What QB Can Throw The Farthest?




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If you’ve ever wondered which quarterback in American Football can throw the farthest, you’re not alone. The ability to launch the ball through the air with precision and power is a highly coveted skill in the game. In this article, we will explore the world of American Football and delve into the question of which QB holds the title for the longest throw. From NFL superstars to underdog rookies, we’ll take a closer look at these incredible athletes and their remarkable throwing abilities. So buckle up and get ready to discover the true arm strength of these gridiron heroes.

Factors Affecting Quarterback Throw Distance

When it comes to the position of a quarterback in American football, one of the key skills that sets apart the best from the rest is their ability to throw the ball long distances. A quarterback’s throw distance can be influenced by various factors, each playing a vital role in determining how far they can successfully launch the football down the field. In this article, we will explore the different factors that affect quarterback throw distance and how they impact the game.

What QB Can Throw The Farthest?

Arm Strength

Arguably the most critical factor in determining quarterback throw distance is arm strength. The ability to generate power and velocity through the throwing motion allows quarterbacks to propel the football with greater force over longer distances. Strong arm muscles and proper form are crucial in maximizing the potential distance of each throw.


In addition to arm strength, the mechanics of a quarterback’s throwing motion significantly impact their throw distance. Proper technique ensures efficient transfer of energy from the body to the arm, resulting in a more powerful throw. Elements such as footwork, body positioning, and follow-through all play important roles in maximizing throw distance.

Grip on the Football

Having a secure grip on the football is essential for a quarterback to maintain control and accuracy during a throw. The way a quarterback positions and holds the football can affect the trajectory and distance of the pass. Finding the right grip, whether it be a three-finger or four-finger grip, can provide the necessary stability and control needed for longer throws.

Finger Strength

While often overlooked, finger strength is a crucial aspect of a quarterback’s ability to throw the ball far. Strong fingers can create a tighter spiral and better control over the trajectory of the pass. Grip strength exercises, such as squeezing stress balls or using resistance bands, can help improve a quarterback’s finger strength and enhance their throw distance.

Size and Weight of the Quarterback

The size and weight of a quarterback can have a direct impact on their throw distance. A larger and stronger physique allows for more power to be generated in the throwing motion. However, it is important to note that smaller quarterbacks with exceptional arm strength and throwing mechanics can still achieve impressive throw distances.


Proper footwork is crucial for a quarterback to generate power and transfer it through the throwing motion effectively. The positioning and movement of the feet play a significant role in the overall throwing mechanics. By utilizing proper footwork techniques, quarterbacks can generate more force and increase their throw distance.

Release Point

The release point refers to the moment when the quarterback releases the football during a throw. The height and angle of the release point can impact the distance and trajectory of the pass. A higher release point can lead to longer throws, as it allows for a longer follow-through and a higher launch angle.

Wind Conditions

Environmental factors, particularly wind conditions, can greatly affect quarterback throw distance. Strong headwinds can impede the forward progress of the football, causing it to fall short of its intended target. Conversely, tailwinds can assist the quarterback by carrying the ball farther downfield. Being able to adjust throwing techniques to compensate for varying wind conditions is crucial for consistent and accurate long throws.

Type of Pass

The type of pass being thrown can also impact the quarterback’s throw distance. Different routes and play designs require varying degrees of distance, timing, and accuracy. Deep passes, such as “go” routes or “fly” routes, typically require quarterbacks to throw the ball far downfield, while shorter passes, like slant routes or screen passes, may not require as much distance.

Condition of the Football

The condition of the football can affect a quarterback’s ability to throw the ball long distances. A properly inflated and well-maintained football provides a better grip and allows for more control during the throw. Conversely, a deflated or slippery football can hinder the quarterback’s ability to generate power and accuracy, resulting in reduced throw distance.

Quarterbacks Known for Their Long Throws

Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been notable quarterbacks renowned for their ability to throw the ball impressive distances. These quarterbacks have consistently showcased their arm strength and achieved remarkable throw distances, making them stand out among their peers. Let’s take a look at some of these quarterbacks who have become legends due to their long throws.

Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, has quickly made a name for himself in the NFL with his exceptional arm strength. He possesses the ability to launch the football with incredible velocity and accuracy, allowing him to complete long throws with relative ease. Mahomes’ arm strength has been showcased in numerous games, making him one of the most exciting quarterbacks to watch in the league.

Josh Allen

Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback, is another player known for his remarkable throw distance. Standing at 6’5″ with an impressive physique, Allen possesses the arm strength to make deep throws look effortless. His ability to launch the ball downfield with incredible power and precision has made him a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.

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Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford, formerly with the Detroit Lions and now playing for the Los Angeles Rams, has long been recognized for his ability to make long throws. With a strong and accurate arm, Stafford has consistently impressed fans and analysts alike with his ability to complete deep passes. His arm strength and throwing mechanics have made him one of the league’s top quarterbacks in terms of long throws.

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, is renowned for his ability to throw the ball with remarkable precision and distance. Known for his ability to make seemingly impossible throws, Rodgers has consistently demonstrated his arm strength by launching the football deep downfield, often resulting in touchdowns. His exceptional throwing ability has earned him a place among the league’s elite quarterbacks.

Brett Favre

Brett Favre, a legendary quarterback who played for the Green Bay Packers, is widely regarded as one of the greatest deep passers in NFL history. Favre’s strong arm and fearless mentality allowed him to make long and accurate throws, often resulting in game-changing plays. His ability to launch the ball downfield with great velocity and tight spirals made him a fan favorite and a true master of the long throw.

John Elway

John Elway, a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Denver Broncos, was known for having one of the strongest arms in NFL history. Elway’s ability to throw the ball with incredible power and distance often left both fans and opponents in awe. His long throws were a signature part of his game, and he is still remembered as one of the best deep passers to ever play the game.

Dan Marino

Dan Marino, a legendary quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, was renowned for his ability to make long, accurate throws. His quick release and impressive arm strength allowed him to complete deep passes with ease. Marino’s ability to throw the ball with precision and distance set him apart from his peers and solidified his place as one of the all-time greats.

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco, a former quarterback who played for the Baltimore Ravens, was known for his ability to throw the ball deep downfield. With a strong arm and excellent touch, Flacco consistently showcased his deep-passing ability throughout his career. His long throws played a significant role in the success of the Ravens’ offense during his time with the team.

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, is known for his ability to make accurate and powerful long throws. Despite being of relatively smaller stature for a quarterback, Wilson compensates with exceptional arm strength and precision. His ability to launch the ball downfield with great velocity has made him a threat to opposing defenses and a key component of the Seahawks’ offense.

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler, a former quarterback who played for teams like the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears, was known for his ability to make long throws. Cutler possessed a strong arm that allowed him to throw the ball deep downfield with impressive distance and accuracy. His throws often left defenders scrambling to keep up, and he proved to be a formidable opponent for any defense.

Measuring Quarterback Throw Distance

Measuring a quarterback’s throw distance accurately is important for various reasons, including evaluating their performance and assessing their potential. There are several methods used to measure how far a quarterback can throw the football, each offering unique insights into the player’s abilities. Let’s explore the different ways quarterback throw distances are measured.

Combine and Pro Day Measurements

At events like the NFL Scouting Combine and individual pro days, quarterbacks’ throw distances are often measured. During these events, quarterbacks showcase their skills in front of scouts and coaches, and one particular measurement that garners attention is their maximum throw distance. This measurement involves quarterbacks throwing the football as far as they can, allowing scouts to evaluate their arm strength, mechanics, and overall throwing abilities.

Game Situations

Another way to measure a quarterback’s throw distance is by observing them in actual game situations. Throughout the season, quarterbacks are tasked with making various throws, both short and long, in different game scenarios. By analyzing the distance of completed passes during games, analysts can gauge a quarterback’s typical throw distance and evaluate their overall performance.

What QB Can Throw The Farthest?

Technology-Based Measurements

Advancements in technology have provided new methods to measure quarterback throw distance accurately. Various tracking systems, such as GPS and radar-based technologies, can capture data in real-time, providing detailed information on throw distance, velocity, and trajectory. These technologies have become instrumental in player development, as they offer precise measurements and insights into a quarterback’s performance.

It is important to note that while measuring throw distance is valuable for evaluating a quarterback’s abilities, it should not be the sole determining factor in assessing their overall skill set. Other qualities, such as accuracy, decision-making, and leadership, are also essential in evaluating a quarterback’s prowess on the field.

The NFL Quarterback with the Longest Recorded Throw

In the history of the NFL, there have been some truly remarkable throws that still leave fans in awe. Among these throws, one stands out as the record holder for the longest recorded throw by an NFL quarterback. Let’s delve into the details of this incredible feat.

The Record Holder: Patrick Mahomes

The current record holder for the longest recorded throw in NFL history is none other than Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs’ star quarterback. Known for his incredible arm strength and ability to make jaw-dropping throws, Mahomes etched his name into the record books on November 1, 2020.

The Throw: November 1, 2020

During a game against the New York Jets, Patrick Mahomes unleashed a truly massive throw that stunned both fans and players alike. With the pocket collapsing around him, Mahomes scrambled backwards, ultimately releasing the ball from his own 39-yard line. The pass traveled an astounding 83.7 yards in the air, landing in the hands of his teammate for an 88-yard touchdown.

Stats and Analysis

The record-breaking throw highlighted Patrick Mahomes’ exceptional arm strength and deep-passing ability. The pass not only showcased his remarkable distance, but also his accuracy and timing. It was a testament to his arm talent and ability to take advantage of every opportunity presented to him. This throw solidified Mahomes’ reputation as one of the league’s premier quarterbacks with an unrivaled ability to make plays downfield.

How Arm Strength Helps in American Football

Arm strength is a crucial attribute for a quarterback in American football, as it allows them to make a variety of throws in different game situations. Let’s explore how arm strength comes into play and how it can impact a quarterback’s performance on the field.

Deep Passes

One of the most significant ways arm strength comes into play is when quarterbacks attempt deep passes. Deep passes, often referred to as “bombs” or “long balls,” are throws that cover extensive distances through the air. These throws require quarterbacks to generate significant power in order to launch the ball downfield and make a completion. Arm strength allows quarterbacks to deliver deep passes with sufficient velocity, enabling the ball to reach its target before defenders can react.

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Throwing into Tight Windows

In American football, quarterbacks often have to make throws into tight windows, where the throwing lane is narrow and defenders are in close proximity to the intended receiver. Arm strength is critical in these situations as it allows the quarterback to fit the ball into tight spaces, where only the intended receiver can reach it. A powerful throw increases the speed at which the ball travels, reducing the time defenders have to react and disrupt the pass.

Hail Mary Throws

The Hail Mary pass is a desperation play often employed as a last-ditch effort to score at the end of a game. These throws are typically launched from deep within a team’s own territory and aim to reach the end zone, where a group of receivers awaits in the hopes of making a miraculous catch. Arm strength is crucial in these situations as the quarterback needs to launch the ball high, far, and accurately enough to give their receivers a chance to make a play among a crowd of defenders.

Overcoming Defensive Pressure

In American football, quarterbacks face consistent pressure from opposing defenses, with pass rushers attempting to disrupt their throws and force turnovers. Arm strength plays a vital role in enabling quarterbacks to make successful throws even when under duress. Being able to generate power quickly allows quarterbacks to get the ball out of their hands before the pass rush can reach them, increasing the chances of completing a pass and avoiding a sack.

In summary, arm strength is an indispensable attribute for a quarterback in American football. It allows them to make deep passes, throw into tight windows, execute Hail Mary throws, and overcome defensive pressure. Quarterbacks with exceptional arm strength have the ability to execute a wide range of throws, opening up opportunities for their teams and making them a constant threat on the field.

Techniques to Improve Quarterback Throw Distance

While arm strength is partly innate, there are various techniques and exercises that quarterbacks can utilize to improve their throw distance. By focusing on specific areas such as strength, stability, mechanics, and flexibility, quarterbacks can enhance their throwing abilities and increase their overall throw distance. Let’s explore some techniques and exercises that can help improve quarterback throw distance.

Strength Training

Strength training plays a vital role in developing the muscles required for powerful throws. Exercises like bench presses, overhead presses, and weightlifting movements can help strengthen the muscles used in the throwing motion, including the shoulders, chest, and triceps. By incorporating regular strength training exercises into their routine, quarterbacks can improve their overall arm strength and increase their throw distance.

Core Stability Exercises

A strong and stable core is essential for generating power and transferring it efficiently through the throwing motion. Core stability exercises, such as planks, Russian twists, and medicine ball throws, can help quarterbacks develop the necessary core strength and stability required for long throws. By focusing on strengthening the abdominal muscles, lower back, and obliques, quarterbacks can improve their overall throwing mechanics and maximize their throw distance.

Proper Mechanics and Technique

Having proper throwing mechanics and technique is crucial for optimizing throw distance. Working with a quarterback coach or trainer can help quarterbacks refine their throwing motion and ensure they are utilizing their body effectively to generate power. By focusing on elements such as footwork, body positioning, and arm angles, quarterbacks can improve their efficiency and maximize their throw distance.

What QB Can Throw The Farthest?

Grip Strengthening Exercises

A secure grip is essential for maintaining control over the football during a throw. Grip strengthening exercises, such as using grip strengtheners, squeezing tennis balls, or performing wrist curls, can help quarterbacks develop the hand and finger strength necessary for a firm and stable grip on the football. A stronger grip can result in a tighter spiral and better control over the trajectory of the pass, ultimately improving throw distance.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility plays a crucial role in achieving optimal throwing mechanics and maximizing throw distance. Incorporating regular stretching and flexibility exercises into their routine can help quarterbacks improve their range of motion, allowing for a more fluid and powerful throwing motion. Key areas to focus on include the shoulders, hips, and lower body, as improved flexibility in these areas can contribute to improved throwing performance.

Footwork Drills

Footwork is a fundamental aspect of the throwing motion and plays a significant role in generating power. Footwork drills that emphasize proper weight transfer, agility, and balance can help quarterbacks develop the necessary footwork skills to optimize their throw distance. By practicing drills such as ladder drills, cone drills, and drop-back exercises, quarterbacks can enhance their footwork and maximize their throwing potential.

Weighted Ball Training

Weighted ball training involves throwing heavier balls during practice to strengthen the arm muscles used in the throwing motion. By gradually increasing the weight of the balls used during training, quarterbacks can build up their arm strength and develop the necessary power to throw the standard football farther. Weighted ball training should be done under the guidance of a qualified coach or trainer to ensure proper technique and to minimize the risk of injury.

Mental Conditioning

In addition to physical training, mental conditioning is essential for maximizing throw distance. Quarterbacks must develop mental resilience, focus, and confidence to perform at their best. Visualization techniques, mindfulness exercises, and mental toughness training can help quarterbacks overcome mental obstacles, reduce stress, and maintain focus during high-pressure situations. A confident and mentally prepared quarterback can better harness their physical abilities, resulting in improved throw distance.

By incorporating these techniques and exercises into their training regimen, quarterbacks can enhance their throwing abilities and improve their overall throw distance. It is important to note that consistency, proper form, and progressive overload are key factors in achieving long-term improvements. Working with qualified coaches and trainers can provide quarterbacks with the guidance and specialized training required to reach their maximum throw distance potential.

The Role of Wide Receivers in Long Throws

While quarterbacks are often credited for their long throws, it is important to acknowledge the crucial role that wide receivers play in the success of these passes. Wide receivers, with their speed, agility, jumping ability, and catching skills, are instrumental in completing long throws and turning them into successful plays. Let’s explore the different aspects of a wide receiver’s role in long throws.

Route Running

A wide receiver’s ability to run precise routes is fundamental in completing long throws. When the quarterback launches the football downfield, the wide receiver must be in the right place at the right time to make the catch. By running disciplined routes and maintaining proper timing, wide receivers create separation from defenders and provide the quarterback with a clear target for the long throw.

Speed and Agility

Wide receivers with exceptional speed and agility can create explosive plays on long throws. Their ability to quickly accelerate and change direction allows them to gain separation from defenders and create deep passing opportunities. Speed and agility enable wide receivers to get behind the defense, making them prime targets for the quarterback’s long throws.

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Jumping Ability and Catching Skills

Long throws often require wide receivers to make acrobatic catches while in tight coverage or contested situations. The combination of jumping ability and catching skills is vital for wide receivers to come down with the football in these scenarios. By using their leaping ability and precise hand-eye coordination, wide receivers can elevate above defenders and secure the catch, completing the long throw successfully.

Communication with the Quarterback

Effective communication between wide receivers and quarterbacks is crucial for successful long throws. Pre-snap adjustments, hand signals, and non-verbal cues are used to convey information about route adjustments, timing, and adjustments based on defensive coverage. Wide receivers must be on the same page as the quarterback to ensure the timing and distance of the throws are accurate, maximizing the chances of completion.

Blocking for the Quarterback

Wide receivers also play a role in protecting the quarterback during long throws. After they have completed their routes, wide receivers often need to transition into blocking positions to prevent pass rushers from reaching the quarterback. By blocking defenders and providing the quarterback with adequate time in the pocket, wide receivers contribute to the success of long throws by allowing the quarterback to set up and make accurate passes downfield.

In conclusion, the role of wide receivers in long throws is pivotal. Their route running, speed, agility, jumping ability, catching skills, and communication with the quarterback all contribute to the successful completion of long throws. Wide receivers are not simply passive recipients of the quarterback’s throws; they actively participate in the execution of long passing plays, making them indispensable components of an effective offense.

Comparison with Other Positions in American Football

While quarterbacks are widely recognized for their ability to make long throws, it is worth exploring how this skill compares with other positions in American football. Several positions require different skill sets and have their own unique roles and responsibilities on the field. Let’s examine how long throws are relevant to various positions in American football.


Linebackers are primarily defensive players, tasked with making tackles, intercepting passes, and disrupting the opposing team’s offense. While linebackers are not typically responsible for making long throws themselves, they must possess the ability to react quickly and anticipate the quarterback’s throws. Understanding passing concepts, reading the quarterback’s body language, and reacting to long throws are vital skills for linebackers to effectively defend against deep passing plays.

Wide Receivers

Wide receivers, as discussed earlier, are often the recipients of long throws. Their speed, agility, jumping ability, and catching skills are essential for completing these deep passing plays. Wide receivers are expected to run precise routes, gain separation from defenders, and make acrobatic catches when targeted with long throws. Their ability to successfully complete these plays greatly impacts the overall success of the offense.

Defensive Backs

Defensive backs, including cornerbacks and safeties, are responsible for defending against long throws. Their role is to prevent wide receivers from making catches by covering them tightly, reading the quarterback’s intentions, and positioning themselves effectively. Defensive backs must have the speed, agility, and anticipation skills necessary to react quickly to long throws, contest passes, and potentially intercept the football.

Running Backs

Running backs, primarily known for their rushing abilities, can also contribute to long throws. In certain offensive schemes, running backs are utilized as receiving options out of the backfield or on designed passing routes. By utilizing their speed, agility, and catching skills, running backs can become viable targets for long throws, providing additional options for the quarterback.


Kickers, while not directly involved in the passing game, play a crucial role in the success of long throws. Field goal kickers and punters have the leg strength to kick long distances, which can significantly impact field position and scoring opportunities. By making accurate and powerful kicks, kickers can contribute to the overall success of the offense and team.

In American football, the ability to make long throws is primarily associated with quarterbacks and wide receivers. While other positions may not directly execute or receive long throws, their skills and abilities are integral to the success of these plays. Each position brings its own unique contributions, making American football a truly team-centric sport.

The Longest Quarterback Throw in NFL History

Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been remarkable throws that have etched themselves into the memories of fans and players alike. One of these iconic moments occurred on November 21, 1998 when Vinny Testaverde, the quarterback for the New York Jets, completed the longest quarterback throw in NFL history. Let’s delve into the details of this historic moment.

The Throw: Vinny Testaverde

In a game against the Seattle Seahawks, Vinny Testaverde made a throw that defied expectations and left spectators in awe. With a strong arm and an eye for the end zone, Testaverde launched a pass that traveled an exceptional distance before landing in the hands of his wide receiver.

The Game: November 21, 1998

Vinny Testaverde’s record-breaking throw occurred during a regular-season game between the New York Jets and the Seattle Seahawks. As the game unfolded, an opportunity presented itself, and Testaverde seized the moment, fully aware of the significance of the throw he was about to make.

Stats and Analysis

The throw made by Vinny Testaverde on November 21, 1998, covered an outstanding distance and showcased his arm strength and accuracy. The pass traveled a remarkable 80 yards in the air, making it the longest recorded throw in NFL history. The throw represented not only Testaverde’s exceptional physical abilities but also his ability to read the defense, make the correct decisions, and deliver the football accurately.

Overall, Vinny Testaverde’s record-breaking throw remains etched in NFL history, highlighting his exceptional arm strength and accuracy. The achievement serves as a testament to the skill and talent possessed by quarterbacks throughout the league and continues to be a moment of awe for fans and players alike.


Quarterback throw distance is a critical aspect of American football, with arm strength, mechanics, grip, finger strength, size and weight, footwork, release point, wind conditions, the type of pass, and the condition of the football all playing a role in determining how far a quarterback can throw. The ability to make long throws has become a defining characteristic of some of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, including Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, and many more.

Measuring quarterback throw distance can be done through combine and pro day measurements, game situations, and technology-based methods. The longest recorded quarterback throw in NFL history was made by Patrick Mahomes on November 1, 2020, capturing the attention and admiration of fans worldwide.

Arm strength greatly contributes to the success of a quarterback in American football. It enables deep passes, throws into tight windows, Hail Mary throws, and helps quarterbacks overcome defensive pressure. To improve throw distance, quarterbacks can engage in various techniques and exercises, including strength training, core stability exercises, proper mechanics and technique, grip strengthening exercises, flexibility training, footwork drills, weighted ball training, and mental conditioning.

Wide receivers also play a vital role in long throws, utilizing their route running, speed, agility, jumping ability, catching skills, and communication with the quarterback to complete successful plays. Additionally, it is important to recognize the distinct roles and contributions of other positions in American football, such as linebackers, defensive backs, running backs, and kickers.

In summary, the ability to make long throws is a combination of physical prowess, mental acuity, and teamwork. Quarterbacks who possess the necessary arm strength, mechanics, and support from their wide receivers can leave a lasting impact on the game through their long throws. As the sport of American football evolves, the importance of accurate and powerful long throws will continue to shape the success of teams and captivate fans around the world.

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