Winston and Mariota have the potential to be, at the least, good quarterbacks. But it wouldn’t be that big a surprise if no other quarterback in this draft class ever becomes a starter. What it looks like is two top signal-callers, then a bunch of guys who look to be backups at best. Granted, a couple of them could be good backups. Still, when you’re talking about a position group where a lot of the prospects could be good backups, it’s not a strong position group.
Jameis Winston:Winston is the most NFL-ready quarterback and also the guy with the biggest upside in this draft class. He has prototype pocket-passer size (6-foot-4, 231 pounds), a strong arm and experience in a pro-style attack. He has taken snaps from under center, called plays, read defenses, and called audibles. His off-field maturity is a concern, but if everything jells, he will be a productive, high-level starter for a decade
Marcus Mariota: Scheme-based quarterback who will face the same challenges that several quarterbacks before him have faced in terms of learning how to read defenses and go through progressions. The tape was less kind to Mariota than expected, but his size, athleticism and consistency of football character throughout his career are necessary traits in becoming a good-to-great quarterback. Mariota’s ability to create outside the pocket will help win games here and there and buy him time as he plies his craft.
UCLA’s Brett Hundley: Hundley toyed with the idea of turning pro after his redshirt sophomore season in 2013 but came back for his junior season in an effort to improve as a quarterback. Truthfully, he didn’t improve all that much, and the issues he had in 2013 remain. Hundley is a good athlete who runs the read-option quite well and has a nice arm. But considering his mobility, he takes way too many sacks, an offshoot of not being decisive in the pocket. He hasn’t shown he can be a pocket passer, and that should scare NFL teams. Can he become one? Certainly. He is smart and athletic, but it will take a while — it also might never happen.
Bryce Petty: NFL evaluators felt like Petty’s senior season was disappointing, but those same evaluators love his size, leadership and intangibles. He needs a year or two of practice time and camp work to learn how to get through his progressions, but has the intelligence to do that. Petty flashed plenty of arm strength at the NFL Scouting Combine and as the draft draws closer, teams might very well begin to conceptualize Petty fitting into their offense as a potential starter of the future.