2015 NFL Draft Preview: Quarterbacks
By: Justin Partlow
The offseason is one of the most critical times of the year especially for NFL scouting departments as they line up the names to watch for the upcoming season. With another very good QB class at the top, look for the 2015 class to generate some early buzz and have it sustain throughout the year. The questions will arise as always with each prospect, but the 2015 class will have a solid overall group even if it’s not as deep as the 2014 class. Below I’ll take a look at three guys to watch the upcoming year at the QB position regardless of them being a senior or not.
QB Marcus Mariota Oregon
Marcus Mariota was thought to be one of the first picks in the 2014 class if he were to declare, but over time it seemed as if he wanted to return. Once it officially happened, Mariota has his sight set on becoming the top pick in the 2015 draft. Mariota is everything you want in more of the “new age” QB’s that are in the NFL. Mariota has a strong arm, and has pretty good accuracy. Mariota is extremely mobile, but uses his feet only to help his cause instead of just running to run. As my good friend and mentor Ben Allbright has brought up though with Mariota, he doesn’t make many of those tough throws you want to see on film, which does cause some pause and concern. Mariota is a top end talent, the question comes down to how much does that system help hide his flaws and what he does? 2014 will be a big college year for Mariota, and if he passes it then he could very well find himself entrenched into the #1 pick slot.
QB Brett Hundley UCLA
Another guy who at one time was considered to leave for the NFL Draft, Brett Hundley is a gifted athlete who is very raw still at the QB position. Similar to Mariota, Hundley is someone who has the arm strength you want and the athleticism needed to be one of the new age QB’s, but his rawness shows up on film time and time again. Many times on film it seemed as if Hundley would look only at the first or second read then run. While he can get away with that in college because of his gifted ability, teams will target him in NFL and make sure that he has to throw the ball and not use his legs. Hundley is another guy to watch because you want to see him make that next leap this year, but if he doesn’t then he could become one of the more puzzling draft prospects with how raw he still would be
QB Bryce Petty Baylor
Finishing off the guys to watch is someone I really enjoying watching in Bryce Petty. Petty took over this year after Baylor had a great string of years from RG3, then Nick Florence. Petty is another one of the guys who really breaks the mold of what was expected out of an Art Briles QB. Petty isn’t a great athlete, but he can still get yards and make plays with his feet. Petty has an above average arm, but doesn’t always have the best speed behind his passes from what I’ve seen. Petty has the chance to become a starting QB in the NFL, but with the Art Briles offense there will be concerns about how he can do after teams saw the struggles of RG3 in his 2nd year. Petty could be that guy that has the biggest rise of all QB’s in 2014, it’ll mightily depend on his ability to take that leap and limit the reservations that teams would have on him.