As a redshirt sophomore, there’s a chance that Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall doesn’t even entertain entering the 2022 NFL Draft. However, in a murky quarterback class, a passer who leads the nation in completion percentage, yards per attempt, and QB rating early in the season is going to attract attention. From under-recruited to under the radar to under the lights in front of a national audience, the Coastal Carolina QB is an undoubted riser in the college football ranks. What does McCall’s scouting report tell us about his pro potential?
Grayson McCall NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Quarterback
- School: Coastal Carolina
- Current Year: Redshirt sophomore
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 210 pounds
Grayson McCall Scouting Report
It’s mid-October, and already people are tired of the 2022 NFL Draft quarterback class. It’s been described anywhere from deep but not top-heavy, a little murky, to downright terrible. The leading protagonists from summer scouting have had their tribulations early in the season, and some have fallen by the wayside entirely.
In such a situation, and given previous risers such as Zach Wilson and Joe Burrow, it’s natural to search for a quarterback who could propel themselves up the QB spectrum. Could Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall be that guy in this 2022 NFL Draft class?
McCall certainly has some alluring NFL-caliber measurables and skill set. Let’s begin his scouting report with a measurable. At 6’3″, he has prototypical NFL size. He stands taller than Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell, two early prominent names in this QB class. McCall also appears to have added to what was an otherwise skinny frame. According to Coastal Carolina, he weighs in at 210 pounds.
Although Coastal Carolina doesn’t routinely ask McCall to take deep shots, there’s evidence that he has a good enough arm to make these throws at the NFL level. There are examples of him putting the ball on a rope downfield. According to Cory Kinnan’s quarterback charting, McCall has hit 4 of 7 deep-ball attempts this season.
While his accuracy on deep balls is a concern, he has shown the velocity to make these throws. In the games studied, McCall could zip the ball from the left hash to the far sideline with relative ease. Those are not easy throws to make.
Short/intermediate accuracy, pocket awareness, and a dual-threat presence
By nature of Coastal Carolina’s offense, McCall does his best work as a passer in the short and intermediate areas. He throws passes with touch and anticipation, giving his receivers the potential to make yardage after the catch. Furthermore, he’s demonstrated the ability to zip the ball into tight windows in short-to-intermediate areas. That includes in the red zone, where he’s not afraid to fire the ball into the end zone.
As a passer, McCall has shown to have good pocket awareness. He routinely steps up into the pocket to make throws, which is particularly impressive given his relative inexperience and the offense in which he operates. Some QBs in this class would automatically look to escape in this instance. From the pocket, McCall has also shown how to manipulate defenses with pump fakes.
In Coastal Carolina’s unique option offense, McCall has proven to be a dangerous dual-threat. While some of what he does won’t translate to the NFL, some elements will.
The Coastal Carolina QB has exceptional vision as a runner. While he isn’t lightning fast or even exceptionally agile, he has enough speed and change of direction to be elusive as a runner. Despite his somewhat lightweight frame, McCall can be tough as a runner, too.
In a modern NFL that requires more mobility out of its quarterbacks, McCall meets those demands. Furthermore, as NFL teams incorporate more RPO concepts into their offenses, McCall’s experience and ability to execute these types of plays will only increase his NFL Draft stock.
Areas for improvement
While McCall is ascending as an NFL Draft prospect, and his scouting report reveals why, there are still areas for improvement. Some concerns could limit his ascent in this class.
There is the potential that he will be scheme-limited in the NFL. Coastal Carolina’s offense is unusual, and in that respect, McCall is somewhat difficult to evaluate in terms of scheme fit at the next level.
As mentioned above, there are concerns about McCall’s deep-ball accuracy. He needs to be more consistent with his deep balls. The arm talent is there. However, too many looping and wayward passes will have NFL teams questioning his ability to drive the ball downfield consistently.
McCall isn’t routinely asked to throw a lot in the Coastal offense. His career-high 32 pass attempts came in a defeat to Liberty, and he’s averaged 21 passes a game throughout his career. Few starting NFL quarterbacks throw the ball that few times per game.
While McCall offers a dynamic skill set as a dual-threat QB, he needs to be conscious of ball security. During the games studied, he lost the ball while attempting to take off and run and diving into the end zone.
Grayson McCall Player Profile
McCall was born to play football. When most 3-year-old kids were watching cartoons, the North Carolina native would sit and watch football. Even when he was part of a traveling Little League All-Star team as a baseball prodigy, his focus was football. He quit the diamond before joining Porter Ridge High School, and while he lettered in basketball, he was all about football.
Just as he is now pivotal to the success of Coastal Carolina, McCall was a difference-maker for the Porter Ridge Pirates. In his freshman year, the Pirates went 1-10 while he spent time between the JV and varsity teams. With McCall as the starter over the next three seasons, Porter Ridge made three consecutive playoff appearances.
A dangerous weapon at the college football level, McCall’s dynamic ability to make magic with both his arm and his legs can be traced back to his high school career.
During his Pirates career, McCall threw for 3,863 yards and 34 touchdowns. Meanwhile, he rushed for 3,003 yards and 41 scores. During his senior season, he had six 100-plus-yard rushing games. Furthermore, his 5 rushing touchdowns in one game rank second all-time in Union County High School history.
McCall had a mediocre recruiting profile despite an impressive statistical career and a résumé that included the 2017 Southwestern 4A Player of the Year. Just a two-star recruit by 247 Sports, he was the 66th-ranked dual-threat QB in the country, barely scraping into their Top 3000 players nationally.
That didn’t mean there wasn’t interest, however, as his former head coach Michael Hertz explained to the Myrtle Beach Online:
“There were a lot of people asking about him, that’s for sure. I never spent more time talking about a player than I did Grayson McCall.”
McCall’s career at Coastal Carolina
And yet, not many offers came flooding through the door of the McCall household. Having played in a triple-option-orientated offense at Porter Ridge, he was courted by Army, Chattanooga, Eastern Kentucky, and Gardner Webb. However, in December 2018, he committed to play QB at Coastal Carolina, a relative newcomer to FBS football.
Although he redshirted as a freshman in 2019, McCall had an opportunity to prove himself as an accurate and reliable college football QB for Coastal Carolina. In an early-season game against Norfolk State, he went 3-of-3 passing for 30 yards and a touchdown.
McCall’s remarkable ascension from third-string QB to 2022 NFL Draft prospect began in the summer of 2020. Having missed crucial time due to isolation protocols, he started the summer behind Fred Payton and Bryce Carpenter on the depth chart. However, as summer turned into fall, McCall made an impact on Jamey Chadwell, earning the start for the season opener against Kansas.
The redshirt freshman grabbed the opportunity with both hands and never let it go. Going 172-of-250 passing for 2,488 yards and 26 touchdowns, McCall led the Sun Belt Conference in passing touchdowns, passer efficiency, passing yards, and total offensive yards per game.
He threw 300+ yards in three different games while going over 200 yards in eight of 11 starts. McCall also racked up 4 touchdowns in two other games (Arkansas State and Georgia State). His passing performances saw him named a Manning Award finalist.
The Coastal Carolina QB also demonstrated a debonair yet determined dual-threat ability, rushing for 569 yards and 7 touchdowns.
McCall earns award, ascends his 2022 NFL Draft stock
The redshirt freshman phenom was named the FWAA Most Inspirational Freshman, Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, and SBC Freshman of the Year due to his performances.
While he remained relatively under the national media’s radar, McCall began to gather steam as one of the country’s premier players at the position and a genuine NFL Draft prospect ahead of the 2021 college football season. The Coastal Carolina QB was named the Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year. Additionally, he was named to the watch list of every major quarterback award in college football.
McCall hasn’t disappointed so far this season. As the Chanticleers have opened the season undefeated, the Coastal Carolina QB heads the nation in several metrics. His pass completion of 79.8% leads all college quarterbacks at the FBS level. No other QB can match his 13.9 yards per attempt. Furthermore, McCall’s 243.28 NCAA QB rating is on pace to break the record set by NFL Draft first-rounder Mac Jones.
While it’s open for debate as to whether he declares this season — I, for one, don’t believe he will — there’s no doubt that McCall can insert himself as a genuine 2022 NFL Draft prospect if he does. Is he the real deal? I’ll let his former high school coach be the judge of that.
“He’s the real deal. He’s a very likeable man with a lot of charisma. If there was ever somebody that was meant to play quarterback, and be out front and lead, it’s him.”