There might not be a bigger fan of Brett Hundley than his former coach at UCLA, Jim Mora, but even Mora conceded Tuesday that Hundley isn't ready to be an immediate NFL starter in 2015.
"I think he's ready for the NFL. I don't know that he's ready to go in and start in the NFL," Mora said on NFL Network's broadcast of the Bruins' annual pro day event. "I think if he can find the right situation where he can go in and learn and have a couple years to work on his craft -- because he will work on it, his work ethic is off the charts, character is off the charts -- if he can get himself in the right situation where he's not thrown right into the starting lineup, then I think he can be a very productive NFL player."
If that sounds a bit familiar to Pac-12 fans, it should.
It's not unlike the way Pete Carroll, then the coach of USC, reacted to quarterback Mark Sanchez's decision to leave college early for the NFL. The primary difference? Carroll clearly wanted Sanchez to stay in college; Mora has never been critical of Hundley's decision to leave a year of NCAA eligibility behind.
What he is leaving that year behind for, Mora hopes, is an NFL club with an established starter at quarterback from whom Hundley can learn and develop without the immediate pressure of winning football games.
With Florida State's Jameis Winston and Oregon's Marcus Mariota expected to be chosen early in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Hundley is amid a group of quarterbacks vying to position themselves as the third quarterback chosen. That might not happen until at least round two. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has identified Colorado State's Garrett Grayson as the draft's third-best quarterback prospect, although Grayson doesn't appear in Jeremiah's list of the draft's top 50 prospects.