Has an NFL arm, but does not throw lasers, and will probably be in the bottom half of league QBs in terms of arm strength. Has enough zip to throw through windows, but ball can flutter at times. Does not half a quick release. Seems to have a hitch at the top of his release point and has to put his arm into every throw. Does not throw effortlessly.
Shows okay downfield accuracy, but can drop the ball in a bucket and can put it only where his man can get it. Will miss open receivers downfield and will require them to have to adjust their routes accordingly. Shows better accuracy on underneath passes, but should set his feet more often when he throws. Has very good touch to hit receivers along the sidelines. Receiving core in 2013 didn’t seem to do him much favors in terms of completion percentage.
Is not a threat to run. Is mobile enough to avoid pressure, but can be caught from behind. Will run a number of designed rollouts and bootlegs, but is much better standing in the pocket. Not a statue, but will not be mistaken for Russell Wilson.
Generally has good footwork, but will throw his back foot on occasion. Needs to step up in the pocket rather than continue to drift backwards or laterally. Is not as poised in the pocket as you would expect given his supporting cast. Is a very good decision-maker. Takes plenty of snaps from under center and seems comfortable doing so. Does not throw into double coverage, and generally throws to the open man. Will go through progressions, and read the defense before the snap. Did not have a good performance in his final game, which makes his decision not to attend the Senior Bowl a little mystifying. Won two National Championships in three years as a starter. Routinely played against top-end SEC and non-conference talent.
Red Flags: None
Bottom Line: McCarron had an excellent career at Alabama and shows all the intangible traits you look for in an NFL QB. However, his ability throwing the ball does not matchup, and will need to go through an NFL weight program and put in a lot of working refining his throwing action. He likely never will be a Pro Bowl player, but could be a low-end starter if he pans out. Fits best with a West Coast offense, but could fit in a vertical offense too, if he improves his arm strength.
Comparison: Chad Pennington
Grade: 8.4 (3rd Round)
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