Modesty is McDonald's policy
Jeff Walcoff, Staff Writer
There aren't many draft prospects who, after being selected, will tell you they didn't deserve to be picked higher. But Memphis cornerback Brandon McDonald is part of that minority.
He has no chip on his shoulder or vendetta against the teams that passed over him. He said he landed just about where he thought he should: in the fifth round (140th overall), where he was selected by the Browns Sunday.
"I think I fell right where I should've been," McDonald said during a conference call shortly after being picked. "I maybe should've been picked up a little earlier, but it depends on what teams need."
It's not that McDonald isn't sure of his abilities. He simply knows that, wherever he's picked, he'll come in and prove his worth to the team that picked him and that's what will ultimately earn him respect and playing time.
"When I get to camp I'll prove what I need to prove," he said.
The 5-foot-11, 181-pound prospect played for two seasons at Memphis after transferring from Jones County Community College. In 24 games (23 starts) as a Tiger, he marked 133 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 7 interceptions.
At Jones, he played receiver in 2003 before moving to defensive back in '04. There, he was an honorable mention All-American, marking 25 tackles and 8 interceptions.
McDonald also has return skills and could be candidate to replace Dennis Northcutt as the Browns' punt returner. He returned 46 punts for 305 yards at Memphis and also returned punts at Jones.
While he'll most likely try out for the punt return spot, he's not concerned with where he'll play as a Brown in scrimmage situations. He knows as long as he gets the chance he'll be able to earn time on the field.
And he doesn't mind competition to make it there. The Browns drafted another corner three rounds earlier when the team traded into the second round to select UNLV's Eric Wright 53rd overall.
"I'll play anything they put me at," he said. "I've been given word I'll be playing nickel back or the corner spot but I can play free safety.
"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."
A native of Collins, Miss., he's a distant cousin of longtime NFL quarterback Steve McNair. McDonald said it'll be exciting for to play against the Pro Bowl QB, who is now the starting QB with his new team's rival, the Baltimore Ravens.