I saw this Ourlads article written by esteemed scout Dan Shonka yesterday via Benjamin Albright on Twitter and I thought I would share it here to help generate some more in depth, thoughtful discussion surrounding the QB position. The article links the QB velocity taken via radar gun at the combine and lists the results from the last 6 years.
Ourlads’ Guide to the NFL Draft is the only source that gives the number for the quarterback’s velocity at the NFL Combine. Velocity is measured by a radar gun in miles per hour.
When considering drafting an NFL QB, velocity is just one component that helps determine if a QB will have success in the NFL. I look at 18 characteristics and qualities, all of which are assigned different weights based on what I perceive to be the most important. Among the most important qualities I believe a QB must have to be successful are decision making, accuracy, and pocket presence. I do value arm strength quite a bit as well, but I know having arm strength doesn't necessarily equate to being a good QB - see Brandon Weeden. However, in reviewing the recent history from this article, there seems to be some truth behind the notion that NFL QB's do need to be able to throw at least a certain speed to maintain any sort of long term success in the NFL. Without looking at the numbers, this makes sense to me, but this article and this tweet from Benjamin Allbright helps to solidify that notion.
There has never been a QB who threw less than 54 mph w/ any long term success in NFL. http://t.co/v0iw6Q9XoK— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 2, 2014
From this year's QB class, the available data may muddy the waters a bit because some of the top prospects didn't throw at the combine or it might help support the guy that you have been advocating all along. History shows us that there have been plenty of top prospects that elected not to throw at the combine, but here's the complete list of QB's that did from 2014:
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech 60
Stephen Morris, Miami 59
Tom Savage, Pittsburgh 57
Blake Bortles, Central Florida 56
Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois 56
Jeff Mathews, Cornell 56
Keith Wenning, Ball State 56
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois 55
Tajh Boyd, Clemson 54
Bryn Renner, North Carolina 54
David Fales, San Jose State 53
AJ McCarron, Alabama 53
Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M 53
Connor Shaw, South Carolina 50
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville – Did not throw
Derek Carr, Fresno State – Did not throw
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – Did not throw
Zach Mettenberger, LSU – Did not throw
Aaron Murray, Georgia – Did not throw