Former Westfield quarterback Mike Glennon is adopting a cautiously optimistic approach to the NFL draft. The North Carolina State senior is projected to be taken in the second or third round or perhaps even late in the first in a year in which analysts see few sure-fire selections at his position.
“It’s just really exciting,” Glennon, the 2007 All-Met offensive Player of the Year, said Monday afternoon. “I’m looking forward to finally finding a place to call home and know in a few days who I’ll be working for. It’s a dream come true, and I’m just really anxious to finally hear my name called.
“It seems like quarterbacks never really know what’s going to happen,” added Glennon, who plans to watch the draft from his family’s beach house in Ocean City, Md. “I’ll prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Hopefully, I’ll hear my name called as early as possible, but ultimately I want to go to a team that fits me and will be good for developing me as a player and help turn me into a franchise quarterback.”
In his two seasons starting at North Carolina State, the 6-foot-7, 225-pound Glennon threw for 7,085 yards with 62 touchdowns and 29 interceptions after replacing future Seattle Seahawks standout Russell Wilson, who transferred to Wisconsin before Glennon’s junior season.
Former Westfield Coach Tom Verbanic, now the football and baseball coach at Flint Hill, would like to see Buffalo snap up Glennon with the ninth pick in the second round (41st overall). Not only is Verbanic from the Buffalo area, he thinks the fit is right, because Glennon has the arm strength to succeed in the windy conditions there.
As a Westfield senior in 2007, Glennon completed 171 of 265 passes for 2,557 yards and 32 touchdowns and ran for six scores in leading the Bulldogs to what was believed to be the first 15-0 record in state history. (His brother, Sean Glennon, who quarterbacked at Virginia Tech, was a first-team All-Met in 2003).
“I said to you when he was in high school he’s got the strongest arm I’ve seen,” Verbanic said. “That hasn’t changed. He still can throw it. It only takes one team. Somebody’s going to want Mikey. Somebody’s going to want that arm.”
“I feel like that’s one of my biggest strengths, so that makes sense,” Glennon said of an arm suited for overcoming the wind. “Those guys up there in Buffalo know what they need in a quarterback. I’m sure that [arm strength] has helped me out and certain other teams that may need a quarterback for that reason as well.”
Glennon, the only N.C. State quarterback to ever throw for 30 or more touchdowns in two seasons, has drawn loose comparisons to Joe Flacco, another tall, strong-armed pocket quarterback who has done just fine for himself in the NFL.
Glennon received some high praise recently when NFL senior producer Greg Cosell, known for his arduous film study, said that Glennon might have more NFL-ready tools than any quarterback in the draft, including some who are projected to be taken ahead of him.
“I like Mike Glennon,” Cosell said in an NFL Network segment. “And I think the thing that stands out with him first of all [is] his functional mobility for a big man is far better than people might give him credit for. You see him move out of the pocket and make throws. The thing I really like about him is his willingness to pull the trigger….on tight-window throws.
“Now, does his decision making need to speed up a little? Absolutely. But…I think Glennon could [go] late in the first round, and I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. I think he has probably, of the quarterbacks in this class, more of the attributes you look for than maybe — maybe — any other quarterback in this class.”
NFL fans can learn more about Glennon when he appears on “Gruden’s QB Camp” at 5 p.m. Wednesday on ESPNU in what has become a rite of passage for pending draftees at that position. Glennon said that ESPN analyst Jon Gruden even pulled out a play from when Glennon was a backup his redshirt freshman season, a curveball that Glennon did not expect but apparently handled with aplomb.
“It was a real neat experience,” Glennon said. “What we see on TV is only about 20 minutes, and really, I was with [Gruden] for over five hours in the film room, really watching a lot of film and getting his take on a lot of different things. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for the past few years. I feel like football fans across America look forward to that every year now. It’s kind of hard to prepare other than to just be yourself, because you know most of the stuff frontward and backward.”
In a clip to tease the show, Gruden razzed Glennon about being a dropback passer in an era of read-option quarterbacks. But Glennon has been addressing his mobility for years.
“I can move around when need be, and that’s really all you need,” he said in the phone interview Monday. “You see guys on Sunday who are extremely successful that have similar athletic ability as me. I think people give me a hard time because I don’t run the option, and that’s perfectly fine. But that doesn’t mean I can’t move around in the pocket and make plays when need be.”
One advantage that Glennon might have over many of the other quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class is that he already has experienced replacing an established quarterback. Wilson, before his senior year, transferred to Wisconsin, and Glennon stepped in for him. At most NFL stops, Glennon would have to displace a starter to become one.
“Whatever situation I go in I want to go in and compete to be the starter,” Glennon said. “Some places that might be more realistic than others, but I want to compete for the job and show that I can be a starting quarterback right when I get there.
“But if the coaches feel the best thing for the team is for me to sit back and learn under another quarterback, having gone through the whole Russell situation and knowing what I learned from someone extremely talented in front of you, you make the most of the opportunity and prepare to be the starter, even though you’re a backup.”
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