A.J. McCarron, Alabama 6-4, 214 2012 season: 211-314, 67.2%, 2,933 yds., 30 TDs, 3 INTs, 175.3 efficiency rating (tops in nation) There is a way to calculate passer efficiency rating, but it involves algebra and calculus and quantum physics and perhaps some creative accounting, and we’re not going to get into that here. Convoluted formula aside, you can’t deny what the passer efficiency rating is designed to show. And McCarron was the best in the business last year. A big part of the equation is that he completes his passes and doesn’t turn the ball over (at one point, he’d gone 291 attempts between the 2011 and 2012 seasons without throwing an interception). And the kid wins football games; he’s 24-2 with two BCS championships in his two seasons as Alabama’s starter. Now, that could just mean he’s a heck of a college quarterback, like Kellen Moore and Colt McCoy and Matt Leinart were before him. He plays behind an offensive line of eventual NFL starters and hands off the ball (frequently) to future pro running backs. McCarron is rarely asked to win a close game late, or even bring his team back from a deficit. But his mechanics are sound, he makes the right decisions, and he’s accurate. You don't need a calculator to see that. David Fales, San Jose State 6-3, 220 2012 season: 327-451, 72.5% (led nation), 33 TDs, 9 INTs Fales hasn’t thrown a pass since the fourth quarter of San Jose State’s Military Bowl victory over Bowling Green back in December. Yet, somehow his stock is rocketing up mock draft boards this spring. It could be that people are turning away from the 2012 bummer crop of quarterbacks and looking for anything to get excited and optimistic about for next year. Maybe they stumbled upon a guy who they discovered completed 72.5 percent of his passes, threw for 33 touchdowns and nearly 4,200 yards, and became immediately intrigued. The buzz feels a little like Fales is everyone’s wise-guy pick in the Derby, so everyone can say they spotted him first. Still, the attention is not entirely undeserved. Fales shows tremendous patience and presence, standing in the pocket under pressure, waiting as long as he can before having to make his throw. He has a quick release and a strong arm, able to deliver a ball on the money on the run or even when he’s unable to step into his throw. But his numbers do seem the result of a short passing-centric approach, one that encourages high percentage throws and a lot of YAC. Fales improved dramatically over the course of 2012, his first FBS season. If he continues to develop and prove he can make the intermediate and deep throws, he will validate a lot of this early excitement. And then remember . . . you read about him here first. any body got any better ?