Name: Brett Hundley
Height/Weight: 6’3” / 223 lbs.
S.U. Rank: 3
Potential NFL Teams: New York (Jets), St. Louis, San Francisco, Houston
If you were to ask me to pick an underdog in this year’s NFL Draft, I would no doubt look no further than UCLA prospect Brett Hundley.
While Hundley hasn’t had many trophies or big moments in the national spotlight, he has managed to drive UCLA back to the top of the charts and rankings for the first time in a while.
USC usually gets the best of the Bruins when it comes to football but Hundley changed all that.
Coming into each game with the mindset that his team would come out victorious, either on the scoreboard or because of a moral or character victory, Hundley never once faded away from his leadership role.
Here are three reasons Hundley will be extremely successful in the NFL:
1. Mind Over Mora
Brett Hundley has had to perform at a high level under one of the most scrutinizing coaches in all of sports. Jim Mora is a head coach known for trying to completely break (mentally, at least) his players that are under his wing so that the idea of team spirit and community is enforced.
Hundley fit right in.
It seems like Hundley really had a strong sense of who he was as a football player, as a Bruin, and as a human being off the field. With not really a lot of hot seat moments or conflicts of interest during his time at UCLA, Hundley showed both vulnerability as the team’s undisputed captain and also the ability to be teachable and work through his mistakes.
And if he can learn from his mistakes under Jim Mora, he can learn under any coach or any system or playbook in the NFL.
2. Slow & Steady Wins The Race
While he didn’t put up anywhere near Heisman-worthy numbers, Hundley showed great consistency and growth form the quarterback position. In each of his three seasons in the blue-and-gold, he posted a continually higher QBR as well as TD-INT ratio.
In his junior and final year in collegiate ball, Hundley threw for 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions compared to his freshman year where the numbers were 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
What this shows us, at least from a statistical basis, is that while Hundley was more careful throwing the ball, not only was he more accurate when throwing in tight situations, but the receivers and overall offensive unit provided him the lanes he needed to get the job done.
3. Production Under Pressure
Hundley’s great 2014 stat sheet didn’t come on a bed of roses–contrary to popular belief, he had to earn it.
UCLA’s 2014 schedule including the likes of Utah, Arizona, and Oregon. While falling to both Utah and Oregon, the Bruins were able to stay in the game and hang around late thanks to heroics from Hundley & Co.
The game against Utah ended in a 30-28 thriller while the matchup against Oregon fell in the Ducks’ favor 42-30.
Against the strong Oregon defense that would later destroy Jameis Winston, a previously unbeaten quarterback for nearly two seasons, Hundley went 26/37 and threw two touchdowns against just one pick.
Oh yeah, he tossed it around for over 200 total yards (216 to be exact) and even rushed for 89 yards scoring one touchdown.
Having this sort of double threat goes hand-in-hand with the analysis of Marcus Mariota. Since more and more teams are looking for a quarterback that can run as well as throw, Hundley is going to make a great fit no matter where he ends up–even if that means being a backup for a while.
Why? Because you’ve got to start somewhere.
And starting from the bottom is something Hundley is ready to handle.
Do you want to look at more prospect profiles? Then click 2015 NFL Draft Top Prospects Rankings: Top-3 QB, RB, WR, S, CB, OLB, DE