Updated: Apr 19, 2021
By Adam Aniba
Small School Spotlight; Franklin "Mac" McCain III
Washington wasted little time in free agency in addressing their need at cornerback after losing Ronald Darby (signed with Denver) by signing William Jackson III. Early indications are that along with Jackson, CB#2 Kendall Fuller could bounce between the slot, outside and even safety in subpackages.
There is little doubt that Ron Rivera will look to add another athletic, play-making corner at some point during the NFL Draft, but after signing Jackson they could wait until Day 2-3 of the draft to look at the position. Similar to Danny Johnson, The Burgundy and Gold Report has unearthed another HBCU potential small school sleeper in North Carolina A&T's, Franklin "Mac" McCain III.
Franklin "Mac" McCain III
6th-7th Rd Grade | CB | NC A&T
Weight: 186 lbs
Wingspan: 76 inches
Arm length: 30 inches
Hand size: 9 1/2 inches
Career Stats (20 games) 113 total tak (66 solo), 11.5 TFL, 1 sack, 8 ints (374 int ret yards), 4 td's, 30 PD
2020 (Season Postponed to Spring Did Not Play)
McCain participated at the NC State Pro Day (3/29/21), reportedly impressing the NFL team officials that attended. McCain ran a 4.45 second time in the forty, 10-3 BJ, 35.5 VJ, 6.94 3C, 13 BP, 4.12 SS.
McCain's ancestral story is of note, considering he followed in his grandfather's footsteps, also attending N.C. A&T. Franklin McCain Sr was one of the 4 Aggie students who participated in the "1960 Woolworth lunch-counter sit-in protest" that has been credited for starting the Civil Rights Movement and they became known as "The Greensboro Four". The historic day has been immortalized in museums across the country including the Smithsonian in Washington D.C which has an exhibit of that historical day in 1960.
McCain's grandson, fondly nicknamed "Mac" by his family and friends, went on to establish his own legacy while at N.C. A&T as well, earning bachelors and masters degrees as a student athlete. The small school cornerback made a name for himself during his first season at NC A&T in 2017, recording 6 ints (3 ret for scores) which included a spectacular game winning interception for a touchdown vs Charlotte. In fact, in McCain's career he returned two 100-yard interceptions for touchdowns in game clinching moments. In 2017 McCain was named the defensive MVP in the Celebration Bowl, but dealt with knee injuries during that span, cutting back-to-back seasons short. He did return for the final 4 games in 2019 still finishing the season named to the second-team ALL-MEAC. Mac leaves N.C. A&T with two, first-team, All-MEAC selections and was recognized by the Associated Press as a Third-Team All-American, which is a rare honor playing in the HBCU ranks
Tale of the Tape
Excels in press coverage utilizing long/lanky frame with deceptive strength
Disciplined eyes always focused on the ball
Fluid backpedal with a good understanding of pursuit angles
Displays the ability to drop hips, redirect and chase the ball carrier effectively, if out of position
Effectively utilizes his length in coverage particularly with 50/50 jump ball situations
Excellent wrap-up-tackler and doesn't go for the knockout blow
Fit in Washington
Although William Jackson III was signed in free agency, Rivera will surely look to add more talent to his defensive backfield through the draft. WIth returning starter Kendall Fuller and presumed slot starter Jimmy Moreland, the CB#4 job will be up for grabs with former Southern Univ standout Danny Johnson returning and newly signed Darryl Roberts in the mix. NFL teams have had more recent success drafting HBCU and small school talent and Mac McCain fits the profile as a potential, late Day 3 steal. Although durability will be a concern for some teams, the HBCU star is worth the late round risk and could have an instant impact on Washington top 5 defensive unit.
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*Credit photo to HBCU Gameday with Draft grades cross referenced with The Draft Network*