So says CNN/SI, which has been trumpeting the talents of the former Florida State and Arena Football League QB, going so far as to say that it is McPherson, and not Cal's Aaron Rodgers or Utah's Alex Smith, who has this type of immediate breakout potential.
Rodgers and Smith are household names, especially among NFL fans, and both are likely to be picked in the first five or ten picks of the entire draft. They are "safer" picks than McPherson, who has wowed scouts with his talent and looks to have picked up the pieces of his once-shattered athletic fashion that would have made Rudyard Kipling (the author of "If", for those who didn't get the reference, and, if you still don't, read the poem, it's excellent, and if you did in the first place and feel a bit patronized, I apologize) proud.
He has repeatedly answered questions about mistakes he had made, and he hasn't shied away from them. He knows that character is an issue, and he's tried to impress upon those who are evaluating him that his efforts since his days at Florida State demonstrate a new level of maturity and responsibility. The kid who thought he could do no wrong in college now understands that he has but one shot to show everyone that he's grown into a man.
So the burning question now is "how high will he go?" His hometown paper evokes the names of safer picks in the past, players such as Akili Smith, Heath Shuler, Rick Mirer and of course, Ryan Leaf (not to mention Joey Harrington, who did not get mentioned in the article). Right now, McPherson is predicted to be the fourth QB taken in the draft, behind Rodgers, Smith and Auburn's Jason Campbell -- and in the second round. But that's right now, and the draft is 13 days away.
And those of you who have followed NFL drafts know that a lot can happen in the two weeks leading up to a draft. Players' stocks rise and fall for many reasons, and it would appear that McPherson's only can rise at this point. The character issues that had raised important questions apparently have been answered, and the compelling question is whether any GM will buck tradition and leapfrog McPherson into the first round.
We'll know in two weeks.