Greg McElroy has the smarts, the NFL ready throwing motion and technique, and the short area passing ability to stick in the NFL for what I believe will be a long time. However, the main thing that separates him from being a Top 3 rounder and a potential NFL starting quarterback is his vision as a passer that goes farther than just hitting the open receiver and making the necessary check downs.
He has the intelligence, an option for the Rhodes Scholarship, and is a very personable and well-respected leader, but needs to show that he can overcome his somewhat arm strength and deep touch shortcomings by become a more instinctive passer if he hopes to be a future starter or even future backup at the NFL level.
As far as intelligence is concerned, it's tough to find a quarterback prospect as smart as Greg McElroy, who was up for a Rhodes Scholarship award this year after a GPA of 3.83 over his college career. Also, if you look at his career record, dating back all the way to high school, he's only ever lost two games, both from this past seasons.
While his passing ability wasn't always the focus in all of those wins, it's more than a coincidence that he's been able to win big games with consistency over his career. In pressure situations over his college career, however, he hasn't been asked to win the game for his team, with the run and quick passing game making him very comfortable. Still, that winning attitude could make that a strength in the NFL.
His instincts as a passer a little questionable because of how much at times he relies on the offensive play call to follow through, and seems to at times read the receivers and see if they're open than read the defense and see what positions on the field are open.
This is the biggest question mark I have with McElroy. It's not so much his understanding of the game, but his ability to play outside the offense and outside the play call and still be comfortable. I don't doubt that he could develop or get the chance to develop that skill in the NFL level. If he can, that could mean he has the ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and if so, It wouldn't surprise me at all to see him have a Tom Brady like impact because of his NFL-readiness.
But, that's a big if, on if he can play and improvise outside the offense against NFL talent. His pocket presence and could use some work, but that could come from more film study and more of a focus on that. However, all in all, his instincts as a passer need to develop in the sense that he needs to read the secondary, not necessarily his receivers, he needs to consistently make smart passes, and showcase a vision of the offense, both in and outside the pocket, or else he'll be a long time back-up in the NFL or out of the league.
His athletic ability is nothing special and he is prone to getting sacked as well as not being able to pick up sizable chunks of yardage with his feet, but likely won't limit his future as an NFL quarterback. His deep touch and accuracy could use the most work in terms of his passing ability and accuracy as he missed a noticeable amount of deep ball opportunities, even with guys like Julio Jones and Darius Hanks at his weapons on the outside in his career at Alabama.
His short and middle of the field accuracy is very good, however, and while he doesn't have the quick release or the rhythm to be a great West Coast quarterback necessarily, he can definitely benefit from working in a balance offense. Overall, he needs to show to NFL teams that he can make plays using his head and not his knowledge of the playbook to beat teams.