Connor Rogers and Joe Caporoso continue our breakdown of New York Jets 2015 draft picks today with a look at 4th round quarterback Bryce Petty. Previously, we have broken down Leonard Williams, Devin Smith and Lorenzo Mauldin. Let’s take a closer look at Petty and how he projects at the next level…
The Numbers: 6-3, 230 pounds, 4.87 forty yard dash. Senior Year: 63.1 completion percentage, 3,855 yards, 29 touchdowns. 7 interceptions
What Others Had To Say
Petty is a quarterback who is always going to appeal more to NFL coaches and evaluators than those on the outside. That is because his primary selling points are his size and his arm strength. If you go through the best quarterbacks in the NFL, they don’t all share size and arm strength, instead they share accuracy, intelligence, poise and functional athleticism.
Unfortunately, in those areas, Petty is massively lacking. He’s not a particularly accurate passer to any level of the field. He didn’t show off an ability to read coverages in college. His poise to consistently make throws against pressure wasn’t evident and while he has some obvious athleticism, he hasn’t proven that he can use that athleticism subtly to mitigate pressure in the pocket.
Petty has some question marks – he’s 24, he broke his back, he played in a quirky system-but his deep ball is a thing of beauty. Petty’s work ethic and football IQ are off the charts, too so you’re getting a player willing to put in the work to beat the system label. His athleticism and arm strength are eye-opening, and I wouldn’t bet against him developing faster than expected.
According to Allbright‘s comprehensive spread sheet, the drafted quarterbacks who were 24 years old or older at the time of the draft since 2008 are Andre Woodson, Tom Brandstater, Tony Pike, Levi Brown, Brandon Weeden, Landry Jones and Tom Savage. It’s hard to make the case that over at least the past seven draft classes that there’s been a single “hit” at quarterback in relation to older players.
The other trait on paper that doesn’t help Petty’s case is his throwing velocity. Another staple of Allbright‘s quarterback theory is that a QB needs to throw a ball over 55 miles per hour during combine testing. Petty measured in at 53 miles per hour in Indianapolis this year. Historically, players passing under 55 miles per hour include Brian Brohm, Chad Henne, Jake Locker and E.J. Manuel.
Connor – Great size and more athleticism than given credit for. Known as an extremely hard worker and teammate. Plenty of ‘flash’ throws on tape and raw ability that can be developed.
Joe – Has enough natural arm strength to make all the throws in a NFL playbook. Smart with the football and exhibited toughness playing through injury last season. He has developed a reputation as a tireless worker and great teammate, always valuable attributes for a QB.
Connor – Struggles reading backside pressure. Velocity on throws is a huge concern at next level. Still a huge question mark if he can adapt to more complex concepts on offense. Placement on deep ball is extremely inconsistent.
Joe – Mechanics get shaky when under pressure and struggled against the better defenses he faced last season. He rarely moved beyond first read and his ball placement to his receivers, even on simple, short routes is inconsistent. A 24 year old with back problems is concerning.
Petty ran a fast paced, spread offense under Art Briles at Baylor. A key emphasis in this offense is delivering the ball quickly, often off of play-action. Due to this style of offense, the sample size of Petty under pressure is extremely small. Let’s take a look at a few examples charted:
Petty is relatively elusive in the pocket for a 6’3, 230 pound quarterback. He shows a nice shoulder dip to evade the first rusher coming at him. He clearly does not have the speed to get to the edge to extend the play though, forcing him to throw it away.
Once again Petty evades the edge rusher with a nifty move in the pocket. This time he tucks it in and takes what the defense gives him, which is about 10 yards of open field ahead.
One of the more impressive plays under pressure from Petty that we tracked on his film. Not only does he elude a defensive back blitzing, but he also fires a 25+ yard pass on the run for a first down.
One notable weakness with Petty is the velocity on his throws, which is something to watch at the next level versus quicker and more instinctive defensive backs in this situation. (CR)
Another concern is Petty’s overall accuracy, particularly on his deep balls and when he needs to throw into tight windows down in the red-zone. Petty has the arm strength to attack deep but flat out misses far too frequently and can let these throws compile in certain games. These two examples are with a clean pocket and his accuracy only diminishes when facing more pressure.
Here in the red-zone, Petty is attempting a back shoulder fade but throws it to the wrong shoulder, something a superior corner in the NFL could easily play for an interception. (JC)
Petty has the raw tools and intangibles you look for in a developmental quarterback. However, he has multiple fundamental flaws that appropriately knocked him down to the 4th round. The ceiling for him at the next level could very well be a backup and spot starter unless he is able to make major strides in the next year or two.