The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s expected two-deep depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where we see him fit on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Ray-Ray McCloud
Player position: wide receiver (field)
Years left of eligibility: 2 years
Projected rank on depth chart: first
Player productivity so far: McCloud has made an impact with his quickness in the open field. He has 78 career receptions (eighth among active ACC players) for 723 yards and three touchdowns in 26 games, including six starts. He also has 182 career punt return yards and 126 return yards on kickoffs.
What player does best: McCloud is very quick. He has good instincts in the open field. He uses his wiggle to make guys miss. He has great straight line speed. He is not going to get caught from behind.
What player needs to work on: McCloud is very good with the football in his hands and when he gets around the corner on jet sweeps or pop passes, he usually is going to get down the field for a big gain. However, working to get open without the football has been his issue. He needs to get stronger and more physical off the line as well as doing a better job running routes.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Sammy Watkins, 2011: He set freshman records for receptions, yards and touchdowns with 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 14.9 yards per catch with a long of 65 yards. He averaged 93.8 yards per game.
Sammy Watkins, 2013: He set Clemson’s single-season records for receptions and yards with 101 catches for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 14.5 yards per catch with a long of 96 yards. He averaged a record 112.6 yards per game.
Artavis Scott, 2014: He caught 76 passes for 965 yards and 8 touchdowns. He averaged 12.7 yards per catch with a long of 70 yards. He averaged 74.2 yards per game.
Artavis Scott, 2016: Had 76 receptions for 614 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 8.1 yards per catch with a long of 28 yards. He averaged 40.9 yards per return.
What can you hope for? You hope he can stay healthy. McCloud is more talented than Scott and is faster. However, injuries in each of the last two years have slowed McCloud and his development down.
What is a realistic expectation? Though McCloud will not put up the kind of numbers Watkins did, it is realistic to believe he can catch 80 to 90 passes and get near or just over 1,000 yards. It is also realistic to see him get to that 8 to 10 touchdown range as well.
What about the future? Unless McCloud has a breakout season, which is possible, it’s doubtful you see him leaving early for the NFL after his junior year. I think you see him having a good year this season and developing his skills before returning as a senior and having an even bigger impact on the field.