The New England Patriots are looking at a variety of quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft class in the quest for Tom Brady’s next backup. Ryan Mallett was a solid find in the draft a few years ago, but the strong-armed Arkansas product is an impending free agent in 2015. The Patriots need to find a new quarterback this year, and they’ve already taken close looks at the likes of Tom Savage, A.J. McCarron, and even Teddy Bridgewater.
Spurs & Feathers reports that the latest quarterback prospect the Patriots are working out is South Carolina Gamecocks product Connor Shaw, who has similarities to McCarron in that he has a winning pedigree in the SEC, has great intangibles, and he is accurate. Shaw isn’t as good of a prospect as McCarron, but he has plenty of positives including toughness and scrambling ability. His lack of physical tools usually causes him to be rated as an undrafted free agent, but he could slip into the seventh round of the draft. The Patriots would be able to pick up Shaw on the cheap, and it will be interesting to see if they like him enough.
Per the tweet linked above, Shaw is working out with the Pats at Newberry College, and Spurs & Feathers even has a picture of him throwing a pass. Shaw had a great college career and has plenty of intangibles, but neither skills directly translate to NFL success. He could be a good career backup, but I think the Patriots need to look for someone with better physical tools that they can develop. Shaw was one of my favorite quarterbacks in college (right there with Aaron Murray), but I don’t like him nearly as much as a draft prospect.