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2015 NFL DRAFT
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John McCargo

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 302 | College: North Carolina State
 
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Overview

This unheralded athlete played in the shadows of pass rushing terrors Mario Williams and Manny Watson on the Wolfpack's defensive line. Both of the team's defensive ends credit much of their success at getting to the quarterback to McCargo's ability to handle double- and even triple-team action in the middle of the field.

When McCargo was lost for the 2005 season midway through the campaign due to a stress fracture in his foot, Williams asked to wear McCargo's shoulder pads as a way to honor him. In Williams' first game wearing the pads, he set school single-game records for most sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage (vs. Southern Mississippi).

McCargo was a second-team All-State choice at Randolph Henry High School. He recorded 60 tackles, including 16 for loss and six sacks as a senior. He also caused four fumbles and recovered three that year. As a fullback, he had 98 carries for 648 yards and six touchdowns, as well as two receptions for 9 yards. He also converted 4 of 6 PATs.

As a junior, McCargo tallied three sacks, caused two fumbles and recovered three fumbles on defense. On offense, he had 16 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns, as well as a reception for 5 yards. He also played baseball and basketball and was on the track team. McCargo advanced to the state championships in the shot put and discus as a junior, placing fourth in the discus.

McCargo redshirted in 2002 at North Carolina State. He was named the Most Dependable Defensive Lineman following 2003 spring drills and went on to start every game at right defensive tackle. McCargo participated in 711 plays, recording 52 tackles (33 solos) with three sacks and 13.5 stops for losses. He led the team with 16 quarterback pressures and had a pair of pass deflections. For that performance, he was named to The Sporting News' freshman All-America squad.

The following season, McCargo was named to the Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference team. He started 10 games at right defensive tackle, making 47 tackles (32 solos) with five stops behind the line of scrimmage and 12 pressures. He also caused and recovered a fumble. He was considered the best performer on the team's defensive unit before suffering a left foot stress fracture that required surgery on October 28, 2005. He was in on 375 plays before his injury, collecting 35 tackles (23 solos). He had 11 stops for losses and seven pressures while also batting away two passes.

Because of the injury, McCargo decided it was time to leave school and declare for the 2006 NFL Draft. In 30 games with the Wolfpack, McCargo started 29 times. He finished his career with 134 tackles (88 solos), 3.5 sacks for minus-24 yards, 29.5 stops for losses of 89 yards and 35 quarterback pressures. He deflected four passes, recovered a fumble and caused another.

Analysis

Positives: Has a good blend of power and quickness coming off the snap and could be a disruptive force when he drops his weight and stays low in his pads to shoot the gaps … Quick-twitch type who can gain an immediate advantage and get into the backfield … Has the pursuit speed to chase down ball carriers along the perimeter … Keeps his knees bent and hands active in attempts to stack and control blockers … Good hustler coming off the back side and a physical hitter who wraps with a firm grip … Used on stunts and twists because of his sudden burst … Despite his size, he is effective vs. double teams, but only when he keeps his hands active … Generates good explosion when he stays low in his pads … Tough to move out of the gaps due to his low center of gravity.

Negatives: Lacks height and bulk to face up to larger blockers, relying more on his strength to compensate … Shows good pursuit agility, but tends to lose sight of the quarterback and is not consistent in attempts to close … When he gets high in his stance, he struggles to shed, as blockers are quick to get under his pads and ride him out … If he is cut down, he is slow to recover and get up … Has a strong hand punch, but needs to use it more consistently … Can slide out and make plays on the edge, but gets a little reckless in his pursuit and will sometimes outrun the play (does not have the plant-and-drive agility to redirect and get back into the flow of the play).

McCargo is an undersized athlete with adequate bulk, but has good upper body strength and above average quickness for his position. He is a quick-twitch performer who can gain an immediate advantage coming off the snap. He is a disruptive force with a knack for shooting the gaps, but lacks pass rush moves to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis. What makes him effective vs. larger blockers is his ability to keep his pad level low, but he tends to get high in his stance when giving pursuit.

He is an instinctive lineman who can see the play and has a good feel for block pressure. He is best when locating the ball in a crowd, as he will do whatever is needed to get to the ball. He has that sudden burst to disrupt the backfield, much like Atlanta's Jonathan Babineaux. McCargo has an above average power base, but it will get negated when he gets too high in his stance. He does show good hand usage, as he fights off double teams on a regular basis.

McCargo can be run at due to being undersized, but he has the power to hold the point when he drops his weight and gets combative with his hands. He is tough to move out when shooting the gaps and does a good job with his swim and rip moves to shed the block. The thing you see on film is his ability to work a side due to fluid lateral range.

When he bends his knees and gains inside hand position, he is quick to control blockers. As a tackler, he wraps with a firm grip and is a good physical hitter. His problem vs. the run comes when he lets blockers lock on to him, as they can neutralize McCargo with a good push off the ball.

As a pass rusher, McCargo has the speed to chase down the quarterback, but he needs to generate a better burst to close (gathers some). He is effective at protecting his legs vs. low blocks and has the quickness to get to the edge to take down the ball carrier. He shows good pop and jolt ability with his hands, especially vs. low block protection.

McCargo is effective on twists and games, showing good explosiveness to flush out the quarterback. He does a solid job of dipping his shoulder to get around the edge of guards, but is best when allowed to bull rush rather than coming in from the outside.

McCargo has a good blend of power and quickness, but needs to run with better discipline, as he can overshoot the quarterback and then struggles to recover. His lack of height and bulk will prevent him from playing inside in a 3-4 alignment, but with his short area burst, he could play effectively if used at end. He has the pursuit speed to chase down ball carriers, but with his injury and lack of pass rush technique (can pursue, but fails to close), he is a player that might have been better served spending another year in school.

Career Notes

Participated in 1,662 plays for the Wolfpack … Disruptive force in the backfield, as seven of his 35 quarterback pressures resulted in interceptions and three others led to turnovers … Ranks 10th in school history with 29.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

2005 Season

Started the first six games at left defensive tackle … Suffered a stress fracture in his left foot vs. Wake Forest that required surgery on October 28, forcing him to sit out the final six games … Finished with 35 tackles (23 solos), an assisted sack for minus-7 yards, 11 stops for losses of 28 yards and seven quarterback pressures while participating in 375 plays … Also deflected two passes.

2005 Game Analysis

Virginia Tech … Saw action in 59 plays, producing a season-high nine tackles (6 solos) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pair of pressures … Took down tailback Cedric Humes for a 3-yard loss in the second quarter and leveled tailback Mike Imoh for a 2-yard loss on a run around left end in the fourth quarter … Head to Head Competition -- G

Jason Murphy.

Eastern Kentucky … Posted four tackles with two pressures and a stop behind the line of scrimmage … Blocked a punt, along with defensive end Mario Williams, and defensive end Manny Lawson recovered the ball to set up a 7-yard touchdown run by N.C. State's Andre Brown in the first quarter … Head to Head Competition -- G Lance Petro.

North Carolina … Added five tackles with three pressures, a pass deflection and two stops for losses of 9 yards … Teamed with defensive end Mario Williams to sack QB Matt Baker for a 13-yard loss on a third-and-12 play late in the first quarter … In the fourth quarter, McCargo joined middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch in taking down tailback Barrington Edwards for a 4-yard loss on a third-and-13 run … Head to Head Competition -- G Kyle Ralph.

Georgia Tech … Batted away a pass and delivered five tackles (3 solos), including one that stopped P.J. Daniels behind the line of scrimmage … McCargo and defensive end Renaldo Moses hit the tailback in tandem for a 4-yard loss midway through the second quarter … Head to Head Competition -- G Nate McManus.

Clemson … Produced six solo tackles with four stops behind the line of scrimmage … Teamed with defensive end Mario Williams in taking down tailback Reggie Merriweather for a 2-yard loss on a running play at the start of the second half … Tackled Merriweather again for a 1-yard loss at the start of the fourth quarter and leveled Kyle Browning for a 3-yard loss two drives later … Head to Head Competition -- G Nathan Bennett.

Wake Forest … Had six tackles (3 solos), including one that stopped tailback Chris Barclay for a 1-yard loss on a third-and-1 run midway through the first quarter … On Barclay's 2-yard gain on the ground at the start of the third quarter, McCargo suffered a left foot stress fracture … He underwent surgery and missed the rest of the season … Head to Head Competition -- G Chris DeGeare.

Southern Mississippi, Florida State, Boston College, Middle Tennessee, Maryland and South Florida (Meineke Car Care Bowl) … Did not play (foot).

2004 Season

Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection … Started 10 games at left defensive tackle, recording 47 tackles (32 solos) with five stops for losses of 13 yards and 12 pressures while competing in 576 plays … Also caused and recovered a fumble.

2004 Game Analysis

Richmond … Began the season with three tackles and a pair of pressures in 32 plays.

Ohio State … Saw action in 60 snaps, producing five tackles (3 solos).

Virginia Tech … Registered a season-high seven tackles (6 solos) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pressure in 60 plays.

Wake Forest … Stopped tailback Chris Barclay for a 5-yard loss, finishing with five tackles (4 solos).

North Carolina and Maryland … Had four tackles in each game.

Miami … Caused a fumble and made two stops.

Clemson … Collected three pressures and three tackles (2 solos).

Georgia Tech … Followed with six hits (4 solos) with a stop behind the line of scrimmage.

Florida State … Delivered five tackles (3 solos), including one for a loss, and added a pair of pressures.

East Carolina … Finished the year with two pressures and three tackles.

2003 Season

Earned freshman All-America honors by The Sporting News … Recipient of the Carey Brewbaker Award, given to the squad's most valuable defensive lineman … Started all year at left defensive tackle, leading the team with 16 quarterback pressures … Registered 52 tackles (33 solos) on 711 plays … Had three sacks for minus-17 yards, 13.5 stops for losses of 42 yards and two pass deflections … His stops behind the line of scrimmage rank 10th on the school's single-season list.

2003 Game Analysis

Wake Forest … Registered six tackles and a pressure in 62 snaps.

Texas Tech … Produced his first career sack when he dropped QB B.J. Symons for an 8-yard loss.

North Carolina … Stopped tailback Jacque Lewis for a 2-yard loss and had two tackles.

Georgia Tech … Slammed QB Reggie Ball into the ground for a 4-yard loss, pressuring him into throwing an interception … Delivered six solo tackles and four stops for minus-11 yards in 48 plays.

Connecticut … Followed with another six tackles (5 solos), including two for losses of 6 yards.

Duke … Made five tackles (3 solos) with a 5-yard sack and a pressure.

Florida State … Credited with a season-high eight tackles, two stops for losses of 4 yards, a pressure and a pass deflection.

Maryland … Had a pair of pressures and four stops, including one for a 2-yard loss.

Kansas (Tangerine Bowl) … Finished the season with six tackles, a stop behind the line of scrimmage, three pressures and a pass deflection.

2002 Season

Redshirted as a freshman … Was the co-recipient of the Most Dependable Defensive Lineman Award following 2003 spring workouts.

Injury Report

2005: Missed the final six games of the season after he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot vs. Wake Forest (10/22), undergoing surgery on October 28.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.778 in the 40-yard dash … 410-pound bench press … 300-pound power clean.

Combine: 5.15-second 40-yard dash. … 30 1/2-inch vertical jump. … 25 reps at 225 pounds. … 9'2" broad jump.

High School

Attended Randolph Henry (Drake's Branch, Va.) High School, playing football for head coach Joe Freeland … Second-team All-State choice … Recorded 60 tackles, including 16 for loss, and six sacks as a senior … Also caused four fumbles and recovered three that year … As a fullback, he had 98 carries for 648 yards and six touchdowns, as well as two catches for 9 yards while converting 4 of 6 PATs … As a junior, McCargo tallied three sacks, caused two fumbles and recovered three fumbles on defense … On offense, he had 16 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns, as well as a reception for 5 yards … Also participated in baseball, basketball and track … McCargo advanced to the state championships in the shot put and discus as a junior, placing fourth in the discus.

Personal

Sports Management major … Born 8/19/83 … Resides in Drake's Branch, Virginia.

 
 

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