Brett Hundley’s wait ends in fifth round of NFL draft

“I can tell you unequivocally that Brett Hundley is a first-round draft pick. The guy’s a future star in the NFL.”

That was what Jim Mora said less than a year ago, when he and his quarterback sat in Paramount Studios in Hollywood and talked about UCLA’s bright future. For the Bruins, Hundley did just fine, leading them to a an Alamo Bowl win and a top-10 national finish.

Along the way, however, his draft stock collapsed. The 6-foot-3, 228-pound Hundley waited until the third day of the NFL draft, going to the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round as the No. 147 overall selection in 2015. Five quarterbacks were taken before him: Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota — not a surprise at No. 1 and 2 overall — as well as Garrett Grayson, Sean Mannion and Bryce Petty.

Knocks on Hundley ranged from his pocket presence to his inconsistency on downfield throws. As a redshirt junior, he took 38 sacks, more than all but six other FBS quarterbacks. He also threw 33 percent of his passes behind the line of scrimmage.

“He didn’t throw an NFL route tree at UCLA, to a certain extent,” said ESPN analyst Todd McShay.

But the fall put him below even modest draft expectations. When Hundley announced last January that he would return to UCLA for one final season, he said that his evaluation indicated a second-to-fourth round draft range, with a chance at the first. Even this week, after scouts had picked apart Hundley’s game for months, Mora said he saw his former player as a second-round pick.

Nevertheless, Hundley set a new milestone: he is the first UCLA quarterback drafted at all since 1999, when Cade McNown was taken No. 12 overall.

  • SoCalGreg2014

    Good luck to Hundley…oh, and you bruin trolls that come onto the usc side to give us a hard time about the “pious passer” and Barkley’s fall to the 4th round…yeah, we probably won’t be hearing that stuff from you guys from now on…Hundley actually went to a good situation, sit for a few years, learn from one of the best QB’s in the game-it seemed to work out well for Aaron Rodgers who was in the same position when drafted…

    • ProbationU

      You don’t see Bucket here much. Hopefully it will work out for Hundley. He is in a better situation than Barkley.

    • Charlie Bucket

      it’s all about the spin, baby.

  • dexter2323

    He’s very lucky that other QBs like Cody Kessler, Cardale Jones, and Conner Cook decided to stay in school. Otherwise the free fall would still be going on.

    • ProbationU

      Of those 3, only Jones would have gone ahead of him.

    • Richard

      Right, and “Mr ‘Unfinished Business’ ” over “Mr WOTT” #CLOWN TALK. Kessler is 4-3, TDs to INTs against top 25 opponents. “Sstars” Williams & Agholor got punked by UCLA very time they played us

  • gotroy22

    It worked out fine for Hundley losing to Oregon and Stanford? What drugs are you smoking , Wang? It was so obvious he needed another year to work on his passing fundamentals. Hogan made him look like a JV high school quarterback.

    • ProbationU

      In a few years we will know. He had made up his mind over a year ago. He graduated. Hopefully he will improve faster in Green Bay than he would have with another year at UCLA.

      • Richard

        Trade bait to SD or Dallas after ripening in GB for a yr or two ???

      • Laker Rod

        It’s already a known thing that you don’t leave early to get better training in the NFL. NFL coaches don’t have time to “develop” a quarterback.

        Brett should have stayed another year. That’s where you get more valuable training and this is where you obtain the trust of NFL scouts who ultimately make the decision of when you are selected.

        Brett had a chance to show the world how he could handle more high pressure situations by getting UCLA into a BCS bowl game or heck even winning a conference or even better national championship.

        Can you or anybody not see that NFL scouts/GM’s like to have job security and have a “defense” or “excuse” as to why they picked somebody.

        Brett left too many questions on the board which could have been answered had he stayed another year.

        To have two 5 star players in Hundley and Ellis McCarthy leave early and be drafted where they were without winning even a conference championship kind of tells you where the UCLA football program is. Mora has got to change this. He needs to recruit the right players who want to come to UCLA and bring them a championship…first it may be conference championship…the next is then national championship.

        The players who want to come to UCLA just for early playing time…we don’t need those guys. Why did Josh Rosen come to UCLA? Did he come to help bring UCLA a championship? Or did he come because he saw early playing time.

        • ProbationU

          It’s a well-known thing? Coaches don’t develop QB’s in the NFL? Aaron Rodgers sat a few years behind Favre. He was developed. Every team is different. Some plan ahead and have a backup developed and ready, like Rodgers or Steve Young behind Montana. Others are more impatient and ruin QB’s as they are thrust into starting roles before they are ready.

          Coaches increasingly have to develop QB’s in the NFL as the college game is different than the NFL. Many of the top QB’s run the spread system which is why both Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley need to learn the position the way it is played at the NFL level. Another year in Mazzone’s offense isn’t going to change that fact. It may have helped his draft status a little because of having a better OL. What is being discussed is an unknown.

          I know many people that are saying Brett cost himself a lot of money by not leaving last year. As the saying goes…everybody has an opinion. There is no reason to knock the kid and no reason to continually knock Rosen. Things will play out. Having a true Freshman QB is not ideal and the past statistics back that up. But aren’t you the guy that says past performance is not an indicator of the future…or something like that? Whoever plays QB, Rosen or Woulard will have the benefit of a better OL and running game. They won’t need to carry the team like Brett did for 3 years.

          • ThaiMex

            Maybe another question to wonder about….Since the 2015 UCLA Football team will be on the strongest in years…IF…Brett had stayed..knowing what we know now….would he become a 1st-3rd round pick next year? I think he just lost a boatload of $$$$$$$$$$$$$
            Working with Aaron Rogers is a good thing, but so is working with ANY NFL Q.B.
            Brett goofed…but best of luck to him.

          • ProbationU

            Thai, the truth is none of us know the answer to any of that. Some feel he left money on the table by not leaving LAST year. He may have peaked at UCLA. Brett goofing is an opinion…may be right…may be wrong. I would say definitely wrong had he not earned his degree. Also, we don’t know if he felt that he could learn any more from the Mazzones or what his working relationship was like with them or how his family felt about things…a lot of stuff we aren’t privy to. I just hope it all works out for him. He carried the program for 3 years and deserves the best.

          • MPPBruin

            Coulda woulda shoulda

  • SCgrad12

    Congrats to Hundley…this is almost perfect for him. He gets to learn the pro game and not be rushed. Because of this he will do very well.

  • 92104bruinfan

    Waiting until the 5th round aside, I don’t think Hundley could have asked for a much better situation. He gets to work with one of the top NFL coaching staffs IMO led by Mike McCarthy and under a top five quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who went through a similar situation in backing up Brett Favre while adjusting to the speed and accuracy demanded at the NFL level. Great place to be to improve as a passer and work towards being in the NFL for many years to come. Go Bruins!

    • UCLA owns LA Football

      Nice analysis. Hundley isn’t quite ready to QB a NFL team, but he will be. He couldn’t have been drafted by a better NFL organization.

      • SouthBayBruin

        If he isn’t ready to QB an NFL team then why did he leave early for the NFL when he had another year of college eligibility remaining??? The notion that you can get better sitting on an NFL bench than you can playing on an NCAA field is ludicrous.

  • jameskatt

    Brett Hundley is only 21 years old. He has the talent to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. But he does need seasoning. And he will get the best possible chance for this in Green Bay. So it is a great place for him to be. Aaron Rogers is 31 years old. So Brett Hundley will be in line to take over for Aaron once Aaron retires.

    The average NFL quarterback peaks at 29 years old.

    The absolutely elite quarterbacks of all time – such as Tom Brady – have their peak years between 33 to 37 years old. They are actually twice as good at 33 years old as when they were 22 years old.

    So given this scenario, Brett Hundley at 21 years old is really only a newborn quarterback who is just learning to play the NFL game.

  • xtracool32

    If I were Aaron Rodgers I would be pissed off! I don’t think they drafted hundley to be a career backup. It’s déjà vu of the Brett favre thing.

  • xtracool32

    Jim Mora, didn’t do hundley’ draft stock any favors by saying he wasn’t ready to be an nfl qb yet.

  • xtracool32

    Good thing hundley isn’t a “night-life” guy, because he is going to Green Bay.

    • EncinitasBruin

      Exactly. Maybe he can avoid the McNown Curse that way and stay away from the Playboy Mansion.

  • Cliff Sakata

    Love Hundley, but holds the ball too long and gets sacked way too much. Too many bubble screens propping up his completion percentage. I am sure that showed up on film.

    • Laker Rod

      Yup for sure. And with his O line returning and more experienced blocking backs in Nate Iese and even Perkins or Starks all returning another year to pick up blitzes and many returning receivers…Hundley had a perfect opportunity to prove he doesn’t hold on to the ball too long and can indeed hit the downfield pass, etc..

      It would have been an entirely different situation if 3 or 4 O linemen were leaving and the top receivers gone and no running backs returning. If Hundley decided to leave in these circumstances…it would be a lot tougher to fault him for this decision.

  • MPPBruin

    This is actually a great fit for Brett. Now he can take time to learn in GB under Rodgers and not be pressured to produce immediately. Having watched him over the last three years it was pretty apparent that he wasn’t ready to step into an NFL offense. He probably would have been a bust had he been drafted too early.

    • Oz

      Nobody expects a fifth round pick to produce immediately, no matter what team or situation he goes to.

  • EncinitasBruin

    Prediction: Hundley will have a longer and better pro career than Jameis Winston. And Matt Barkley (which isn’t saying much).

    • xtracool32

      I agree. Jameis Winston has red flags all over him.

      • Santiago Matamoros

        How is Johnny Football doing?

  • Mark

    What an all-around disaster. UCLA is going to be mediocre with a freshman QB. Hundley loses out on a lot of money and I doubt his pro career will ever take off – certainly not in GB. Rodgers is playing at least another 5 seasons. GB ain’t like SD, Denver, or Chi where the end is in site for the current QB. The scouts must be quite underwhelmed by Hundley’s potential.

    Leaving Ucla earky looks like a horrible decision now.

    • jameskatt

      What a trollish post.

    • Laker Rod

      I wouldn’t go as so far to say UCLA is going to be mediocre with true freshman Josh Rosen but the odds of UCLA winning any conference championship is every long. Expect an 8-5 season or 9-4 at best. Not sure if you consider those “mediocre”.

  • SouthBayBruin

    The 2015 NFL Draft ended up being a complete utter disaster for Hundley. Kid made the decision to go pro before last season. He should have came back, won a big game for once, and improved his draft stock. Cost himself millions and will now be riding the pine in Green Bay. His only hope of a 7 figure contract someday is Rodgers getting hurt.

    • jameskatt

      Hundley at 21 years old is a baby in the NFL.
      The average NFL quaterback’s peak year is 29 year old.
      And the peak years for an elite quarterback is 33-37 years old.
      Hundley is in great shape to take over for Aaron Rodgers. The timing is right for this to happen.