure thing” answers.
Clemson’s Jordan McFadden is an experienced tackle for the Tigers and a leader on their offense. However, his future is likely on the interior in the NFL. Could he be an under-the-radar gem for an OL hungry team?
Prospect: Jordan McFadden (71)
Games Watched: vs. Wake Forest (2022), vs. Florida State (2022), vs. Syracuse (2022), vs. NC State (2022)
Career Starts: 39
2022 Starts: 14
Best: Leverage, consistency, hand usage, downhill blocking
Worst: Foot speed, range, outside zone blocking
Projection: A developmental guard with starting upside in a power-based blocking scheme
(McFadden is Clemson OT number 71)
Clemson offensive tackle Jordan McFadden is an experienced, powerful, and versatile offensive line prospect.
McFadden is a highly experienced tackle, who is a three-year starter with 2,960 snaps from scrimmage. He is widely regarded as a leader on the Clemson offense and was voted a permanent team captain by his teammates prior to the 2022 season.
McFadden started every game of the 2022 season at left tackle and was generally reliable at the position. He has a relatively flexible lower body and makes good use of his natural leverage to maintain good hip and pad level throughout the rep. He generally plays with a wide base, helping to maintain his leverage and absorb bull rushes. As expected from an experienced lineman, McFadden shows a good understanding of his offense’s blocking schemes. He generally hits his landmarks and does a good job of working with his teammates to pick up and pass off defenders on stunts and twists.
McFadden has solid hand usage, with a well-timed punch that generally lands on opponents’ chest plates. He does a good job of taking inside leverage and using that to control defenders.
McFadden does a good job of using his natural leverage to drive defenders off the ball on inside zone or man-gap runs. He is capable of generating movement as well as using angles and positioning to seal off running lanes. He’s a tough-minded blocker once locked in and strives to sustain his blocks or finish with the defender on the ground.
McFadden was a capable left tackle at the collegiate level, but might need to move inside to guard at the NFL level. He lacks the foot speed to stay on the edge in the NFL and struggles against speed. He has a limited range, which can get him into trouble when forced to expand the pocket against edge rushers, or when he’s on the play-side of outside-zone run. Likewise, he can find himself getting out over his skis or lunging at defenders when asked to block in space.
While he generally has good hand usage, he can allow his hands to drift wide and land outside defenders’ framework.
Overall Grade: 7.0
Clemson’s Jordan McFadden’s projection is a bit complicated due to a likely position switch. His lack of foot speed and overall length will likely mean a move inside to guard at the NFL level. And while he’s a limited athlete for a tackle, he should be a solid athlete as a guard and the position change would work with his natural leverage and play strength.
McFadden is a steady, consistent, and smart interior lineman who works well with his teammates, all of which should benefit a guard as well as a tackle. It’s also sure to win him fans among the league’s offensive line coaches.
McFadden will likely have the greatest value for teams that run down-hill power-based blocking schemes. He’s at his best in man-gap or inside zone runs, when he can use his natural leverage and short-area quickness to against defenders. He is capable of executing outside zone blocks, but struggles when he isn’t on the back side of the play. Moving inside might help with that, but he would likely have the most success on a team that doesn’t use those schemes often.
His experience playing tackle could help boost his draft stock, and teams might look at him as a potential “four tool” player who provides depth at tackle as well as guard while he makes the transition inside.