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T.J. McDonald | Safety

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (27) / 1/26/1991
Ht / Wt:  6'2" / 205

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Rams selected USC SS T.J. McDonald with the No. 71 overall pick.
McDonald (6-3, 219) is the latest in a long line of big, athletic USC safeties with suspect cover skills. Taylor Mays and Darnell Bing came before him. The son of six-time Pro Bowler Tim McDonald, T.J. started 36 college games, recording eight interceptions and 12 tackles for loss. He ran 4.59 at the Combine with a 40-inch vertical and 10-foot-11 broad jump. McDonald is long on athleticism, but was just as long on missed tackles in 2012, taking too many bad angles. He's a strong safety-only who will need to be covered up by the scheme. The Rams have holes at both safety spots, so he could see significant snaps as a rookie. Fri, Apr 26, 2013 09:08:00 PM

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USC S T.J. McDonald ran an official forty time of 4.59 seconds at the NFL Combine.

McDonald added a 1.53 10 yard split along with 19 bench press reps, a 40-inch vertical, and a 131-inch broad jump. He's a big name prospect with NFL bloodlines, but we worry about McDonald's awareness and angles in space.
Tue, Feb 26, 2013 03:59:00 PM

Some NFL scouts are reportedly describing USC S T.J. McDonald as a "better version of Taylor Mays" after a poor Senior Bowl week.

McDonald also had a poor senior season on the field, taking poor angles and lacking an attacking mentality in run support. Pro Football Weekly even reported during the season that some "veteran NFL evaluators" were grading McDonald as an undrafted free agent. He's unlikely to be more than a third-day pick.
Thu, Jan 24, 2013 12:11:00 PM

USC senior S T.J. McDonald acknowledged his poor play as of late and the areas that need improvement.

McDonald stated that he isn't playing up his standards due to too many missed tackles and a lack of positive impact on the game. Still, the senior is "improving as a player every week," but it may help that the entire Trojans defense is struggling this season.
Source: ESPN
Fri, Nov 9, 2012 11:06:00 AM

According to Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki, USC senior S T.J. McDonald has "warranted some free-agent grades from veteran NFL evaluators," with poor play this season.

Nawrocki states that McDonald is "noticeably taking too many bad angles, getting erased on the second level and gingerly stepping up in run support" on film this season and last. The chances that McDonald goes undrafted are slim, and Nawrocki even admits that, but McDonald has not taken the next step as many predicted prior to the season.
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 02:50:00 PM

SI's Tony Pauline considers USC senior S T.J. McDonald a first-round prospect.

Pauline calls McDonald an, "explosive safety effective in all areas of the game when he plays with discipline." The discipline comment is an important one, since McDonald was flagged for multiple personal foul penalties last season but the senior insists he will not change his play style.
Mon, Aug 13, 2012 01:50:00 PM

Despite being flagged for numerous personal foul penalties on vicious hits last season, USC S T.J. McDonald will not change his physical style of play.

Many believed the high volume of penalties would push McDonald to declare early, but the Trojan is not concerned. "I'm a physical guy, and if you have anything to criticize me on, I'm OK with you criticizing me on that," he said. With plenty of talent at the safety position, USC has been moving McDonald around the defense more often. There is no doubt he has tremendous physical traits, but McDonald needs to exhibit more self-control and anticipation, specifically on his tackle and coverage angles.
Source: ESPN
Fri, Jun 22, 2012 11:48:00 AM