Caleb McSurdy, ILB
School: Montana | Conference: BSKY
College Experience: Senior | Hometown: Boise, ID
03/12/2012 – There were nearly two dozen NFL teams represented at the University of Montana’s pro day on Friday, and any number of them would like to have Caleb McSurdy suiting up and making big hits next fall. Some of them, though, think it might happen on offense. McSurdy was one of 22 players who went through several drills in front of NFL scouts at UM, including speed drills on the SprinTurf of Washington-Grizzly Stadium. He’d been through all of them before at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 27, but that was at linebacker. Some of these guys want McSurdy to play fullback. “It’s awesome,” said the 242-pounder, who was the Big Sky Conference’s defensive player of the year. “There’s a few teams that just let me know that’s what they saw me at. They tell you, ???Hey, we want to work you out as a fullback at your pro day,’ and you just do it.” McSurdy earned all-conference honors at tight end as a senior at Borah High in Boise, Idaho, and also played some running back. It seems safe to assume he excelled. “No, not really,” he said. “I was kind of a bruiser. And not to throw anybody under the bus, but my O-line wasn’t terrific. So there were a lot of 2-yard runs that took a lot of effort.” Five years later he was back on that side of the ball, if only for an afternoon. “Obviously they want to see you catch the ball and run some routes,” he said. “I went out and did that and felt pretty decent.” McSurdy also re-tested in the 40-yard dash, and lowered his time from 4.97 at the combine to 4.68 and 4.70. “Coach (Aric) Williams had me at 4.66,” McSurdy added. “I think he might’ve given me the home-town discount. But, good day.”
McSurdy was a force in the Big Sky Conference in his senior year, recording 114 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. He is a thick, short inside linebacker who doesn’t have great speed but should be able to use his strength, instincts and tackling ability to find playing time early and often at the next level. He could be selected in the late rounds to a team seeking linebacker depth.
Strengths: McSurdy is a very instinctual linebacker who relies on his play recognition and pre-snap keys to put himself in a strong position to make plays. He is a quick-twitched mover once the ball is snapped and easily sniffs out run plays. He is a solid, reliable wrap-up tackler on the inside and shows a polished ability to dip his hips, fend off a low block and make a quick move towards the ball.
Weaknesses: McSurdy is a bit undersized for the inside linebacker position. Given his inexperience with top-line collegiate play, he could struggle against bigger offensive linemen working toward the second level in the NFL. He struggles against tight ends.