Bryce Petty   QB   Baylor

TALENT BOARD ROUND 4

STRENGTHS
Bryce is a throwing machine in a quarterback’s body. He has the size and athleticism along with the arm strength to make all the throws needed at the next level and to play his position at a very high level. He has a quick release and, along with his arm strength and accuracy, can fit a ball into very tight quarters when he is in the red zone. Give Bryce a clean pocket to work from and he can rip a defense apart. He shows on film the athleticism to move in the pocket, reset and make the accurate throw as well as the ability to take off out of the pocket, run and make a first down. Bryce has good potential to be a starting quarterback for the team that selects him given the time, excellent coaching and the right offensive system.

CONCERNS
Bryce is in an offense that does not require him to read defenses or audible. He can stay in the pocket and go through his progressions and make a play, but he needs a clean pocket or he struggles. He struggles to make accurate throws against blitzing linebackers and defensive backs. If a defensive back “times” his blitz coming from the backfield, Bryce really looks to have a difficult time making adjustments. He does a good job mentally dealing with line stunts from a front four, but anything coming into his vision off the line at the snap of the ball gives him big problems.

BOTTOM LINE
Bryce has good overall talent to play his position at a high level, but mentally he is far behind and reminds me a lot of Kansas City Chiefs QB, Alex Smith, when he first came out and was drafted by the 49ers. Bryce has trouble adjusting mentally and understanding what to do when a player is flashing into his vision on the snap of the ball. Think of Troy Polamalu blitzing from deep in the defensive backfield, or a slot cover linebacker or safety blitzing when lined up 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. When this happens, Bryce will change his release point and lose accuracy or just take a sack or throw an interception. This is a big problem when he is in the opponent’s red zone or when his team is in their red zone. If Bryce is comfortable in the pocket and throws on rhythm, he has excellent potential, but asking him to make plays out of the structure of the play that has been called is asking too much of him at this point. That means everyone has to be perfect and the play called has to work exactly as it looked in practice or Bryce will struggle to have a successful outcome. I know we’ve all heard this term before, and I think it fits this situation. For the next level, Bryce, in my opinion, is a systems quarterback. That’s not a bad thing, but it must be noted. He should play well in a vertical play action style passing game with the offensive linemen lining up in tight spits. Think of the University of Stanford’s offense. He plays in a spread offense right now and in shotgun situations, but for him at the next level, he will need a strong running game and a lot of play action to hold the front seven and make it easier for him to make plays. In a play action offense on the snap of the ball, Bryce will have his back turned to hand the ball off and he will not see the blitz coming. And if Bryce doesn’t see the blitz coming (from off the line of scrimmage), he should be able to perform at a high level. Bryce can make it in the NFL with excellent coaching and in the right system just like Alex Smith has been able to do, but asking him to go on the field too quickly in the wrong offensive system will be a monumental task at this point of his career.

Drew Boylhart
JAN/2015