Mike Glennon's NFL pro day at N.C. State affirmed what most everybody already knew: He's pretty darn good.
Glennon has been an intriguing NFL draft prospect to cover and follow through the 2013 evaluation process. At N.C. State, Glennon ran a pro-style offense and was the ACC's leading passer in 2012. His sub-59 percent accuracy was cause for concern, but when watching back the film, one is quick to notice the frequency with which receivers were dropping easy passes.
No one seems to have an "official count" on the exact number of NFL teams in attendance at Carter-Finlay Stadium Wednesday, but in speaking to one person in attendance, he rattled off five teams right off the bat—the Colts, 49ers, Bills, Jaguars and Browns. He said "It wasn't like all 32 teams were there," but it seems like there was a fairly substantial group on hand.
Bucky Brooks of the NFL Network was at the workouts, and tweeted the following:
Just wrapped up Pro Day @packfootball. Mike Glennon had a solid overall showing in a workout that featured a ton of "high risk" pro throws— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) March 20, 2013
Glennon showed the capacity to throw the deep comeback (18yd), square-in (16yd) and deep over w/zip and velocity following 5- & 7-step drops— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) March 20, 2013
That coincides with what most analysts have noticed about Glennon, and what one would reasonably expect out of him at his pro day. Glennon is a smart, hard-working player with a nearly prototypical NFL frame. He still has plenty of room to grow into his very skinny 6'7" body at only 220 pounds.
Glennon has a terrific arm, one of the strongest in the 2013 NFL draft, and is one of the few in this entire crop that puts good touch on the deep ball while maintaining accuracy. A prospect like Ryan Nassib may have a stronger arm, but his accuracy currently goes bananas when having to harness his arm into downfield touch throws.
This is not the case with Glennon.
For these reasons, Glennon's stock soared to start the draft season, with analysts such as Mel Kiper touting him as the top QB prospect in the class.
I unofficially had Mike Glennon completing 43 of his 52 attempts during positional drills. Aired it out several times.— Ryan Tice (@RyanTice) March 20, 2013
Ryan Tice of Wolpacker.com charted Glennon unofficially as completing 43-of-52 attempts against air during drills, which were being run by NC State interim coach Dana Bible.
Bible is a long-time QBs coach who has had numerous NFL stops. Bible utilizes a pro-style attack in game plans, and most certainly put on a set of drills that would portray Glennon having a head start on grasping key concepts.
Going 43-of-52 against the air isn't great, but reportedly, Glennon really was "going against the air."
There was a bit of a wind at the pro day and—surprise, surprise—a number of reported drops from wide receivers in participation.
Glennon attempted to dispel concerns about his athleticism by moving around and delivering accurate passes. Not great, but functional— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) March 20, 2013
And that's the issue.
When pressure comes at Glennon, many of those great things you notice when analyzing his size, potential and ability to shine in drills get thrown out the window. There exists in NFL quarterbacks varying levels of an innate ability to manipulate a pocket.
This requires understanding where pressure is coming from and "sensing" trouble. The quarterbacks who are best at this—guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning—aren't even necessarily that mobile, but they understand how to operate within that space to give plays time to develop.
Glennon wasn't going to prove anything about his athleticism by delivering a few balls on the run, but when looking at his tape—there may be some evidence of mobility upon close inspection, even against a very stiff Florida State front seven.
First play - slides, evades sack, incomplete pass.
3:45 - moves well, completion.
5:10 - moves well in/around pocket, inaccurate.
5:30 - moves well in/around pocket, inaccurate.
5:40 - good awareness, moves very well, completes nice pass.
7:15 - steps back to buy time and drops off a nice completion.
7:40 - slides, hops away from pressure, nice completion.
9:42 - great mobility in pocket to move, then step up make a great completion.
Those plays do not make the player, though. They currently seem to be the exception rather than the rule, and no amount of throws to former teammate T.J. Graham an ex-NFL star Torry Holt in the controlled environment of his pro day will do anything to change that in the minds of those who have studied Glennon's film and seen him live in Mobile or Indianapolis.
The Arizona Cardinals are rumored to have interest in Glennon, which makes sense. New head coach Bruce Arians would be wise to develop a big-armed, young QB in his system that is capable of making Roethlisberger-like deep throws in case the Drew Stanton experiment doesn't work out.
What would not be wise would be to throw Glennon out on an NFL field too early. He may be getting Joe Flacco comparisons, but Glennon is not Flacco yet. Unless the Cardinals are supremely confident in Bobby Massie, Nate Potter and whatever offensive tackle they draft at the top in 2013, it isn't likely Glennon is the immediate answer.