When I say the name "Josh McCown," you probably don't think "freak athlete," right?
After all, he's a lanky 37-year-old journeyman with a record of 18-39 as a starting NFL QB. Also, plays like this don't exactly scream "superb athlete":
— Ryan Fitzpatrick (@rybob19) September 7, 2014
However, looks can be deceiving. Going off pure measurables, Josh McCown is an absolute athletic freak. In fact, he might be one of the most athletic quarterbacks in NFL history. How do I know? Because McCown absolutely destroyed the 2002 NFL Combine. Check out these numbers (all data per nflcombineresults.com):
- McCown measured in at just over 6-foot-3 and weighed 223 pounds
- McCown posted a 38.5-inch Vertical Jump
- McCown jumped a 10-foot Broad Jump
- McCown recorded a 3.90 20-Yard Short Shuttle
- McCown recorded a 6.85 3-Cone Drill
- McCown ran a 4.59 40-Yard Dash
Those numbers are pretty impressive in their own right. But when you compare them to how other quarterbacks have performed at the Combine, it becomes clear that McCown is a serious outlier. Combine data goes back to 1999, so let's see how McCown stacks up.
His 20-Yard Short Shuttle is the second-best by a quarterback in Combine history, ahead of guys like Johnny Manziel and Tyrod Taylor.
His Vertical Jump is tied for the fifth-best by a quarterback in Combine history, ahead of players like Michael Vick and Marcus Mariota.
His Broad Jump is tied for the 20th-best by a quarterback in Combine history, ahead of guys like Russell Wilson and Donovan McNabb.
His 40-Yard Dash is tied for the 29th-best by a quarterback in Combine history. He's just the 10th quarterback to run a 4.59 or faster while also being at least 76 inches tall.
His 3-Cone Drill is tied for the 30th-best in Combine history, ahead of guys like Cam Newton.
McCown's SPARQ score, a number that takes into account an athlete's size and measurables, is the fifth-best in NFL history.
Josh McCown has the 5th-highest QB SPARQ of anyone since 1999.
— Zach Whitman (@zjwhitman) November 17, 2014
McCown's incredible Combine performance helped him rocket up the draft board. He was ultimately selected with the 81st overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals.
If you think he's lost all of the athleticism that helped him post those crazy numbers, you'd be wrong:
Joe Haden said the Browns have been playing basketball together after practice. Said Josh McCown threw down a 360-dunk the other day
— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) May 15, 2015
— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) March 27, 2016
Strange but true—clumsy Josh McCown really is an athletic freak.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock