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2014 NFL Draft Profile: AJ McCarron

Alabama QB AJ McCarron (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

While it’s no secret the Patriots have interest in drafting a quarterback during next week’s draft, the question is who will they target? One intriguing name is Alabama QB AJ McCarron. McCarron is a proven winner, having netted three national titles (two as a starter) while at Alabama. Naturally, wild Tom Brady comparisons have arisen during the pre-draft process. Heck, AJ even compared himself to TB12 during recent interviews. Although certainly a natural winner, questions remain about his potential in an NFL offense.

Does He Have NFL Ability?

One “knock” on McCarron is that he is considered to be a game-manager. While at Alabama, especially during his sophomore and junior seasons, he was never truly asked to lead the offense. The talent on the Crimson Tide offense was usually enough to overwhelm any opponent, and therefore McCarron’s abilities were never truly tested. McCarron gets rattled by pass rushers, lacks elite arm strength, and struggles to throw into tight windows.

For of his weaknesses, there is no denying his strengths. McCarron limits his mistakes by making good decisions, we was consistently accurate, and expressed excellent field vision. Considered by many to be an outstanding leader, and teammate, McCarron most importantly improved every single year at Alabama.

A Potential Patriot Project

With Ryan Mallett seemingly not in the Patriots plans after his contract expires next off-season, McCarron may be a perfect project player for the Patriots. If he is sitting there in round three or four, one would have to think that the Patriots may pounce. Despite how crazy the Brady-McCarron comparisons may seem, AJ has shown the type of leadership and character it takes to develop into a proficient NFL quarterback. After all, who would be better to learn under than Tom Brady?

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