As part of our 2012 season review, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC this season, from no. 25 to no. 1. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof, obviously — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.
Putting aside the overblown hype surrounding Mike Glennon’s post-collegiate status as a passer, we’d prefer to take a look at how the NC State QB performed during his senior year. Like it or not, Glennon was the team’s leader and most productive player on offense, most notably guiding the team to what was then a monumental upset of a top-three team (Florida State) back in early October. Despite his less-than-stellar numbers in that game (259 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT), it was his efforts in the contest’s closing seconds, ultimately throwing the game winning touchdown, that make Glennon stand out so much. Of course, when you have a knack for some late-game heroics (and he certainly does after many close games with the Wolfpack), there’s also a price you pay, and that’s in interceptions. It’s not so much hero-ball, but “Favre-ball” he’s playing. If you’re a sound passer — and Glennon’s career completion percentage above 60-percent seems to indicate as much — you’re likely to throw more late touchdowns than late picks. So for all of Glennon’s criticism (most notably his 564 passing attempts in 13 games this year), he’s still passed for over 7,000 yards in the past two seasons, with 62 touchdowns (compared with 29 interceptions). This season, like last year, his numbers were indicative of a big-game player (five games of three or more TD passes), though a questionable bowl performance adds doubt for critics.
So because we have to debate this (begrudgingly), we will. Is Glennon a first-round pick? And if so, is he the first overall? In a weak group of quarterbacks, I say he may end up in the first round of the NFL Draft, but in no way am I sold on him as a franchise passer. Maybe more so than I was on Jake Locker, Christian Ponder or Blaine Gabbert, but not to the point where I believe Glennon’s a can’t-miss prospect. Of course, tell that to the QB-driven league that just saw another tall passer with inflated draft-day stock (Joe Flacco) just go out and win a Super Bowl.