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The Future 40, Prospect 13: Dexter McCluster Scouting Report

February 25, 2010

A new series was formed several weeks ago here at Bleed Green called The Future 40, and the next edition is here! The segment has and will continue to run every other day until late April as we provide you with in-depth scouting reports of some 2010 NFL Draft prospects, giving you information key to understanding some of the players’ strengths, weaknesses, projected round of selection, possibility of being picked by the Eagles, and much more! And because the Draft is an important event for the entire league, some of the top-ranked players not expected to go to Philadelphia will also be reported on. In the first look at a prospect, we evaluated Nebraska’s DT Ndamukong Suh, who many consider to be the best player in the entire rookie class. In the second, we examined powerful RB Jonathan Dwyer and in the other editions that have released, FS Darrell StuckeyLB Sean WeatherspoonCB Joe HadenQB Mike KafkaOT Ciron BlackDE Greg HardyWR Eric DeckerRB Joe McKnight, LB Micah Johnson, and SS Earl Thomas. This time, we will switch to an offensive perspective and look at Dexter McCluster:

  • Prospect Name: Dexter McCluster
  • Position: Running Back/Wide Receiver
  • College: University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
  • Height/Weight: 5’8″, 165 pounds
  • Age: 21 years
  • Class Status: Senior

Summary: After being an impressive young athlete at Largo High School in Florida (as a participant in football, baseball, and track & field) in which he received national recognition and was most notably named as one of the best Floridian athletes at the senior high level, McCluster signed on to play for the Ole Miss Rebels as a “utility offensive player”. His talents on the field included both running and receiving, hence the title of his role. As a true freshman in 2006, he started 5 of the first 6 games–primarily at the Wide Receiver spot–before going down with an injury. He wound up finishing the campaign with 15 catches for 232 yards and a score, while also rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown on trick reverses and from the backfield as a situational RB. The following year, his level of potential was bumped up because of his injury recovery, but once again he was hurt during the season. Despite closing the year strongly as a reserve with 326 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns in 8 games, McCluster was held out of the first 4 contests as a result of recurring shoulder pain. It was only in his junior season of ’08 that his abilities were displayed in a fuller sense. Finally able to play for a large part of the season in a larger role, the swift multi-talented McCluster gained over 600 yards on both the ground and through the air as a pass-catcher. He totaled 7 touchdowns and also averaged 7 yards per carry as a Running Back, which ultimately earned him conference honors and more attention from NFL scouts. This past season, he was able to improve his statistics and Draft stock even more; on 181 rushing attempts, the Mississippi weapon had 1,169 yards and 8 scores. As if that weren’t enough, he also added 44 receptions and a trio of catching TDs, as well as a kick return touchdown and quality special teams play. He became the first player in SEC history to rush for over 1,000 yards and receive for 500 yards in a single season, and paved a clearer path towards what he hopes will be a long pro football career.

Career Statistics:

YEAR ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LST
2006 8 68 8.5 31 1 15 232 15.5 49 1 0 0
2007 6 63 10.5 29 0 27 326 12.1 46 2 0 0
2008 109 655 6.0 40 6 44 625 14.2 56 1 0 0
2009 181 1169 6.5 86 8 44 520 11.8 64 3 0 0

Notable Achievements/Awards:

  • All-SEC Honors (2008, 2009)
  • All-American Honors (2009)
  • Running Back Trophy award winner (2009)
  • Offensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl (2008, 2009)

Strengths:

  • Has exceptional speed
  • Can play at the Running Back and Wide Receiver positions
  • Contains an underrated amount of strength/blocking ability
  • Is very aware of the ball’s location and grips it well
  • Proven willing to assist in both pass- and run-blocking
  • Executes fluid receiving routes
  • Has surprisingly excellent hands in the receiving game
  • Once in possession of the ball, is very elusive from defenders
  • Has great toughness as an inside runner
  • Contains a respectable, overall athleticism meant for big plays
  • Possesses great acceleration to explode in a short amount of time
  • Also has the ability to return kicks and punts at a high level
  • Takes advantage of his explosive qualities

Weaknesses:

  • Has not ran many pro-style receiving routes
  • Has a history of injuries
  • Lacks bulk/size for a professional runner or receiver
  • Struggles to haul in catches when multiple defenders are covering him
  • Contains only average cutback/shifting speed
  • Is not a very physical offensive player

Projected Round of Selection: 2nd-3rd round

NFL Player Comparison: Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers

We hope that everyone enjoyed the thirteenth report for The Future 40 prospect segment, and urge you to keep checking back for more scouting analysis as the series continues all the way up until the Draft! Also, remember that we will happily take and consider requests from our fans for this series! If you or another Eagle fanatic is interested in seeing a certain player be evaluated in The Future 40, be sure to contact us as soon as possible, and we will attempt to include your selected prospect!

(picture source)

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