BROWNS SELECT DB BRANDON McDONALD WITH THE FIFTH-ROUND SELECTION
(On what position he will play with the Browns)-"It doesn't matter to me. I'll play anything they put me at. I've been given word I'll be playing nickel back or the corner spot but I can play free safety."
(On if he thought the Browns would take him)-"I took a visit to Cleveland this month and I was just waiting around to see how things played out."
(On his style)-"I'm the type of player that goes out and does his job. I go out and just play hard and give it my all."
(On the Browns cornerback corps)-"It'll be competitive wherever you go in the NFL. There are always corners trying to compete for a job. Everybody wants to do well. It'll be fun to go against those guys and compete for the same job."
(On if he thinks he should've been selected higher)-"I think I fell right where I should've been. I maybe should've been picked up a little earlier, but it depends on what teams need. When I get to camp I'll prove what I need to prove.
(On his draft experience)-"My family got together (in Collins, Miss.) and watched the draft. I had a list of corners off a website and was watching how many went. Today we were watching and waiting for my name to be called and we got the phone call so everyone was excited."
(On the day)-"At first it was a little nervous. I didn't think I was going to get that call anytime soon but when I got the phone call I was hoping it was the call I needed and I stayed on the phone with the Browns and they said they were going to pick me up. I had to wait on the Rams to make their decision and they got me right after that."
(On being cousins with Correll Buckhalter and Steve McNair)-"I don't really get to talk to them that much but when they come home I talk to them a little bit"
(On the prospect of playing against Steve McNair)-"It'll be exciting for me as well as for them to give me a chance to go against high talent and things of that sort."
University of Memphis Tigers
Jones County Community College
Collins High School
The cousin of Philadelphia Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair, McDonald made a name for himself as a playmaker in the Tigers' secondary the last two years. With just three years of collegiate experience on defense, this former wide receiver has made a smooth transition to the other side of the ball.
McDonald led Collins High School to back-to-back state championships in 2001 and 2002 and was selected to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game as a senior. During his prep career, he earned All-State, All-Region and All-Area honors. He also lettered in basketball and baseball.
He enrolled at Jones County Community College in 2003, spending that season competing as a wide receiver. He shifted to cornerback in 2004, coming up with 25 tackles and a team-leading eight pass interceptions. He also led the team in punt returns and received MACJC Player of the Week honors when he returned six punts for 132 yards against East Central Community College. He also snagged three interceptions in the bowl game against Blinn College, as he helped his squad to an 8-3 record. He was named All-State and All-Region first-team, adding All-American honorable mention in 2004.
Two knee injuries sidelined McDonald prior to his first season at Memphis in 2005, as he underwent an arthroscopic procedure over the summer to repair a lateral meniscus tear. He went on to start eleven of twelve games at right cornerback as a junior, posting 49 tackles (34 solos) with 3.5 stops for losses. He deflected eleven passes and picked off three others. He blocked one kick and gained 153 yards on 32 punt returns (4.8 avg).
In 2006, McDonald earned team Defensive MVP and second-team All-Conference USA honors. He started four games at left cornerback and eight others at free safety, leading the team with 84 tackles (45 solos), including two stops behind the line of scrimmage. He blocked one kick and caused a fumble while also batting away four passes. He returned four interceptions for 83 yards and fourteen punts for 152 yards (10.9 avg).
In 24 games at Memphis, McDonald started 23 contests. He produced 133 tackles (79 solos) with 5.5 stops for losses of 13 yards and a forced fumble. He deflected fifteen passes and intercepted seven others for 158 yards in returns (22.6 avg). He blocked a pair of kicks and gained 305 yards on 46 punt returns (6.6 avg).
Positives...Has a slender frame, but it shows lean muscle development with a good bubble and adequate calf definition...Shows good foot speed and quickness in his running stride and has the second gear needed to recover when beaten...Better playing in man coverage than supporting vs. the run...Has good explosion to close on the ball and comes out of his breaks cleanly, taking no wasted steps in transition...Has a little hip stiffness that might make him a better candidate for free safety that at cornerback...With his ability to make quick reads to get into position to make plays on the ball, his skills will be better served at safety, but he needs to improve his tackle technique first...Has the natural quickness to mirror receivers throughout the route...Makes better plays on the ball working in zone coverage than when playing vs. the man...When he sees the play develop, he is quick to break on the ball...Has very good straight-line speed and shows the natural hands to look the ball in...Catches outside the frame well...Plants and drives sharply, mirroring the receiver's moves down the sidelines...Has natural movements when turning on the ball, getting his head around properly and shows good anticipation dropping off in the zone... Generally gets a piece of the ball while consistently keeping his hands in the receiver's face...Bends his knees properly in his pedal and uses his hands well to keep blockers off his feet...Adequate punt returner who makes decisive moves through the wedge and patiently waits for blocks to develop...Has an explosive burst through the holes and the balance to elude defenders on his return efforts.
Ranks seventh in school annals with 46 punt returns and tenth with 305 yards on those returns...Ranks eighth in Memphis history with 158 yards on interception returns (7)...Started 23 games at Memphis - 11 at right cornerback, 4 at left cornerback, 8 at free safety).
All-Conference USA second-team selection by the league's media...Named the team's Defensive Player of the Year...Started all twelve games, lining up at left cornerback vs. Mississippi, Chattanooga, East Carolina and Southern Mississippi before shifting to free safety for eight contests...Led the team with a career-high 84 tackles (45 solos), including two stops for losses of 6 yards...Caused a fumble and blocked a kick...Deflected four passes and intercepted four others for 83 yards in returns (20.8 avg)...Added 152 yards on fourteen punt returns (10.9 avg).
2006 GAME ANALYSIS
Mississippi...Had four tackles, a pass deflection and a 9-yard punt return in the season opener.
Chattanooga...Picked off a pass, gained 39 yards on four punt returns and posted three tackles...Returned an intercepted Antonio Miller pass 30 yards to set up a 3-yard touch-down run by tailback Jamarcus Gaither with 0:53 left in the first half.
East Carolina...Followed with seven solo stops.
Tennessee...Registered fourteen tackles (8 solos), including one that stopped Lucas Taylor for a 3-yard loss after catching a screen pass from Erik Ainge at the UM 27 with 2:56 remaining in the first half.
Alabama-Birmingham...Added an interception and twelve tackles (5 solos)...Stepped in front of a Chris Williams third-&-8 pass at the start of the third quarter, returning the ball 42 yards to set up a Memphis 26-yard field goal.
Arkansas State...Gained 22 yards on two punt returns and posted nine tackles (4 solos)...
Caused a fumble when he stripped the ball from tight end David Johnson after a 5-yard catch at the ASU 38 late in the third quarter.
Tulsa...Limited to a pair of tackles and a pass deflection.
Marshall...Registered six assisted tackles, stopping QB Jimmy Skinner for no gain on a second-&-goal run at the start of the second quarter...Took down tailback Ahmad Bradshaw for a 1-yard loss at midfield with 5:43 left to play.
Southern Mississippi...Returned two punts for 40 yards, deflected a pass and made eight tackles (4 solos), including one for a loss.
Central Florida...Batted away a pass and posted seven tackles (5 solos).
Houston...Credited with nine tackles (6 solos) and returned three punts for 39 yards... Also blocked a 24-yard field goal attempt that Memphis' Greg Jackson recovered for an 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 20-20, forcing the conest into overtime (Houston would win, 23-20).
Texas-El Paso...Closed out his career with three tackles and a pair of interceptions...At the start of the second quarter, McDonald picked off a Lorne Sam pass at the UM 26, setting up a 2-yard scoring run by the Tigers' Joseph Doss...In the fourth quarter, he intercepted a Kyle Wright pass near midfield and returned the ball 11 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by T.J. Pitts.
Joined the team during spring drills, but was bothered by knee problems, undergoing an arthroscopic procedure to repair a torn meniscus prior to the opening of fall camp...Went on to start eleven of twelve contests at right cornerback for the Tigers...Recorded 49 tackles (34 solos) with 3.5 stops for losses of 7 yards...Deflected eleven passes and had three interceptions for 75 yards in returns (25.0 avg)...Blocked an extra point attempt and gained 153 yards on 32 punt returns (4.8 avg).
2005 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Began his Memphis career with a pair of pass deflection, three tackles, an interception and five punt returns for 33 yards vs. Mississippi...Had four tackles with a stop behind the line of scrimmage and four punt returns for 19 yards vs. Tulsa...Registered six tackles and broke up two passes in the Texas-El Paso game...Was the team's leading tackler in the Central Florida game with 10 stops, including nine solo tackles...Registered four tackles and three pass break-ups in the win over Houston, adding three punt returns for 19 yards...Logged four tackles and had one pass break-up vs. Alabama-Birmingham...Totaled three tackles and one interception in the Tennessee game, returning the pick 37 yards to setup a Tiger field goal...Played a key role in the win over Southern Miss with a season-best 38-yard interception return to stop a Golden Eagle drive and was also credited with a blocked PAT in the third quarter...Logged nine tackles and two pass deflections in the Motor City Bowl vs. Akron.
Lettered for two seasons (2003-04) at Jones County Community College, playing football for head coach Parker Dykes...Worked as a receiver during his first season, and in the secondary in 2004...Credited with 25 tackles and a team-leading eight pass interceptions in 2004...Also led JCCC in punt returns...Received MACJC Player of the Week honors last season when he returned six punts for 132 yards against East Central Community College...Snagged three interceptions in the bowl game vs. Blinn College...Helped his squad to an 8-3 record, and was named All-State and All-Region, adding All-American honorable mention.
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
4.47 in the 40-yard dash...36-inch vertical jump...10'3" broad jump...4.05 20-yard shuttle...6.91 three-cone drill...31-inch arm length...9 ¼-inch hands...Right-handed...14/42 Wonderlic score.
COMBINE AGILITY TESTS
4.61 in the 40-yard dash...1.61 10-yard dash...2.68 20-yard dash...4.76 20-yard shuttle...7.44 three-cone drill...33-inch vertical jump...9'10" broad jump...Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times.
Attended Collins (Miss.) High School, playing football for head coach Bruce Merchant...Led the team to back-to-back state championships in 2001 and 2002 and was selected to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game as a senior...During his prep career, he earned All-State, All-Region and All-Area honors...Also lettered in basketball and baseball.
Education major...Cousin of Philadelphia Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair...Son of Lisa Grant and James Spencer...Born 8/26/85 in Collins, Mississippi.