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Ravens coach John Harbaugh sees similarities between AJ McCarron and Drew Brees

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John Harbaugh paid AJ McCarron a pretty nice compliment before the 2014 NFL draft.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2014 NFL draft, the Ravens and coach John Harbaugh met with a few quarterbacks entering the NFL draft. The Ravens were preparing to spend a late draft pick on a backup to Joe Flacco and one of the quarterbacks the team met with was Alabama's AJ McCarron.

"I said something to him, and he kind of looked at me cross-eyed a little bit like, ‘What the heck are you talking about?,'" Harbaugh said this week via ESPN, remembering back to his meeting with McCarron. "I made a comparison to him and Drew Brees. I felt like when I watched him play, he reminded me a little bit of Drew Brees. I think he wanted to say, ‘Yes, but I'm 6-[foot-]3. Drew Brees is 5-11 and ⅞, maybe.'"

But, Harbaugh's comparison didn't have to do with the height of the quarterback. "He really has a quick release," Harbaugh said. "His accuracy, his decision-making at Alabama, were really good, and you see that with the Bengals so far."

McCarron ended up being drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Bengals. The Ravens selected Keith Wenning out of Ball State with their sixth round pick. Ironically enough, Wenning was waived by the team earlier this year, and is currently McCarron's backup in Cincinnati. He spent most of the year on the Bengals' practice squad.

Per ESPN, in a conference call with Baltimore reporters, McCarron said he remembered speaking with Harbaugh prior to the draft and his Drew Brees comparison.

"It was definitely a huge compliment, and [I am] very thankful for it," McCarron said. "But Drew Brees is Drew Brees, and I don't know how close I am to that level, if any at all. But yes, [I am] very thankful for the comment, though."