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Mayock: Bryce Petty 'might be most natural thrower' in draft

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Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty seems to need seasoning -- a lot or a little, considering whom you believe -- but his big arm is a definite selling point.

"He might be the most natural thrower of the football in this entire draft," NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said on NFL Network's "NFL AM" Wednesday.

Petty (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) entered Wednesday looking to impress NFL evaluators at Baylor's pro day.

Mayock touted Petty's arm strength and quick release, and said, "I really think he's got starter physical traits."

At the same time, Mayock said, "I don't think he's (NFL-)ready."

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He said the best scenario for Petty would be to "sit a year or two" to become acclimated to the NFL game. Mayock specifically brought up the New Orleans Saints, saying sitting behind Drew Brees "might be an intriguing opportunity" for Petty and for the team.

Mayock has the same opinion on Petty's readiness as fellow analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein.

"When I look at Bryce Petty starting at the next level, I think he has that potential but I think it's a few years off," Jeremiah said earlier this month on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "You wouldn't think a guy that threw as much as he did in college is a project, but to come out of that system (at Baylor) and adjust into an NFL system, I think it's going to take some time."

Zierlein wrote that he thinks Petty "needs a year or two of practice time and camp work to learn how to get through his progressions, but has the intelligence to do that. Petty must have a structured offense that won't ask him to make plays outside of the pocket."

One positive for Petty is that the quarterback picture is somewhat of a jumble after the top two of Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Is Petty the third-best quarterback in the class? The fourth-best? The fifth-best? There is no clear-cut consensus and Mayock alluded to that Wednesday, saying "different teams like different flavors."

Mayock also thinks the third quarterback could go in the second round: "I think (a quarterback-needy team is) going to have to take that third quarterback somewhere in the second round, and it could be Bryce Petty."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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