Alex McCalister may not love the round in which he was taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the long-limbed Florida edge rusher is at least headed to a team that has a wingspan just like his, thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles selecting him with the No. 240 overall pick in the seventh round.
McCalister came into his own as a redshirt junior in 2015, using new nuance to his rushing to total career highs in sacks and tackles for loss, and a share of Florida's team lead in the former category. But a foot injury suffered against South Carolina left him unable to play in Florida's final three games, and so he was unable to put an exclamation point on his season that would have left fewer question marks about his decision to go pro.
McCalister's absurd frame and incredible burst off the line also may not have outweighed concerns about his strength, durability, and lack of production. Trevor Sikkema summed up his quandary while breaking McCalister down earlier this week.
McCalister has crazy length for a defensive end, but his weight is worrisome. His explosiveness is fantastic, but if he doesn't win at the initial burst, his combine numbers suggest he doesn't have the overall athleticism in other areas to make up for it. He's great in some ways, and worrisomely flawed in others.
Still, the Eagles tied for 17th with 37 sacks in 2015, and Sean McDermott's defense has been ditched for a Jim Schwartz-coordinated approach that might revive the wide-nine alignment that made the Eagles pass rush one of the NFL's most fearsome under late long-time coordinator Jim Johnson.
If McCalister can be refined, he could still be a monster on the field.