Bryce Petty operated out of the shotgun almost exclusively during his collegiate career, and so naturally there are NFL scouts and general managers wondering if the Baylor quarterback prospect can make the transition to playing under center at the next level.
Petty, for what it’s worth, believes he can.
“For me it’s really not that bad of a transition,” Petty said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “How I kind of described it – I know it’s kind of weird – but (it’s) kind of (like) going from print to cursive, (with) print being the shotgun. It’s kind of easy (and) natural for guys. But when you get under center, it’s kind of (like) cursive. You got some things that have to kind of be a little natural to you. It’s like dancing – and from what I’ve heard, I’m pretty good at dancing, so it hasn’t been too bad at all.”
Petty threw for 8,000+ yards, 61 touchdowns and 10 interceptions during his final two seasons at Baylor. Nevertheless, pro scouts question whether he can perform at a high level in an NFL offense.
“That’s kind of the consensus,” Petty said. “That’s the part that kind of irks me a little bit because you’re dealing with hypotheticals. If it’s something with my arm or my footwork or something that I can work on – and it shows I needed to work on – that’s one thing. But if it’s all just hypotheticals, it’s tough for an athlete and as a competitor to where you’re saying, ‘Man, I’m showing you all this on tape,’ or, ‘I’m showing you this in person.’”
Petty threw 77 passes at his Pro Day. All were from under center.
“I just want to scream, ‘Just draft me,’” Petty said. “But it’s all positive things. A lot of coaches and GMs say that I’m going to have a great career. But it’s got to be one of those things that, when you’re investing a lot of money into somebody, you want to have a lot of positives, a good vibe. So hopefully that’s what I’ve been trying to do – just give them a good vibe of my work ethic and who I am as a person and the ability and drive and desire, if you will, to be the best. It’s been a fun process. Thursday is going to be a big day for me and my family, so I’m definitely excited about that.”
Many draft analysts believe Petty is the third-best quarterback prospect in this year’s crop but that Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are head and shoulders above him and the rest of the field. Does Petty feel the gap is that large?
“It’s an interesting position for me because that’s borderline getting into things that I shouldn’t be saying as a quarterback,” Petty said, not wanting to ruffle any feathers. “All I have to do is worry about myself. It’s been great getting to work with Jameis in draft camp. The cool part about it is we kind of balance each other out. He does a lot of things really well, I do a lot of things really well, and sometimes my weaknesses are his strengths and his weaknesses are my strengths. So it’s been fun to kind of get with him and learn some things from him. Hopefully I’ve taught him a little bit of things, too.
“But they’re both going to have great, great careers in the NFL,” Petty continued, referring to Winston and Mariota. “They’re going to be very successful. They’re great people. They’re a lot of fun to hang out with. And so, all we’re trying to do is be the best quarterbacks that we can be, and that’s what I’m trying to concern myself with. For me, it’s not a matter of when I go in the draft. It’s just what I do when I get there. So that’s kind of what I’ve been telling myself regardless.”