Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley solidified the perception that UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley won't be ready to start in the NFL as a rookie on Tuesday, suggesting that Oregon State's Sean Mannion, Baylor's Bryce Petty and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson all have a better chance to make an early impact.
"Those guys are guys that you know are going to have a chance to come in and compete right away. Guys like Brett Hundley are going to have a longer shelf life to try to get in and be able to produce," Whaley said. "I like to say he's more of an athletic thrower where as Bryce Petty is more of an athletic passer. Those guys will take a little longer, the Hundleys. But he's in that group. And Brett Hundley in the Seattle Seahawks' offense may be more attractive to Seattle. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
Whaley has hinted previously that the club could be interested in adding a quarterback in the draft, although without a first-round pick, top options Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are off the table, barring a trade. Bills quarterback EJ Manuel is entering his third year, one which comes with plenty of pressure for the former first-round pick. Whaley said the organization believes in his ability, but is also ready to see him emerge in 2015.
"He knows this is his make-or-break year, this is his time to step up and show everybody," Whaley said. "He's got a clean slate with a new coaching staff, and it's his time."
If the Bills are interested in hedging a draft pick against Manuel's future, particularly with a quarterback who might need a year of seasoning, this could be the draft to do it. The aforementioned options are expected to be available on the second day of the draft, if not the third. While Whaley said Petty, who comes from Baylor's hurry-up, no-huddle offense, is more ready to compete than Hundley, Whaley was quick to point out that Petty has some question marks of his own.
"You like his deep ball and his short game," Whaley added. "What you don't like is it seems everything (in Baylor's offense) is pre-determined. ... He's done some things on the field, but he's not done things that we're going to ask him to do, and that's where the question mark comes."
The question for Whaley is when to pick a quarterback, and who gets the call.