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2011 Senior Bowl: Greg McElroy Impressing On South Squad

If the Buffalo Bills and GM Buddy Nix are looking for a rookie quarterback beyond the first round in the 2011 NFL Draft, they may not need to look further than one that Chan Gailey and the Bills are currently coaching at the 2011 Senior Bowl. According to multiple reports, Alabama signal-caller Greg McElroy is off to an impressive start after the South team's first practice on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the South's two other quarterbacks - TCU's Andy Dalton and Florida State's Christian Ponder - are getting mixed reviews at best.

Writes's Scott Wright and Shane P. Hallam: "... may be the most impressive quarterback in Mobile so far this week. That's not to say McElroy was amazing and his arm strength is just average, at best, but the guy is extremely accurate and does all the little things. On one play in particular, McElroy hit Greg Salas with a deep ball for a touchdown, which was dropped right in the bucket with outstanding touch."

More McElroy reactions after the jump.

Said Wes Bunting of the National Football Post: "I love everything about Alabama QB Greg McElroy inside the numbers. The guy displays impressive ball placement, gets the ball out on time and consistently is able to throw receivers open. However, when asked to drive the football outside the numbers, he just doesn’t have the arm strength to make all the throws. He at times is forced to try to put a little more behind the football than he’s naturally capable of, which ultimately causes his passes will sail. Don’t get me wrong I think there is a spot in the league for the kid as a serviceable back-up who can make a nice living as a number two and even get some time as a spot starter. But he isn’t the kind of guy who I think you can win with week in and week out in the NFL."

Tony Pauline of SI and "Similar to Dalton, McElroy does a great job commanding and controlling the offense. He threw some sensational fakes on the defense in practice and hit wide open receivers as a result. Like Dalton he lacks the physical skills for the NFL. On more than one occasion he had receivers wide open down the field yet could not get the ball to them as his deep passes just hung in the air."

The McElroy praise was not, however, universal, as Doug Farrar for Yahoo! Sports' Shutdown Corner had this to say: "Alabama's Greg McElroy did not have a great start to his day - on his first throw, he brought Tennessee tight end Luke Stocker into an enormous hit in the secondary. You'll hear scouts talk about quarterbacks who 'throw their receivers open', which basically means that certain quarterbacks have the awareness of coverage and routes to understand how to zing the ball to the open space. More than once on Tuesday afternoon, McElroy did the opposite; actually throwing his receivers into situations that gave them tighter areas than there needed to be. Like Dalton, he seems to lack velocity on shorter to intermediate passes."

To wrap up, here's what Gailey himself had to say about McElroy: "Greg'll be more of the pocket guy. Cerebral guy. He's got a better arm than I probably gave him credit for walking in here; I think he's done a good job there."