Meet New York Jets' CB Leon McFadden

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Aug 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Joe Anderson (19) makes a catch against Cleveland Browns cornerback Leon McFadden (29) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

John Idzik did make one waiver claim yesterday. For anyone that missed it, he signed cornerback Leon McFadden, previously of the Cleveland Browns. It’s an interesting move, adding to a group of defensive backs that sorely needs the help. Tonight we are going to talk about Leon McFadden, where he played in school, his strengths, his weaknesses, and as Rex would say, “All that other stuff”.

Leon McFadden is going into his second year in the league, drafted in the third round of the 2013 draft, with the 68th overall choice out of San Diego State. While in school, he was a three-time All-Mountain West selection. Here are his stats from his college days:

Defense & Fumbles

Defense and Fumbles Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2009 San Diego State MWC DB 12 17 9 26 1.0 1.0 1 39 39.0 0 1 0 0 0 0
*2010 San Diego State MWC DB 13 38 17 55 7.0 1.0 2 0 0.0 0 14 0 0 0 0
*2011 San Diego State MWC DB 13 35 11 46 3.0 1.0 2 23 11.5 0 17 0 0 0 0
*2012 San Diego State MWC DB 13 46 15 61 2.0 0.0 3 124 41.3 2 15 0 0 0 1
Career San Diego State 136 52 188 13.0 3.0 8 186 23.3 2 47 0 0 0 1

McFadden stands at 5’10″, and 190 pounds. At the 2013 NFL Combine, he ran a 4.54 forty yard dash, and performed the three cone drill in 6.81 seconds. Here is the scouting report on McFadden, per his NFL draft profile:

STRENGTHS: Possesses quick feet and good speed. Fluid hips help him transition from pedal to close, also to adjust to out routes after opening up. Good awareness as a zone defender, jumps underneath routes but also keeps an eye on the quarterback and can adjust to make plays on receivers running behind him. Contains well on his side of the field, has the closing speed to track down runners before they reach the sideline. Displays the hands to snatch interceptions over his head and away from his body and fluidly transition into the return. Competitive in 50-50 situations, active hands make it tough on receivers to complete the catch. Possesses some thickness and cuts down backs in space with authority and is willing to stick a shoulder into an unsuspecting receiver. Adept special teams player on coverage and block units and has the hands and quickness to get a shot on punt returns.

WEAKNESSES: Struggles to always get a good jam at the line of scrimmage, which gives him some issues in recovery. His size gives him some issues against bigger, more physical wide receivers. A bit gun shy in handling blocks from lineman in the screen game. Doesn’t wrap up, often times attempts the cut tackle, which won’t always be effective against stronger, more elusive NFL ballcarriers.

In 2013, Leon McFadden was active for all 16 games for the Browns, starting in two of them. He posted 19 tackles, and one pass defended.

Here are some highlights of McFadden when he was in college, so we all can become a bit more familiar:

He is a bit small, but from the tape you can tell that he has good ball skills and motor that doesn’t quit. Being hungry and having skills can trump any problems with size.

Could he be the guy? We will find out soon enough.

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