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NFL Prospect Mike Glennon: A Franchise Quarterback?

2:15 PM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
Glennon caught up with our Kevin Jones over the phone to talk about his NFL Draft status (USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES)
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Did you know N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon was a higher rated player coming out of Westfield high school than Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III?

Because Glennon had just two full years of signal calling duties with the Wolfpack, because he stands like a statue at 6-foot-6, and because of his rocket arm strength, many front office executives are salivating at the chance to evaluate Glennon up close and personal at next week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Glennon, more so than any quarterback in the 2013 class, has boom or bust potential. The 29 interceptions in two seasons and the lack of mobility have red flags written all over them. His throwing mechanics and untapped potential -- thanks to an inept N.C. State coaching staff -- have some teams picking as high as seven (the Arizona Cardinals) giddy with excitement.

Outside of USC quarterback Matt Barkley, no player will be more heavily scrutinized than Glennon is next week on the NFL Network. So how exactly is the Centreville, Va. native dealing with all this pressure, knowing that his career and millions of dollars are on the line?

"I'm not going to get too tense over it. I'm just going to relax and throw the ball like I have my whole life," said Glennon over the phone from Irvine, Ca., where he's prepping for the combine with his agency Athletes First.

Many believe that the 23-year-old boyish quarterback will meet or possibly exceed expectations in the non-contact throwing drills. One longtime NFC scout said he "was built to perform at Indy." It's the individual team interviews which could trip up Glennon.

Hearing a potential starting quarterback describe himself as "reserved" can be a tad bit unsettling for an NFL front office. Quarterbacks generally need to be the voice of reason, barking out orders to unruly veterans in a huddle. Glennon will be the first to admit he's not exactly Robert Griffin III when it comes to having a leadership presence, but he does have his own style.

"That [leadership] question is something I was asked a lot about at the Senior Bowl. I don't know them personally, but watching guys like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco, I think we have similar approaches," described Glennon. "I think that style can work."

One current NFL quarterback has actually had quite the impact on the way Glennon approaches his football duties. His name is Russell Wilson. A four-star quarterback fresh off of a Virginia state title win, Glennon was forced to redshirt upon his arrival to Raleigh, Nc. Even worse, the lanky blonde-haired quarterback had to hold the clipboard and play cheerleader behind Wilson for an additional two seasons.

"Obviously I wanted to play. The competitor in me wanted to be out there. There were plenty of times I knew I was more talented than the opposing quarterback we were playing, but I just happened to be in a [tough] situation," recalled Glennon of his days as a bench warmer.

Most highly-rated prospects who find themselves on the bench would've transferred immediately. Not Glennon though, in large part out of admiration for Russell Wilson. Glennon marveled at the way the current Seahawks quarterback handled football like business -- in the weight room, in the film room and on the practice field.

"I learned what it took to become a special player on the college level from him," spoke Glennon, who also said he's planning on catching up with his former teammate for some NFL advice. 

Some NFL scouts project Glennon's attributes along the lines of Joe Flacco, as the absolute best case scenario. Others rate him closer to someone like Brock Huard, a backup who lasted six seasons in the league. Like all quarterbacks, where Glennon is drafted will ultimately depend on how much success is realistically attainable. But he's not letting that dampen his lofty goals.

"I want to be someone that can become a franchise quarterback. Someone that can be counted on as a guy they can win a championship with."

Keep your eye on Glennon next week at the combine. He's been through football adversity -- by backing up Wilson. He knows his weaknesses -- he's shy at times and needs to bulk up his lean 230-pound frame. And he may have the best arm in the entire 2013 class.

Don't be surprised if a team with an established veteran quarterback -- hint, hint, the Cowboys or Steelers -- swoops up Glennon late in the first round. The Redskins made the playoffs in 2012 thanks to their invaluable backup quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Steelers missed it because their season fell into the hands of Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwhich. Additionally, I think we are all familiar with who Tony Romo is at this point of his career.

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