Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
When Jason McCourty ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds in front of a slew of NFL scouts last month, he knew immediately he had helped his draft stock.
“Definitely. My brother [Devin McCourty] and Courtney Greene, they were all standing by the scouts. They came up to me and said they all did a double take at their watches because nobody expected me to run that fast,” McCourty said by phone. “I kind of expected it because I had done a 4.28 in training.”
A 5-foot-10, 190-pound cornerback who starred at St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, N.J., McCourty expects to be drafted somewhere in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft, which begins today at Radio City Music Hall.
“I’ve been told around the fifth [round] and I’ve also been told free agency,” McCourty said.
McCourty has visited the Giants, Houston, Jacksonville, Green Bay, Atlanta, Baltimore and Cleveland. He and several Rutgers teammates also worked out for Cleveland scouts this past Thursday at Rutgers.
“I really do believe he will be drafted,” said Ken Sarnoff, McCourty’s agent. “I know a bunch of teams that have expressed interest that didn’t work him out.”
Sarnoff added that McCourty had a 3.4 GPA and was a high-character person who should be attractive to NFL franchises.
“He’s just a great kid,” Sarnoff said. “You couple that with the athletic talent and you know what you’re getting. A player who’s going to come in and do his work.”
McCourty says he can play a variety of positions and just wants to contribute. Last season he had two interceptions for 30 yards, returned 17 kicks for 438 yards and made 52 tackles.
“I believe I’m a smart player and I’m a competitor,” he said. “I’m a player that’s going to contribute anywhere a team needs me. Special teams, I can return kicks and anything else they else they need me to do.”
McCourty says he planned to watch the draft from his home in Nanuet, N.Y. with family and friends.
“I’ll definitely watch the first two rounds,” he said. “I’ll be watching anything else that comes on as well.
“I’m a little nervous. I kind of just take it as wherever I end up is where I end up. I’m going to have the same mindset and just go. Wherever I end up is where I end up.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.