Can AJ McCarron retroactively be in the Senior Bowl?
Back in January, John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game in San Francisco reported that the former Alabama quarterback was skipping the Senior Bowl because he thought he was a top-20 pick:
Three rounds into the 2014 NFL draft, five QBs have been selected; not one of those five has been McCarron. Although he may be the best signal-caller available, he'll have to wait until at least Saturday to hear his name called.
Dave Rappoccio of The Draw Play has envisioned some awkward moments in the McCarron household:
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah thinks that it was ironic that Jimmy Garoppolo, who essentially replaced McCarron in the Senior Bowl, has already been drafted:
Albert Breer of NFL.com also found it interesting that the New England Patriots would pass on a "Saban protege" in favor of Garoppolo:
McCarron was one of a few quarterbacks who have been heavily hyped up over the last few months after largely being disregarded as top picks. A comparison between McCarron to Tom Brady was even made. It just proves how much predraft hype can be so misleading:
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio doubts that the three-time national champion is getting those first-round grades anymore:
Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News saw a larger track record of SEC quarterbacks dropping lower than many expected:
McCarron should be the first quarterback selected on Day 3, but he may not be the first Crimson Tide player, per Chase Goodbread of NFL.com:
To a certain extent, McCarron should serve as a cautionary tale. Draft picks are almost always told what they want to hear instead of what is truly the reality. As a result, he was fed what was almost certainly false information and ran with it. He felt his job was done, and the Senior Bowl would be superfluous to his draft preparation.
Instead, declining the invite has only served the narrative that McCarron got way too ahead of himself and has wound up looking foolish as a result.
His misfortune could certainly be an NFL team's good luck. McCarron won a ton of games at Alabama, and that didn't happen by accident. He's a talented quarterback who could contribute in the right situation.
And you can bet that he'll be using this draft slight as motivation.