A two-year starter at UCLA, McDonald was dismissed from the program by Bruins head coach Jim Mora in March, 2013 for violating a team policy. He was suspended for the Holiday Bowl game the previous December for reportedly failing a third drug test.
The son of NFL veteran Tim McDonald and brother of 2013 NFL Draft pick T.J. McDonald, he resurfaced at Eastern Washington where head coach Beau Baldwin said he "deserves the opportunity to continue his collegiate career." Not surprisingly, McDonald starred at the FCS level, recording 78 tackles and generating nine turnovers (three interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick) as a senior after his first season with the Eagles was cut short with a leg injury.
McDonald does not possess ideal size and he obviously comes with off-field questions. His bloodlines, playmaking ability and athleticism, however, are likely to earn him a Day Three selection - especially given this year's relatively weak safety crop.
STRENGTHS: Legitimate NFL-caliber athlete. Possesses light feet and loose hips which help him change directions and accelerate in a flash. Fast enough to handle centerfield duties. Speed is enhanced by good vision and awareness, especially against the pass. Shows good understanding of route concepts, breaking quickly to mirror receivers and put himself in position to make plays on the ball when quarterbacks challenge him. Natural ball-skills, showing the ability to pluck outside of his frame as well as quick reactions on deflected passes. A legitimate return threat with the ball in his hands. Sets up blocks well and shows vision and acceleration to elude and pull away from opponents. Flashes physicality as a hitter and is generally a reliable wrap-up tackler. Reportedly matured during his time at EWU. Voted a team captain in 2014. Terrific bloodlines.
WEAKNESSES: Lacks ideal size and doesn't play with the consistent grit to guarantee that he'll overcome it against the greater size and aggression he'll face in the NFL. Can be overwhelmed by bigger receivers, getting beaten out on jump-balls despite his athleticism. Has a tendency of dropping his shoulder into ball-carriers, rather than wrapping securely, leading to an occasional missed tackle. Comes with obvious character red-flags that must be investigated. Missed the final five games of the 2013 season with a broken fibula and ankle injury to his left leg that requires investigating.
02/16/2015 - 2015 NFL DRAFT, RED FLAG RUNDOWN: Tevin McDonald, DB, Eastern Washington...The Concern: Dismissed from UCLA after multiple violations of team rules. This reportedly included his failing at least three drug tests while with the Bruins. The Bottom Line: McDonald, the son of former San Francisco 49ers standout Tim McDonald and younger brother of St. Louis Rams safety T.J. McDonald, is an intriguing talent with the length, fluidity and ball skills to warrant third-day consideration, especially in a relatively weak year for safeties. He has reportedly matured following his transfer to EWU, making the interviews at the combine critical for his draft stock. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com