A.J. McCarron QB Alabam #10
Size/Athleticism: Adequate size and overall build. He isn’t huge, but he’s capable of taking a hit. Not a threat to run, but his mobility within the pocket and his ability to roll out is an asset.
Arm strength/Accuracy: Nothing special about his arm strength, but it meets the baseline requirements. Accuracy on short and intermediate throws is an asset. Maintains accuracy on the run. Deep ball accuracy is a concern, and it mostly stems from poor footwork in his delivery. Accuracy is elite when he’s throwing to a spot, but struggles to hit players in stride.
Footwork/Release: He does a great job dancing around pressure within the pocket. Footwork on his throws is very inconsistent. He tends to overstep, throwing his hips open and leading to an across-body throw which diminishes his accuracy and takes away some velocity. Needs to keep his body moving in a straight line to maximize his accuracy and arm strength. Weight transfer is poor and sometimes non-existent. Throws off his back foot, or simply from an open, balanced stance too often.
Decision making: Does a great job keeping his eyes downfield as he avoids pressure in the pocket. Always poised under pressure and rarely forces a throw. Stays very patient when going through his progressions and has plenty of experience picking apart top defenses.
Intangibles: Played in a true pro-style offense at Alabama and will have no problem learning an NFL playbook.
Durability: Extremely durable and tough. Played through rib injury in 2012.
Comments: McCarron has plenty of experience and has excelled at the highest collegiate level. However, his physical tools are somewhat limited and the Alabama coaching staff created a system perfectly suited for his abilities. His ceiling is as a middle-of-the-road starter, but he will more likely be a career backup. There just isn’t enough about his game to get excited about to project him as the type of prospect who makes significant strides in the NFL. He’s high floor/low ceiling prospect who would make a very safe second or third round pick if a team is willing to accept the fact that he may not be anything more than a good backup.