QB Brett Hundley
UCLA (RS) Sophomore
6′ 3″ 227 lbs
While Brett Hundley may have only been a redshirt freshman last season, he already has shown poise and confidence when coming under pressure. Hundley saw a lot of pressure in his face last season, and much of that can be credited to poor offensive line play. But even when the rush came right at him, he showed remarkable poise for someone with his age and experience level. Not only can he keep his cool but he has the confidence to still step into his throws and put the perfect touch on the ball and have it right on target. It takes time for young quarterbacks to develop this confidence and awareness but it is already an area Hundley is strong at and will only get better from here.
When you watch Brett Hundley play one thing is crystal clear, he is one of the top athletes at his position. UCLA executed the option well last year with a duo of Hundley and running back Johnathan Franklin in large part because of Hundley’s athleticism. When he breaks outside not only does he have the speed to outrun many defenders, he also has the agility and vision to make quick cuts to avoid oncoming defenders and change direction to find more open space. Hundley has shown the ability to create big plays with his legs, as he showed in the Pac-12 Championship when he ran for 83 yards against a tough Stanford defense and a 72-yard-touchdown run against Rice. His athleticism also translates to extending plays when the pocket breaks down. He can roll out to either side and allow his receivers to break free from coverage to get open for a first down.
There is no question that Brett Hundley has all the tools you would like to see from the modern-style of quarterbacks. Incredible athleticism matched with a reliable arm, high IQ and developing skill set make him the type of prospect a coach would love to have. While he is still raw in many aspects, he is ahead of the game in his class and could quickly rise to become one of the Top 5 QB’s in the 2014 Draft class.
While Brett Hundley may have some great tools he still has only season in college and there is plenty in his game that needs to grow. His inexperience showed last season in the passing game. Hundley struggled against tougher opponents like Stanford and California especially in big games last season. In three games vs. Cal and Stanford, Hundley threw 3 touchdowns while throwing 6 interceptions and even catching a few breaks along the way. He would try to force a pass into double coverage or get locked on a receiver only to have a defensive back read his eyes and jump the route. While UCLA has a thin offensive line, some of the sacks that occurred last season are to blame on Hundley. While he has the athleticism to break out of the pocket for a big play or just the instincts to throw it away, he tends to hold on to the ball which results in a loss of yards. It is all a part of the growing process for Brett Hundley but an additional area he will need to continue work on to become a quarterback at the next level.
One area of Hundley’s game that bothered me the most was his struggles in the red zone. While there is a lot to like about Hundley’s game he seemed to struggle primarily in the red zone, especially with his accuracy. Numerous times he would have a receiver open in the end zone or just short and he would overthrow his target. While the incompletions may not have resulted in turnovers, they resulted in missed opportunities to give his team seven points. The quarterback has to be the top man on the offense and when he can’t convert opportunities in the red zone, then the team is going to struggle to win as a result. If Hundley can improve in this area, UCLA could become a 10-11 win team and will be in contention for a Pac-12 title.
The most frustrating thing you find when watching Brett Hundley is how conservative the offense was run last season. It is understandable for a coach to simplify the offense for a young quarterback. While Hundley completed 66 percent of his passes last year a large majority of them came from behind the line of scrimmage. The Bruins game plan was to just dump it off into the flats to take pressure off their young quarterback and try to create quick plays. While it was an effective plan, it also limited Hundley’s opportunities to air it out down the field, which is disappointing when you have a quarterback with a strong arm. That game plan will likely change this season and Mora should open up the offense for Hundley in his second season, which will allow scouts to really see Hundley’s potential. But for now, his accuracy on passes beyond 10 yards remains a question going forward.
There is plenty to love about UCLA QB Brett Hundley and on talent alone he finds himself among many Top 5 Quarterback prospects for the 2014 class. He still has plenty of room to grow and mature, as every aspect of his game is still rough and needs to be polished. Another year will only help him grow and mature and could help him establish himself as the second best quarterback in the upcoming draft. I believe that Hundley could be even better if he were to stay two more seasons with UCLA, but if his draft stock rises an early trip to the NFL may be too hard to pass up.
Filed under: NCAA