EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The 2014 NFL draft is still 13 days away. Before we get there, we'll take a look at a prospect or two in the draft who could be of interest to the St. Louis Rams.
By now we have covered most of the big names, so the focus here will be on vetting some potential additions beyond the top 10 of the draft.
School: University of South Carolina
Height/Weight: 6-0 3/8, 206 pounds
Projected round: Sixth or seventh round
Pros: Impressive resume of production to go with plenty of experience. Shaw started 32 games and led the Gamecocks to some of their most successful seasons in school history on his way to a 27-5 record as a starter. The son of a football coach, Shaw is known as a fiery leader with gym rat intangibles and an affinity for tape study and extra work. That mentality translates to the field where Shaw simply doesn't make mistakes and finds ways to go through his progressions and deliver the ball efficiently. He had 24 touchdowns passes to just one interception in 2013. He shows solid accuracy and good mobility to avoid pressure and extend plays with his legs.
Cons: As with most quarterbacks barely measuring 6-feet, Shaw's size is not ideal for an NFL quarterback. In addition to lack of height and bulk, he also has smaller hands than most NFL signal callers. Although Shaw has played through injuries, he has a knack for accumulating nagging injuries that cost him chunks of games. Shoulder, foot and knee injuries cost him some games in each of the past two seasons. His arm strength is average at best as he struggles to drive the ball down the field and outside the hashes. His deep ball has tendency to hang in the air.
Fit with Rams: It's been no secret that the Rams are going to take a quarterback at some point in this year's NFL draft. General manager Les Snead openly discussed it as far back as January, and nothing has changed since. There has been plenty of speculation about when the Rams would make that move, but if it doesn't happen in the first two or three rounds, Shaw could well be the guy the Rams focus on. The team has spent plenty of time doing its homework on him and, like Georgia's Aaron Murray, is attracted to Shaw's production and experience in the nation's toughest conference. Shaw would come into a good situation to work as the team's third quarterback as a rookie behind Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill and eventually work his way into a primary backup role.
He said it: Shaw on his size -- "There is not a specific mold you have to fit anymore to be an NFL quarterback," he said at the combine. "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."