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Tag:Greg McElroy
Posted on: April 6, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Only Seahawks show up for McElroy's Pro Day

The Seattle Seahawks were the only team represented at Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy's Pro Day workout yesterday.

McElroy had been unable to throw at the Combine or the Tide's initial Pro Day after fracturing a bone in his throwing hand during the Senior Bowl. Though his production was impressive for Alabama , scouts worry that he doesn't have the arm strength to make throws outside of the hashes against NFL speed.

Much of the workout can be seen on the video shown below. The video was shot by Michael Casagrande of The Daily Bama Blog:

McElroy measured 6017 (an eighth of an inch under 6-2) and 220 pounds at the Combine. As one would expect based on his play at Alabama, McElroy demonstrates good accuracy on short to intermediate throws, including when on the move. His accuracy falters on deeper passes and his passes arrive with only moderate zip, overall.

Still, the workout provides evidence that McElroy is healing. He is viewed as a 5th-6th round pick as NFLDraftScout.com's 10th rated quarterback . While he lacks the upside of a Josh Portis (Cal-PA) or Nathan Enderle (Idaho), if nothing else McElroy's intelligence and game-management skills make him an ideal backup.

The video shows two representatives for the Seahawks, southeast scout Derrick Jensen and quarterbacks coach Carl Smith.

Here is the video:





Posted on: April 5, 2011 2:03 pm
 

Scouts heading to KSU, 'Bama for late Pro Days

Over the next few hours we can expect to hear the results from late pro days for Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy .

Regardless of how each performs in shorts, their NFL grade should have largely been already determined by scouts, as Thomas and McElroy's production on the field speaks for itself.

The 6-0, 230 pound Thomas proved a star running back for the Wildcats after a junior college career in which he played quarterback. Thomas was recognized as the Big 12's Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2009 and led the conference in rushing yards each of his two seasons with the Wildcats. He leaves KSU with 2,850 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground in only two seasons.

McElroy led Alabama to a national championship in his junior season and saw his production rise dramatically in 2010. In his two starting seasons in the Tide's pro-style offense, McElroy threw 37 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. McElroy, 6-2 and 220 pounds, threw just 10 interceptions in 658 career attempts or for one every 65.8 attempts, which is the best mark in school and SEC history.

Despite their gaudy production against high caliber competition, each has significant questions to answer -- not the least of which is their health.

Thomas, NFLDraftScout.com's fifth-rated running back of the 2011 draft, was unable to play in the Senior Bowl or perform in either the Combine or KSU's initial Pro Day due to a nagging hamstring injury.

McElroy did play in the Senior Bowl, but cracked a bone in his right (throwing) hand that sidelined him for the Combine throwing session and Alabama's initial Pro Day.

The biggest question scouts have about Thomas is his speed. He has been estimated at anywhere between 4.55 and 4.70 in the 40-yard dash. Obviously, the better he does Tuesday, the higher his stock could raise. Scouts would also like to see Thomas catch passes out of the backfield. Thomas caught 27 passes as a senior, but rarely anything more complicated than screens or simple swing passes.

For McElroy, NFLDraftScout.com's 10th rated quarterback , the question is about his arm strength, or, as the case may be, his lack of it. McElroy has enough zip to fit through windows down the middle, but struggled, at times, putting enough drive on the ball on passes outside of the hashes. Too often his deep passes fluttered, as well.

NFLDraftScout.com will keep you posted on how each all-conference star does in their workouts today.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 1:26 pm
 

McElroy to work out Tuesday

Alabama QB Greg McElroy and TE/FB Preston Dial are scheduled to work out in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday along with South Alabama WR Courtney Smith, according to a report by NFL.com.

McElroy, who is rated as a fifth-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com, had surgery on his throwing hand for an injury suffered at the Senior Bowl and was unable to throw at the scouting combine or at Alabama's pro day. Dial has been bothered by a sports hernia. Undersized to play a traditional tight end role in the NFL, he's viewed as a potential late-round pick as an H-Back prospect.

McElroy worked with Smith at the Senior Bowl, and it will be a vital workout for the raw wideout. Smith was not invited to the combine and is also viewed as a late-round prospect or priority free agent by NFLDraftScout.com. He has excellent size at 6-feet-4 and 223 pounds, and would benefit greatly if he can improve upon his 4.65 40.

--Derek Harper, NFLDraftScout.com Executive Editor
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:56 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 7:00 pm
 

Ingram/Dareus run-jump-weigh well @ 'Bama Pro Day

Considering his excellent game tape, consensus top running back Mark Ingram didn't have to run again at Alabama's Pro Day Wednesday, but his competitive nature pushed him into it.

Ingram was significantly faster today at Alabama than he had been at the Combine two weeks ago, posting times between 4.49-4.56 according to a source at the workout. This after measuring only one pound less (214) than he did in Indianapolis (215), where he was timed at 4.62-4.70 in the event.

Dareus, like Ingram, weighed in one pound lighter today (318) than he did at the Combine and posted an 8'10" broad jump -- a drill he did not participate in at the Combine.

Ingram and Dareus measuring in at similar weights as they did at the Combine may seem insignificant to some, but prospects are notorious for dropping or adding signficant weight following the measurements and workout in Indianapolis. Consider that Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was six pounds heavier at his Pro Day yesterday than he was at the Combine. Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder, on the other hand, was a full 12 pounds lighter today than at the Combine, according to Chad Reuter's Pro Day report.

Alabama's "other" superstar -- wide receiver Julio Jones -- was present for the workout to root on his teammates and meet with NFL representatives, but was unable to participate in any events due to his recent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot. As expected, quarterback Greg McElroy was also unable to participate in the workout due to his rehabilitation after breaking his hand at the Senior Bowl. McElroy is no longer wearing his cast and has scheduled a Pro Day at Alabama for April 5.

All 32 NFL teams were represented at the workout.


Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:04 pm
 

'Bama QB McElroy breaks hand during Senior Bowl

Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy cracked a bone in his throwing (right) hand during Saturday's Senior Bowl.

According to a report from the Press-Register , McElroy banged his hand on a helmet after completing a pass to South Alabama wideout Courtney Smith on the first play of the 4th quarter.

The report quotes McElroy after the game and cites McElroy's father as the source who confirmed that the Alabama quarterback was x-rayed following the game, identifying the injury.

"I had no feeling the rest of the series," McElroy said following the game. "The ball was kind of sporadic. I couldn't get a grip on the ball. I still can't get a grip on the ball. I think it will be OK."

The injury is expected to keep McElroy from throwing for approximately two weeks. If this timetable holds true, McElroy could be able to participate in the upcoming Combine.

McElroy completed 5 of 8 passes for 36 yards in the Senior Bowl. He was seen shaking his hand in obvious discomfort later in the drive. Though he completed the series, he did not return.

McElroy completed 70.9% of his passes this season for 2,987 yards and 20 touchdowns. He threw only five interceptions.

He is currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 10 quarterback available in 2011 and a potential 5th round pick.

Posted on: January 25, 2011 7:57 pm
 

South Team Tuesday afternoon practice report

With Washington quarterback Jake Locker enjoying a strong bounce-back performance in this morning's North practice, the pressure was on the South's trio of passers to hold serve at the Senior Bowl.

Though TCU's Andy Dalton, Alabama's Greg McElroy and Florida State's Christian Ponder lack Locker's arm strength and athletic upside, their accuracy and ability to locate secondary target was nonetheless impressive.

Dalton was smooth dropping back from center - a question considering the fact that he took most of his snaps with the Horned Frogs out of the shotgun - and was able to survey the field and make generally accurate passes. He zipped the ball between defenders and showed good touch down the seam. Scouts say Dalton is helping himself this week with solid play, though inconsistent accuracy on the deep ball is a concern. Dalton wasn't asked to throw downfield often in for a TCU offense that relied often on screens and other timing-based short and intermediate routes.

It isn't often that a championship-winning quarterback can be characterized as an underrated NFL prospect, but that is precisely how I feel about McElroy. While much of the Crimson Tide's offense was based on their dual running threat of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, McElroy demonstrated the ability to drive the ball downfield while at Auburn and showed the same ability to surprise defenders with just enough zip to fit passes through closing spaces. Another aspect that is sure to impress scouts about McElroy is his ability to do the little things correctly. McElroy was able to move the South's safeties with his eyes and an effective pump-fake, creating wider throwing avenues to exploit.

McElroy's vision stood in contrast to Florida State's Christian Ponder. Ponder has a tendency to stare down his primary read and doesn't have the howitzer typically necessary to get away with against NFL coverage, especially after having undergone two arm surgeries in the past year.  He did, however, show a stronger and more accurate arm on his deep passes than either Dalton or McElroy, surprising more than a few talent evaluators today.

The South's quarterback enjoyed a solid, albeit unspectacular Tuesday afternoon practice despite less than ideal performances from many of their top receivers.

Abilene Christian's Edmond Gates, who left NFL scouts drooling with his deep speed Monday, was sidelined for Tuesday's practice with a pulled hamstring. Hawaii's Greg Salas, normally one of the more sure-handed receivers in the country, struggled with drops Tuesday. Scouts have questions about the 6-1, 206 pound Salas' speed and ability to make plays after the reception. Rather than suddenly forget how to catch, Salas appeared to be trying to make the defender miss before securing the pass.

Miami's Leonard Hankerson and South Alabama's Courtney Smith also struggled with a few drops Tuesday. Unfortunately, their drops were of the uglier variety. Each simply allowed too many passes into his chest, resulting in some bouncing off audibly. A bounce-back performance tomorrow would help the stock of both, though there certainly is a lot to like about the physicality, size (6-1, 205 and 6-4, 220, respectively) and upside of each.
The most impressive receiver for the South team Tuesday afternoon was TCU's Jeremy Kirley. At 5-09, 188 pounds, Kirley lacks the height scouts would prefer, but his quick feet and balance made him a tough draw for any cornerback. Kirley was a featured target of every South quarterback, not just his Horned Frog teammate, Dalton.

With a talented South offensive line doing a nice job in pass protection, it was up to the defensive backs to make plays on the ball.

Texas cornerback Curtis Brown impressed scouts with his athleticism and aggression. At times, he got a little grabby with receivers, but his size (5-11, 180), straight-line speed and fluidity typically kept him in the hip pocket of receivers. He was, however, beaten for two long touchdowns when he gambled on underneath routes and was beaten by double-moves over the top. Perfect throws deep (one by McElroy, the other by Ponder) beat him, but more often than not Brown closed just as the ball arrived, knocking some passes out of the receiver's hands just as they arrived.

USC cornerback Shareece Wright also showed a willingness to gamble on underneath routes. At 5-11, 182 pounds, he possesses almost identical size as Brown, though he isn't quite as agile or explosive to close on the ball. After making a nice break on the ball early in practice, Wright guessed wrong on the next throw, coming up quickly on a double-move and getting beat down the right sideline. Fortunately for Wright, the ball sailed out of bounds.

Perhaps the most consistently impressive player in the secondary was the smallest one. Florida's Ahmad Black may lack the bulk scouts want in a safety, but he has such quick feet that a move to cornerback may be in the future. At 5-09, 183, it may be his best bet at getting selected in the first half of the draft.


Posted on: January 24, 2011 2:28 pm
 

10 impressions from Senior Bowl weigh-in

Before we can get to the field in Mobile, Alabama for the first Senior Bowl practices we had the weigh-in this morning. Rather than simply copy and paste the results, I thought it best to list the ten biggest surprises of the session.

  • Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan surprised by weighing in at "only" 255 pounds. He'd been listed at Purdue at 263 pounds and many expected that he'd put on weight to come in bigger and stronger. Instead, he came in at a chiseled 255 and looks poised to make the switch to outside linebacker if he can demonstrate the fluidity in coverage this week.
  • Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller eased concerns over his listed 6-2, 240 pound frame by coming in at 6025. It might not sound like much to come in 5/8" of an inch taller than initially projected, but at nearly 6-3, Miller does have enough length to project as a 3-4 rush linebacker. Clearly, the Butkus Award winner is a terrific pass rusher. Some teams however, had concerns whether he had the size to fit this role in the NFL. That 5/8 of an inch could make Miller millions and help him retain the title as the best and most versatile linebacker in the 2011 draft.
  • Two relatively "small school" receivers showed off a couple of the most impressive physiques, instantly providing some evidence that they deserve to be in this contest. South Alabama's Courtney Smith (6040, 220) and San Diego State's Vincent Brown (5110, 184) sported chiseled frames. In all-star games such as this one, the first step towards making a jump up draft boards is by making a first impression; Smith and Brown certainly helped their cause by doing precisely that.
  • Washington quarterback Jake Locker came in slightly shorter than expected at 6022, 228 pounds. He had been listed at 6-3, 230. Again, the 3/4 of an inch doesn't sound like a big difference, but one of the elements that scouts had liked about Locker was his prototypical size. It isn't fair to list Locker's size as an attribute when he's only a 1/4" inch taller than TCU's Andy Dalton and 3/4" of an inch taller than Alabama's Greg McElroy -- two QBs who have been often knocked for their lack of ideal height in the past.
  • Two highly touted Big 12 pass rushers came in smaller and with less than impressive builds than expected. Texas' Sam Acho (listed at 6-3, 260 by the Longhorns) came in at 6016, 257 pounds. Oklahoma's Jeremy Beal (listed by Oklahoma at 6-3, 267) came in at 6023 and 268 pounds. Acho's significantly shorter frame and Beal's sloppier build won't help either combat the growing sentiment among scouts that each has been a tad overrated due to their high motor play for major programs. 
  • I've been pretty outspoken about my feeling on Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan, but today's weigh-in only added to the reason why I believe he'll ultimately rank as one of the more impressive players in Mobile this week. Jordan measured in at 6041 and 287 pounds. More impressively, he had 11 1/4" hands and 34.5" inch arms, one of the reasons why I believe he can be successful playing inside or out in either front. 
  • Derek Sherrod measured in with 35.5" arms and 11" hands -- the biggest of each among this highly competitive offensive tackle class.
  • The most impressive build among the offensive tackles, however, was surprisingly turned in by Boston College's Anthony Castonzo. I've been critical of Castonzo's thinner than ideal frame in the past, but the former 260 pound tight end looked very comfortable at 6071 and 305 pounds. Few offensive linemen can boast a six pack. Castonzo's is slight, but it is there. His long arms and defined pecs prove that his weight gain is legitimate and likely to remain (and increase) in an NFL weight-room.
  • As expected, Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor was the heaviest man in the Senior Bowl. He measured in at 6034 and 337 pounds. Taylor's bulk was evenly distributed, however. In fact, he showed less jiggle than many linemen closer to the 300 pound frame.
  • Also as expected, West Virginia running back Noel Devine was the smallest and lightest player in this game. Devine measured in at 5070 and 160 pounds. He wasn't the lightest by much, however. Miami cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke weighed in at 168 pounds despite being just a shade under 6-1. 
Posted on: November 26, 2010 1:03 pm
 

Five Prospects I'll be Focusing on This Weekend

Each Friday I list my "Five prospects" that I'll be focusing on for the upcoming weekend. In reality, I'm focusing on dozens of prospects each week, but the players listed below are playing in high profile games and against the caliber of competition that I believe provides us with an opportunity to truly assess how a collegiate player might fare when asked to make the huge jump to the NFL.

Typically I focus on senior prospects in this space. However, with it becoming more and more obvious as to which underclassmen are considering the jump to the pros, I'll be incorporating a few more juniors and redshirt sophomores in the coming weeks.

Because I'm scouting them in real time these players make an early impression, often leading to consideration as my Prospect of the Week or Diamond in the Rough.

Even more often, however, it leads to the player being featured in Draft Slant , NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com's weekly NFL Draft preview. In each PDF issue of Draft Slant Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I break down six more players in Filmroom Notes, update our Top 32 prospects overall, Top 10 per position, Risers/Fallers for multiple games and offer extensive previews of the next week's action. I boast about our product for a simple reason: Having seen everything else out there - it is the most complete weekly NFL draft guide on the planet. 

Here is the link to this week's issue of Draft Slant. Or for the entire season click this link . Looking for a specific week? Download past issues from the past three years here.

Without any further adieu, here are the five prospects, as well as the cable provider and time you can expect to see them.

QB Cam Newton, Auburn : Newton has been dazzling this season and could lock up the Heisman Trophy with a strong performance against Alabama. More importantly to those of us eager to see how well he'll translate his game to the NFL is how well Newton is able to decipher the exotic blitz and coverage schemes Nick Saban and his staff have devised. In terms of Newton's pro stock, this is the most important regular season game of his life. This game begins at 2:30 pm EST Friday and will be televised by CBS.

CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado : The Buffs don't get a lot of national exposure considering their struggles recently, but this important Big 12 showdown against Nebraska will pit Smith, one of the top senior cornerbacks, against a receiver in Nebraska's Niles Paul every bit his match in terms of size and athleticism. The Cornhuskers, of course, rely mostly on their running game and should be able to do so again Friday to beat an overmatched Colorado team. How Smith is able to keep up with the multi-talented Paul, however, should give scouts a good idea as to how the 6-2, 205 pound Smith will be acclimate to the speed of the NFL. I've spoken to scouts who have compared Smith to former Pro Bowler Chris McAlister. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST Friday and will be televised by ABC/ESPN.

DE/OLB Dontay Moch, Nevada: The pre-game hype will focus on the offense, but it could be whatever defense shows up in the Boise State-Nevada showdown that gives their team the victory. Moch enters this game as the country's active career leader with 60.5 tackles for loss. The 6-1, 242 pound Moch lines up as a defensive end for the Wolfpack, but projects best as a standup pass rushing OLB in the NFL. Moch wowed scouts in the spring by clocking in at 4.25 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but there are concerns that Moch is overly reliant on his speed. While fast in a straight-line, scouts are more interested to see how well he changes directions. Moch won the WAC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior (61 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks) and is on pace to exceed those totals this season (52 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks). This game begins at 10:15 pm EST Friday and will be televised by ESPN.

QB Jake Locker, Washington: The Huskies have struggled with teams that are more physical on the offensive and defensive lines than they are and that is precisely what awaits them Saturday against Cal. Washington and California are each fighting for their bowl lives and the Golden Bears have revenge on their side after the Huskies trounced them 42-10 last season in Seattle. Locker entered the year rated by most (including me) as the No. 1 prospect in the country based largely on how he played down the stretch last season. His best game was his last one -- againt California -- in which he completed 19 of 23 passes for 248 yards and three TDs (0 INTs) and ran for another 77 yards and two scores. A performance like that would almost surely result in a win for the Huskies and spot back in my first round projection. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST Saturday and will be televised regionally by Fox Sports.

WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State*: With the three top-rated teams in the country playing on Friday, there hasn't yet been a great deal of focus on this year's Bedlam rivalry outside of the state of Oklahoma, but it's coming -- after all, the Big 12 South division title is riding on this game. This game features two of the elite young receiver prospects in the country in Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles and Blackmon -- the favorite to win the Biletnikof Award as the nation's best at the position. Blackmon has been spectacular this season, catching an eye-popping 94 passes for 1,560 yards and 17 touchdowns. It is his consistency that has been perhaps most impressive. Blackmon has caught at least five passes for at least 125 yards and one touchdown in every game he's played this season (he missed the Kansas State game). A redshirt sophomore, Blackmon is eligible to leave OSU early for the NFL. He hasn't faced a secondary as talented as Oklahoma's yet this season, so this game provides scouts an excellent opportunity to see him matched up against quality athletes and a sound defensive scheme.  This game begins at 8:00 pm EST Saturday and will be televised by ABC/ESPN. 


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com