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Road to the Draft: Vance McDonald

By Jay Skurski

Vance McDonald

Position: Tight end
School: Rice
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 267 pounds
40 time: 4.69 seconds. 225-pound bench press: 31 repetitions. Broad jump: 11 feet, 9 inches. Vertical: 33.5 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.08 seconds.
2012 stats: 36 catches, 458 yards, 2 TDs.
Draft projection: Late second-third round

Lowdown: McDonald fits the mold of today’s tight end in that he’s a physical mismatch for most defenders. He turned heads at the Senior Bowl this year. He lined up mostly in the slot for the Owls at the start of his career, but has some experience along the line of scrimmage and the backfield, making him an ideal fit as a “joker” tight end. … He’s an impressive athlete with long arms (34.5 inches) and impressive strength, as his 31 reps on the bench at the combine showed. Has untapped potential and should be able to develop as a blocker. … Finished his career with 120 catches for 1,513 yards and 15 TDs. … Made a pre-draft visit to the Bills.

Had frequent drops in college, often trying to run before securing the ball. … Most of his blocking took place in space. Still has to prove that he can be an in-line blocker. … Missed three games as a senior because of a toe injury. … Hails from Winnie, Texas, with a population of less than 3,500. Was not a major high school recruit.

He said it: "That was the thing that people had concern over, was 'can this guy be in an in-line blocker?' and the move from slot to tight end this year certainly helped my status in a lot of people's book. Senior year, it certainly turned around."

On his Senior Bowl experience: "It was a great way to get my name out since I don't go to one of the big universities. It was a great platform, as is the Combine, just to kind of get my name in people's mouths."

The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to this month's NFL Draft.


2013 draft | Road to the Draft
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |