Connor Shaw Raises NFL Draft Stock in Win Over Wisconsin in Capital One Bowl

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David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

When NFL teams are looking at a list of quarterbacks to draft in the 2014 NFL Draft, names like Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Alabama’s A.J.McCarron, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger seem to be the favorites. However, one quarterback that no one is talking about that should be given a chance in the NFL is South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw.

Shaw led South Carolina in a 34-24 win over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Capital One Bowl. With 312 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 47 yards rushing, Shaw was the offensive spark against one of the best defenses in the country. Wisconsin is fifth in the country in points allowed with 14.8, but couldn’t find an answer to Shaw’s efficiency.

With the 2014 NFL Draft coming up, the performance by South Carolina’s QB in the Capital One Bowl has to impress NFL scouts. If you look at his performance over the course of the year, it’s even more impressive. Shaw doesn’t throw for a ridiculous number of yards a game; he’s only thrown for just over 2,000 yards. However, he only threw for one interception all season long. That’s one interception in the SEC. You cannot ignore numbers like that.

In a draft that is as deep at the quarterback position, Shaw could go later to a team that needs a solid back-up. There he would have time to grow instead of being thrust into the starting lineup with playoff expectations. He reminds me of Alex Smith, but bigger and stronger, with the way he is efficient, accurate and can run for a first down when necessary. Shaw is going to be successful at the next level; mark my words.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google