2011 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons Why Greg McElroy is the No. 1 QB Prospect

Billy George@@billzonwheelzCorrespondent IIApril 9, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons Why Greg McElroy is the No. 1 QB Prospect

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 06:  Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws a pass against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    When draft day is in discussion, pro and college football fans alike have burning questions about how far top projected prospects and college football stars will drop from the top picks in the draft. "What teams can pass up Newton?" and "How far will Marcell Dareus drop?" are popular questions this year, just like Tim Tebow was the big question mark in the 2010 draft.

    I'm going to flip the script and ask this: What players that aren't projecting to be top picks should be? Here are five reasons why Greg Mcelroy is the No. 1 QB prospect in the draft. 

1. Coach Nick Saban's NFL Background

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    KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 23: Greg McElroy #12 and Nick Saban the Head Coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide are pictured during a timeout in the SEC game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo b
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Unlike most coaches who have affiliations with the NFL, Saban became an NFL head coach (of the Miami Dolphins, where he coached for two years) before he was the head coach of the Crimson Tide.

    He was the head coach of the Toledo Rockets (1990-91), the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns (1992-1994), the head coach of both the Michigan State Spartans (1995-1999) and the LSU Tigers (2000-2004) before coaching for the Miami Dolphins (2005-2007).

    Being used to the the NFL system prepared Saban for the toughest conference in college football where he boasts a 43-11 record, is three out of four in bowl games and won the national title in the 2009 season. Saban runs an offense very similar to teams in the NFL, and if anyone knows what it takes for players to be successful at the next level, Saban's the guy.

2. The Risk There Is in Drafting Either Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbart

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    Every day on ESPN we hear something new about Cam Newton, including what teams may have their eyes set on him, how he well he might transition from Gene Chizik's spread offense, etc.

    Like Newton, Blaine Gabbart too spent his entire career in the shotgun for a spread offense. Although both are mobile quarterbacks with the ability to extend plays, there is still a risk factor behind these two prospects.

3. His Familiarity With the Pro-Style Offense

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    Since his high school career Greg McElroy has taken snaps from behind the center, often accompanied by a full back and a running back. The former Alabama signal caller has perfected the three-step drop and has steadily improved on reading through his progressions.

    Along with McElroy's great pocket presence is his ability to improvise when plays break down, being mobile enough to be a threat on the outside as well. He can also operate very well out of the shotgun. All this led to him having a great senior season where he passed for 2,987 yards and 20 TDs to go along with just 5 INTs, Mcelroy completed 70.9 percent of his passes and was fourth in the nation with a 169 QB rating. 

5. His Smarts

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    Perhaps McElroy's poise and ability to win were just as key to his success as his skills as a passer. He was the 2010 ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year and a first-team Academic All-American. On top of that, he was a 2010 NCAA Top VIII honoree and a finalist for the Wooden Citizenship Cup.

Unlike Charlie Sheen, He's an Actual Winner

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    Named an EA Sports All-American in high school, McElroy led his Southlake Carroll football team to a Texas 5A state championship in 2006. He continued to be clutch for the Crimson Tide, leading them to the 2009 SEC championship game (where he was the MVP), a perfect 14-0 season and a national title in his first year as a collegiate starter.

    He had an overall 24-3 record in his career as a starter, and he threw just 10 interceptions in 658 career attempts—or one interception in every 65.8 attempts, which is tops in school and SEC history.

    A combination of all these things makes McElroy the top QB prospect in the 2011 draft.