NAME: Anthony McFarland
POSITION: Running Back
WEIGHT: 200 pounds
In today’s Chiefs draft prospect profile, we will look into a running back who can reach 100 MPH in the blink of an eye. In addition, he has elite cutting ability and tantalizing footwork. There are some areas where he is less complete or has not seen the experience in certain aspects. While Kansas City just added former rival DeAndre Washington to the running back mix, competition from this player would not hurt. Now, let’s get things started with our breakdown of Maryland’s Anthony McFarland.
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His anticipation is pretty impressive. Overall, McFarland can find a hole easily, while having multiple options for where to run. If he wants to cut back, there is a good chance his one step inside will lead to a chance at a home run hitting rush into the open field. McFarland has shown the straight line, hitting the hole with no dancing as well. The bottom line is, this Maryland back will make life tough on defenders in the front seven, because he is one or two steps ahead of the opponents.
If McFarland is running with the ball in his hands, everything he does is usually fast paced. We talked a little at the top that he can reach full speed extremely quick. On tape, you will see defenders basically have no shot to make a stop one on one, if he is rapidly moving up the field. I did not anticipate the stop and start ability of McFarland. Having the aforementioned vision is essential. Yet, you add in his elite speed, and McFarland usually has an explosive play waiting in the wings.
McFarland surprised me here, and in a good way. His ability to keep his legs churning and driving leads to additional yards after contact. Furthermore, his speed helps to absorb contact when moving upfield. McFarland does not just slice defenders up with his cuts due to vision. He uses little to no wasted movement, while gliding in the open field. All of these attributes that have been mentioned so far, add up to McFarland being a very natural runner. And his tape provides evidence to that.
To this point, we have not seen a ton of opportunities or consistency for McFarland as a pass catcher. If you want to use him more on screens, swing routes or as a simple check down target, teams could bank off of his speed and yards after the catch ability. However, there are too many moments where his eyes are up field too early. Drops rise, as a result. McFarland is also very limited as a route runner to this point in his career.
He is not overly shy in this area. Nonetheless, McFarland has not shown the ability to recognize or diagnose opposing blitzers. I think he has to build more strength, in order to find more positive results. McFarland has also not quite developed a stout anchor or lower half. The footwork can disappear and leads to him getting pushed back.
What team strength and archetype would lead to an Anthony McFarland and Kansas City Chiefs fit? It would be that you are adding more speed and explosiveness to your plethora of skill players. His cutting ability and elusiveness is what could most excite teams entering the NFL, besides the speed. There is some good and bad to his experience at Maryland. On the one hand, McFarland has little production, which means you believe he has a ton of durability left in the tank. But the other side of that, means he has not had to become more accomplished in the passing game or in short yardage situations. Lastly, McFarland would do well in the KC zone rushing scheme, while providing a complementary role.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs offseason coverage. We will continue to provide more draft prospect profiles in the leadup to the NFL selections in the coming weeks. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.