Cleveland took the chance all South Carolina Gamecocks fans were waiting for when they signed Connor Shaw to a undrafted free agent deal.
Some Gamecock fans may argue why Cleveland? They picked the famous “Johnny Football” already. Others may wonder what the chances are Shaw gets any game action with who is already in front of him, especially Johnny Manziel. While nobody really knows how the Browns depth chart will shape up, we can only assume.
With the moves Cleveland has made at the quarterback position in just the past season, it’s never out of the question. The depth chart took a pretty big hit with Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden heading out as well as the release of Vince Young and Alex Tanney within the past week, leaving Brian Hoyer and Tyler Thigpen. So adding two pretty stout SEC guys in that mix could make it interesting. But where does Connor fit?
As they say, numbers never lie. The numbers between Shaw and Manziel are similar but favor Manziel slightly. Let’s look at the past two seasons and compare the two newcomers. Shaw owns a 65.5% completion percentage to 69% from Manziel. Shaw only threw for 4,400 yards and 41 touchdowns, while Manziel threw for 7,800 with 63 touchdowns. Some fans may bring up that Texas A&M had a more “pass happy” offense than South Carolina, which wouldn’t be inaccurate. Manziel threw a total of 863 passes in his two seasons, Shaw threw 512 these last two seasons. The argument anybody could make between the two, especially Gamecock fans, would be Shaw only threw one interception last season and only eight the past two combined. Manziel threw a combined 22 interceptions. Passing wise, it looks like the Browns grabbed two pretty good pick ups, and comparing the two side by side it appears Shaw would be behind Manziel, but would he be behind anybody else?
Hoyer may be the guy to beat for both Shaw and Manziel. Thigpen has some NFL experience with Kansas City, Buffalo and Miami but nothing too extraordinary. According to ESPN, they have Hoyer and Tanney ahead of both Manziel and Shaw. With the two vets moved out (Weeden and Campbell) and two newcomers coming in, it does seem like it will be an open fight to who is listed where on the depth chart. Especially with the seemingly inexperienced list of quarterbacks on the roster right now, and the Browns owner stating Manziel as of right now is the back up, it could be interesting.
As any Gamecock fan knows, not many players have the heart, will and drive that Shaw has, and if there is anybody that could make an unexpected push to the top of a chart, it would be him. Don’t be surprised if Shaw ends up number three or even two on the chart. One thing is for sure, Shaw will be looking to put on a show once training camp gets under way.