STRENGTHS - McCardell has the ability to get off the POA cleanly and shows the strength to break away from the lineman to either get in the backfield on his side or turn and make a play on the ball carrier in backside pursuit. Solid hip turn combined with footwork allows him to recover quickly and get into coverage when needed. When he is able to get off the line quickly he has the speed to turn the edges quickly and get to the quarterback.
WEAKNESSES - McCardell needs to become much more physical if he is going to make any roster in the NFL. He relies heavily on his quickness and does not use his hands enough to create separation or gain leverage on the lineman. While he can recover quickly he does not appear to have the speed to stay with a RB out of the backfield for any length of time. His spin move is very slow moving and allows the lineman to regain position on him and lacks an overall variety of pass rush moves.
SUMMARY - McCardell did not see a significant amount of playing time in his senior season and much of his playing time came in passing situations where he was used as a speed rusher. He has the speed and quickness to get to the quarterback quickly but he was very inconsistent in getting off the snap quickly, many times being a step or two slow allowing the lineman to get leverage on him easily and knock him back off the LOS taking him out of the play and taking away any chance he has at getting to the quarterback. He did show strength in being able to break away from blocks and getting to the quarterback or making a play in the backfield or in space, but he needs to become much more physical and develop a punch in order to become a better player. He showed solid awareness and the ability to turn and get into coverage, but he is not a guy that will be able to run down the field with a RB or a faster TE. McCardell will only be able to play in a 43 defense as he does not have the coverage skills to be an OLB and does not have the strength or physicality to play DE in the 34. Overall, he is an average college player whose talent and skill set does not translate into an NFL caliber player.