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I do not think Connor Shaw's height will be an issue for NFL teams. If anything it will be concerns about injuries (he is a tough SOB who stayed healthy this year) and whether he can throw the football on a rope.
He throws an accurate ball most of the time and throws very well while moving around in or out of the pocket. He can chuck the ball down field but there is not much video of Shaw firing a bullet into a receiver's mitts from 10-20 yards.
A great pro day where he is throwing balls through brick walls in front of scouts will absolutely determine whether Shaw is a 4th rounder or goes UDFA
What Say You?
I think if Connor Shaw can work on his footwork and gain about 10-20lbs, he will be able to generate more velocity and zip those balls in there. Shaw moves his feet and keep them moving to be able to take off at a moment's notice (which he is excellent at doing) but QBs like Alex Smith and Peyton Manning can "Pedal in the Pocket" because they are tall QBs with freakishly long arms - so they can still get that velocity even with their feet moving back and forth. Smaller QBs absolutely need to plant, balance and rotate to get the "pop" on their throws. I love watching Aaron Rodger because he gets a his feet wide and gets his hips underneath his shoulders before he fires the ball into the receivers' hands:
Their core are like tank turrets and their legs are stable tracks that provide leverage and help them really torque their upper bodies.
Connor's throwing motion can become more compact also...he wastes a lot of energy with his wind up
I know many people may consider Tony Romo a joke of a QB but if Connor improves his throws, I think of Shaw as Romo without the boneheaded mistakes. I could even see Jerry Jones inviting Shaw in to Camp as a possible back up (yes, I am a Cowboys fan).
Can QBs Improve their Arm Strength/Throwing Velocity Significantly?
Developing Arm Strength: The key to developing arm strength is not necessarily on building muscle in your throwing arm, but to correct the way you throw a football. How many times have you seen a QB throw his arm out in practice and next thing you know he’s developed tendinitis or what we call “Tennis Elbow”. Before you start hammering out “Curls for the girls” in the weight room, see a QB coach and correct on how you are throwing a football.
On the final play of the first half in last Sunday’s game against Green Bay, Manning launched a throw from the Packers’ 43-yard line that arced high and soared toward the end zone, where Hakeem Nicks jumped and caught it for an unlikely touchdown.
That throw — which traveled some 50 yards in the air — went about 15 yards farther than Manning’s average deep ball, according to Football Outsiders. During the regular season, Manning also completed five touchdown passes of more than 25 yards, tying him for fourth most in the N.F.L.
On the play to Nicks, Manning had time to back up, set and send the ball long, but most plays are executed far quicker. That is why the root of Manning’s arm strength lies in almost every other part of his body, Gilbride said; by honing proper footwork and building his legs and core, Manning is able to throw the deep pass as well as put greater velocity on shorter routes with a smaller window to the receiver’s hands.
After practice Thursday, Manning was in the weight room working with a bungee cord wrapped around a pole. While his teammates hefted barbells around him, Manning spent time pulling the cord back and forth — an exercise that works the wrist and forearm.
“It’s funny, there were several times in my career where I decided to put on some pounds in the off-season,” Trent Green, a former N.F.L. quarterback and current analyst for the Westwood One radio network, said in a telephone interview. “I’d spend the whole off-season getting bigger and then I’d go out in the spring and the ball would go nowhere. What I’d forgotten to keep up was my flexibility and my stretching.”
Green said New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees — an impressive passer despite being 6 feet tall and weighing just over 200 pounds — is another example, along with Manning and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, of a quarterback who has a big arm despite not being especially big.
Brees focuses on his core and his joints, Green said, working diligently to ensure his shoulder, elbow and wrist remain supple.
“That’s where you get that whip,” Green said. “The snap is what lets you get velocity and distance.”
While the obvious manifestation of a quarterback’s arm strength is in how well he throws downfield passes, the more critical — if less appreciated — application comes on plays requiring a throw across the field or across the quarterback’s body.
It is rare for a quarterback to need to throw the ball 50 yards in the air and the deepest routes typically only require a pass of 30 to 40 yards. Anything more than that is generally too far for a receiver to run under and catch.
But throws outside the hash marks can appear on the statistics sheet to be short yet require tremendous arm strength. Those are the throws, Gannon said, that often come with less-than-perfect foot position or a hurried release, forcing the quarterback to rely more on his upper body and the whip that Green extolled.
According to Pro Football Focus, Manning led the league in attempts, completions and completion percentage on passes of 10 to 19 yards that were aimed outside the numbers.
I listened to the Solid Verbal podcast this morning, and Ty and Dan discussed the plethora of “popgun armed quarterbacks” currently plaguing college football. Relatedly, a reader asked about why quarterbacks can’t seem to improve their arm strength once they reach a certain age. I can think of really only one example of a guy whose arm now seems significantly stronger than it did earlier in his career as a college player and rookie, and that’s Tom Brady. And, well, Tom Brady is Tom Brady. But it does seem like this is generally true, at least at the higher levels once a quarterback is physically mature: There are almost no examples of guys whose arms went from “popgun” to bazooka through discipline and training, not matter how tall they are or how many weights they lift. This is not entirely surprising, given the unique nature of a throwing motion, but even golfers manage to add some power to their drives. (Maybe someone with more of a baseball background can tell me if any pitchers have added MPH to their fastballs after hitting college or the majors.