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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Mar 27, 2013 - 3:53 pm

NFL Draft: Breaking down QB Mike Glennon

As people have read through my NFL Draft thoughts over the past two months, there has been a consistent theme: I am not a fan of quarterback Mike Glennon.

I had Glennon as a round 4-5 guy coming into the season, and didn't see a ton of things that made me think that I was that far off.

As soon as Bruce Arians was hired by the Cardinals I received a barrage of texts, emails and tweets telling me that team was going to be interested in Glennon because of his "fit" with what Arians wants to do on offense, and that was confirmed when the team held a private workout with the QB.

While the report states the Cardinals are likely not interested in Glennon at pick seven in round one, there is a real possibility that the Cardinals will target the Wolfpack signal caller in round two.

What can Glennon bring to the Cardinals' passing attack, and could he be the long term answer at the quarterback position?

The Good

Arm Talent

Few, if any quarterback prospect, possesses the functional arm strength of Glennon. The only one might be Tyler Bray, and that is something Arians would be able to have a little fun with in this Cardinals offense.

Glennon's arm strength will allow Arians to deploy his entire play book from any spot on the field, because Glennon can make throws no matter where the ball starts. Want to run a deep out to the far side of the field from the near hash? No problem.

Setting up a deep ball? No need, Glennon can get the ball vertical on the outside or down the seam without issue.

Where Glennon really sets himself apart from others in the class is his ability to change velocity and trajectory when throwing the deep ball.

If his receiver is running free he knows how to get the ball out there and allow his receiver to run underneath it, and if it is in a tight window he knows how to and can put zip on the ball.

Comfort in Vertical Attack

When I charted Glennon's throws I noted that over 40 percent of his total attempts were to targets beyond ten yards in the air.

Glennon has a comfort level standing in the pocket, letting his receivers get into their vertical routes and then delivering the ball.

He isn't afraid of taking a hit and still delivering the ball, and he understands how to maneuver in the pocket, even if his mobility is extremely limited.

The Bad


While Arians may not want to utilize the read option fad, he does like to move his quarterbacks around in and out of the pocket to allow his wide receivers to get deeper in their route progressions.

Glennon does not always look comfortable in those situations.

He has shown an ability to throw on the move, but his velocity drops and his accuracy becomes more erratic.

When under consistent, heavy pressure Glennon can lose his footwork, and that takes him completely out of his game and his accuracy issues come to the forefront.

More importantly, if he isn't in rhythm because of pressure and inability to get comfortable in the pocket, he can fall apart at the seams and that makes for a long day.

The Glennon

Decision making

Strong armed, pocket passer with questionable accuracy and sometimes bad decision making… wait are we talking Mike Glennon or John Skelton?

Glennon's poor decision making shows up not only in his stats, but when watching him on tape, as there are throws that make you go "Wow" and throws that make you go "What the?"

Glennon completed less than 60 percent of his passes his senior season and threw an astonishingly high number of interceptions for a guy who is garnering first and second round chatter.

When Glennon is moved off his spot in the pocket (meaning if he gets to his fifth/seventh step and then has to move and set up again), he begins to lose his accuracy, but more importantly his mechanics.

He will start trying to fit balls into tight spaces and windows, and that leads to the interceptions.

He comes off his reads too quickly when he is under consistent pressure, missing open men and instead forcing the ball.


Glennon is the prototypical Arians quarterback in arm talent since he has the arm to "make all the throws," but more importantly he has the arm to allow Arians to have his entire playbook at his disposal at any point on the field.

The problem is that Glennon is statuesque in the pocket, and that is being kind.

He isn't able to move and reset like Ben Roethlisberger or Andrew Luck, and he doesn't necessarily show the same ability to move in the pocket as other pure pocket guys like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco.

He gets away with bad footwork and technique at times because of his arm, but even in college those things caught up with not only week to week, but within games.

If Glennon has a clean pocket to work with and the ability to sit back and make his reads, and can just throw the ball around the field, he is a guy who you can build around.

The problem is the Cardinals don't possess all the necessary ingredients to make Glennon a success: strong pass protection, a power running game that will not allow the defense to pin its ears back, and an elite group of receivers that can run a diverse and wide ranging route scheme (well, they have that last one).

If the Cardinals decide that Glennon is in fact "their guy" in round two, it may dictate how they draft in rounds one and three, because he won't get to his ceiling with how the offensive line is currently constructed.

About the Author

Husband, father, Editor in Chief and owner of and roving draft analyst wherever people will have me. Nights are spent watching college kids in pads, taking notes and talking on Twitter.


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