Quarterbacks need confidence. Swagger. To borrow one of Steve Young’s favorite terms, moxie.
But when that self-belief crosses over to delusion and possibly dishonesty, the red flags start a-flyin’.
The flag is decidedly crimson at the quarterback position, where multiple scouts are befuddled by Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s recent insistence that he’s being consistently told by multiple teams that a first-round grade has been applied to him — and that he could go as high as No. 16, to the Cowboys.
While ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says there’s one team that loves McCarron as a potential first-round or second-round pick, McCarron’s belief of extensive round-one interest doesn’t mesh with reality.
Then there’s the issue of McCarron’s tattoos. To be entirely clear on this point, we believe tattoos bear no relevance at all to a player’s abilities. Still, we’re told that some scouts are put off by the extensive presence of tattoos on quarterbacks. While concealed on game day, McCarron has an extensive collection of ink.
The tattoo issue was raised (and loudly shot down) in 2012 regarding 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The year before, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson made waves by explaining on Charlie Rose’s show that Richardson told quarterback Cam Newton to keep his body tattoo and piercings free.
Again, to be entirely clear (is there an echo in here?), we don’t care what a quarterbacks does when it comes to tattoos or piercings. But some scouts do, and that provides another potential obstacle for McCarron.
Could he be a first-round pick? Sure. Teams are like snowflakes when it comes to certain players, with no two opinions being even remotely the same. Thirty-one teams can loathe McCarron. All it takes is one to make him a first-round pick.
And if there really is a team that loves him as a potential first- or second-round selection, maybe McCarron’s big talk will prompt that team to pull the trigger in round one.