There’s no question of the importance of a productive quarterback and a successful NFL organization. In today’s professional football “The Have’s” and “The Have Not’s” are usually directly divided by the prowess of their signal caller. Some of the most heated debates I ever encountered in the War Room were those surrounding the evaluation of college prospects at quarterback.
Coaches are reluctant to release this most critical of positions to the evaluation of scouts. Scouts are wary of the bias that coaches can bring to the overall development of the young player. This in part explains why there are so many hits and misses in selecting and developing young college quarterbacks in the National Football League. What I also saw at times was a steadfast and somewhat “Bull Headed” belief of what pro QB’s were supposed to look like; from both coaches and scouts.
Joe Landers did an excellent study on the “Relevance of the Combine” and found that none of the physical attribute tests correlated to success at the next level. NONE! Quarterback is the one position that really carries no boundaries when it comes to a cookie cutter mold that many try to force future draft prospects into. The physical nature of the game leads to a set of parameters that calls for a big, strong, mobile athlete. But by no means does that mean that one size fits all.
And so we enter into the 2014 NFL Draft with a myriad of possibilities for the position; short vs tall, big vs small, pocket vs option. Eric Galko of OptimumScouting.com seeks to debunk the myth of the short QB being weak armed as well in his analysis of Georgia’s Aaron Murray vs. LSU. TFE also gives you Andrew Worstell’s work with DraftBreakdown.com and video highlights of Murray against the TIGERS. Like with coaches and scouts, no opinion is necessarily right or wrong. What’s yours?
The Football Educator
AARON MURRAY, ARM STRENGTH, AND A CAUTIONARY TALE OF SCOUTING STEREOTYPES
By Eric Galko – OptimumScouting.com
When you evaluate each position, it’s important to look at every player individually, staying away from potential stereotypes that may exist. While they are prevalent at almost every position, the quarterback position has become abound with stereotypes, specifically focused on size.
While this funny “quarterback comparison chart” says enough about how athleticism leads to comparisons, I’d like to talk about how people perceive that shorter quarterbacks lack the arm strength necessary to make all the “NFL throws”. In particular, I’d like to look at Georgia’s senior Aaron Murray’s game against LSU, where he showed ample arm strength on the perimeter to test defenses downfield.
Because of the natural size, ability to generate leverage, and natural height to come down on throws, being a taller quarterback generally does tie to an advantage when it comes to generating velocity. However, arm strength also ties to consistent mechanics, release point height, arm and wrist quickness, and fluidity in hips/legs to generate torque.
In Aaron Murray’s case, it’s a mixture of a naturally adequate arm in terms of velocity along with consistent mechanically and footwork. Murray has developed footwork-wise, both in the pocket and on the move. In both below plays, Murray displays the ability to set his feet in the pocket, even despite pressure, and deliver strikes between levels of coverage that he’ll need to show at the NFL level.
In this first play, Murray has a first and ten to work with, and plenty of options in terms of his potential play-calling (Murray has audible control at the line of scrimmage). Reading only four down-lineman as the anticipated rushers, with two high safeties and man on the outside, Murray hot-reads (likely quickly post-snap) to his vertical read on the outside.