Football

Ranking the top quarterback prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is likely to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is likely to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. The Associated Press

1. Jameis Winston, 6-4, 231, Florida State

Bio: Two-year starter who completed 305 of 467 passes (65.3 percent) for 3,907 yards, 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 13 games in 2014. Also rushed 57 times for 65 yards and three touchdowns. Turned 21 this year. 9 3/8-inch hands. 4.97 40-yard dash. 28.5-inch vertical. 103-inch broad jump. 7.16 3-cone drill. 4.36 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Won the Heisman Trophy in 2013. Has small hands and an unimpressive frame — is not a great athlete. Was much more productive in 2013, when he completed 257 of 384 passes for 4,057 yards, 40 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. Was much more inconsistent this season; threw several questionable interceptions (i.e. over the middle or into coverage). But when you turn on the film, he looks the part — is tall and stout with a very strong arm; can really zip the ball into some tight spaces. Made several NFL-caliber throws the last two seasons. Short, intermediate and deep accuracy is solid when his footwork is on point, but he has a tendency to throw off his back foot in the face of pressure. Flashes good pocket presence; isn’t a runner but can escape the pocket. Has led his team to several come-from-behind wins; isn’t afraid to make the big throw. Had a high number of tipped interceptions but also had a high number of picks where he didn’t see the underneath defender. Teams will need to do extensive background on his well-publicized off-field issues. Is reportedly very good on the chalkboard, has a high football IQ and loves the game. Comes off as extremely confident.

Grade: 7.1

Story: Jameis Winston says he’s ready to create ‘a positive image’ at his NFL destination

2. Marcus Mariota, 6-4, 222, Oregon

Bio: Three-year starter who completed 304 of 445 passes (68.3 percent) for 4,454 yards, 42 touchdowns and four interceptions in 15 games in 2014. Also rushed 135 times for 770 yards (5.7 average) and 15 touchdowns. Turns 22 this year. 9 7/8-inch hands. 4.52 40-yard dash. 36-inch vertical. 121-inch broad jump. 6.87 3-cone drill. 4.11 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Won the Heisman Trophy in 2014. Excellent tester at the combine. A very good athlete with good straight-line speed and vision as a runner, though he isn’t super elusive in the open field. Possesses a 36-5 record as a starter. Played in an offense that created a lot of wide open passing windows and allowed him to throw lots of half-field reads and quick, easy throws. However, he occasionally showed the ability to hit his third or fourth read on the other side of the field. His delivery quickness is fine but not great; there is some wind up to it. He spins the ball pretty well; arm strength and accuracy is above average on short-to-intermediate throws but isn’t pinpoint. Accuracy on deeper throws leaves a little to be desired. Generally makes good decisions and is careful with the ball but not always, as his 27 career fumbles will attest. Still possesses good pocket presence, creativity and escapability when eluding the rush. Ran a ton of zone read concepts; would be a nice fit with all the packaged stuff Chiefs coach Andy Reid likes to use now. Hasn’t called a play since high school. Compares favorably to Chiefs QB Alex Smith as a player; is the same type of high-character person but a better athlete. Former teammate Kyle Long calls him a “ruthless” competitor but his soft-spoken nature will concern some.

Grade: 7.0

Story: Chiefs will take the best player 18th overall, even in the unlikely event it’s a quarterback

3. Brett Hundley, 6-3, 226, UCLA

Bio: Three-year starter who completed 271 of 392 passes (69.1 percent) for 3,155 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions in 13 games in 2014. Also rushed 159 times for 644 yards (4.1 average) and 10 touchdowns. Declared after redshirt junior season. Turns 22 this year. 10 1/2-inch hands. 4.63 40-yard dash. 36-inch vertical. 120-inch broad jump. 6.93 3-cone drill. 3.98 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Big kid who is a very good athlete — tested very well at the combine — who can hurt you with his legs. Played in a QB-friendly zone-read offense with lots of short passes. Has a compact delivery and good arm strength; can deliver the ball with some heat but is generally too quick to pull it down and run if his first read isn’t open. Needs to do a better job of throwing guys open and is footwork is raw. Wants to emulate Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Mix of athleticism and arm strength could make him an intriguing short-term option in Andy Reid’s packaged concepts.

Grade: 6.4

4. Garrett Grayson, 6-2, 213, Colorado State

Bio: Three-year starter who completed 270 of 420 passes (64.3 percent) for 4,006 yards, 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games in 2014. MWC Offensive Player of the Year. Also rushed 57 times for negative-46 yards and zero touchdowns. Turns 24 this year. 10 1/4-inch hands. 4.72 40-yard dash. 34-inch vertical. 121-inch broad jump. 6.97 3-cone drill. 4.35 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Super productive, experienced quarterback in no-huddle offense with pro-style concepts. Is shorter than you’d prefer. Can deliver the ball with some heat on short-to-intermediate passes, which he generally throws with some anticipation, but can change it up when needed. Gets the ball out fairly quick. Okay mobility in the pocket but generally isn’t going to hurt you with his legs. Generally makes good decisions with the football and could be a nice fit for the West Coast offense. Admitted at the combine he hasn’t been “the most vocal guy” but has been working on it.

Grade: 6.3

5. Sean Mannion, 6-6, 229, Oregon State

Bio: Four-year starter who completed 282 of 453 passes (62.3 percent) for 3,164 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 12 games in 2014. Also rushed 48 times for negative-306 yards and one touchdown. Turned 23 this year. 9-inch hands. 5.14 40-yard dash. 31-inch vertical. 105-inch broad jump. 7.29 3-cone drill. 4.39 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Experienced four-year starter with a huge frame and small hands. Rare quarterback (these days) with experience in a pro-style system. Took a beating as a senior and production fell off — actually threw for 4,662 yards and 37 touchdowns (with 15 interceptions) as a junior. Possesses good arm strength — can make most of the throws. Has a long-wind up delivery. Accuracy is okay on short passes. Can throw with some touch but will miss on some of the intermediate routes. Throws off his back foot too much. Interesting developmental quarterback who needs to do everything quicker.

Grade: 6.2

6. Bryce Petty, 6-3, 230, Baylor

Bio: Two-year starter who completed 270 of 428 passes (63.1 percent) for 3,855 yards, 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games in 2014. Also rushed 84 times for 101 yards and six touchdowns. Turns 24 this year. 10-inch hands. 4.87 40-yard dash. 34-inch vertical. 121-inch broad jump. 6.91 3-cone drill. 4.13 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Big kid and a decent athlete who tested well at the combine. Operated out of a zone-read scheme and will need to learn how to play under center; tried to do so at the Senior Bowl to underwhelming results. Made a ton of quick, open throws off packaged concepts in a no-huddle offense— Senior bowl was the first time he experienced a play call. Has good arm strength and a fairly quick delivery. Possesses enough athleticism to elude the rush. Dealt with back and head injuries as a senior.

Grade: 6.1

GRADING SCALE

7.5-7.1: Top 10 pick

7.0: 11-20

6.9: 21-32

6.8: Top half of the second

6.7: Bottom half of the second

6.6: Top half of the third

6.5: Bottom half of the third

6.4: Fourth round pick

6.3: Fifth-round pick

6.2: Sixth-round pick

6.1: Seventh-round pick

6.0: Priority free agent

NOTE: All rankings are based on a combination of extensive personal film study, interviews conducted with draft analysts and information gleaned from NFL Network draft broadcasts. Evaluations are cross-checked with multiple draft resources. Measurements and testing results are from the combine and pro days, according to NFL.com. Grades are assigned based on where The Star believes the Chiefs should take each player, based on their needs and scheme fit.

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