Anthony McFarland Jr. Could Be The Steal Of The Draft
Anthony McFarland Jr., Maryland
Weight: 208 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds
Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches
Broad Jump: 116.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: NA
Anthony McFarland Jr. was a player that I was, along with several others that follow CFB, extremely excited about heading into 2019. His 2018 tape showed top-tier potential in a loaded RB class, but he needed to put together a full solid season before we could move him into that spot.
Unfortunately, McFarland Jr. struggled with a high ankle sprain the majority of the season and we saw him take a step backwards from a production standpoint. He still showed flashes here or there, but without his ankle at full strength he wasn’t fully the same type of athlete.
Now, he’s healthy and decided to declare early to enter the NFL Draft. Will he be able to make an impact for fantasy football in year one? Will he be drafted high enough to be given an opportunity?
Those questions are answered here in my detailed scouting report on Anthony McFarland Jr. (ratings out of five stars):
Unfortunately, for everything McFarland does well, there’s a glaring weakness in this category. McFarland typically runs with blinders on and is set on getting to that destination as quickly as possible. What I mean by that is that he determines pre-snap where he’s going with the football and that’s his only spot that he’s going to try to go. He lacks the patience to let the lanes truly develop and you’ll often see him out running ahead of his blockers, which is a huge red flag from an evaluating standpoint. He needs to greatly improve his field of vision and develop patience to his game in order to succeed at the next level.
Elusiveness (twitch, juke, tackle-breaking)
While McFarland is not going to have Alvin Kamara type elusiveness at the next level, he does possess some ability to absorb contact and continue to churn forward. However, he’s more likely to make defenders miss in the open field with his top-end athleticism rather than juking them out.
Well, he wasn't on my radar until I put on the film…but he sure is now!
Hello, Anthony McFarland Jr! 👀 pic.twitter.com/kZ7XYgThcd
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) July 1, 2019
If there’s one thing McFarland has going for him, it’s his speed. This guy routinely looks like he was shot out of a cannon. Big play ability is written all over his tape and if he sees a crease, he’s gone. There aren’t many defenders that are going to be able to catch up to him. While he’s a bit on the smaller/lighter side, he can still provide a spark for an offense in an “8-10 touches per game” role. It’s unlikely that we’ll see him in a 200+ carry role in the NFL.
Anthony McFarland – Maryland
4.44 40-Yards Dash
McFarland averaged 7.9 yards per carry in 2019. He battled a high ankle sprain throughout the year, limiting his touches
— Matt Gajewski (@Matt_Gajewski) March 10, 2020
While McFarland is a potential liability in pass protection, he excels out of the backfield as a receiver. He has natural hands and is a clean route-runner out of the backfield. With this basis, he may be be best suited as a 3rd down back in the NFL that can create after the catch.
As mentioned above, McFarland’s size may prevent him from being given a true workhorse role in the NFL. However, he’s shown the playmaking ability and receiving ability to be a great option out of the backfield or in a limited touches role.
Love how Anthony McFarland Jr. creates yards – +acceleration and elusive pic.twitter.com/X2zBOATC7I
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) February 7, 2020
Projected Draft Spot
With the injury history, and early declaration, it’s unlikely that we see McFarland drafted before the 4th round. With that being said, the depth of this class could push him even further down the board to the point that he becomes a 6th/7th/UDFA type of player. If that’s the case, we’re unlikely to see him make a huge impact for fantasy football right away. However, if he’s given the time to develop, McFarland Jr. could be the steal of the draft for a NFL team. The RBs in San Francisco aren’t exactly a sure thing, so we could see him land there and be a perfect fit for that scheme. He’s going to take some work, but if he puts it all together, the athleticism is there for him to be a top-tier option for fantasy football down the road.
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