Tag Archive: National Champion


Scouting Report:

McElroy is a smart, fundamentally sound quarterback but he doesn't have a lot of upside.

Positives: McElroy has decent size, some mobility to extend plays, slightly above average arm strength and pretty consistent accuracy. He is accurate on short throws and pretty accurate on intermediate passes, and has a pretty good feel for the pocket for when to step up, side-step the rush and when he should scramble to buy more time. He doesn’t throw a great ball on the run but he is quite good at isolating a defender on the outside and forcing them to commit to him or a receiver and then flicking the ball over his head if the defender commits to him. He has solid zip on intermediate throws and leads his receivers well on short throws. He is very intelligent and should have no problem learning and thriving in a NFL offense given his two years of starting experience in a pro-style offense at Alabama. Because of that offense he is comfortable going through reads and progressions but in college that was not always necessary. He also has experience dropping from center and executing play action fakes. McElroy also has pretty sound mechanics as far as footwork and his throwing motion is concerned.

Negatives: While McElroy is a fundamentally sound player he does have his flaws. For one thing he frequently stared Julio Jones down during his two years as Alabama’s starting quarterback. It’s hard to blame him for that since Jones is so talented, but for a guy who is regularly mentioned as a very smart player and as a guy who has no problem going through progressions in Alabama’s pro style offensive scheme he sure did like to stare Julio down a lot. McElroy will also struggle with ball placement on throws outside of ten or so yards. On deep curls or more downfield throws he will not lead his receivers appropriately, throwing the ball a bit behind them or throwing it high making the catch more difficult than it would have been if he led the receiver. I also have not seen McElroy anticipate throws or throw receivers open. A few times I saw him hold onto the ball too long and take sacks because he didn’t attempt to throw his receiver open, particularly against zone coverage. I don’t know if that is a confidence issue or if he is thinking too much and doesn’t want to throw a pass that might end up being intercepted, but not throwing guys open like that is something that worries me about him. His anticipation does leave something to be desired and sometimes he will be late on timing throws and that will lead to interceptions in the NFL (it has occasionally in college as well). His arm strength really is nothing to write home about, and while he has better accuracy it isn’t otherworldly either. At times his throwing motion will be a little bit slow for my liking, particularly on longer throws that he knows he needs some extra strength to make.

Overall: McElroy is a sound guy who is going to make the most of his ability, the problem is there isn’t a lot of natural ability to take advantage of. He doesn’t have great size, his arm strength is average, his accuracy is above average, and he’s an average athlete. He will make the most of that ability thanks to his intelligence and his work ethic, but his ceiling is not very high and even though he only started for two years at Alabama I don’t think there is much untapped potential that any teams will discover in him once he makes it to the NFL. He has the potential to be a solid starter who manages the game and won’t force passes into coverage and cost his team the game but I don’t think he will ever be a guy who can win a game late for his team either without a very good supporting cast like he had at Alabama.

Projection: Late 3rd/Mid 4th round. I think McElroy would be a 4th or 5th rounder in a better quarterback class but this class is so terrible that he may very well end up in the 3rd round. It will be interesting because whoever drafts him is likely picking a guy who will be a back-up for two or so years before getting a chance to start. If he can go to a team laden with talent on offense he could have success as a starter, but he won’t make his teammates better for being their quarterback despite his leadership ability and his quality intangibles.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Arm Strength: 2.5
Accuracy: 3.0
Mobility: 2.5
Decision Making: 3.5
Mechanics: 3.5
Pocket Awareness: 3.5
Intangibles: 4.0

Thanks for reading! Dareus is on the way still!

–Tom

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Hey everyone, sorry I have been so absent lately. Tonight is my last night in Mexico so I have a few scouting reports that I will post once I am home including Blaine Gabbert, A.J. Green and Justin Houston. I have not been able to post predictions for the most recent bowl games, but I have to go on record for how I think the National Championship will go. It starts in thirty minutes, but maybe some people will still read it.

I think this game is going to be a shootout. As soon as I say this it will probably end up a 6-3 game after two overtime periods, but I do not think that either defense is capable of stopping the opposing offense consistently. Oregon is a great passing team and Auburn has a very inconsistent pass defense largely due to a pretty porous defensive backfield. I have a feeling Jeff Maehl and other Oregon receivers will have no problem finding openings in their defense. Cam Newton and Auburn should not have a lot of trouble finding ways to move the ball either, though I imagine their attack will be more focused around the run than the pass.

I think this will be a close game, and I hope it will be too so it is interesting right down to the end. But ultimately I think Auburn will win the game because of Cam Newton. He has led them back again and again this year, and even though I think Oregon may go into halftime with the lead Auburn has been such a good second half (and more importantly, fourth quarter) team this year that I just cannot find it in my heart to bet against them tonight. Newton has proven to be reliable in crunch time and honestly is one of the more clutch quarterbacks in the nation in my opinion. I may have my doubts about him as a pro prospect, but players like Newton usually play their best on stages like this and I expect that to be the case tonight. It will be close, but like great players usually do I think he will give his team the slight edge in what should be a close and high scoring game.

Score: Auburn: 41 – Oregon: 38

Thanks for reading all of my bowl game predictions up until this point. Enjoy the game! I know I will.

–Tom