Mason McCormick’s Draft Profile | South Dakota State, OL Scouting Report

Every year, at least one FCS sleeper rises on the offensive line. With his scouting report, is Mason McCormick that player in the 2024 NFL Draft?

South Dakota State’s Mason McCormick has been one of the biggest offseason risers in the 2024 NFL Draft. Where does he rank among the 2024 interior offensive line group, and what kind of value can he bring to an NFL team on the blocking front?

Mason McCormick’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’4 1/4″
  • Weight: 309 pounds
  • Length: 33 7/8″
  • Wingspan: 81 5/8″
  • Hand: 10″
  • Position: Offensive Lineman
  • School: South Dakota State
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior

McCormick is a prime example of how far the talent pool can reach in a given NFL Draft cycle. The Sioux Falls product was a zero-star recruit coming out of high school and redshirted his first season with the Jackrabbits back in 2018.

At the time, McCormick wasn’t even on the radar for future cycles. But in 2019, he played in 12 games, starting the final two. That two-game stretch would kick-start his multi-year dominance at left guard in Brookings, South Dakota.

From the COVID-delayed spring 2020-2021 season through the end of the 2023 campaign, McCormick started 55 straight games, earning FCS All-American honors through that entire stretch. He was a team captain starting in 2021, and in 2022 and 2023, he helped the Jackrabbits become back-to-back FCS champions.

McCormick left SDSU as a storied starter, after arriving with little to no fanfare — and the accolades didn’t stop there. At the East-West Shrine Bowl, he stood out as one of the best offensive line prospects in attendance.

Then, at the NFL Combine, McCormick opened eyes with a stellar testing performance, logging a 5.08 40-yard dash with a 1.71 10-yard split, a 35.5″ vertical, a 9’9″ broad jump, a 7.59 three-cone, and a 4.45 short-shuttle time.

McCormick’s explosiveness numbers were above the 99th percentile, and overall, his numbers earned him a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.96 — good for seventh-best all-time out of over 1,500 guard prospects in recorded history.

McCormick’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Stout blocker with great frame density, natural leverage, and proportional length.
  • Nimble, explosive athlete with exceptional lateral burst and balance in recovery.
  • Has the lateral explosiveness to launch across-face versus 1-techs and seal off lanes.
  • Possesses near-elite range as a pulling blocker and flashes sharp corrective mobility.
  • With proper channeling, can turn his explosiveness and length into elite power output.
  • Can wash over 3-techs and plow them into the flats with his range off the snap.
  • Has the rotational freedom to violently torque through and finish run defenders.
  • Possesses decent functional strength overall, with the core and grip to fight for control.
  • Can maintain synergetic pass-blocking technique, using a wide base and tight hands.
  • Can use lateral mobility to match while re-anchoring as rushers work across-face.
  • Able to bend his knees, latch, and anchor rushers while staying square with his base.
  • Patient, gap-sound run blocker who can pull, reach landmarks, and maintain angles.
  • Comes off the snap with energy, and eagerly finishes defenders who give up leverage.
  • Experienced offensive lineman who started the final 57 games of his college career.
  • Took reps at center at the Shrine Bowl and projects well with his leverage and IQ.

Weaknesses

  • Can improve his pad level off the snap on run downs to avoid giving up early leverage.
  • Tall running style in space at times prevents him from channeling leg drive on the move.
  • Doesn’t have elite anchor strength in pass protection, and at times, flexes versus power.
  • Lighter base can make him easier to displace by properly executed bull rushes.
  • Initial hand placement and load-launch technique off the snap can be inconsistent.
  • Sometimes fails to properly roll back and load his base when faced with power rushes.
  • On occasion, narrows his base too far when in recovery, eroding balance and synergy.
  • Could smoothen his weight transfers in pass protection to minimize bends at the waist.
  • Can be more proactive and proficient at re-anchoring when power works him upright.
  • At times lacks the torso and hip flexibility to rotate around the frontside of reach blocks.
  • Hip and torso stiffness sometimes slows his transition out of his stance as a puller.
  • More often uses his length to absorb rather than exert and must improve at channeling.
  • On occasion, carries stunting linemen when he should pass off and maintain his gap.
  • Will be a 24-year-old rookie at the start of the 2024 season.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

McCormick grades out as an early Day 3 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He could field consideration late in the top 100, but he’d be an even better value acquisition early in the Day 3 range.

McCormick’s strong Shrine Bowl performance and elite athletic testing numbers inflated his stock through the 2024 offseason, and at its highest points, the tape backs up the talent.

McCormick is experienced and extremely tenacious. Particularly in the running game, he does a lot of the little things well.

In zone and gap schemes, McCormick can traverse gaps, cover ground, and channel his momentum into point-of-attack power, while staying true to blocking angles. In pass protection, his recovery athleticism serves him well, as does his ability to play square to defenders and his finishing mentality.

That said, for such an experienced prospect at an advanced age, McCormick isn’t a finished product. Even with his natural leverage, he has a tendency to play too tall and without proper base load. And while he’s flashed the ability to re-exert and re-anchor midway through pass-blocking reps, his consistency can improve.

Going further, McCormick’s play strength isn’t quite at NFL caliber just yet. He can be displaced by power rushes, and his anchor can be warped by stronger defenders.

Having said all this, McCormick has an exceptional physical foundation and enough leveraging skill, angle awareness, urgency, and power application to provide value early in his career. He’s a natural at guard and can grow to become a quality starter, but he also has starting upside at center.

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