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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Jets take McElroy in 7th

By Rich Cimini



PLAYER: Greg McElroy
SCHOOL: Alabama
POSITION: Quarterback
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 222

Pick: Seventh round (208 overall)

What it means: The Jets wanted to find a developmental quarterback, someone they could groom to be Mark Sanchez's primary backup. They have a crowded quarterback depth chart, with Sanchez, old-timer Mark Brunell, Kellen Clemens, Kevin O’Connell, Erik Ainge (reserve list) and McElroy. This selection doesn't bode well for Clemens, who likely will be replaced as the No. 3 quarterback. He barely made the team last season and was forced to take a pay cut. This could give Clemens a chance to start over somewhere else. O'Connell and Ainge also are on thin ice.

How he fits in the offensive system: McElroy has off-the-charts intangibles. He's a winner -- a 24-3 record as a starter at the highest level of college competition. He's smart -- an impressive Wonderlic score of 42. He's an accurate passer (71 percent last season), probably more accurate than Sanchez. The knock on McElroy is his arm strength -- average at best, according to scouts. Basically, he's a poor man's version of Chad Pennington, a game manager.

Projected impact: He'll spend a lot of time carrying the clipboard, learning from Sanchez and Brunell. But McElroy is a hard worker and smart as a whip, so it probably won't take long for him to absorb the offense. By 2012, he should be able to step into the No. 2 role.