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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Donovan McMillon

by J.T. Toth


Photo courtesy of @PittLiveWire on YouTube.


The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.


Today’s Spotlight - Pittsburgh, Safety, Donovan McMillon


Name- Donovan McMillon

Pos- Safety

Team- Pittsburgh

HT/WT- 6’2” 210 lbs.

Born- 6/18/2002

Home – McMurray, PA


McMillon was one of Western Pennsylvania’s most recruited players in recent years and was ranked a top 15 safety nationally by 247Sports and Rivals. He chose Florida over Pitt, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Virginia Tech.


In his two seasons at Florida, McMillon played in 25 games, mostly at special teams and reserve safety. He recorded 30 tackles for the Gators over his two year career. At the end of his sophomore season, McMillon entered into the transfer portal and decided to come back home and play for the Pitt Panthers.


McMillon loves to make the big hit and plays his angles well in pursuit. He’s a safety that you can put in pass rushing situations and does a good job of picking the right gaps and exploding through them. He does a good job of sitting back in zone and reading the quarterback and the routes.


McMillon has strong, violent hands and uses them to shed blocks from receivers and smaller tight ends. He doesn’t hesitate to come up during run support and breaks on the ball well in pass protection. He’s proficient in disrupting passes over the middle, playing fast and downhill, and is an every down presence on the field.


Though he is a willing tackler, McMillon needs to add some muscle to his frame to play in the NFL. His aggressiveness gets him into trouble at times, and he can be baited by play fakes and leaves the deep zone open. McMillon struggles when he is matched up man-to-man in 4-5 receiver sets. His footwork mechanics and fluidity need to be improved to help him mirror receivers in and out of their breaks better. He throws his body toward a ball carrier instead of wrapping up and taking the sure tackle at times.


Watching the high school tapes and his limited tape at Florida, Draft 412 compares McMillon to Justin Simmons of the Denver Broncos. They are both big hitters who are versatile enough to be used in different situations.



Strengths


  • Big hits

  • Athletic and flexible

  • Reads plays well

  • Versatility


Weaknesses


  • Stronger

  • Man-to-man

  • Play action aggressiveness

  • Footwork mechanics


Final Analysis


This is a big season for Donovan McMillon. First and foremost, McMillon needs to get on the field and play extended periods of time to show the scouts what he can be capable of. He has the skill and the aggressiveness to become something special. Draft 412 would not be shocked if McMillon stays in school and plays his senior season in 2024.


Prediction- 5th or 6th round - depends on playing time, and if he decides to go pro.



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