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Marino | 2016 INTs by Tarvarus McFadden under the microscope

SEP 17 Florida State at Louisville
Photo by Jim Owens/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Marino | 2016 INTs by Tarvarus McFadden under the microscope

19 of the 64 first and second round picks in the 2017 NFL draft were spent on defensive backs – a new common era draft record. It’s almost as if the NFL has turned into a passing league and team’s must invest resources in players that defend passes…

Secondary player are at a premium in the NFL and those that offer length are in the highest demand. Listed at 6’2”, 198 pounds, Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, will be a hot commodity this fall and one to keep an eye for. A consensus five-star recruit out of high school, the Florida State CB saw his first extended action of his career in 2o16 and came away tied with West Virginia’s Rasul Douglas for the most interceptions in division one college football with 8.

McFadden took home first team All-ACC honors and was the recipient of the Jack Tatum Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back. He was also one of five semifinalists for the Bronko Nagurski award, given to the nation’s top defensive player.

Each of the eight interceptions came in eight different games. Lets take a look at those eight plays to determine how and why he created so many turnovers last season and identify traits that will help in at the next level.

McFadden’s first interception of the season helped seal Florida State’s week one victory over Ole Miss. He does well to crowd the route early and pin the receiver to the sideline to establish inside leverage.

A well-placed football would probably result in a long completion but McFadden does well to find the ball early, adjust his course and elevate to catch the football at its highest point.


Notice to quarterbacks:  Your receivers are not open when one-on-one with McFadden. In his second pick of the year, he plays hip-to-hip and in phase with the receiver throughout the rep. He understands that the sideline is his friend, maintains inside leverage and pins his man to the sideline.

While this is another poorly placed ball, he finds the ball early, adjusts and capitalizes on the miscue.


Interception #3 is more of the same. McFadden wins the rep early by crowding and pinning the receiver to the sideline. He is patient, balanced and physical in the contact window and demonstrates good route anticipation skills.

From there it’s about location the football and catching it at its highest point. The ball was under-thrown, but McFadden has so much influence on the route that the timing of the play is off and it helps force the mistake. McFadden takes full advantage.


This is one that only Brad Kaaya can explain. While this is a poor decision, McFadden deserves some credit. On this rep, McFadden shows an understanding of the coverage spacing and how to leverage routes. He is sticky down the field and pattern matches the out route in phase with the receiver.

From there, McFadden becomes the receiver and uses his frame to position himself at the catch point to secure the interception.

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Joe Marino

Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. A member of the FWAA, Marino writes about the NFL, College Football and NFL Draft for FanRag Sports.

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