The Top 2015 NFL Draft Quarterbacks
After leading the Oregon Ducks to the Pac-12 conference title and a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff, Marcus Mariota now joins Jameis Winston as the two highest-rated quarterback prospects in this year’s draft.
Mariota, who claimed this past season’s Heisman Trophy as college football’s most outstanding player, was a force during the 2014 college football season, completing 304 passes for 4454 yards and an eye-popping 42 TDs.
The 21 year-old native of Honolulu, Hawaii powered the Ducks to a 13-1 SU record before falling to Ohio State in the CFP National Championship Game, dropping a 42-20 decision to the Buckeyes despite being pegged as six-point favorites in college football betting at sportsbooks available through bettingsports.com.
While Mariota oozes athleticism and a high football IQ, concerns persist about the learning curve he may face when he reaches the NFL. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently own the top pick in this year’s NFL Draft, but recent media buzz suggests the Tennessee Titans, owners of the No. 2 pick, are eager to make Mariota their starter in 2015.
After taking home the Heisman in 2013, Jameis Winston led the Florida State Seminoles to a perfect 13-0 record in 2014 before seeing their season end with a humiliating 59-20 defeat at the hands of Mariota and the Ducks at the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Plagued by off-field distractions including accusations of petty theft and sexual assault, Winston fell short last season of the statistical numbers he posted in 2013, while leading the Noles to a national championship.
But with 3907 passing yards and 25 TDs, combined with a number of thrilling second-half comeback performances, Winston looks to be made of the stuff that NFL coaches covet in a starting pivot.
It would surprise no one if the 21 year-old sophomore landed in nearby Tampa Bay after his two standout seasons in Tallahassee, but much will depend on the impression that Winston made at the recent NFL combine and whether the Bucs think they can fast track their way back to respectability by moving the No. 1 pick.
While Mariota and Winston are clearly the top pivots in this year’s draft class, a number of other quarterbacks have declared their eligibility and could surprise by an early selection.
Brett Hundley capped an impressive and consistent college football career in 2014, leading the UCLA Bruins to a solid 10-3 record, including a 40-35 upset victory over the Kansas State Wildcats in the Alamo Bowl, a game in which they were pegged as 1.5-point underdogs in college football betting at sportsbooks available through bettingsports.com.
While Hundley’s 3155 total passing yards and 22 TDs fall short of the 3745 yards and 29 TDs he racked up in his rookie campaign in 2012, the 6′ 3″, 225 lb. native of Chandler, Arizona has consistently shown improved decision making and precision, throwing just five picks this past season, compared to 11 in his rookie year.
Bryce Petty enjoyed a solid senior year with Baylor, amassing 3855 passing yards and 29 TDs in just his second year as the Bears’ starter.
Petty joins Garrett Grayson as the top dark horse candidates to be selected early in the second round or possibly late in the first round.
Grayson flew under the radar in 2014, leading the Colorado State Rams to 10-3 overall record, while throwing for an impressive 4006 passing yards and 32 TDs.