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Brett Hundley and the 2014 NFL Draft: Should He Stay or Should He Go?

Part 1 of a 4 part series of posts discussing whether Brett Hundley should go to the NFL draft after his red-shirt sophomore season (2013) at UCLA.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

After our huge win against Nebraska Brett Hundley immediately got some serious hype from NFL draft watchers in the national news media. For example Michael David Smith from NBC's Pro Football Talk declared Hundley as the second best QB - if he were to come out in this upcoming draft:

Hundley currently looks like the second-best quarterback prospect in next year's draft, behind Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. Hundley redshirted his freshman year in 2011, which means he could declare for the draft as early as the end of this college football season, or he could play two more years at UCLA after this one. (Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel is in the same situation.) It's tough to see why Hundley would return to school after this year. He looks ready for the NFL.

Okay. Keep in mind this was before the New Mexico State game during which Hundley threw two picks in the red zone and made number of bad throws, despite finishing with a respectable night statwise against one of the worst teams in FBS.

Anyway PFT wasn't the only national source gushing about Hundley after the epic win in Lincoln. Our SBN's "MockingtheDraft" guys suggested Hundley "looked like a top 10 pick" against Nebraska. Rob Rang of CBS's wrote about how Hundley "vowed" against Nebraska (while discussing aspects of game he needs to improve):

It was easy to see the traits that have scouts so intrigued. The 6-3, 227-pound quarterback is a smooth athlete with an easy throwing motion and a strong, accurate arm. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone's offense asks him to make aggressive downfield throws and his quarterback showed the courage to attempt these passes even with defenders in close proximity to his targets. Hundley completed 16 of 24 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns against just the one interception. He also rushed for 61 yards, including for a first down on a 3rd and 12 in which he showed incredible balance, elusiveness and determination to extend what turned out to be the Bruins' first touchdown-scoring drive of the game.

While Hundley's talent is obvious, so too is his inexperience. Saturday's tilt in Lincoln was just his 16th career start and his lack of polish showed with the quarterback appearing tentative when the pocket collapsed around him. Hundley was officially sacked three times but in each case the Bruins' offensive line gave him an opportunity to scan the field and he was taken down after simply holding the ball too long. Hundley does not yet show the awareness and timing in the pocket he'll need to have long-term success in the NFL.

Emphasis mine.

So what to make all of this. Well, we had a pretty interesting background discussion among SBN's frontpagers that made it obvious how we don't really have a definitive take on what Hundley should be doing right now. I will share with you all what's been going through our mind in 3 more posts in next few days. In the meantime, would love to hear what everyone is thinking at this snapshot of time on whether Hundley should stay or go.

Take note that the frontpagers are not attempting to project where Brett Hundley would go in the draft should he decide to enter.  Although we can make basic evaluations of his game, where he gets drafted is ultimately up to the scouts, not us, and it really is not a worthwhile exercise to debate where Brett Hundley would get drafted if he entered the draft this year.  Rather, we are dealing with hypotheticals of whether he should enter the draft if he is a projected top pick, what the tipping point would be, and discussing the risks and rewards of staying or entering the draft.