A.J. McCarron claimed before the 2014 NFL Draft that he was told he would be a first round pick. That didn’t happen. He fell to the fifth round and the Cincinnati Bengals scooped him up to be Andy Dalton’s backup. In the days following the draft, several teams let it be known that McCarron’s interviews turned them off. McCarron now says he is “hurt” by those comments.
On Saturday reports surfaced that McCarron was overly cocky in interviews with team executives and generally rubbed them the wrong way. McCarron entered the draft believing he would be selected anywhere from 16th to 35th overall, but instead fell precipitously and lasted until the middle of the third day.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that McCarron was critical of other people in his meetings with team executives and generally came across as a jerk.
McCarron spoke to reporters in Cincinnati on Wednesday and discussed his draft fall:
“It (stinks) that it hurt me like that, but at the same time, I feel like God had a plan. Everything’s going to work itself out. I’m happy, and hopefully at the end of the day I’ll get the last laugh.”
“I guess when teams met with me, they wanted me to say I’ll be a third-round guy and a mediocre quarterback. Maybe I was too honest or something. I’m an honest person and I say what I feel. That’s how I feel about my play. If that turns a team off, then at the end of the day, to me, they didn’t really want you. I was myself.”
McCarron led Alabama to BCS titles in 2011 and 2012 and finished as the runner-up for the 2013 Heisman Trophy. But he was given a mid-round grade by most scouts for his overall lack of athleticism, arm strength and accuracy. He’s certainly a smart kid who knows how to run a team, but he doesn’t have the elite physical talent teams look for in a starting quarterback.
On top of that, he and fiancee Katherine Webb will be starring in a reality show centered around their engagement and upcoming wedding. That kind of press attention for a backup quarterback could be a problem for some teams.