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Photo - RB Dexter McCluster - Ole Miss
Dexter McCluster - 5'9" 170 lbs. - 4.55
Fast electrifying senior scatback had an outstanding career in the potent Ole Miss offense. Dexter is an athletic back with a fine burst of speed that ranks him with the fastest playmakers in this class. He has lined up at several positions especially running back late in his career after earlier starting time at receiver. He is one of the deluxe gadget performers in this class and became popular in the ‘Wild Rebel’ offense. As a runner, he explodes through the hole to the 2nd level with the breakaway speed to score from anywhere on the field. He is a smooth athlete who follows his blockers well, showing the ability to make defenders miss with his fine array of multiple moves. During his career, he averaged over 6 yards per carry lining up both in the shotgun and backfield. He shifts gears well, knowing when to wait to allow blockers to create openings and when to explode through a hole and run for daylight. He is very elusive in space and creates many opportunities in the openfield with breakaway speed to make the big play. As a receiver, he is very quick into his routes and gets open consistently with the sure hands to catch the ball and the running skills to be very dangerous after the reception. He averaged 13 yards per catch, a high number for any running back. He shows fine decision making as a runner with the vision, balance and enough power to run inside. He has the initial quickness to hit the hole with top speed and possesses the ability to make defenders consistently miss in the openfield. He slides quickly along the line and shows the ability to cutback hard and make the big play. As a prospect, he is a very good athlete with big play ability. Over his SEC career, he proved durable despite playing at a mere 170 lbs. and in the nation’s most physical conference.
The Numbers: During the ’09 season, he started every game and rushed for 1169 yards on just 181 carries for 8 TDs and a fine 6.5 yard average. He also added 44 receptions for 520 yards and 3 TDs as an excellent outlet receiver with an 11.3 yard average. He earned MVP in the Ole Miss Cotton Bowl victory. He does have a big upside as a receiver, showing natural hands and nice route running. As a junior, he rushed for 655 yards on 109 carries for 6 TDs while adding 44 receptions for 625 yards and 1 TD. Over his career, he caught 130 passes for over 1700 yards and 7 TDs. Over his career, he had only 27 total returns, but he is capable of providing an impact in that role as a pro. At the NFL Combine, he ran 4.53 and 4.62 times with a 37.5” vertical leap, 9’10” BJ and did 20 reps. He had good agility drills including a 4.06 short shuttle time. He is a tough matchup due to size and versatility but similar to runner Darren Sproles or wideout DeSean Jackson in size, AA, body type and overall LOD.
The Skinny: Athlete with the talent and physical ability to be a big play specialist if he proves durable in the NFL. He has natural running skills that coaches will utilize and create an offensive plan for him to fit. Though much smaller than ideal, he can become a playmaker in the right setting. He needs to make the necessary strength progress and overall improvement to hold up to the rigors of NFL play. Initially as a pro, he has the development to be a good change of pace and 3rd down back. Fast elusive type runner with the instincts and AA necessary to fill a key role as a situational weapon. Marginal top 100 prospect and could go as early as the 3rd round on speed and big play potential. Clubs like the Chiefs, Saints, Broncos and Falcons have on their short list.
Draft Projection: 3rd Round
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