Jeremiah: Bryce Petty has potential, but years away from starting

Looking for a quarterback in the 2015 NFL Draft?

You might be out of luck unless you're the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, or, perhaps even the New York Jets. Those are the three teams most closely associated with the two elite signal-callers -- Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota -- in this year's draft class.

If you're a team with a need at the position and willing to wait a bit to find your franchise guy, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty could be attractive to some clubs as the third quarterback off the board in Chicago ... with one small caveat.

"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," said NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, 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."

Fellow analyst Mike Mayock ranks Petty as the third-best player at his position, but he'll have plenty of competition for that spot over the coming weeks from UCLA's Brett Hundley and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson. All three are considered projects for teams based on the fact that they will have to learn how to operate in an offense that is much different from the one they operated at in college.

"These guys are coming from the spread offenses where they don't even take snaps under center. That's one thing you have to do," NFL Media's Curtis Conway said. "Even the language is a lot different in the pros and these guys that want to come in a start right away, it's going to be tough."

Petty does appear to have the tools, however. He's got great size at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, and is highly regarded for his athleticism and speed. A back injury he suffered his senior year (the same one as Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo) might be concerning for some clubs but impressive numbers like 62 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions speak to his upside.

Like at Baylor, where Petty sat several seasons behind Robert Griffin III and another quarterback, it might take a while before Petty is winning games for the NFL team that picks him up in the draft.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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