AJ McCarron 2014 NFL Draft profile

AJ McCarron may have had a decorated college career, but unless he fixes some major issues with his game, he'll be nothing more than a backup in the NFL.

AJ McCarron was one of the most successful college quarterbacks in Alabama history. He won 36 games for the Crimson Tide and set school records for passing yards and touchdowns.

Listed at 6-feet-4-inches tall and 214 pounds at Alabama, McCarron has plenty of size to succeed in the NFL. It's the arm strength he lacks. In many ways, McCarron is an ordinary quarterback without too many extraordinary traits.

Where McCarron Wins

Based on his skill set, where McCarron wins is in college. He was efficient in terms of distributing the ball to Alabama's playmakers in a timely fashion and while making smart decisions with the football. He didn't often turn the ball over and efficiently went through his reads. It's worth noting that McCarron never seemed overwhelmed in big moments. His mechanics are reasonably efficient as well. When he's afforded time in the pocket he can make some accurate throws with adequate velocity. Consistency is the issue.

Where McCarron Needs To Improve

McCarron lacks the necessary arm strength to compete at a high level in the NFL. While at Alabama, McCarron consistently under threw deep passes and failed to put enough velocity on intermediate routes. It's not impossible to improve arm strength, so that's something McCarron should be focused on early in his career. His accuracy and anticipation also leave quite a bit to be desired. His timing was often off on crossing patterns and in the intermediate areas of the field. McCarron isn't a quarterback who can make up for his lack of anticipation with superior arm strength, either.

In addition to his physical shortcomings as a passer, McCarron seems a bit risk averse as a quarterback. Since he was always surrounded by so much talent, one might think he was willing to take shots. Instead, he often opted for the check down in favor of 50-50 passes down the field. Another product of the talent around him was how infrequently McCarron had to work with bodies around him in the pocket. When the pocket did get messy, McCarron struggled to sense or avoid the rush and his mechanics suffered as a result. The amount of time he had to work with on a lot of his more impressive throws in college makes it difficult to project just how well he'll adjust to playing in the NFL.

Overall Impression

If McCarron can improve his arm strength at all in his transition to the NFL, he has a chance to start. Otherwise, he appears to be nothing more than a backup. If the Jaguars don't draft a quarterback in round one, McCarron could be a candidate on the third day of the draft, but hopefully no sooner. If McCarron's the only quarterback the team brings in this offseason, he will have a tough time winning the starting job during training camp. Quarterbacks who can't overcome adverse conditions throughout the course of a game can't be graded as starters. McCarron never elevated the talent around him in college, he merely didn't screw it up.

Grade: 6.00 - Day three pick

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Big Cat Country

You must be a member of Big Cat Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Cat Country. You should read them.

Join Big Cat Country

You must be a member of Big Cat Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Cat Country. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker