2014 Senior Bowl: A.J. McCarron Should've Accepted Invite

By Rick Stavig
A.J. McCarron
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 Senior Bowl rosters being finalized leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, one notable name will most certainly be left out: Alabama QB A.J. McCarron.

As we discussed yesterday, with five QB’s already having accepted invites to the game (Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, San Jose State’s David Fales, Miami’s Stephen Morris and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas), more than likely there will be at least one more addition so there would be three to a side.  McCarron initially said he wasn’t interested before reconsidering, then ultimately decided it wasn’t in his best interest.

Did he make the best decision?  You can argue either way.

On one side, he’s already got decent draft stock and might hurt himself with a poor performance, but on the other, his draft stock isn’t that great and it with a good performance it could go up.

I see where the people in McCarron’s camp are coming from.  He’s already proven himself throughout his college career and there’s no sense risking injury.  Plus, he’s planning on doing a full workout at the NFL Combine as well as at Alabama’s Pro Day, so there should be plenty of opportunity for scouts to see him throw.

I think McCarron should’ve accepted this offer though.  I absolutely believe he had more to gain in this game than lose.  Obviously, McCarron’s camp disagrees with me.  But if he had a lights out performance all week and played well in the game, there’s no way McCarron doesn’t go first round (as of now he’s projected 2nd or 3rd round).  If he has a lousy performance, he’ll still likely go third round, and maybe drop to 4th.

I don’t know about you, but financially the risk was acceptable, at least in my eyes.

Let’s just say McCarron doesn’t help or hurt his draft stock between now and draft day, and he goes 3rd round.  Last year’s 3rd round QB, Mike Glennon (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), signed a 4-year $3.1 million dollar deal.

Now let’s say McCarron does play in the Senior Bowl and doesn’t play well, and he drops to the 4th round.  Last years first pick in the 4th round, Matt Barkley (Philadelphia Eagles) signed a 4-year $2.7 million dollar contract.

Now let’s say he goes to the Senior Bowl and plays outstanding, working his way up to the 1st round.  Last years 1st round QB E.J. Manuel (Buffalo Bills) signed a 5-year, $8.8 million dollar contract.

Essentially going to the Senior Bowl was a low risk, high reward situation.  Play poorly and you lose a half a million.  Play like you know you can and win $5.7 million.

And if McCarron has as much confidence in his ability as he should and as much as he claims, then this shouldn’t be a problem at all.

It’s going to be harder for McCarron to drastically increase his draft stock between now and May.  QB’s rarely soar or plummet from the results of the Combine or their Pro Days.  If McCarron ever had dreams of being a first round pick, they likely went in the trash along with his Senior Bowl invite.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.


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