As the NFL draft approaches, football fans and analysts alike are taking to Twitter to express their opinions about each prospect’s ever-changing draft stock.
Former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has been one of the most talked about players across social media outlets due to both the national exposure that he received while at Alabama and also the widespread doubts about his ability to succeed as an NFL QB.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tweets about A.J. McCarron’s draft stock throughout the pre-draft process.
Back in December and June, the idea that McCarron might be the next Tom Brady gained some serious traction.
The Brady comparisons, coupled with McCarron’s incredible run of success in college, even had some people predicting that he might go early in the first round.
I'll also say this about AJ McCarron -- Enough people like him to where I think he has a shot to be the first quarterback taken.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 2, 2013
Mel Kiper wasn’t one of them, however.
On SportsCenter, Mel Kiper Jr.projects AJ McCarron as a 2nd round pick.— D.C. Reeves (@_DCReeves) December 12, 2013
As the NFL combine approached, Twitter was abuzz with rumors that McCarron wanted the Patriots to draft him.
But would his hands be big enough?! (The over-analysis of draft prospects really is comical at times)
For those who were asking, AJ McCarron's hand size was 10" http://t.co/4tFx9KUlkF— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 21, 2014
A strong performance at the combine reminded everyone that, though he was surrounded by a ton of talent at Alabama, McCarron is also a heck of a quarterback…
AJ McCarron looking very good throwing the football. 7-step dropback passes look great and really impressing scouts. #NFLCombine— Frank Pimentel (@FrankTank96) February 23, 2014
…but with Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr labeled as the only first-round quarterbacks, the rumors of A.J. being taken in the first round ended completely. Suddenly, the storyline shifted to which team would “steal” him in the second round.
I think the Bengals should put off extending Andy Dalton's contract for one year and they should draft AJ McCarron in Round 2.— Andrea Hangst (@FBALL_Andrea) February 23, 2014
Vikings GM Rick Spielman, “I think you can find quarterbacks in the second round and the third round, as well.” Enjoy A.J. McCarron, #Vikes.— Mike Welch (@RealMikeWelch) March 9, 2014
At the end of the day, the crowd is split. On one side are McCarron supporters who feel that his character, his ability to win games and his underrated skills at the quarterback position will lead to success in the NFL.
What I like about McCarron is that he gives me a good sense he will have a low pulse rate under pressure & in critical situations on Sunday.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 23, 2014
On the other side are those who refuse to let go of the idea that he's a mediocre QB that was fortunate enough to have played under Nick Saban and alongside guys like Julio Jones, Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram, Andre Smith and Chance Warmack.
@jgeary Might be a bad take, but I like AJ McCarron. Chip on his shoulder, all he does is win, high character guy. Nobody talking about him.— Joe Lemperes (@joelemperes) March 6, 2014
Perhaps B/R's Matt Bowen describes A.J. best—and in a way that people on both ends of the spectrum can agree with: He's a guy that will "fit" the right situation. McCarron is about as safe a pick as there is. Even if he doesn't find a tremendous amount of success in the NFL, he can still be a valuable backup or teammate.
If there is an NFL team with all the best players and all QB must do is hand off and throw screens, AJ McCarron could be their backup— MAC @ Hoyos (@MACatHoyos) March 3, 2014
Will A.J. McCarron Ever Start in the NFL?
I honestly think of him as a Tebow-like locker room figure, and I mean that in the best way possible. He says the right things, he does things the right way, he's likable and, unlike Tebow, he can actually sling it.
It will be interesting to see where A.J. ends up come May. Will he get the chance to start or will he begin his career as a glorified second-string quarterback?