Alabama Crimson Tide star quarterback A.J. McCarron is an interesting 2014 NFL Draft prospect to talk about, because people have him all over the place in their evaluations. Some view McCarron as the next Matt Ryan due to his accuracy and intangibles, whereas others believe that McCarron’s huge lack of physical tools and arm talent will make him the next Matt Flynn. This certainly makes McCarron an exciting prospect to follow in the pre-draft process, because we simply don’t know where he’ll end up in the draft. He could easily slip into the mid-rounds, or he could even be taken in the first round. Yes, the first round; all it takes is one team that’s incredibly high on him and views him as an ideal fit for what they want to do.
The NFL Network’s Gil Brandt reported yesterday that McCarron will not attend the Senior Bowl this year, and I’m in favor of his decision to avoid playing at the All-Star showcase. These kinds of events have a way of burning hard-earned game tape, and McCarron has more than enough game tape to analyze (more like “agonize over”) over due to his many years of college football.
Playing in the Senior Bowl would cause a QB like McCarron to see his draft stock fall a bit, simply because he wouldn’t “wow” anyone with his arm strength. No, his game is predicated on accuracy, intangibles, decision-making, and chemistry with his receivers. While you would get to see two of those four in some fashion during the Senior Bowl, not even accuracy nor decision-making are as integral to a showcase as arm strength and big plays. Intangibles? Forget about it, you’ll never get to see that during the Senior Bowl.