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- Position: Quarterback (QB)
- Class: Senior
- College: Baylor
- Ht/Wt: 6'3", 230 pounds
Bryce Petty is a player I want to believe in. He has the size and tools you look for in a franchise quarterback, but a complete lack of refinement in his footwork, field reads, anticipation, and pocket presence, thanks to playing in Baylor's simplified offense. Petty has good arm strength, and developed a great feel for deep passes this season, dropping the ball into the basket 30 yards downfield regularly for touchdown passes. His accuracy is good as a whole, with the caveat that his throws aren't coming from an NFL dropback and altering the motions might change his effectiveness. Petty is an above-average runner (for a pocket quarterback) and effective with the zone read.
Petty doesn't really sense pressure coming in the pocket right now. That means he's not a guy who panics in the pocket. On the other hand, you always worry when you see the incoming defender that a strip sack is coming. He was almost always throwing to a single read or high-low option in his offense. There are also some injury concerns; Petty has had multiple concussions, and he broke a disc in his back this year, as well.
To me, Petty feels like a less freaky version of Marcus Mariota. He's a guy who puts up great stats, has a good attitude, and has a good set of athletic tools, but has to seriously adjust to the NFL offense before he's ready for the field. He requires more projecting than either Brett Hundley or Garrett Grayson do, and that adds inherent risk.
Could I see Petty developing into a successful NFL quarterback? Yes, I think that scenario exists. Can he do that by playing for the Bills? Possibly. Ultimately, I prefer the floor over the ceiling when it comes to quarterbacks, so that places Petty as my fifth-ranked quarterback in this class right now, with a third-round grade. I think he's the last quarterback in this draft with a good chance of developing into a long-term starter.