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Shutdown Corner

Alabama’s A.J. McCarron says he’s not sure if he’ll throw at the scouting combine (Video)

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron appears to be very confident about his draft stock.

Following his Senior Bowl no-show, McCarron went on the "Dan Patrick Show" on NBC Sports and said he's not sure if he'll throw in Indianapolis at the NFL's scouting combine.

"I mean ... I have talked to a lot of people about that," he said near the end of the interview. "There's a lot of mixed emotions about that. It's hard to get timing with [receivers] you've never repped with, especially for one day of throwing.

"I just have to wait and see and see how things go and go from there."

So while the decision has yet to be made, per McCarron, you could take away from the interview that he might be leaning — or his camp might have him leaning — toward not throwing.

Here's the deal with throwing at the combine, along with turning down a Senior Bowl invitation: It's not that likely he would have hurt himself by not performing at either one, but the lack of competition for both would leave scouts wondering what he has to hide. Really, every quarterback except for guaranteed, write-it-in-stone top-10 picks should be performing at each, but it's clearly an individual decision for everyone who is invited, and agents often will advise against it for various reasons.

The Senior Bowl QB crop was underwhelming this year, and McCarron could have stood out in his hometown event. The top-showing quarterback at the event almsot universally has helped his draft stock out by a noticeable amount. Everyone throwing at the combine will have to work with unfamiliar receivers, and even a subpar showing there won't kill a prospect's stock. Look at Cam Newton, who had a fairly middling performance in throwing drills but still was drafted No. 1.

Nonetheless, McCarron has a great resumé to fall back on. He told Patrick that he feels his record at Bama, winning 36 of his 40 starts and winning two national championships, should answer a lot of questions pro scouts might have about his NFL potential.

"Starting three years at Alabama in the SEC, your body gets a little banged up, and playing at Alabama under Coach [Nick] Saban, I never really got a rest," McCarron said. "It's not only that. I have started 40-something games in the SEC. I don't think I have anything I need to prove, really."

And he has a personality, even if he appears a bit subdued publicly. On the so-called draft experts, at least the ones on TV such as ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, McCarron says his stock seems to rise and fall daily.

"Whatever side of the bed they wake up on," he said.

We'll see if McCarron throws in Indy, and it will be interesting to chart how NFL teams view him over the coming months. They might not have a lot of new information to add to his file if he keeps opting not to show his skills before the scouts en masse.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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