Plenty of great quarterbacks have been awesome college players and then fizzled in the NFL. With only one year left as leader of the Alabama Crimson Tide, A.J. McCarron should get selected in at least the second-round of the draft, first-round if Bama gets another crystal trophy. But my question is, can you build a whole team around him like Green Bay Packers did with Aaron Rogers or Carolina Panthers did with Cam Newton?
On one hand his stats over the last two years are ridiculous. He set the school record for passing touchdowns in a season, and a career, he has a 25-2 record with 46 touchdowns and only eight interceptions, he holds the SEC’s second-longest streak of 291 pass attempts without an interception, he just earned the 2012 College Football Performance Award and not to mention his back-to-back National Championships.
With all that being said, past performance doesn’t always dictate future success. Although McCarron is a franchise QB on paper I predict he’ll be more like Tim Tebow than Robert Griffin III. McCarron is a good player who can manage games perfectly, but playing for Alabama gives you the best of the best. If he ends up with a mediocre team I don’t think he can make average players’ better which is the real test of a good leader and in my mind the first prerequisite to being considered a ‘franchise’ player.
I might be eating my words in a few years and rightly so if he becomes a star NFL quarterback, but honestly I see him being a solid backup for an already established quarterback or a similar role. Until then we just have to see if he can do the unthinkable and win three straight championships.