So, the QB velocity numbers are out from the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine and let’s just say there’s reason to be both intrigued and concerned. If you don’t follow my good friend Ben Allbright, you should. That said, if you do, you know that arm strength is important when scouting NFL quarterbacks. And while velocity does not necessarily preclude success, not meeting the NFL threshold of 55mph has been dooming for nearly every QB ever.
When you look at the list below, the biggest concern and eye popping result is Deshaun Watson coming in at 49mph.
Unless he has an injury we don’t know about, this is extremely concerning and in my opinion, should plummet him down Cleveland’s board as a first round consideration. I’m not about to bet on the exception proving the rule wrong when it comes to QB’s in the AFCN, especially in Cleveland. Consider that Cody Kessler threw 55mph (yet many want to call him noodle arm) and even Dak Prescott and and Tyrod Taylor, with shoulder injuries, threw above 50mph.
Ball velocity numbers (MPH) from the Combine:— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) March 10, 2017
60 - Mahomes
59 - Webb
56 - Kizer
55 - Trubisky, Evans
53 - Peterman, Kaaya
49 - Watson
HERE is the google doc that tracks every QB velocity since 2008
For combine velocity measurement for QBs remember this.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 10, 2017
Over 55 mph doesnt guarantee success, but under it pretty much guarantees failure
2 mph ball velocity might not seem like a big deal, but it translates to 3 ft travelled on 20 yd throw in same time frame. Huge NFL window— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 10, 2017
Fabian Washington agrees that inches make a huge difference:
Inches are huge in the Passing game in the NFL. https://t.co/RXhd3T6JT3— FABIAN WASHINGTON (@FABEWASH31) March 10, 2017
I know there are a ton of factors that people are going to want to explain away here but the bottom line is that NFL teams hold this threshold for a reason. Sure, you can process the game quickly and get rid of the ball quickly, but ultimately, throwing at 49mph is going to catch up to you quickly on Sundays.
I was warming up to the idea of Watson to the Browns (He’s a good kid and a good leader from what I’ve gathered) but for me now more than ever, this is an indicator that the Browns should not use their #12 pick on Watson. In fact it only strengthens my case (not solely based on his velocity, mind you) to take Mahomes, no matter what.
Another good friend, Montel Hardy, breaks it down further:
QBs who also thre 49 mph at the combine: Josh Johnson, Dan LeFevour, Tony Pike, and you guessed it... Mike Glennon.— Montel Hardy (@MontelNFL) March 10, 2017