2015 NFL Draft: Top Quarterback Sleepers
With the NFL draft coming up next month all the focus at the quarterback position is on Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. That does not mean that they are the only good quarterbacks in the upcoming draft class though. They are just the two with the most hype behind them.
There are a lot of good quarterbacks that will be drafted this year that will break through and have solid NFL careers. There is also a couple that could end up being the next Tom Brady or Russell Wilson.
Following Mariota and Winston off the board at the quarterback position in this years draft will more than likely be Brett Hundley from UCLA. Hundley has the tools and ability to be a solid NFL quarterback as long as he can stay healthy.
During the three seasons Hundley was at UCLA he completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 9,966 yards, 75 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. He also had 479 carries for 1,747 yards running the ball, and one receiving touchdown in 40 games with the Bruins.
There is a slim chance that Hundley will be a first round pick but more than likely he will fall off the board somewhere in the second round. After Hundley is where the quarterback position gets real interesting in this years draft.
Back when Russell Wilson was drafted the “experts” said that he was too small and would be a backup if anything during his football career. Wilson has proved all those critics wrong since the first time he stepped on an NFL football field.
Former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone is currently facing the same criticism that that Wilson faced when he was entering the draft. It has been said that Boone has all the leadership ability and skill it takes but he is too small and does not have the arm strength or accuracy to be a starter in the league.
Boone played in 46 games over the course of four seasons but was only the starter for two of those seasons. During the games Boone played in he completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 5,789 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions. Boone also had 800 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground when he was forced to use his legs.
During the four seasons that Boone played for Duke, he struggled at times but still led the Blue Devils to the national spotlight with head coach David Cutcliffe in years. The Blue Devils also have one of the top wide receivers in the draft. If Boone struggles so bad than how did Jamison Crowder manage to have the career at Duke that he did? Receivers are not just good players. It takes a quarterback getting them the ball first.
It also doesn’t hurt that Boone played for Cutcliffe during his college career. Cutcliffe is the coach that the Manning brothers have used over their years during the offseason.
Bryce Petty is also another quarterback that could end up being a solid starter in the NFL one day. Petty has a huge arm and has shown tremendous leadership ability during his time at Baylor.
Petty has also shown that he is durable and take take a huge hit and keep on going. This is a guy that played in pain for most of the 2014 season after sustaining an injury during the first game of the season to lead Baylor to a 11-1 record that resulted in a trip to the Cotton Bowl.
During the four seasons that Petty was at Baylor he was only the starter for two of them. Before becoming the starter Petty appeared in parts of 12 games as a freshman and sophomore where he completed 10 of 14 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown.
In 2013, Petty won the Bears starting job and compiled a 21-4 record over the two seasons he had the job. He also completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 8,055 yards, 61 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
Petty is mostly a grip it and rip it quarterback so he rarely runs. When he did have to scramble in college he had 338 yards and 21 touchdowns. Don’t count on Petty doing much running unless he has to though.
Petty will fit perfectly on a team with a fast paced offense and a heavy passing game. Look at the scores of some of Petty’s games. Wide open is the only way he knows how to play. We will see if that hurts or helps him over his career. If anything Petty might eventually have to huddle up a couple of times in the NFL.
Shane Carden also seems like a player that will adjust well in the NFL and will be worth a mid to late round pick. Carden has a big arm and has the leadership abilities to run a high flying fast paced offense like Petty does.
Carden spent three seasons at East Carolina where he completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 11,991 yards, 86 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions. He also had 24 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in 39 games.
Along with Carden, Petty, and Hundley, these guys could also step up and take over a NFL starting job after getting into the league: