Kyle Shurmur, QB
School: Vanderbilt | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 225 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd or 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Alex Smith
Kyle Shurmur is the son of current Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur. Kyle, as you can imagine, grew up around football all his life. His dad was also the former Head Coach for the Cleveland Browns and the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, Rams, and Vikings. He’s had several other coaching titles in his career as well. He grew up going to the Manning’s passing camps and picked the brain of Donovan McNabb and Nick Foles. Kyle has gone on to have a very productive career at Vanderbilt. He isn’t talked about much at all in this QB class but its worth reminding people that he has already broken Jay Cutler’s all time TD record as well as his career passing yards record at Vanderbilt. A huge knock on Shurmur is that he has already earned the label of ‘game manager’ as a QB. The facts are that his production this season rivals fellow SEC QB Drew Lock who is projected to be at least a second round pick if not higher. Lock takes shots and they can end with well or not so well. Shurmur is much more reserved and strategic and prefers to work the easy stuff in the short and immediate parts of the field. It may not be exciting but its proved to be almost as effective. I refuse to peg him as a backup before he gets his chance to prove otherwise in the league but even if you (like myself) find the ‘game manager’ style of football incredibly boring there is no denying that there is value in it if he is surrounded by a good team. He could surprise in a starting role I think he could also be a very solid backup.
- Really good size for the position. Has good height that teams look for and is solidly built.
- Evident that he scans the field for the best receiving option on a play. Is patient in delivering the football but also has a decent internal clock when under pressure. Takes the easy stuff underneath in the middle of the field and will take more shots in the 20-30 yard range when they present themselves. If something isn’t there he will throw it away.
- I think he has the potential to be a very good play action QB a la Kirk Cousins. He sells the fake well and has good mechanics and fundamentals on the run to get it downfield. Accuracy is good within the 35 yard range and has gotten better each year. Zip on throws is pretty good and he can also deliver the ball accurately and with touch when he needs to.
- Well liked by his coaches, teammates, and respected by defenses even with his more conservative style. Trusts his teammates to make plays and is not afraid to throw into tight windows if he feels he can lead his receiver.
- Going to impress teams with his composure, maturity, and knowledge of the game.
- Definitely not a gunslinger I can’t see many scenarios based on Shurmur’s play right now that will tell me that he will be much better than a player like Alex Smith. A serviceable and safe starter who needs a good supporting cast and be entrenched in a system to elevate the team against top competition.
- Not a very mobile guy. When he has to take off and extend plays it isn’t that impressive. Didn’t have the best offensive line but can make some ill advised throws with pressure coming right up the middle.
- Labeled already as a ‘game manager’ and prefers to work the short / medium stuff. If you are expecting 60 yard bombs out of this kid he won’t be your cup of tea.
- Deep ball accuracy is lacking I saw a lot of balls when thrown over 40/45 yards that were just a bit off.
Let’s see his work:
This was a hell of a play by Kyle Shurmur. The senior QB made a couple NFL throws last night. pic.twitter.com/uxf1cxXFsz— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettBOS) October 21, 2018
Size (out of 10) | Not just height/weight. Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield would be a 6 or 7 here because they’re thickly built and take hits well.
Grade: 8 | If we believe Shurmur’s reported height and weight at this point then he ticks this box well.
Arm Talent (out of 10) | Arm Talent is mostly raw strength of the arm, but also ability to throw different types of balls (bullets, touch passes, etc.) and from different angles/platforms. Mahomes is a god at this -- 9 or 10 raw strength but also a magician from different arm angles. Pennington couldn’t throw 40 yards.
Grade: 6.5 | I've seen Shurmer work the short and intermediate stuff with great proficiency where he struggles is on throws over 45 yards. The farthest I have seen him throw on tape is about ~50. He might be able to chuck it further but I don’t think I’ve seen it. He has nice velocity on his throws when he’s able to step into them and has thrown some floating beauties but its a matter of volume and consistency that got me to this grade.
Accuracy (out of 15) | Pretty self-explanatory. One of the most important traits of a good QB. Ability to place the ball where they want on the receiver at all levels of the field. Also interception %.
Grade: 10 | Shurmur has advanced leaps and bounds in his career regarding improving his completion percentage. He has gotten better every year of his career and set a career best this season with 64%. I think he can get even better. The big question will be his deep ball accuracy and how much that can improve. He had a pretty good TD to INT ratio this year as well with 3.83.
Mobility (out of 10) | Not just straight line speed, but escapability and maneuverability in the pocket.
Grade: 5 | He has good movement on rollouts, bootlegs, play-actions etc but when Shurmur tries to extend a play it isn’t exactly pretty and he doesn’t appear very athletic. If the defense surrounds him the odds are against him that he will pull a Houdini.
Mental Processing (out of 15) | Ability to read defenses, make pre-snap adjustments, and go through progressions after the ball is snapped to make decisions quickly. Peyton and Brady are examples of coaches on the field.
Grade: 11 | The ability to read a defense, adjust his protection, adjust the play before the snap, and go through his progressions are what place Shurmur above a lot of his counterparts and it’s why I believe he’ll go higher than some might expect (along with a weak QB class). He is advanced is this area and he plays really smart football.
Mechanics (out of 10) | Footwork, delivery, throwing motion, release. Impacts accuracy, arm strength, and ability to throw in a bad pocket. I’d say this is important for longevity and consistency.
Grade: 8 | Overall I think Shumur has great mechanics being the son of a head coach and former offensive coordinator certainly helped him polish a lot of things. I think he can improve how he moves and throws the ball when under pressure but otherwise everything is solid.
Leadership (out of 15) | Hard to quantify, but basically, do they make the players around them better? Leadership comes in different styles, not just rah-rah guys, but leadership by example as well. For college evaluation, what do their coaches and teammates say about them, or do they avoid mentioning leadership? What do opposing coaches say about them?
Grade: 12 | Being a son of a NFL coach also prepares you for what to say to the media during interviews and press conference. Shurmur talks like a seasoned veteran and consummate professional. Vanderbilt certainly has not been regarded as a top program in the SEC for some time but I do believe Shurmur took the ability and energy he had and not only elevated his play but helped elevate the offense he was a part of during his time. He is respected by his opponents as well for not making mistakes and for being patient and taking care of the weaknesses exposed by the defense.
Clutch (out of 15) | Another relatively subjective metric, but extremely important. Do they fold under pressure or can they rally their team to a comeback?
Grade: 9 | I have no idea if Vanderbilt had a lot of opportunities for 4th quarter comebacks during Shurmur’s tenure but I do know when he is under pressure he does a good job of hanging tight and trying to deliver a catchable football to move the chains. I know that he has 3 consecutive wins over a much more acclaimed Tennessee team and that’s HUGE for fans of Vanderbilt and a big deal in Nashville.
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
I thought Shurmur would be a really interesting QB prospect to write about because of the similarities I saw compared to Alex Smith. With Smith’s career in jeopardy and a certain level of uncertainty at the QB position going into next season it would behoove the Redskins to draft a player at the position if only to compete for the backup role and add depth. Colt McCoy is not a starter, Josh Johnson is not a starter, Mark Sanchez is not a starter or a backup, we don’t know if Shurmur is not a starter yet. Because of his similarities to Smith I think he would fit a lot of the West Coast passing concepts Gruden incorporates into his offense with exception to some of the mobile stuff which is rarely incorporated anyway as we saw this year. He’ll have to adjust to game speed of course but I think he would fare decently with good protection, a running game, and a solid TE / RB to throw to. The upside Shurmur has is intriguing in part because you can tell he’s still getting better especially with his accuracy. He deep stuff needs work so it will be interesting how much his touch, accuracy, and velocity can be improved there. It may be marginal but like Alex Smith Shurmur could potentially be a very safe and efficient starting QB on certain teams in the league including the Redskins. That’s exactly what the Redskins need until they ‘find their guy’ because Smith will not be ready to start the season and might never play again.