Fourth QB Possibilities: Connor Shaw

The record-setting South Carolina quarterback capped a stellar year with a strong pro day workout. While he lacks eye-popping stats, he brings a good skill-set and excellent intangibles as a late-round possibility.

Twenty-four touchdowns. One interception.

Twenty-seven victories. Five defeats.

Those will be among the legacies left behind by South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw. He put an exclamation mark on his college career with a superb performance at South Carolina's pro day on Wednesday.

Given coach Mike McCarthy's stated desire to add a fourth quarterback to the mix, Shaw — with his decision-making, athleticism and intangibles — could be a strong consideration for the Green Bay Packers in the final round or two of next month's draft.

"I think my record speaks for itself," Shaw said at the Scouting Combine. "In my opinion, that's the best conference in college football, and I believe I am an elite competitor. I think I am going to prove that in the NFL."

At a pro day headlined by potential top pick Jadeveon Clowney, Shaw was about as impressive as anyone, said a source who attended the workout. Of Shaw's three receivers, only Bruce Ellington played with Shaw at South Carolina. Nonetheless, Shaw threw only one bad ball, which might have been a matter of miscommunication more than anything, the source said. He connected on a couple deep corner routes with Ellington and capped the workout by throwing the ball 60-plus yards on three consecutive passes at the request of scouts.

"He threw the ball really well with nice velocity," the source said.

Shaw was pleased with the workout.

"I wanted to show them that I could go underneath center. Mainly during my career, I was a shotgun quarterback," he told reporters. "I thought I did a pretty good job of that today and threw with a little bit more velocity, which also I felt pretty good about today."

Shaw took over as the starting quarterback midway through his sophomore season. He completed 65.4 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. As a junior, he started 11 games and completed a school-record 67.5 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

As a senior, he started 12 games and completed 63.4 percent of his passes with the aforementioned 24 touchdowns and one interception. It was the lowest interception total by a quarterback with at least 150 attempts since Virginia's Matt Blundin went pick-free in 224 passes in 1991 and the best mark in SEC history.

Perhaps his best game was the one he didn't start against Missouri. Sidelined by a shoulder injury sustained the previous week, Shaw came off the bench and completed 20-of-29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns in an overtime rally that ruined Missouri's national championship hopes. And if that wasn't his best game, then the Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin was the tape he said he'd like the scouts to see. Shaw completed 22-of-25 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns, plus rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass in the Gamecocks' 34-24 win over the Badgers.

"It would probably be the Wisconsin game, the last one, just the way that it ended. I couldn't have scripted it any better," he said.

For his career, Shaw threw for 6,074 yards and rushed for 1,683 yards, and accumulated a total of 73 touchdowns.

"A good bit of (the scouts) congratulate me on a good career at South Carolina, and they admire my competitiveness, my toughness," he said.

Other than his lack of interceptions, Shaw's stats aren't exactly mind-blowing. Fresno State's Derek Carr threw for 5,083 yards and 50 touchdowns during his senior season alone.

That's all well and good, but the scoreboard is what counts. And Shaw has proven himself a winner.

"I think people look at your individual stats more than what you did as a team and this is a team game. Priority No. 1, wherever you go, is to win, and we did a bunch of it," he said.

Added the source, noting the high level of competition in the SEC: "He put up some good numbers against the same son of a (guns) who are going to be drafted in the first three rounds."

Whether he's 6-foot 3/8 (his height at the Scouting Combine) or 6-foot 7/8 (his height at pro day), the door is open for an accurate, intelligent, athletic quarterback who lacks the ideal measurables. Russell Wilson is the reigning Super Bowl champion and Drew Brees set the standard for shorter quarterbacks.

"There is not a specific mold you have to fit anymore to be an NFL quarterback," Shaw said. "You see Russell Wilson and he's kind of proved that. He's got a shiny rock on his finger now and he's 6-foot. I don't think there is a prototypical quarterback size anymore."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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