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2015 NFL Draft Profile: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

By Alan Schechter
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Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback

Bryce Petty

(14) passes against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Bears 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Time to take another look at a draft prospect that might interest the New York Jets.

We know the Jets need a quarterback. There is a lot of talk about the big two, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. But the facts is, neither of these two might be available when the Jets turn comes up at number six. You have also heard me talk ad nauseam about how the Jets should stay away from both of those players. Unless you are convinced that a quarterback can start immediately, he doesn’t belong in the top ten. Neither of them fit the bill.

So that brings us to the middle rounds. We have already looked at some of the prospects that should be available in the middle rounds, like Brett Hundley. Tonight we are going to take a look at the young man out of Baylor University, Bryce Petty. Would he be a worthy choice for the Jets?

We start as we always do, with the college stats:

Next: The Stats

Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad quarterback Bryce Petty of Baylor (14) rolls out to pass against the South squad during the fourth quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The North squad defeated the South squad 34-13. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Passing

From this stat background, you see that Bryce Petty is an efficient quarterback.  He can get it in the end zone, with 61 touchdowns over his last two years at Baylor.  Petty’s interceptions did go up from three to seven from his junior to senior year, but his completion percentage also rose.

Although it was noted that Petty had some trouble adjusting to Pro-Style offensive play at the Senior Bowl practices, Petty put in a decent showing at the game, going 9-13 for 123 yards, but an early interception against no touchdowns.

It’s not a great day, but Petty has something there.

Next: Profile

Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad quarterback Bryce Petty of Baylor (14) is flushed out of the pocket by the South squad in the first quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Petty is a good size for an NFL quarterback, standing at 6’3″, and weighing in at 230 pounds. Here are his pros and cons from his NFL draft profile:

STRENGTHS Possesses NFL size. Not a burner, but has enough functional movement outside of the pocket. Scouts label him ultra-competitive, tough and smart. Strong leader. Engineered 21-point fourth-quarter comeback win over TCU in 2014. Played through a back injury for most of his senior season. Doesn’t have a cannon, but arm strength is NFL-starter quality. Deep-ball accuracy improved from 2013 to 2014. Understands when to throw the fastball and when to use touch. Gets feet set with good balance on delivery. Keeps ball at proper height on setup and has quick release. Rarely underthrows deep passes, preferring to give only his wide receiver a chance to catch the ball.

WEAKNESSES Scouts concerned he could be a product of Baylor’s one-read system. Has tendency to spray the ball against zone coverage on intermediate routes. Can extend plays but won’t make many plays downfield once he extends. Mistakes happen when forced to come off of first read. Struggles when defenders are near his feet. Yards per attempt declined in 2014 and screens were a much higher percentage of his passes. Struggles to pull himself from the doldrums when having a poor game. Nose of the ball dives when he doesn’t drive throws with his lower body. Must learn to read defenses and get through his progressions when he joins the NFL.

Take a look at some highlights and I will comment on the final page:

Next: Analysis

Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty (14) passes against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Bears 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The stats bear out what you see on the tape. Bryce Petty has a big arm. He can get the ball down the field. Petty can make all of the throws. Each throw that Petty makes is strong. I also, at least on the tape, didn’t see the problems that the draft profile sees with his footwork. I think Petty’s footwork is actually pretty good, and I like the fact that he can make a play with his feet when he has to. He doesn’t do it a lot, but Petty can use his legs when it is most needed.

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There are two major issues I see with Petty, and the first is ball placement. If you look at his throws, they aren’t perfect. Some are in the perfect spot, some are behind, some are a little bit short…etc. Petty can get away with that in school, but not with the corners and safeties in the NFL.

The other is the offensive system. The profile talks about Baylor’s “one-read” system, and you don’t have to be familiar with it to see it on tape. Petty gets the snap, and the ball is gone. Every play. Part of it is a great release, but part of it is that he is only making one read. To be successful at the next level, Petty will have to learn to go through his reads, and he had some difficulty with that at the Senior Bowl.

Petty’s Draft Scout profile projects him as a 3rd-4th round pick. With his concerns, Petty will have to make a big showing at the Combine.

At the moment, I would say that as a three it would be a little high, but Petty might be worth the pick as a fourth rounder.

Next: Practice Squad Players Ready to Contribute

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