McClendon Curtis Scouting Report and NFL Draft Player Profile
2023 NFL Draft Measurements
McClendon Curtis 40-Yard Dash Time – 5.15
6’6” / 328 lbs.
McClendon Curtis Draft Profile
McClendon Curtis is a former 2-star recruit out of Central High School in Harrison, Tennessee. According to 247sports, he was the 87th-best player in the state of Tennessee in the 2017 recruiting class. He was also the 236th-best offensive tackle in the nation. While achieving this status, he received 10 scholarships. Some of the schools that offered him include Western Kentucky, Ohio, Appalachian State, and Chattanooga. After mulling over all of the offers, he decided to stay close to home and play for the Mocs.
Although Curtis was part of the 2017 recruiting class, he did not get a start until 2019. According to GoMocs, as a true freshman, he was a member of the scout team. In 2018 as a redshirt freshman, he played in 10 games but came off the bench. In 2019, he started in all 12 games where he played both right and left guard. According to PFF, he played 196 snaps and allowed 1 QB hit, 3 hurries, and 4 pressures. As a junior in 2020, he started 4 games as a right guard. During this season, he played 264 snaps and allowed 2 sacks, 2 QB hurries, and 4 pressures. In 2021, he had 701 snaps at right guard and allowed 2 sacks, 3 hurries, and 5 pressures.
Finally, as a senior, he rotated between left tackle and right guard. In 730 snaps, he allowed 5 QB hits, 2 hurries, and 7 pressures. This leads me to believe that he is best fit as a guard in the NFL.
When watching his film, the first thing that stood out to me was his power. McClendon Curtis has a very strong upper body that allows him to overpower defenders when he keeps his pad level low. This allows him to consistently finish his blocks to the ground on run-blocking plays. When he is gap-blocking, he does a good job of using his power to steer defenders leading to an open lane being formed.
Although I have concerns about Curtis’ consistency in different blocking schemes, I am not concerned about his gap-blocking ability. When drive blocking, Curtis does a good job of keeping his back parallel to the ground. This allows him to attack the hips of the defender, often forcing them off-balance. Given McClendon’s incredible size, that is very impressive to watch. Although Curtis lacks the footwork necessary to quickly pull block, he does understand blocking angles. This allows him to open up lanes for the ball carrier after he engages in contact. Curtis is also pretty explosive off the line when run blocking. When lined up in a 3-point stance, he does a good job of getting a push-off at the point of attack.
Fortunately for Curtis, he has the one part of an offensive lineman’s game that you can’t coach, and that is size and length. As I mentioned earlier, McClendon Curtis stands at 6’6” and weighs 328 lbs. This size allows him to clog inside lanes at the guard position. Curtis also has an 83” wingspan which allows him to be the first player to engage in contact. By being the one to engage in contact, you are immediately given leverage.
When watching McClendon Curtis on film, I noticed that he has poor footwork. When zone blocking, Curtis lacks the necessary footspeed to get to the 2nd level. If the play is still alive by the time he gets to the 2nd level, he has a tendency to stop moving his feet at the point of attack. He also stops moving his feet at the point of attack in pass protection. This often forces him off-balance, giving the defender leverage to pressure the QB. He also needs to improve his kick speed in pass protection at both the guard and tackle positions. His lack of kick speed leads to him taking a while to get to his set point. This can make him a liability against speed rushers on the inside.
As I just mentioned, Curtis has poor footwork in both pass and run-blocking schemes. In pass protection, he struggles to quickly get to his set point. This often makes him a liability against speed rushers. I also noticed when he is dropping back in pass protection, he looks uncomfortable or even lost. This is because when he is dropping back and does not have a blocking assignment, he lacks the awareness to pick up blocks to buy the QB some time. When Curtis engages in contact, he shows below-average hand placement to control or lockout defenders. I also noticed that when he struggles to keep his pad level low. This makes him very susceptible to bull rushers who can force him vertically leading to him losing his power.
Given his amazing size and strength, you would think he would be effective against the bull rush. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When he drops the anchor, he often loses balance and has a tendency to get knocked to the ground. He also struggles to maintain his balance against speed rushers when lined up at left tackle.
McClendon Curtis Draft Stock
Although I have seen that other people have Curtis as a mid-late round draft pick, I don’t think that will be the case. Personally, Curtis does not have the necessary footwork to consistently win blocks in the NFL. He is also such a huge liability in pass protection. This leads me to believe that he should go no earlier than the early 7th round.
Final Thoughts on McClendon Curtis
McClendon Curtis is one of the best offensive linemen in the FCS. Although he is a very raw prospect, he possesses two skills that can’t really be coached. Those skills are size and power. His tremendous size allows him to clog up inside lanes, making it difficult for defenders to get through. Curtis’ upper body strength is also very impressive to watch. When he engages in contact, he uses his upper body strength to overpower defenders at the point of attack. He is also very impressive when drive blocking. Curtis does a good job of keeping his back parallel to the ground and attacking the hips of the defender.
The biggest concern that I have about Curtis’ game is his footwork. He has poor footwork when zone blocking and pass blocking. His lack of foot speed makes it difficult for him to quickly get to the 2nd level and act as a lead blocker. He also has poor kick speed which makes him a liability in pass protection. Overall, I would not draft Curtis any higher than the 7th round.
McClendon Curtis Player Comparison
McClendon Curtis reminds me of Cincinnati Bengals guard Jackson Carman. Both players do a good job of attacking their blocking assignment in run-blocking schemes. They both have strong upper bodies that allow them to overpower defenders. Meanwhile, they both have below-average footwork in pass protection, often stalling out their feet and being forced vertically. Finally, they both consistently lose against speed rushers.
McClendon Curtis Scouting Report and Player Profile Analyst – Matthew Lewis