This is Matt McGuire's NFL Draft blog, where he'll talk about the NFL Draft, anything that has to do with football and whatever else is on his mind. Send Matt an e-mail here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: email@example.com
Posted Feb. 25, 2010
There has been a lot of criticism regarding quarterback Jimmy Clausen's height. Speculation is that he may only check in at 6-1 or 6-2 at the Scouting Combine.
Anyone who thinks this is a bad thing frankly has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
Of course, some individuals prefer the bigger quarterbacks in the NFL who can see over the line of scrimmage - guys like Trent Edwards (6-4), Kyle Orton (6-4), Matt Cassel (6-4) and Jamarcus Russell (6-6).
Now are most quarterbacks in the NFL 6-4 or taller? Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that height makes the quarterback. And it doesn't mean that a quarterback who is 6-1 or 6-2 is physically incapable of playing the position.
How has Tony Romo been so successful in Dallas (during the regular season) behind one of the biggest offensive lines in the NFL at 6-2?
If you scroll down the page you will see 10 starting quarterbacks highlighted in red who are between 6-0 and 6-2, seven of whom are pretty good: Romo, Donovan McNabb, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner and David Garrard.
Two of the 10 were top-five draft picks in 2009: Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez.
How come draftniks and the "Draft-analyst-who-shall-not-be-named" from ESPN didn't criticize Matt Stafford (6-2 1/4) or Mark Sanchez (6-2 1/8) for being too short to play in the NFL?
Are the Draft-analyst-who-shall-not-be-named" from ESPN and fantasy football players across the country passing up on Rodgers, Romo and Brees because they are too short?
Should two of the top three single-season passing leaders be removed from the record books because they were 6-0 and 6-2 respectively (Brees and Warner)?
How did George Blanda, Bob Griese, Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Norm Van Brocklin, Johnny Unitas, Len Dawson, Otto Graham, Bobby Layne, Y.A. Tittle, Bob Waterfield, Sonny Jurgensen, Steve Young, Joe Montana and Fran Tarkenton get enough votes to get in the prestigious Hall of Fame despite being between 6-0 and 6-2?
How did we get to the point where Jimmy Clausen is too short to play in the NFL? Why are all of those aforementioned quarterbacks being ignored? Ten starting quarterbacks in the NFL in 2009 were between 6-0 and 6-2 - that is a whopping 31 percent of the league.
Like I said - anyone who thinks you have to be 6-4 to succeed in the NFL is a moron - period. A height of 6-2 should be considered slightly below-average, but that doesn't necessarily mean a quarterback who is 6-2 can't see over the line of scrimmage. Personally, I draw the line below 6-0 when I think a quarterback might be a little too short to play in the league. Sure, Brees and Doug Flutie have been successful, but there just aren't many quarterbacks who are shorter than 6-1 and in the NFL right now.
But the question stands - when did you have to be 6-4 to play in the league? When did this happen? I'll tell you when this happened:
This happened when: A) NFL scouts hate Jimmy Clausen's "arrogance" and spread the word to the media, B) The fans already didn't like Clausen because of the stretch limo and the fact that he plays for Notre Dame, C) The "Draft-analyst-that-shall-not-be-named" from ESPN decided to "debacle" the Clausen regime, and D) When the NFL, media, and subsequently fans/draftniks started to have idealistic standards (of course the media and draftniks pick and choose these standards since they are so subjective).
Saying a 6-2 quarterback can't succeed in the NFL is like saying a 5-11 receiver can't thrive in the NFL. Would you prefer a 6-5 quarterback to a 6-2 quarterback on paper? Of course. Would you prefer a 6-2 receiver to a 5-11 receiver on paper? Absolutely.
But does that mean the 6-2 quarterback or 5-11 receiver aren't good enough to be highly successful players in the league? Of course not. And does that mean the 6-5 quarterback is automatically better than the 6-2 quarterback, or the 6-3 receiver is automatically better than the 5-11 receiver? You know the answer.
Should you stop listening to the "experts" who think 6-2 is too small for an NFL quarterback, as they give their audience misguided information? You know the answer.