With the help of Kansas City Chiefs area scout Trey Koziol, here’s a quick scouting report on safety Leon McQuay III, who was drafted in the sixth round (218th overall) out of Southern California on Saturday.
S LEON McQUAY, Southern California
Measurables: 6 feet 2, 185 pounds, 22 years old, 4.45-second 40-yard dash (hand-timed)
Bio: Two-year starter who recorded 50 tackles (four for loss), eight passes deflected, six pass breakups, three interceptions and zero forced fumbles in 13 games in 2016. Was a backup in 2015 after starting nine games in 2014. Did not run at his pro day due to a hamstring tweak.
Never miss a local story.
Evaluation: Chiefs are looking at him as a corner/nickel. “Just (because of) the movement skills, the hips, the athleticism, the speed, the length,” Koziol said. Was used as a safety at USC but played lots of coverage against the slot receiver. Production dropped as a junior before rising against as a senior. “I know he got a little bit dinged up toward the middle of the season there. That’s a talented defensive backfield. They’ve got a lot of good players there.” But when coach Clancy Pendergast (who left in 2014) came back in 2016, he found a role again. “He does have ball skills; he’s got five career interceptions ... he can go up and play the ball.” Koziol says he has really good hips, especially for a 6-1 guy, and has comfort in off-man and press. Koziol says he’s smart and plays the game with his eyes. “He’s a tremendously bright kid; his ability to see things from a safety role, conceptually, when you’re asking him to play zone coverage is only going to help him, experience-wise.” Needs to work on his footwork and technique to adequately make the change. “Especially transitioning to corner, I think that’s something the coaches will be excited to work on him with.”