Everyone knows the book on Greg McElroy at this point. He’s smart, a good leader with good to very good feet and solid mechanics and he knows his primary job is not to turn the ball over (isn’t that a novel concept). The issues for McElroy coming out of Alabama – and the reason he fell to the seventh round – were concerns over his average arm strength. Well, it turns out the surgery McElroy had on his hand last offseason actually helped him improve his arm strength.
“The rehab had me use a variety of things to strengthen my hand, from webs to rubber bands, trying to strength the smaller muscles in your hand,” McElroy said last week. “You’re able to speed up the motion of your arm because, technically, your arm can go as fast as you want it to go.”
“I don’t really keep track of long distance throws so I can’t really say how much I added in terms of yards to my deep balls, per se. The farthest you’re every really throwing the football in a game is somewhere around 50 to maybe 55 yards,” McElroy said. “I can make those throws obviously. But now, I can do it without having to set my feet as much and I don’t have to step into it as much. There’s a difference.”
Corey Griffin, TheJetsBlog.comNo one’s saying McElroy is suddenly Michael Vick (hey-o!), but any improvement in arm strength would be an obvious buoy. Late-round and undrafted quarterbacks often have a glass ceiling, save for the Tom Brady/Tony Romo division, because they usually have a skillset deficient in one particular area. No one’s saying McElroy is suddenly going to develop into an out-of-nowhere, blue-chip steal for the Jets. The Jets, according to the beat writers, view McElroy as nothing but a backup and simply turned to him out of desperation in a sunken season. Still, a scout quoted in Dyer’s article says McElroy would have been a top-four round QB with a stronger arm and it’s not like the Jets have been head-on in their quarterback evaluations in the Tannenbaum era.
But I’ll be particularly interested in McElroy’s throws outside the numbers and (if they let him) down the field, seeing as those are two areas where Mark Sanchez struggled mightily. Who knows? Maybe McElroy will show some arm talent in addition to his tremendous intangibles and football smarts and the Jets will have themselves a developmental prospect. If nothing else, it gives Jets fans something to watch over the next two weeks.