Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron (10) warms up prior to kickoff of a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: A.J. McCarron, QB Alabama

Quarterback conversations in this year’s draft class are usually dominated by Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Teddy Bridgewater, but that conversation should include Alabama’s A.J. McCarron.

A.J. McCarron has the size that teams like in a quarterback.  He stands 6’3″ tall and weighs in at 220 pounds.  His numbers over the course of his college career are very impressive.  You have to love when a quarterback throws a ton of touchdowns and very, very few interceptions.  As a matter of fact, McCarron is one of the only quarterbacks in this year’s draft that looks to be safe and efficient in many aspects of the game.

Sadly, the major question mark in his game is his arm.  On deeper passes, his throws tend to float in the air to his receiver.  Minnesota Vikings fans will be familiar with those kind of passes after watching Christian Ponder loft them up on numerous occasions over the course of his career so far.  McCarron will excel on a team that focuses on a short passing game that relies on wide receivers to pick up yards after the catch.

Here are his statistics over 4 years at Alabama:

  • 1026 pass attempts

    Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron (10) walks off the field after a loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Oklahoma defeated Alabama 45-31. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

  • 686 completions
  • 9019 passing yards
  • 77 passing touchdowns
  • 15 interceptions
  • 3 rushing touchdowns

Strengths

  • Excellent rhythm passer
  • Always looks downfield
  • Won’t throw dangerous passes
  • Great team leader
  • Very attractive fiancee

Weaknesses

  • Lacks power on throws
  • Tends to “float” too many passes
  • Improvises too much in the pocket
  • Needs to work on defensive reads
  • Too much media attention because of very attractive fiancee

Fit For The Vikings

Minnesota will be looking for a young quarterback in this year’s draft to groom under Matt Cassel.

My Take

If Minnesota fails to land a top quarterback in the draft, they could find themselves looking at A.J. McCarron in the third or fourth round of the draft.  While some will say he’s worthy of a second rounder, I don’t agree.  However, with a year or two sitting behind Matt Cassel, he could develop into a good NFL quarterback.

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