It is the question every elite draft prospect must wrestle with: are you playing for your first NFL contract or your second? The second contract is where the big money comes, especially under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which introduced a rookie wage scale.
For Brett Hundley of UCLA, regarded as one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in college football, the second contract will come if he returns to school next season, an NFL scout told the Los Angeles Times.
"It would help him long term, 10 years down the road, to stay in college right now," the scout said.
Hundley has elite tools, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 222 pounds. He can throw (2,845 yards and 22 touchdowns against nine interceptions) and run (587 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, both team-highs) as well as anyone that could be in the 2014 draft class.
But Hundley has struggled with taking too many sacks, with his deep ball, and with his ability to stand in and operate under pressure, all issues that could be improved with another season with the Bruins.
"He should stay," the scout said. "He needs that extra thousand live snaps he's going to get as a junior, to quicken his eyes and go through his reads in the pocket. He can hone in his accuracy and work on his timing."
With quarterbacks drafted in the early rounds now expected to contribute immediately, Hundley would not have the opportunity to refine his game if he were to forego his remaining eligibility, the scout indicated.
"He would struggle to develop in the NFL. He is in the perfect environment to do that at UCLA," the scout said.
Whether it takes root will show up in Hundley's bank account.