Mike Glennon Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for North Carolina State QB

Ryan Lownes@@ryanlownesFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Mike Glennon #8 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack throws the ball against the Miami Hurricanes on September 29, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Mike Glennon

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Third Round: 73rd Pick

Fans and draft analysts alike became infuriated when, in October, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks suggested North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon could be the best signal-caller in this class.

Though he possesses prototypical size and arm strength, many do not see Glennon as a franchise quarterback at the next level.

Still, as one of the best vertical passers in the draft, he could be a nice fit for a team that wishes to push the ball downfield.

Is hype surrounding Glennon as a future starter warranted? Or is this a case of a high-profile draft analyst trying to differentiate himself with a contrarian opinion?

+ Has the arm strength to make every throw - Lacks mobility, has trouble escaping pressure
+ Stands tall in the pocket and sees the field well at 6'7" - Questionable pocket awareness, does not feel the rush well
+ Flashes anticipates, generally good ball placement -Throws too many up for grabs and tests traffic
+ Pushes the ball downfield, fits into a vertical offense - Has a tendency to get lazy with his footwork


At 6’7”, 225 pounds, Glennon is the tallest quarterback prospect in this draft class with height that allows him to see the field with great clarity.

Though he has gained roughly twenty pounds since the season ended to reach 225, he still has a very wiry build. At the next level, he will likely be asked to gain additional weight.

As you might expect, Glennon is not especially athletic or fleet of foot. He is not completely stiff, as evidenced by a 4.94 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but struggles when asked to change direction.



A calm, collected individual, Glennon appears to be a solid leader who shows good command of the huddle. Teammates respect the fifth year senior, as evidenced by his election as a team captain this past season.

He comes from a football family; brother, Sean, was a starting quarterback at Virginia Tech from 2006-2008.

Though his lanky build will concern some evaluators, Glennon never missed a game in his college career due to injury.


At North Carolina State, Glennon operated primarily from the shotgun, typically with a single back, three receivers, and a tight end. He excelled under-center when he received snaps there, showing off good timing and fluidity in his drops.

Arm Strength

While comparisons to Joe Flacco are a bit rich, Glennon’s arm strength ranks near the top of this quarterback class.

His arm may not rank among the strongest in the NFL, but he can fit the ball into tight windows and flashes impressive velocity.

He can really drill the intermediate out-route, showing good zip on passes to the sideline.

Even when his feet are not set, he has the arm to deliver accurate short-intermediate passes.

Additionally, arm strength allows Glennon to stretch the field vertically. Defenders must be on their toes at all times due to his ability to throw the deep ball.



Big, strong-armed quarterbacks that can throw with anticipation and accuracy never go out of style in the NFL.

Glennon is one of the best vertical passers in this class, demonstrating the deep accuracy necessary to strike fear into defensive coordinators. Still, he is defined by inconsistency in this area.

His ball placement is generally good, allowing receivers to gain yards after the catch, but he leaves the ball inside too often on passes outside the numbers. Glennon flashes the ability to throw with nice touch downfield, but sometimes sails passes in the intermediate level.

The line drive trajectory his passes tend to have often works in his advantage, but occasionally the ball nosedives on him.



Glennon stands tall in the pocket, maximizing his height with a smooth over-the-top delivery. He is not the greatest athlete but shows adequate quickness in his drops when playing under-center.

Still, Glennon gets a little lazy at times with his footwork. He can be observed locking his front leg, raising his back foot and transferring his weight improperly. Too often, he will resort to throwing flat-footed on crossing routes.

While it may not exactly be a mechanical issue, he must do a better job of selling fakes.

Pocket Presence

When dealing with relatively immobile quarterbacks, it is important that they still display strong pocket presence and poise.

Glennon hangs in the pocket confidently, keeping his eyes downfield against the rush, but partially because he is unable to rely on his feet. He displays some maneuverability but tends to be rather slow and deliberate in his movement.

Overall, he is not much of an improviser, though he will work to keep the play alive. He struggles to escape pressure though he flashes the ability to climb the pocket and extend plays.

What is most concerning, regarding Glennon’s pocket presence, is questionable awareness. He is definitely guilty of holding the ball too long at times and does not always feel the pocket collapsing around him.



One area in which Glennon is severely lacking is mobility.

A marginal athlete, he lacks foot speed to scramble or escape the pocket. He is not a complete statue but is unable to threaten defenses in any way with his legs.

If there is one positive to mention, Glennon has shown the ability to throw accurately on the move when rolling to his right.

Still, a lack of mobility probably limits him in terms of schematic fit at the next level.

How does he attack Defenses?

Glennon is at his best when he is free to scan and attack every part of the field. His arm strength and accuracy allows offensive coordinators to open up the playbook, keeping defenses on their heels.

If he does not receive adequate protection, however, the offense is in deep trouble. Glennon does not reset particularly well, or often, and struggles when pushed off of his spot.

Furthermore, he makes some mental mistakes and challenges traffic at times. Often when trying to protect his body, he will throw balls up for grabs deep downfield.

Though I mention dangerous throws and mental errors, Glennon can be observed going through his progressions and looking off defenders. The following screencaps illustrate how his ability to read and manipulate coverage allows him to attack defenses.

As his receivers begin to enter their routes, Glennon scans the right side of the field, identifying coverage. Take notice of the Wolfpack receiver toward the bottom of the screen, crossing the middle.

Having recognized man coverage on the outside, he gets his head around and finds a wide-open receiver in the middle of the field. In live game action, Glennon appeared to have looked off defenders on the right to open up this gap in coverage.

Future Role/Scheme Versatility

As I mentioned earlier in this report, Glennon may be limited somewhat by his lack of mobility. Many teams require a more mobile, athletic quarterback to run their offense, so I would not be surprised if his name did not appear on some boards.

Despite that hunch, however, I believe he has the tools to develop into an NFL starter. His ability to push the ball downfield will appeal to teams with vertical offenses, such as Arizona.

Draft Projection: Late First-Early Third Round