By now, just about everyone knows the poor quality of the quarterback class in the 2015 NFL Draft. Jameis Winston of Florida State and Marcus Mariota of Oregon stand alone at the top and there is a wide gap after them. After them? Yikes.
The second tier of quarterbacks features three players: Garrett Grayson of Colorado State, Brett Hundley of UCLA and Bryce Petty of Baylor. Of those three, my choice is Hundley. Although he's a mess in the pocket, Hundley throws a really nice and catchable ball and has a nice set of skills that should be able to be developed. The big issues with Hundley are his footwork, picking up pressure and appropriately reacting to that pressure. You could argue that he was gunshy at UCLA behind pretty bad offensive lines. But he's not a quarterback that should be starting as a rookie.
Of those three, Grayson is the best bet to have some success playing early. He's a traditional pocket passer who can get in good rhythm throwing the ball. But when that rhythm is broken, look out. Grayson struggles when he has to move around in the pocket and his accuracy will drop dramatically.
Petty slots in as the draft's fifth-best quarterback. He's a good athlete with a solid arm, and has zero character questions. But he's coming out of a Baylor system that has some wondering about his football aptitude. He's also had some serious injuries and will enter the NFL at 24.
Under the radar: Everyone is looking for a sleeper quartrerback prospect that could develop into something. But of any position, that is the least likely to happen at quarterback. For the purposes of this section, lets go with Connor Halliday of Washington State. He's going to be a late-round pick, or even an undrafted free agent. He's coming out of a wide open gimmicky system, but he knows it. There's something to say about a self-aware quarterback. If his physical tools can match up with his mental tools, he could be a decent NFL player.
Position grade: D
|1. Jameis Winston, 6’4, 230 pounds, QB, Florida State|
|2. Marcus Mariota, 6’4, 219 pounds, QB, Oregon|
|3. Brett Hundley, 6’3, 227 pounds, QB, UCLA|
|4. Garrett Grayson, 6’2 1/4, 215 pounds, QB, Colorado State|
|5. Bryce Petty, 6’2 3/4, 230 pounds, QB, Baylor|
|6. Sean Mannion, 6’5 1/2, 229 pounds, QB, Oregon State|
|7. Shane Carden, 6’1 7/8, 218 pounds, QB, East Carolina|
|8. Bryan Bennett, 6'3, 215 pounds, QB, Southeastern Louisiana|
|9. Connor Halliday, 6’3, 196 pounds, QB, Washington State|
|10. Blake Sims, 5'11 1/2, 218 pounds, QB, Alabama|
|11. Brandon Bridge, 6’4 3/8, 229 pounds, QB, South Alabama|
|12. Taylor Heinicke, 6'1, 211 pounds, QB, Old Dominion|
|13. Chris Bonner, 6’6 1/8, 237 pounds, QB, Colorado State Pueblo|
|14. Hutson Mason, 6’2 1/8, 207 pounds, QB, Georgia|
|15. Cody Fajardo, 6’1 5/8, 222 pounds, QB, Nevada|
|16. Anthony Boone, 6’0 1/2, 238 pounds, QB, Duke|
|17. Taylor Kelly, 6’2, 210 pounds, QB, Arizona State|
|18. Dylan Thompson, 6'2 1/8, 223 pounds, QB, South Carolina|
|19. Bo Wallace, 6’3 5/8, 211 pounds, QB, Ole Miss|