In our Friday SportsCall production meeting, we went over each game we were picking for the weekend. When we came across Vanderbilt at Notre Dame, the first thing I said to the staff was this is the game when we figure out if Kyle Shurmur is an NFL quarterback.
The Vanderbilt quarterback did not disappoint.
In a losing effort, Shurmur finished with 326 yards hitting 26 of 43 passes (61 percent) with a touchdown and interception.
Shurmur impressed with some throws with impeccable ball placement and velocity control throughout the entirety of the game. Though 17 completions, his decision making was spot on with a few mistakes.
Shurmur, son of New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, may have too long of a windup to some analysts’ liking, but he finds a way to get the ball out quickly and deliver a strike. He sprays the ball all across the field having NFL-like zip on the ball with touch and control for the receiver to reel the ball in cleanly.
Shurmur had some impressive throws this past Saturday and this was one of my favorites. Rolls to opposite side and delivers a pinpoint strike to Lipscomb from an awkward angle. This QB is money in short and intermediate areas of the field. #NFLDraft #Vandy pic.twitter.com/HLHrDZrEkt— Christian Page (@_ChristianPage) September 21, 2018
He doesn’t wow with eye-popping athletic traits but has enough pocket movement and intelligence to bounce around the pocket and tucking the ball when needed. He has the ability to throw in congested situations throwing off an off-balanced base with adequate arm adjustments to deliver an accurate throw.
Poise and confidence is something that some quarterbacks have and others do not. Shurmur expressed this next-level trait by not making the moment too big for himself in South Bend.
“Perhaps the best takeaway from last week’s game was the poise he showed, particularly in clutch moments,” Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said. “There were multiple times in the game where Shurmur stood in versus pressure, got hit, and still delivered accurately and those are the kinds of messy pocket throws that scouts want to see.”
Shurmur proves to trust his arm and his receiving corps making decisions to thread the needle in tight windows. He also throws passes in which give his receivers the only shot at coming down with the ball like on the last pass of the game this past weekend. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, Kalija Lipscomb could not finish the catch to the ground.
Two throws here from Vandy QB Kyle Shurmur. His ball placement has been very consistent throughout the year. Gotta love the trust he has in his arm and the trust he has in his receivers. #NFLDraft #Vandy pic.twitter.com/i6x74W1gyo— Christian Page (@_ChristianPage) September 21, 2018
In the Notre Dame loss and in the previous two outings, Shurmur has thrived versus pressure. He has a knack for not letting pressure faze him by continuing his progression and making accurate throws though knowing he is going to get hit.
Shurmur’s biggest deficiency is his overall arm strength. He zips the ball through tight windows in the short and intermediate parts of the field but has yet to consistently deliver the ball with gusto behind it. This is where his longer delivery may catch up with him. His arm angle is awkward on deep passes as it looks as he is pulling a bow off his back when winding up to throw the football. Against Middle Tennessee and Nevada he found a way around it. Notre Dame capitalized when intercepting the senior quarterback in the end zone.
He definitely has that figured out.— Christian Page (@_ChristianPage) September 21, 2018
Arm is average. Can zip ball anywhere under 30 yards but further than that it gets a little shaky. His arm angle is a little off & his delivery is not ideal when throwing downfield. 2 quick examples here (ND pass should’ve never been thrown) pic.twitter.com/5syEsogIrL
“When I watched him live during fall camp I questioned his arm strength,” Nagy said. “But last Saturday in South Bend it looked strong enough to play at the next level.”
Shurmur gained plenty of intrigue from myself and scouts throughout the preseason grading cycle, and even in a loss at Notre Dame, many have come away impressed with the senior’s performance.