Ray-Ray McCloud did not realize the defensive backs were going to go first when Clemson hosted Pro Day Thursday at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson.
Because of the change, McCloud could only do half of the defensive back drills because he felt he needed to keep his breath because he had 20 minutes of back-to-back-to-back wide receiver drills to still look forward to.
“I just wanted to keep my wind,” McCloud said afterward. “A few coaches wanted to see me back-peddle a little bit so I showed them that a little bit and then I ran routes. That is what I came here to do.”
And he did them both well.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who talked to all the coaches and scouts of at least nine NFL teams that were on hand, said he thought McCloud was the big winner of Clemson’s Pro Day.
“I think he was a very big bright spot today,” Swinney said. “He really helped himself. He was outstanding. He needed to do probably this and I think he did a little bit more than that. He was very good. I thought he hit a home run in all areas.”
Swinney, who thought McCloud was too heavy at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine, ran great.
“He probably would agree with that right now,” the Clemson coach said. “He tried to run it at 190 and he has not played a day at 190. He did fine, but just not where he needed to be.”
So McCloud leaned up a little bit and ran like his old self. The Clemson Insider unofficially clocked him at 4.41 in his first 40-yard dash on Thursday and then at 4.40 on his second.
McCloud ran a 4.53 officially at the NFL Combine.
“I feel like at the combine, I did not run like I wanted to,” he said. “I have had to wait, for however many days, to show that I can run and I came out here and did that.”
McCloud hopes he showed the NFL scouts, general managers and coaches in attendance that he can play anywhere on the field. He said he is very open to playing defensive back if that is what an NFL team wants him to do.
“I can be a great resource for a team and a great tool, and I’m a team player,” he said.
Besides running “great,” Swinney also believes McCloud’s performance helped him with his chances of being drafted and landing on an NFL roster later this spring. The 2018 NFL Draft begins on April 26.
“He did all of his drill work and (showed) unbelievable ball skills,” Swinney said. “He showed very good route running. He showed some good stuff in the slot. He caught some punts and they also did some DB work with him. So he did some DB drills and really shined in every area.
“He did everything and a little bit more of what he needed to do.”