Jacques McClendon: 6’3″, 324lbs — OG, University of Tennessee
This much we know — Jacques McClendon is strong. Very strong. As a sophomore at Tennessee he shattered the Volunteers bench press record by 70 pounds, hoisting up an unbelievable 645 pounds. At his Pro Day he knocked out 37 reps at 225 pounds, which would have ranked third at the NFL Combine had he been invited. The biggest question surrounding McClendon is if he’s far enough along in his development to immediately step into the role left empty by Ryan Lilja’s departure and help the Indianapolis Colts protect Peyton Manning and run the football.
Coach Jim Caldwell did speak highly of him to the media after the Colts drafted him:
“He’s a guy we think will be able to give us some real anchor there in the middle. He’s a highly competitive, extremely bright guy. He’s a guy that certainly has the intellectual capability to learn our system and learn it quickly.”
Sounds like at the very least he’ll be expected to compete for a starting job, if not favored to land one.
One other thing McClendon has going for him is his familiarity with Manning. At Tennessee he interacted with Manning around the facility, and being a product of Cleveland, Tennessee, McClendon was a huge Manning fan growing up, and even has a Peyton autographed helmet at his mother’s house. Still has his number 18 Tennessee jersey too. As he told the Chattanooga Times Free Press after being drafted by the Colts in the fourth round: “I know Peyton is a perfectionist, so I’ll have to go in there and learn quickly and execute at a very high level.
|Highlights of Jacques McClendon
What the scouts said (from National Football Post ):
“McClendon isn’t a gifted athlete when asked to get out in space. He looks heavy-footed on the move and struggles to reach/seal defenders in space. He isn’t effective on slide-down blocks and lacks the type of body control to stay on his man through the play. But he showcases above-average power as an inline run blocker and exhibits the lower body strength to create off the snap. He lacks ideal fluidity when asked to pass protect on an island, doesn’t get off the ball quickly and struggles to mirror in space. He’s at his best in a phone booth where he does a nice job keeping his base down, playing with natural leverage on contact and generating good power on his punch.”