Draft season is upon us and along with that comes a lot of speculation as to where certain players will be playing next season. Zech McPhearson is a perfect example of a player that we have no idea as to where he could possibly end up going. There have been mock drafts from analysts that have him going as high as the third round, while others have him waiting for a call from teams after the draft has ended.
After transferring from Penn State following two seasons that didn’t really see Zech on the field, he became an instant impact player for the Red Raiders. He played 864 snaps and had a coverage grade of 74.1 according to PFF. While that may not be a top notch grade, he only allowed one touchdown pass to a receiver he was covering and a 48.2% coverage grade. The only real knock on him from that year would be that he didn’t get his hands on the ball that often and came down with zero interceptions over the course of the season.
The improvements to his game were evident as McPhearson cemented himself as one of the best coverage corners in the nation. His 85.7 coverage grade ranked fourth amongst cornerbacks and he became more of a ball hawk, adding 4 interceptions in an already shortened season.
Projecting Zech into the NFL is a task in itself. He’s listed at 5”11 and just under 200 pounds, which is just around the ideal size that teams prefer to have playing at outside corner. While he may not be as big as some of the top corners in this draft, he seemed to have similar success against competition in the Big 12 that we know can always match up with the other conferences out there.
I’m no draft expert (yet) but I see Zech as being a steal if he makes it past the fourth round. He might not be the athlete that teams like to see in the first few rounds of the draft, but I see him being a good cornerback in this league. I would like to see him go to a team that has a solid starting cornerback that can allow him to not always be matched up with the opposing teams top receiver. I do believe he can develop into a number one corner but throwing him in right away might not be the best idea.
I look forward to seeing Zech have success at the next level and I’m glad he was able to represent Texas Tech Football in the way that he did.