2011 NFL Draft: Should the Packers Consider Greg McElroy?

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has little to worry about as the NFL draft is just four days away. The defending Super Bowl champions have lost little sleep this offseason while other teams continue to sweat out labor negotiations, although protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still top of the Packers priority list.

When it comes to backing Rodgers up should the worst happen, Green Bay need to look no further than New York this upcoming Thursday. College Football has delivered a smorgasbord of talent this season -- something many teams will look to take advantage of on April 28.

However, amongst the top quarterback prospects that riddle this years draft, none is more debatable than Alabama's Greg McElroy.

He is the man of mystery as far as scouts are concerned. You may have better luck winning the lottery than predicting which round he will fall, and even though he could slip to the late rounds, a team looking for a suitable backup may count themselves lucky one day when their smart recruiting skills pay off.

So that's why the Packers should consider him.

McElroy is no easy prospect to crack, though. He won a National Title during his time under head coach Nick Saban, lost only three games after being promoted to the starting role in 2008, and has an accurate arm that can account for plenty of touchdowns given the right wide receivers.

Yet there is still plenty of criticism to occupy those positive thoughts.

We hear the phrase "he doesn't have the size" way too often when it comes to draft prospects -- and again, McElroy is no exception. He stands 6'2, 220 pounds, but for a quarterback who strives in the pocket, his small stature could be a liability when transitioning to the NFL.

That's not all, though.

McElroy has an arm strength problem. He's thrown a boatload of touchdowns in his college career, but his deep ball skills are a guessing game, news that isn't particularly promising for Donald Driver and Greg Jennings.

Then again, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette scouts aren't all that concerned with McElroy's small faults after seeing him perform at the Senior Bowl, and nor should the Packers fret.

If it wasn't for Matt Flynn's cloudy future, this whole problem would be irrelevant. The Packers current backup quarterback sounded the awareness alarm last season with a three touchdown performance against the New England Patriots. Now, he is no longer "that guy behind Rodgers".

But for Green Bay, drafting seemingly helpless players is nothing new. Rodgers himself falls into this category, and believe it or not, Brett Favre wasn't exactly a draft stud either when selected by the Atlanta Falcons.

So cut McElroy some slack, he could be the next big thing.

Of course, Green Bay won't land him like they did Rodgers. McElroy won't fall into the Packers lap with little effort, in fact, they may have to compete rather hard if they are serious about drafting a considerably talented quarterback.

Currently the Cleveland Browns are the frontrunners to pursue McElroy on day three of the draft -- another young team who looks to secure the quarterback role behind Colt McCoy. It is also hard to overlook teams such as the Miami Dolphins, a franchise in need of some young quarterback talent after an injury filled season.

There's good and bad with McElroy. The positives far outweigh the negative, as he seems dedicated to learning more about the position, much like Rodgers during his bench-warmer days behind Favre.

Fortunately, Green Bay won't be stretched to find a backup quarterback this year. It is simply a matter of which round is the most suitable, especially with pressing needs on the defensive line, offensive line and at the outside linebacker spot. Right now, rounds 5-7 look to be the most likely.

McElroy isn't the next Rodgers.

Ted Thompson has played this game before.

McElroy simply wants a team to take a chance on him.


Follow Ryan Cook on
Twitter or send him an email: ryan.cook392@gmail.com.

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