40: 4.95 (estimated)
Has a good arm and gets good zip on his throws. Capable of making all of the throws. Shows nice accuracy, and knows how to put the ball where only his receiver can get it. Shows nice mobility to extend the play and move outside the pocket. Able to step up in the pocket and avoid the rush. Shows nice poise within the pocket, able to deliver the ball with a defender in his face. Able to go to his second read. Shows toughness as a runner and willing to throw his weight around as a downfield blocker. Smart, comfortable in a leadership position.
Doesn't play with a lot of anticipation on many of his throws. Can be a bit late on some of those precision passes likes outs and slants as receivers are coming open. Doesn't consistently show good touch on his throws down the field. Needs to show more accuracy and do a better job leading his receivers over the middle. Misses on too many easy throws with his accuracy. Will force some passes and stares down his first read a bit too much. Doesn't really have the gun to really fit all the tight windows. May need to quicken his release. Holds onto the ball too long at times, and at others will rush throws leading to mistakes.
McElroy is a productive game manager type which is all they ask him to be at Alabama with their strong defense and running game. They gave him more to work with this past year, his second as the starter. He's smart and confident and didn't have major issue stepping up in more of a leadership position this year. He has a good rapport with Julio Jones, and many of those forced passes and times he'll stare down a receiver is when he's the target. But there are times when you watch him play, and think that if he had not played with such a strong supporting cast around him at Alabama, he would be just an average college quarterback. Won a state championship in high school, and then helped lead Alabama to national title his first year as a starter in his junior year. Completed 60.9% of 325 attempts for 2508 yards, 17 TDs, and 4 INTs. Came back as a senior with even better production, completing 70.9% of 313 attempts for 2987 yards, 20 TDs, and 5 INTs. Finished career with 24-3 record as a starter. Also had two rushing scores. Was a Rhodes scholarship finalist, and had a 3.86 GPA upon graduating in the summer of 2009.
McElroy is a winner in the sense that his teams win, and he's a smart guy that I think is probably capable of doing anything from playing football to probably running for president. But i'm sure he's a winner in the sense that he's going to come into the pros and be able to get the most out of the players around him. I think he's a better NFL prospect than John Parker Wilson, who I don't think the Alabama coaching staff ever really fully trusted. They showed a lot more trust in McElroy this past year than they did a year ago, and I think that is reflective of McElroy's ability. I think he can be a solid NFL starter if he gets comfortable in a system. But he's a game manager type of player, that won't make a lot of mistakes and can run an offense. But that is better suited to being a No. 2, because teams want their starters to be guys that can take the reins and carry a team. I don't think that's McElroy. The player I would compare him to is Kyle Orton. Like Orton, McElroy is going to be able to play in the NFL for as long as he wants because teams know he can run and offense efficiently and he'll get the job done. But probably nobody is going to want to hitch their wagon to him over the long haul because his upside is limited because he's not a franchise-caliber passer. After his rookie contract is up, I think he'll become a journeyman like Orton. But if he goes to a team that has talent around him, he can be a productive playoff-caliber player. But early on in his career, I think coaches will like him because he's not going to be overwhelmed with the pro game, because he played in a pro-style offense. So he's one of the few guys in this draft class that could come in and play early on and handle being a No. 2 guy with minimal reps right away.
McElroy would be able to come into Atlanta and be able to contribute pretty early as a backup. He is a better NFL prospect than his former teammate Wilson, but at this point Wilson has two summers in the Falcons system and would be able to one-up him. He would be a career backup here in Atlanta that you could think could hold down a practice squad spot for his first year, slide into the No. 3 role in 2012 if/when the Falcons let Redman walk, and then push/replace Wilson for the No. 2 job in 2013 or beyond.
McElroy's lack of great upside as a starter means that the earliest he should come off the board is the latter half of the third round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 3.0
Decision Making: 3.5
Pocket Awareness: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.