6'3, 225 pounds | Quarterback | Alabama
Accuracy: Passing accuracy is directly tied into consistency. McElroy struggles to consistently place the football out in front of his receivers. His passes are often behind his target forcing them to stop their routes and preventing the chance of additional yardage. McElroy lacks the ability to be an efficient underneath passer as a significant amount of his passes are tip at the line of scrimmage. In the intermediate passing game, McElroy lacks the arm strength to get proper ball placement. His passes are often to high which could be a result of overcompensating for his lack of arm strength. Attacking the defense deep is not going to be an option for McElroy. He struggled to throw an accurate bucket pass often lacking proper touch. While McElroy isn't an elite athlete, he is fluid enough to properly set his feet and shoulders towards his target while on the run. McElroy appeared most accurate while on the move.
Arm strength: McElroy possesses an average to below average arm and will struggle to an effective NFL quarterback. The first thing I noticed about McElroy's arm strength was that he struggled to get the ball out to his receivers on bubble screens. When running those wide receiver quick screens you need to get the ball to your target quickly and McElroy doesn't generate enough power to accomplish that. In the intermediate passing game, McElroy's passes are not delivered on a line and often arrive high. The lack of zip results in defenders being able to get a good break on the football. Don't expect McElroy to threaten a defense deep down the field. He doesn't have the ability to hit streaking targets deep down the field.
Decision making: So much of McElroy's success comes from his ability to protect the football. It is important not to forget about all the high pressure situations that McElroy has endured throughout his career. He has shown that he has what it takes to lead a football team to victory. Earlier in his career, he would have been considered a game manger but he has since developed into a effective college quarterback. However, I feel that McElroy was beneficiary of the talent surrounding him. I noticed several passes that were forced into coverage but were caught due to superior talent at the wide receiver position. Overall, McElroy is a smart quarterback that protects the football but some of his deficiencies are masked by the surrounding talent.
Field vision: McElroy has started 26 games in the highly competitive SEC conference. His experience against top level talent will help with his transition to the NFL. While McElroy does a good job in his pre-snap reads he failed to identify several blitzes. This is cause for concern because it typically resulted in McElroy missing his hot read and ultimately a sack. In the pocket, McElroy liked to lock onto his initial read and became flustered when asked to go through his progressions. I have to mention that McElroy was much more comfortable going through is progressions when he had a clean pocket. However, as the pocket closed in on him and his initial read was covered he began to panic. An area where McElroy needs to improve is his throw anticipation. His lack of arm strength makes his anticipation very important. I noticed that he often waited for his target to become open rather than throwing him open.
Mechanics: Alabama features an offensive system that employs a lot of pro style concepts. McElroy is comfortable taking snaps from under center and has a nice balanced drop-back. He keeps his head up scanning the field while quickly working his way to his hitch step. McElroy has a compact ball position with it sitting just above his breast plate. He is committed to setting his feet and shoulders towards his target in any situation. McElroy gets the ball out of his hands quickly and avoids wasted throwing motions.
Pocket awareness: McElroy is generally calm in the face of pressure and isn't afraid to take a big hit. He keeps his eyes focused down the field searching for an open target. While, McElroy isn't an elite athlete he has good change of direction ability which allows him to evade the rush.
Games Viewed: LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina, Michigan State, Senior Bowl
Final word: While McElroy has good intangibles I just didn't see many skills that project to the NFL. He struggled with his overall accuracy and his lack of arm strength is a concern. When evaluating McElroy you have to consider the talent he was surrounded by and how that impacted the result of many plays. His football IQ and and willingness to learn makes him a good candidate to become a back up quarterback. I wouldn't invest a high pick on McElroy and feel his is in the 5th to 6th round range.