SOTT Draft Profile: Mike Glennon
In this installment of the SOTT 2013 draft profiles, we look at Mike Glennon, quarterback from N.C. State. To find out more, we enlisted the help of David Sanders of Backing the Pack, a site dedicated to the Wolpack. The Texans have already talked to Glennon at the Senior Bowl at the beginning of the week. Let’s take a look at the senior quarterback from N.C. State.
Tale of the Tape
Weight: 220 lbs.
Can you give us some background on how Glennon ended up at NC State?
Despite visiting more lofty programs like Florida and Michigan, and despite the temptation to follow in his brother Sean’s footsteps and attend Virginia Tech, Mike Glennon surprised a lot of folks when he chose N. C. State, presumably because A) he would be a shoe-in for early playing time, and B) he is often compared to Matt Ryan, who Tom O’Brien and Dana Bible mentored at Boston College. Glennon was the #5 QB in the nation and the top prospect in Virginia according to Scout, and he led his high school to a perfect 15-0 record in his senior season. He threw for over 2,500 yards and 32 scores as a senior.
What did he mean to the Wolfpack football program?
That early playing time never materialized because of a much less heralded recruit by the name of Russell Wilson, who won the starting job as a redshirt freshman over Glennon, then a true freshman. Glennon seemed to be a model citizen despite the prospect of sitting until his senior season, at least at first. Glennon likely hoped that Wilson would pursue a baseball career (he was selected by the Rockies in the 4th round of the 2010 draft), thus opening the QB job sooner than expected. For one season, Wilson did both, playing professionally for the Tri-City Dust Devils in the summer and then returning for his junior season as the Wolfpack signal caller. Faced with the prospect of losing Glennon to transfer, O’Brien did not allow Wilson the same luxury the following year, forcing Wilson to transfer to Wisconsin, where he parlayed leading the FBS in passing efficiency into the starting gig at Seattle (and national fame). O’Brien took a lot of heat for jettisoning the Pack’s second greatest quarterback of all time (behind Phillip Rivers), and Glennon had a whole heap of pressure on his shoulders. Predictably, the Wolfpack took a step back under Glennon, going from nine wins in Wilson’s last season to eight and seven in two years under Glennon’s guidance. Even though Glennon does not give Wolfpack fans warm and fuzzy feelings like Wilson did, it is hard to blame him for the program’s backsliding. Despite lacking any running game at all and playing behind a porous offensive line, Glennon was, for the most part, productive.
What are his strengths and weaknesses on the field?
Glennon’s main assets are his size (nearly 6-foot-7), which allows him to survey the field behind even the most behemoth offensive linemen, and his rocket arm. As the experts love to say, “He can make all the throws.” He lacks nothing in terms of the skillset generally associated with the traditional NFL pocket passer. Glennon also seems to be intelligent, coachable (though I am not sure how much coaching he really received under State’s now-fired staff), and well-liked by his teammates. If the Wilson debacle caused any strain in the locker room, it was never evident publically. Glennon’s main weakness is his tendency to gift opponents with extra possessions. He tossed an FBS-high 17 interceptions last season and also fumbled the ball away on occasion after getting sacked, and he got sacked a lot. Some of those interceptions can be excused due to the aforementioned porous line play (Pack QBs were sacked 39 times last year—115th worst in the FBS) and because they came late in games when Glennon’s crew was in desperation comeback mode, but there were also numerous questionable decisions, especially for a fifth-year senior. Additionally, the NFL trend to move to more mobile quarterbacks like Wilson and RG III may limit Glennon’s suitors. He is a plodding dinosaur.
What NFL quarterback does Glennon currently compare to?
Due to playing for the same coaching staff, Glennon is constantly compared to Ryan, but I would peg my comp a bit lower. Joe Flacco, who is also 6-6, might be a better comparison. Glennon might have an advantage in arm strength, whereas Flacco, though no dual-threat, has a bit more mobility in the pocket and better pocket presence in general, though Glennon has the chance to develop those attributes in time.
How did Glennon progress as a player from his freshman year to this past season?
Glennon didn’t really get on the field until his redshirt junior season, which was definitely a successful debut. He threw for 3,054 yards, completing 62.5% of his throws and posting a 31-12 TD-INT ratio. His rating was 136.38. But with increased usage in 2012, he backslid in a number of categories: Glennon threw for over 4,000 yards but with a 31-17 TD-INT ratio; his completion percentage dropped below 60% and his rating slipped to 130.65.
How do you see Glennon projecting at the next level?
Glennon’s college coaches seemed to accept that interceptions were just a part of relying on a pass-heavy, gunslinging offense, and simply patted their star on the butt and said “get ‘em next time, kid” whenever he made a mistake. With a true freshman as the only scholarship QB on the Pack roster other than Glennon, there was also no fear of reprisal when he started tossing the ball around to the other team. Consequently, Glennon looked undisciplined through much of 2012. Odds are that the NFL will not be so forgiving of his sandlot style gambling. If Glennon can develop a better internal clock, thus limiting taking bad sacks and turning the ball over through forced throws, he has a chance to be a Flacco-like game manager. He can definitely be good enough to lead a balanced team deep into the postseason, but he will need a running game (a luxury he never had in college), a stout defense, and an understanding of his limitations. He has starter potential, but not star potential.