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Zyphros

Dynasty: Anthony McFarland Jr. - Steelers

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McFarland was a little more of a grinder type of back, but he's got plenty of speed.  Really like his all around game but he isn't a premium pick.  Maryland had him listed at 5'9" 198, which I do worry about his size a little bit.  But he's fast quick and tough.  

Highlight Reel - you just see long run after long run.  He went over 1k rushing his freshman year at Maryland and is a good pass catcher.  

I expect McFarland to be a top contender in the 40 during the combine, and if he shows good passing chops, he could vault up a little bit.  Currently my RB7 among rookies.  

Edited by Zyphros
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Great thread; however, I’d like to recommend that it be split into two separate player threads if you don’t mind?

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3 minutes ago, Faust said:

Great thread; however, I’d like to recommend that it be split into two separate player threads if you don’t mind?

Fine ha.  I expect 1 of them to flame out rather quickly that's why I joined it, was going to condense it once that happened.  But this one can be for McFarland.  I'll make a Leake one now.  

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Maryland redshirt sophomore RB Anthony McFarland declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.

McFarland (5'9/198) plays with a sizzling blend of speed and quickness when he has room to work. Attempting to tackle him can be like attempting to corral a Jello cube with a pair of chopsticks. While Bleacher Report's Matt Miller did not slot McFarland among his top-10 draft-eligible backs in his most recent position rankings, put out in early November, it's worth remembering that this is a loaded class for skill-position guys. With a strong evaluating process, Day 2 could potentially be in play for McFarland.

SOURCE: Anthony McFarland on Twitter

Dec 3, 2019, 4:05 PM ET

 

Quote

Speaking with Fran Duffy on the 'Journey to the Draft' podcast, Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline passed along that Maryland redshirt sophomore RB Anthony McFarland is "very likely" to declare for the NFL Draft this winter.

Pauline has spoken with a "number of people" on McFarland, so this would appear not to be just an isolated birdie chirping in his ear. The analyst has heard some sharp, sharp compliments when it comes to the 5-foot-9, 198-pound McFarland, with some viewing the redshirt sophomore as a "faster version" of Alvin Kamara, though as Pauline notes, Kamara's speed quotient comes at larger size than McFarland's. Pauline views the Maryland standout as potential "spot starter" at the pro level. At this early juncture, Day 2 represents his most likely landing zone.

SOURCE: Journey to the Draft

Oct 18, 2019, 11:16 AM ET

 

 

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Maryland RB Anthony McFarland "comes with questions" regarding his durability and blocking, according to Dane Brugler of The Athletic.

McFarland (5'9/198) will enter the NFL with, comparatively speaking, a lot less tread on the tires than many of the other running backs in this draft class. But injuries were an issue during his time at Maryland, so it makes sense that there are durability questions. While that makes him too much of a risk to take early, McFarland could wind up being a Day 3 steal. "McFarland does a great job keeping his feet and eyes on the same page, stringing together cuts and darting through the defense," Brugler, who also praised McFarland for his work as a pass-catcher, wrote in his analysis. The medical reports will have an impact on his draft prospects, and if McFarland can stay healthy he has the potential to outperform the projections.

SOURCE: The Athletic

Feb 11, 2020, 5:44 PM ET

 

 

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Overall not a bad weigh in.  Wish he was 5'9 at least but whatever.  I'm guessing he'll run low 4.4's if not better.  

Height: 5-8 1/8

Weight: 208

Hand: 8 7/8

Arm: 30 3/8

Wingspan: 73 3/8

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Bury Leake and bump McFarland.  4.45 and 4.51.  Dark horse to gain some traction and be a top6 RB in the class.  

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Rotoworld:

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Maryland RB Anthony McFarland ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

McFarland (5'8/208) locked in the fourth-fastest 40 time among running backs testing on Friday. There was no doubting his straight-line speed coming out of Maryland, nor his general quickness, but The Athletic's Dane Brugler has real questions about durability and blocking with the speedster which figure to prevent McFarland from climbing out of the Day 3 mix in April.

SOURCE: NFL.com

Feb 28, 2020, 9:15 PM ET

 

 

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So quiet and I consistently see him ranked around RB10 of the class among fantasy analysts.  I don't know how he can possibly be that low for people.  He's basically fast version of CEH.  What's not to like?  

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37 minutes ago, Zyphros said:

So quiet and I consistently see him ranked around RB10 of the class among fantasy analysts.  I don't know how he can possibly be that low for people.  He's basically fast version of CEH.  What's not to like?  

His highlights stood out to me, too. Not sure what not to like. 

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ANTHONY MCFARLAND

If you read Lances write up on McFarland you will see that Lance does not believe he has good footwork, change of direction ability or vision. If true those would be things to not like about his game, aside the injury risks, lack of production at the college level (only 3 starts) limited weight and power to gain yards after contact.

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9 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

ANTHONY MCFARLAND

If you read Lances write up on McFarland you will see that Lance does not believe he has good footwork, change of direction ability or vision. If true those would be things to not like about his game, aside the injury risks, lack of production at the college level (only 3 starts) limited weight and power to gain yards after contact.

It wasn't 3 starts though, he had 5 in 2018 and 11 in 2019.  As a 2 year player in college that isn't half bad at all.  Plus he went over 1000 yards his first year on the field.  It was in the write up, don't know where you're getting 3 from.  I assume he's young as I haven't seen an age listed for him anywhere.  

I will agree that his change of direction is just kind of "ok" but I like his vision and power for his size.  

I've seen some Dalvin Cook comparisons, I prefer Kareem Hunt personally.  He's that home run hitter type of runner when he gets free and he might not be the burstiest, but he's fast.  

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16 hours ago, Zyphros said:

So quiet and I consistently see him ranked around RB10 of the class among fantasy analysts.  I don't know how he can possibly be that low for people.  He's basically fast version of CEH.  What's not to like?  

I actually have him outside of my top-10. A fast version of CEH is not at all how I'd look at McFarland. Other than both being short, I'm not sure they have anything in common. CEH is very shifty, and an outstanding pass catcher. McFarland is neither of those things. He's also not as powerful as CEH(CEH has a much better frame) McFarland is faster, and that is about it. 

I will agree McFarland is the better of the Maryland RB's, though I'm not sure Leake makes it to the NFL. 

Side note, I get that the faster you get your rookie contract out of the way, the faster you can get to a second contract, but I don't think either Maryland RB should have come out. I wouldn't be shocked if McFarland was a late day 3 guy, and Leake went undrafted. Maybe that is just what their talents are, but another year in college could have only helped, especially if the other one was gone.

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15 hours ago, Zyphros said:

It wasn't 3 starts though, he had 5 in 2018 and 11 in 2019.  As a 2 year player in college that isn't half bad at all.  Plus he went over 1000 yards his first year on the field.  It was in the write up, don't know where you're getting 3 from.  I assume he's young as I haven't seen an age listed for him anywhere.  

I will agree that his change of direction is just kind of "ok" but I like his vision and power for his size.  

I've seen some Dalvin Cook comparisons, I prefer Kareem Hunt personally.  He's that home run hitter type of runner when he gets free and he might not be the burstiest, but he's fast.  

My mistake, i thought it was 3 games not 5.

I haven't watched McFarland at all. But if you don't think he has good change of direction ability I do not know how you approach comparisons to Cook or Hunt who are excellent in that skill category.

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8 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

My mistake, i thought it was 3 games not 5.

I haven't watched McFarland at all. But if you don't think he has good change of direction ability I do not know how you approach comparisons to Cook or Hunt who are excellent in that skill category.

Stylistically they're similar.  Not much dancing, prefer to go downhill and blow right through a hole.  Cook and Hunt are no doubt ably better players but the similarities are there for the preferred method of running.  He isn't bad when it comes to change of direction, just kind of average to slide past a defender.  

https://twitter.com/StatsGuyDaniel/status/1238514898046455809

https://twitter.com/49er_edits/status/1236059223122829312

https://twitter.com/ConnorJRogers/status/1225839243039256577

https://twitter.com/ConnorJRogers/status/1145780208798248961

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2 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

I wouldn't know any better because I haven't watched him but this article says he has really poor vision. Which seems like a dealbreaker for me. @Zyphros you said you think he had good vision though? 

I think he reads it well most of the time.  Part of the problem I think is like I mentioned earlier, he's just kind of average at change of direction.  His hips aren't very loose, so it makes it hard for him to make a full cutback to a different hole.  The vision is there, but the ability to always hit it, isn't.  And again he's more fast than quick.  Give him opportunities to run fast he'll make you pay.  Good downhill scheme with simple cutback lanes.  That's exactly what Cook is in right now.  That's what Hunt was used as in KC.  

He had a pretty bad offensive line (113 ranked by PFF) but because of his explosive runs, he only needs one chance to make it count.  When he gets it he looks really good, when he doesn't it's kind of average. 

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NFL Media's Lance Zierlein writes Maryland RB Anthony McFarland is "decisive" and "runs hard."

Typically a hard-nosed play style is not what one would expect from a 5-foot-8 RB, but McFarland isn't your everyday short RB. McFarland carries 208 pounds on his short frame and ran a blazing 4.44s 40-yard dash, which is a great time for someone of his density. Zierlein praises McFarland for his ability to "stack cuts on top of cuts" and accelerate in a hurry. Granted, McFarland is not a particularly flexible or powerful running back, which likely makes him a rotational back at the next level.

SOURCE: NFL.com

Mar 19, 2020, 6:12 PM ET

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Faust said:

Granted,

Why does Roto even bother? I'm on the McFarland train. Choo. Choo.

I hope he's around in the second or third when I pick.

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An anonymous NFL scout told Bob McGinn of The Athletic that their team took Maryland RB Anthony McFarland off their board because "his character is absolutely atrocious."

"We took him off the board because his football character is absolutely atrocious,” said another scout. “He’s like a child. Really high maintenance. Every week there’s going to be something with this guy." The scout also complimented his speed and ability, for the record. The 5-foot-8, 208-pound pound tailback is expected to be drafted sometime on Day 3. 

SOURCE: The Athletic

Apr 18, 2020, 4:38 PM ET

 

 

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1 hour ago, Faust said:

 

Ok so I'd like to point to *this* as an example of something that really isn't a ringing endorsement.

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Obviously that doesn't sound good.  But it is lying season and all of a sudden right before the draft he's "high maintenance" and a "child"?  Interesting timing to say the least.  

I hate these "anonymous scout" bullsh quotes that goes on.  More often than not it's lies that they can't be held accountable for.  Put your name on it and claim it.  

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43 minutes ago, Zyphros said:

Obviously that doesn't sound good.  But it is lying season and all of a sudden right before the draft he's "high maintenance" and a "child"?  Interesting timing to say the least.  

I hate these "anonymous scout" bullsh quotes that goes on.  More often than not it's lies that they can't be held accountable for.  Put your name on it and claim it.  

Agreed. I like McFarland and if you've got a real beef with him, put your name on it.

Then again, some guys get away with a whole lot and nobody says anything and then we're stunned, so...

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2020 NFL Draft News and Rumors from Tony Pauline

Excerpt:

Quote

Debunking the anonymous scout quote about RB Anthony McFarland

A quote recently attributed to an anonymous scout alleged that running back Anthony McFarland of Maryland had “horrible football character.” That’s news to the people at Maryland. I spoke at length with Terrapins running backs coach Elijah Brooks yesterday, and he described McFarland in glowing terms.

“Anthony always showed up at practice. He loved competing, and we never had issues getting him going during the week,” Brooks told me. He described his time with McFarland as “fantastic” and said the running back was “a fierce competitor and also respectful … he was a great teammate, and other players gravitated to Anthony.”

More importantly for McFarland, coach Brooks told me that he’s spoken with almost two dozen NFL teams and passed on these same sentiments about his star running back.

 

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Man he can reach that top speed quickly.  Looks like his best runs are when he just makes one cut and runs up.  Maybe good in Shanahan style offense?  Would love to see what he can do there.  

Not buying that weight though,  208?  Maybe he was one of the guys chugging water before the weigh in. I can't imagine he can carry weight like that for long.  

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Wow. I was high on his highlights. Good for the Steelers. Add more depth.

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

Wow. I was high on his highlights. Good for the Steelers. Add more depth.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him as their starter soon.  They aren't high on any of the RBs they had.

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1 minute ago, JohnnyU said:

I wouldn't be surprised to see him as their starter soon.  They aren't high on any of the RBs they had.

As long as he is Healthy, Conner is the starter. I do think they would like to reduce his touches though.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

I wouldn't be surprised to see him as their starter soon.

Lol, maybe next year.

Quote

They aren't high on any of the RBs they had.

Yes, that's why they have passed on every Rb in round 2 & 3.

Edited by Young 8
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1 minute ago, JoeSteeler said:

Don’t know a lot about him.

who is his pro comparison, Justice Hill?

I'm sure someone has posted a comp somewhere.

This post by Faust sticks out like a sore thumb - An anonymous NFL scout told Bob McGinn of The Athletic that their team took Maryland RB Anthony McFarland off their board because "his character is absolutely atrocious."

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, JoeSteeler said:

As long as he is Healthy, Conner is the starter. I do think they would like to reduce his touches though.

They won't resign him in 2021 when he's a FA.

Edited by JohnnyU

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1 minute ago, JohnnyU said:

They won't resign him in 2021 when he's a FA.

Well you said “soon” thought you meant 2020

 

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Just now, JoeSteeler said:

Well you said “soon” thought you meant 2020

 

That's one season away :shrug:

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I see him as someone to push Samuels down the depth chart/off the roster more than a Conner replacement “soon”

 

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2 minutes ago, JoeSteeler said:

I see him as someone to push Samuels down the depth chart/off the roster more than a Conner replacement “soon”

 

Plain and simple, the Steelers are down on Conner, so I can definitely see him off the roster in 2021 when he's a FA.

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5 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Plain and simple, the Steelers are down on Conner, so I can definitely see him off the roster in 2021 when he's a FA.

Definitely a possibility. I don’t think I have seen anywhere where they are down on him though.

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16 minutes ago, JoeSteeler said:

Definitely a possibility. I don’t think I have seen anywhere where they are down on him though.

Tomlin - 

Conner has missed 11 full games over his first three seasons. That’s not to mention other contests — such as four in 2019 against the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns — when he left early due to quad and shoulder injuries.

“That’s a big component of (that evaluation),” Tomlin replied. “He didn’t spend a lot of time on the field healthy. But that’s as much a part of the game as blocking and tackling. We’ll assess it with him in an effort to minimize (injury) to what degree we can moving forward. But injuries are part of the game.”

 

Doesn't sound like a glowing endorsement to me.

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Posted (edited)

 

Quote

Steelers selected Maryland RB Anthony McFarland with the No. 124 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

McFarland (5'8/208) simply lacks a demo reel after multiple injuries limited him to roughly 500 touches over his high school and collegiate career. He set the school record for rushing yards (1,022, 8.2 YPC) by a freshmen due in part to his twitched up 4.44 40-sprint, but returned to Earth the following year while sharing the backfield with fellow 2020 draft prospect Javon Leake; he still recorded more carries (114 to 103) and catches (17 to 8  ) than Leake despite playing one fewer game. McFarland's four fumbles (once every 65.8 offensive touches) and four drops (on 33 targets) in two seasons at Maryland are also red flags. Comped to Dalvin Cook by The Athletic's Dane Brugler, McFarland should still be used as a change-of-pace home-run hitter at the next level due to his size-adjusted burst. James Conner's future with the team has been questioned, but McFarland isn't really the type to test him on an every-down basis.

Apr 25, 2020, 1:00 PM ET

 

 

Edited by Faust

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JoeSteeler said:

Don’t know a lot about him.

who is his pro comparison, Justice Hill?

Not in my opinion. McFarland has the get up but not the same lateralness or finesse. I'm reminded of Darrell Henderson..

Edited by cloppbeast
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Just now, cloppbeast said:

Not in my opinion. McFarland has the get up but not the same lateralness or finesse. I'm reminded of Darrell Henderson as a recent example.

What's the deal with his character issues?

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30 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

What's the deal with his character issues?

I haven't met him.

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He is someone with whom they are quite familiar. Not only does Dino Tomlin, the son of Mike Tomlin, play at Maryland as a receiver, new quarterbacks coach Matt Canada was the offensive coordinator there two years ago when McFarland had his best season.

https://www.dkpittsburghsports.com/2020/04/25/steelers-draft-anthony-mcfarland-running-back-fourth-round-fdl/

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