Bryce Petty wants to be mentioned with the likes of Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
But the Baylor quarterback is facing an uphill battle to do just that.
NFL executives and scouts aren’t too high on this year’s quarterback class outside of Winston and Mariota, and there are several concerns when it comes to Petty in trying to make the transition from the up-tempo spread offense he ran in college to a pro system.
Petty is considered a work in progress and has had an inconsistent week at the Senior Bowl. As most expected, he’s going to have growing pains in taking snaps from under center, reading defenses and going through progressions.
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But Petty is confident he has the athleticism and football IQ to do it.
“It’s honestly night and day, it’s really different … but it’s a good different,” Petty said. “The college game to the NFL is almost like checkers to chess. You’ve got to be three steps ahead in the NFL, and that’s the kind of game I’m excited for.
“It’s going to take a second or two to get acquainted with it. It’s nothing I can’t do.”
That might be true, but Petty hasn’t shown it yet in Senior Bowl practices. He has a chance to, however, in Saturday’s game as quarterback for the North squad.
Petty’s draft status might not have risen as much as he’d hoped from the Senior Bowl practices, but it’s safe to say it hasn’t been hurt. As stated, most scouts and executives knew there was a drop-off from the top two.
But there’s no question Petty made the right decision in attending the Senior Bowl, which has a track record of helping quarterbacks elevate their stock. That’s why most were baffled that UCLA’s Brett Hundley opted to skip.
That’s just another positive for Petty, as he could eventually leapfrog Hundley as being viewed as the third-best quarterback in this year’s draft.
Outside of Petty, there are several other players from area colleges to watch in the game.
Petty’s college teammate, wide receiver Antwan Goodley, has a chance to further back up the claim that Baylor is becoming “Wide Receiver U.”
TCU has two players on the South roster in cornerback Kevin White and offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje, a former Arlington Oakridge standout. White has helped his cause by displaying good technique and recovery speed during practices. A hip injury has sidelined Fabuluje.
Texas has two players in the game: defensive back Quandre Diggs, who most expect will be a slot corner in the NFL, and linebacker Jordan Hicks, who enters the draft with questions about his ability to stay healthy.
3 p.m. Saturday, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.
TV: NFL Network