2021 NFL Draft: Nick McCloud gives Notre Dame a boost at cornerback

RALEIGH, NC – OCTOBER 06: Nick MCloud #4 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts during their game against the Boston College Eagles at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina State won 28-23. He looks to be a sleeper cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Notre Dame got boost on Monday. From Julian Love to Troy Pride Jr., is Nick McCloud the next big Irish cornerback to be drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Former NC State Cornerback, Nick McCloud, announced he will be grad transferring to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility. Before the season he was a guy who we saw on the Senior Bowl watchlist after recording two interceptions and eight pass breakups in 2018. He looks to rebound after his season was derailed a year ago and be a contending cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The opening game of the season saw him record seven tackles and two pass breakups before we saw his season cut short with an injury in the second game. McCloud is listed at 6’1” and 190lbs but honestly looks taller with the very good length for the position.

McCloud is a menace in press man by utilizing his length to his advantage and disrupt timing of receivers. He isn’t overaggressive at the line and is patient which allows him to stab and reroute guys. McCloud isn’t just some long stiff corner though as he possess fluidity in off coverage as well.

He has played a good balance of both off coverage and press coverage which will make his transition into the Notre Dame defense seamless. He displays a clean back pedal with the ability to play low. Playing with good knee bend, McCloud is able to get the most out of his footwork with efficient breaks downhill. His short area quickness will be an area for improvement but he has solid burst for a long legged corner.

McCloud has good transition skills showing good hip fluidity in off coverage to stay in the hip pocket of receivers. Solid ball skills, displaying the ability to compete on every throw due to his length to disrupt at the catch point.

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McCloud made this writer’s list as his #1 sleeper cornerback for the 2021 NFL Draft and now he has a home on the big stage that is destined to catapult his draft stock. Nick McCloud is a cornerback to keep an eye on in this next draft class as he could find himself vying for a spot in the upper tier of cornerback prospects.

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