Can AJ McCarron be an NFL starter?

Can AJ McCarron be an NFL starter?

Can AJ McCarron be an NFL starter?

AJ McCarron played with a team this season, that was ready to win big games, with 1297 YD WR, AJ Green, TE Tyler Eifert. And a nice double teaming backfield who have been, or are now, ready for the big time. QB Andy Dalton had his huge turn around season this year throwing for 25TDs and hitting 66% of his passes. And keeping in mind, that AJ McCarron spent most of the 2014 season on PUP list, which means he wasn't even able to practice with team.

So for him to have come out and played as well as he did in the absence of The Red Rifle is pretty impressive. He absolutely showed everyone that doubted him that the stage of the NFL, and the playoffs were and are not too big for him. He threw for 212 YDs and led them with poise in the 4th quarter surge, in their playoff loss to the Steelers, 18-16. But the loss would not be thrown on his lap, after that debacle of uncontrolled idiocy that Vontaze Burfict and "Pacman" Jones had shown in losing that game giving away 30 free Yds to the Steelers.

It is possible to think with the way he played, there could be the infamous QB controversy, in Cincinnati? Could the Bengals be a Super Bowl team with AJ McCarron under center? In his 3 games as starter: 552 passing YDs, 66%, 4TD and almost 7YPA, it's hard to say if those numbers are good enough to qualify him as a potential starter for a team.

QB Andy Dalton in going through recovery for his broken thumb, lost his position for those few games, and AJ certainly stepped into a talented team and did what he was supposed to do, and then some.

He was an impressive QB, who also handled himself well in the after game pressers. He has confidence and belief in his own game, which anyone should have at that level. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want is a QB saying "he hopes he is good enough to help the team." I want a QB who says he "is going to lead the team."

AJ McCarron played in the Southeastern Conference against the some of the best competition in college football. He threw the ball, very well, for 3063YDS in 2013. His career completion percentage was 67%, and he also threw 77 TD passes against just only 15 picks. Yet no one ever considered him to be much of anything coming out.

He did all of that, and also won 2 national championships. I would say that is a pretty rock solid resume. The problem is, right now, is the Bengals have a dominate starting quarterback, in Dalton. Who had the best season of his 5 year career, with his best completion pct and best TD to into ratio? So it will be hard for him to slide into that role. How could they justify removing Dalton from that, when he did nothing to lose his position. He simply got hurt, that's it.

AJ is a winner, and has all the invisible intangibles that everyone wants to see in a QB. He can make all the throws that he needs to make at this level. He makes quick decisions, processes the information and throws the ball accurately. These are the kind of players that end up being pretty good NFL QBs. The Bengal's organization definitely stole from the draft by picking AJ up in the 5th round. He should have been gone by the end of the 2nd. He is an underrated passer with better arm strength than people often give him credit for. Hits don't rattle him; he doesn't dump off the ball early hoping not to get hit again. He stays in the pocket with brave poise and makes his throws.

Teams with older QBs could look into the potential to groom him. Then in the next few years, they could showcase him in preseason and see if they can depend on him for their future. Teams like New Orleans, the Giants or even New England, why not, if you are those teams? He could be a guy who sits in the system a few years, then pops out and does very well. I think he will one day be a good QB in the NFL. Let him find the perfect fit, backup a stud QB for another few more years and hop in as the starter.

Problem is though; he has never been the face of a team. In 2011 he sat behind that line, and handed the ball off to 1600YD RB Trent Richardson and future NFL Pro Bowler, Eddie Lacy. And being tagged as a game manger, his best comparison often is to be like an Alex Smith or Ryan Tannehill. And the only way he wins a ring and gets a team to the big game, is by having the most talented team in the NFL.

If you look at the rest of the NFL, where guys like Brian Hoyer, Nick Foles, and Josh McCown are starting QBs at this point, one could question, if that makes McCarron a starting caliber QB? It’s not a real lot to be judged against, and many felt that he only piled up gobs of success at 'Bama was because of the incredible amount of talent that was around him. But he should be in the conversation somewhere.

Alex Smith, coming out of Utah, was touted way higher as a QB. Don't get me wrong, Alex Smith is a good QB, and a very respectable starter, why couldn't AJ MCcarron be also? The Bengals have a team around him right now, and when he jumped in, he succeeded. He can succeed in the NFL if given a legit chance.

McCarron is a guy who could put up some decent numbers, not necessarily Tom Brady, or Drew Brees numbers, but he could definitely be a 20 TD & good completion passer. Would it be nice if McCarron was able to dump off the label of just a “game manager” behind him?

Yes, definite, and I think he has the skills to do just that.

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