RB Dexter McCluster, Free agent
HT: 5-9, WT: 172, Born: 8-25-1988, College: Mississippi, Drafted: Round 2
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Return Projections (see all)
Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: D Allen (183), Dexter McCluster (185), M Austin (186), A Dobson (187)
Position: J White (170-RB57), L Dunbar (182-RB58), Dexter McCluster (185 - RB59), D Brown (191-RB60), R Helu (195-RB61)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: J White (166), M Lee (167), Dexter McCluster (168), T Kelce (170)
Position: K Davis (165-RB55), J White (166-RB56), Dexter McCluster (168 - RB57), S Greene (174-RB58), J Starks (183-RB59)
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While the Titans didn't give Dexter McCluster a huge contract in free agency, they did appear to overpay him to make sure that he signed on in Tennessee. McCluster should feature prominently on special teams, but his contract suggests he will also be used a lot on offense. Unless Bishop Sankey establishes himself as the third down back, that role should be McCluster's. That should be the floor of his expectations.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - McCluster was active in both the passing game and the return game. He looked elusive as a punt returner, and made a couple of really nice catches in traffic. Most notably he took a huge hit on a deep cross and held on to the ball for a 21 yard gain. His other two grabs were of the shorter variety and he caught all three with very little chance to make a move after the catch. McCluster did have one drop on a short hitch in tight coverage.
Week 2 - McCluster continues to look really good in the punt return game, but isn’t getting enough targets to make a serious impact in the passing game. He did a good job to spin upfield quickly for 9 yard gain and a first down on a 5 yard grab. McCluster did have one bad drop in the flats but he was very well guarded and it would have been a net loss if he’d caught the pass.
Week 3 - Every attempt the Chiefs made to get McCluster the ball outside of special teams turned out to be a failure. Early in the game he took a pitch on an option play and was swallowed up by two defenders for a three yard loss, the play never had a chance. On his first target he dropped a high pass in the flats. On the one ball he did catch, McCluster was tripped up by an ankle tackle in the flats on what could have been a big gain. The Chiefs rotated in a bunch of receivers and it was really hard to distinguish McCluster as a true WR3 in this offense. With Anthony Fasano out, the Chiefs ran a lot of three and four wide receivers sets, but McCluster was still in for just barely over 50% of the plays.
Week 4 - McCluster saw Smith’s first target of the game on a short out with a safety in coverage. It seemed any time Alex Smith was looking for McCluster any time he could find him against someone other than a corner. McCluster’s second catch came on an option route against a linebacker, and his third came on a deep cross when the safety in the back of the zone lost him. Of course, all of those plays paled in comparison to McCluster’s 89 yard punt return for a touchdown. McCluster used a spin move, a stutter step and a jump cut to elude seven different defenders in the most exciting play of the game.
Week 5 - McCluster's only catch was nullified by penalty. It was a very athletic play that turned a short completion into a 17 yard gain, but it was also one of only two targets he received in the game. The other target was a bad misfire by Smith.
Week 6 - McCluster had no trouble getting open early, but couldn't make a connection with Smith. Twice in the first quarter McCluster beat his man only to have Smith miss him in the open field. When Smith did put the ball on the money later in the half McCluster dropped it. The Chiefs put McCluster in the backfield to spare Charles in this third quarter and he had a nice four yard run and then caught his only pass out of the backfield that he turned into a ten yard gain with his speed.
Week 7 - McCluster had the best play made by a Chiefs receiver and the worst. The best came on a wide receiver screen in the third quarter on 3rd and 21. McCluster followed perfect blocking and used his elite speed to get to the marker, then stiff armed the safety and hit another gear in sprinting another 20 yardS downfield. The worst play came less than a quarter later when McCluster quit on a deep out. He was well covered and simply gave up on the route at about the same time Smith released the ball. The ball sailed past where McCluster should have been and into the arms of a Texans defender for an interception. Two of McCluster's other three catches came on wide receiver screens, with one turning into an 11 yard gain after he broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage. McCluster was again used a little in the backfield but had very little success running the ball.
Week 8 - In Bowe's absence McCluster was a huge part of the game plan. He was good in the short passing game and caught a pass downfield for a touchdown. McCluster abused corners not named Joe Haden, beating them underneath routinely. His seven yard gain on a wide receiver screen was almost entirely the result of his shifty demeanor. McCluster had a great feel for where to be, and Alex Smith leaned on him, always leading him to the open part of the field. McCluster had one carry out of the backfield, a sweep right that he cut up at just the right time for a gain of five yards. His touchdown came on a seam route out of the slot and it was a bad coverage breakdown that left him wide open in the end zone.
Week 9 - McCluster had a very frustrating day. His first target was completely uncatchable and he fell down in the open field because of a low pass on his first reception. He was targeted in the red zone on a third down play and caught the ball just short of the marker before being leveled by a defender. All of that was bad, but it got much worse when McCluster dropped a perfectly thrown ball from Smith 26 yards downfield. McCluster was wide open and had a chance to score down the left sideline and simply dropped one of the easiest catches of the day. McCluster didn't see another target after that drop, but in fairness the Chiefs only threw the ball eight more times.
Week 11 - McCluster was the opposite of Bowe as most of his success came in the second half. He had a couple of catches early in the game, but they were uninspiring and he was unable to make anyone miss in the open field. In the second half he made a really nice grab on a deep cross that was thrown just a little bit low and also made the catch of the game in the 4th quarter. On the play Smith threw a back shoulder throw down the right sideline and McCluster left his feet to haul it in and showed great body control to land in bounds.
Week 12 - McCluster led the team in receptions, but several of them were close to the line of scrimmage without much room. He did not do a great job on the wide receiver screens he caught of setting up the blocking or seeing the opening. His longest reception, of 17 yards, came on a deep cross. McCluster didn't get much separation on the play but he did make a nice gab in traffic. McCluster had to fight through a hold from Eric Weddle to make an acrobatic 14 yard catch in the red zone, and showed good body control to do so. With a little better instincts and vision, McCluster could have had a much better day, but he was still an integral part of the game plan.
Week 13 - McCluster showed good hands on a day when few Chiefs receivers did and made at least one spectacular play. His diving grab on a 28 yard pass from Smith came between three defenders and wasn't near as catchable as several of the passes Smith had seen dropped. McCluster nearly had a touchdown in the fourth quarter when he caught a short pass at the 3 and was drug down by his facemask at the 1. There were still a couple of plays where you'd like to see McCluster do more in the open field, but considering his competition he was one of the Chiefs best performers at receiver.
Week 14 - McCluster's biggest impact came on special teams where he had multiple long returns including one that he took 74 yards to the house for a touchdown. He did make one man miss on a swing pass that went for nine yards and followed a well blocked wide receiver screen for a ten yard gain. McCluster was targeted down field a couple of times as well but he failed to create separation on the plays.
Week 17 - McCluster made the most of being the only Chiefs regular to play in this game. His touchdown came from the two yard line on a wide receiver screen and McCluster had to break one tackle to get into the end zone. He ran a couple of great routes on shorter completions and made a nice diving catch on a 14 yard pass from Daniel to start what should have been the game winning drive in the 4th quarter. McCluster flashed his speed both on a 32 yard punt return and on a slant that he turned into a 28 yard gain in overtime.
Week 18 - McCluster was heavily involved in the short passing game with the absence of Jamaal Charles. He saw a lot of targets within five yards of the line of scrimmage but was too often unable to break the one tackle needed to spring a big gain. McCluster's biggest gain came on a flare route in the second quarter on 3rd and 5. He picked up 19 on the play, one of the few times the team got him the ball in open space.