Grayson McCall: 12 more plays to love from his first season as a college quarterback
Regular Joes Bonus: Where will McCall land in the 2023 NFL Draft?
In my last Grayson McCall post, I highlighted 10 key plays from the first four starts of his college career at Coastal Carolina. For an in-depth look how McCall and the Chanticleers came to be college football’s unlikeliest superstar pairing, read my longform piece on McCall from last spring first.
For a Regular Joe’s bonus post today, I will be plucking out some more plays from McCall’s 2020 season, in which he led the NCAA in passing efficiency and led a Coastal team that was picked to finish last in the Sun Belt to a perfect 10-0 record headed into a bowl game matchup against Malik Willis and Liberty.
Over his first four games, McCall went 59-of-87 (68%) for 930 yards, 11 TD, 1 INT, 11 Y/A, and 42 carries for 184 yards and three touchdowns.
Over his next four games, which I’ll give a rundown of with GIFs ahead, McCall went 58-of-87 for 817 yards, 9 TD, 0 INT, 9.8 Y/A, and 32 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
Simplified down to its most basic description, the quarterback position requires two things above all else: a) an ability to read a defense and make split-second decisions to give your offense the best gains possible in a given situation b) the physical gifts to execute those decisions precisely.
This is also practically the crux of nearly every pre-draft first round quarterback argument since Peyton Manning vs Ryan Leaf in 1998. “Do you want the mental guy or the physical freak?” Again, this is simplified, not concrete, not a science, and it doesn’t apply to 100% of cases. But whether it is Manning vs. Leaf or Justin Fields vs. Mac Jones or Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota, there’s a hint of that debate in practically every draft.
Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion on which of those two things is more important, if either. What I think is that the mental is more important than the physical.
The popular argument in recent years is the opposite, which is why it seems that Will Levis has been a much more hyped “third option” in the 2023 NFL Draft class than Grayson McCall. Despite Levis having a rather consistent track record of disappointments over his four-year college career, the soon-to-be 23-year-old quarterback has a lot of Seahawks fans already wishing for Seattle to trade up for him before they even know what the draft order will be.
Or if Levis will still be viewed as a first round pick to anybody come 2023.
Conversely, McCall has had an outstanding college career and he’s chosen to stick by his Coastal teammates in the face of overwhelming pressure to use the transfer portal to upgrade his stock for the 2023 NFL Draft. But does he have the arm strength to match everything else he has? That includes leadership, dual threat ability, the best accuracy in college football, and elite split-second decision making with some of the nifty arm angles that have drawn attention in recent seasons?
Perhaps the second trimester of his first college season will give us some hints. Please consider helping support Seaside Joe with a $5/month subscription.