Friday, February 11, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Derrick McPhearson, WR/DB, Bowie St

Derrick McPhearson is a former four star high school football recruit who started his college career at Illinois University. McPhearson, aside from being a star football player, was a legitimate baseball prospect in high school and spent some time in the minor league system. During his football career at Illinois he showed inconsistent hands and was known for not running sharp routes. McPhearson ran into some trouble at Illinois and after two years transferred to Hampton University and then finally ended up at Bowie State for his last year in 2010. He has nice size at 6'0'' 195 lbs and was a versatile player this past year at Bowie, starting the first five games at cornerback and then the last five games at wide receiver. After watching film on McPhearson I believe his skill sets are best suited on the offensive side of the ball and he is an explosive athlete with great speed and agility. During the HBCU Bowl All-Star week, McPhearson showed his quickness, skills as an elusive pass catcher and his potential as a return specialist. He is fluid releasing off the line into routes but needs to do a better job of staying low out of his breaks and coming back to the ball. He nicely adjusts to the errant throw, makes the reception in stride and is effective when he extends to catch the pass away from his frame. McPhearson impressed the scouts on hand at the HBCU Bowl combine with his mid 4.4 forty times, 37 inch vertical jump and 10'8" broad jump. Some scouts requested at practice during the HBCU Bowl week to see him in the defensive secondary because of his great athleticism. He also has great NFL bloodlines with his father playing two years for the Patriots and his brother Gerrick being drafted by the NY Giants in the 6th round in 2007. McPhearson transferred schools multiple times and his playing time was limited the last two years in his career with some off-the-field issues. Those combined concerns along with him still looking to play professional baseball have raised red flags in the NFL scouting community. McPhearson has the potential to be a productive fourth or fifth receiver and return specialist on the NFL level, yet he must be totally committed to football and display maturity as a player and person.