2015 NFL Draft Preview: QB Brett Hundley
The Sports Quotient’s annual Draft Preview series returns! Over the course of the 10 weeks leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, we will take a look at the top NFL prospects at each position. This ninth week, the focus is on quarterbacks. Today's QB prospect is Brett Hundley out of UCLA.
In his three seasons as a starter, Brett Hundley was the definition of a dual-threat QB. In each season, he had at least 20 passing TDs and 9 rushing TDs, and his interception totals also went down each year. In 2014, he was named to the All Pac-12 Second-Team as a redshirt junior. Each season, he has led his team to at least nine wins, and finished his career as the all-time leader in UCLA history with 11,677 all-purpose yards and 75 TDs.
Hundley has the frame to compete at a pro level; at 6'3" and 226 pounds, his durability isn't a concern. In addition, the most appealing part of his game is his ability to make plays as a runner. His shiftiness gives him the capability to avoid defenders and gain positive yardage on broken plays. This makes him especially dangerous in red-zone situations, where he has consistently made plays throughout his career. However, Hundley has talent beyond scrambling; he has been able to make any of the throws required of him during his college career.
Although Hundley had success within his system at UCLA, it remains to be seen whether he can excel in a pro-style offense. The Bruins operated using mainly a shotgun-style system, and Hundley's mechanics under center are questionable. Accuracy is also as a concern, and in general, he is a raw prospect who may not be able to handle the faster gameplay at the NFL level; in three years, he took 125 sacks. In addition, Hundley has a tendency to scramble too early in the play, not making the proper reads through his progressions on throws. Although this is a tendency that can be corrected, it remains to be seen whether he will improve enough to make an impact in the pros.
Grades for Hundley vary; objectively, he may be more of a mid or late-rounder, but given the premium that teams place on quarterbacks, he may go higher. Even then, Hundley's placement is somewhat up for debate. Although scouts agree he is probably the third best QB in the draft, opinions vary on where he will fall, and different experts place him anywhere from the third to fifth round. If I had to guess, I would say he goes on the higher end of that range, and even the second round wouldn't be surprising.
Hundley's skills will take a couple of years to catch up to his abilities. Therefore, the best place for him to land would probably be a team where he can learn behind a veteran. The Cardinals or Chargers, who will be starting the aging Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer, come to mind. However, Hundley's role in the league may be as a long-term backup and wildcat package QB. In that case, he could find a place on any team with a good coaching staff, and given that he has drawn comparisons to a young Donovan McNabb, one could imagine Andy Reid finding use for him as a change of pace QB.