TSV Scouting Department

AJ McCarron

Report Prepared By John Harris

AJ McCarron Photo: al.com

Breakdown:

#10
Class: Senior
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 210 lbs.
School: Alabama
Bio:
  • 3x National champion (2012, 2011, 2009)
  • Heisman Trophy Runner-up (2013)
  • Third-team All-American (2013)
  • Second-team All-SEC (2013)
  • Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist (2013)
  • 2013 stats:  3,063 yards, 28 TD and seven INT

**Scouting report prepared by QB guru/former Wake Forest star QB James MacPherson

Senior Bowl Notes

  • McCarron elected to not play in the 2014 Senior Bowl.

Pros

  • "Game manager" style of quarterback, not asked to win games airing it out 40-50 times.
  • Makes good decisions and takes care of the football.  
  • A "winner", helped guide his team to two BCS National Championships and a 36-3 record.
  • Made big throws and big plays when his team needed them.
  • Performed on one of the biggest stages in college football in Tuscaloosa.
  • Understands reading defensive coverages and beating blitzes.
  • Appears to be smart enough to change some plays and protections at the line of scrimmage.
  • Can throw with touch over the top of defenders.
  • Experienced playing in a pro-style offense.
  • He's a competitor.

Cons

  • Does not show great arm strength driving throws down field.
  • Questionable deep ball accuracy.
  • Bad habit of throwing off balance and falling back.
  • At times will hold on to the ball too long in the pocket.
  • Was not asked to put games on his shoulders and lead his team throwing 40-50 times a game.
  • Struggled in the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma game when he was forced to throw the ball a lot and lead his team from behind.
  • Had a lot of talent around him, which makes it difficult to assess how much of Alabama's success was him or the talent of the team.

Film Room

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

:01 Big throw on corner route down field to open the game.
:56 Good quick decisive read and throw on 3rd & 5.
1:24 Nice high release touch pass off play fake for a Goalline TD.
1:43 Great throw on the run to the field.
3:49 Smart decision throwing the ball away on a screen. 
3:58 Overthrows an open deep post.
4:36 Excellent throw down field on time on a big 3rd down & 6.
4:59 Smart decision on 1st down in red zone taking check down for a TD.
5:26 Slides in pocket keeps eyes down field throws for a TD.
6:37 Great deep throw on the post route, just off the hands of WR.
7:03 Nice read on the safety hits the bender route for a TD.

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

:14 Throws easy slant pass behind the wide receiver.
:57 Excellent back shoulder fade throw a touchdown down 14 points.
1:37 Easy hitch throw to wide receiver is outside the body frame falls incomplete.
2:28 Nice post throw for a TD off flea flicker action.
4:13 Good read and throw on time to the TE over the middle on third down.
4:28 Poor read and risky throw to a squatting cover 2 corner.
4:56 Great throw to out route of off play action going to his left.
5:04 Nice touch pass over a defender on the out route.
6:07 Good read and seam pass against Cover 3.

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

:10 Misses easy pass rolling out to his right.
:43 Good read and quick hot throw into the blitz.
2:45 Great awareness, throws alerted spot route versus 8 man box.
3:14 Nice throw and recognition of man coverage on corner route for a TD.
4:55 Overthrows an open deep post off of flea flicker.
5:28 Good decision taking what the defense gives him and checking down to RB
6:04 Nice throw on the run to the field comeback.
6:17 Great touch throw with pressure to running back for a TD.

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

:30 Poor throw and read floating into coverage for an Interception.
:58 Excellent back shoulder fade throw with one on one coverage.
2:44 Great poise hanging in the pocket and hitting post route for a TD.
3:40 Underthrows deep go route to the field, lacks big arm strength.
4:47 Shows ability to use his legs to pick up a first down.
5:05 Good awareness on corner blitz hits quick hitch.
5:25 Impressive throw escaping the pass rush and completing a big 3rd down.
6:11 Late on the quick hot throw versus the blitz throws for an Interception.
8:40 Misses open deep over route. 
10:15 Holds onto the ball too long for a sack, needs to find back on the checkdown.
10:56 Holds on to the ball again too long and takes a sack, needs to get rid of it and throw one on one stop route to his left.
11:31 Misses quick out hot throw high and incomplete.
12:11 Doesn't feel backside pressure, hanging on to the ball too long and in one hand, gets stripped for a fumble touchdown.

Report

In the National Championship game against Notre Dame in 2012, McCarron made all the throws, converted big 3rd downs and showed impressive accuracy in a dominating victory.  It's also worth noting that he faced very little pass rush and played with a big lead for most of the game.  Still, he made the necessary throws to win.  He showed how much of a competitor he is barking at his center for not snapping the ball late even with the game already in hand.

Against Texas A&M in 2013 he had a slow start, missing some short and easy passes.  However, he made the plays when he needed to get his team going and lead the team on a couple of late drives at the end to put the game away.  Alabama also wore down a weak Texas A&M defense with their running game which helped set up the pass.

The former Alabama star made good decisions and throws to help his team win the LSU game.  He more managed the game well and took care of the football.  When the passes were there he was able to hit them and made a couple of nice touch passes late in the game for touchdowns. 

In the Sugar Bowl, McCarron had one of his poorest performances in his college career.  He made some uncharacteristically poor decisions and throws resulting in a pair of interceptions.  In one of the few times in his career he was forced to lead his team from behind and throw the ball a lot.  He held on to the ball too long and looked unsettled in the pocket.  This further raises concerns about whether or not he can bring his team back late in games by having to pass the ball.

Passing Chart