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Are the Buccaneers interested in Brett Hundley?

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What are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers going to do if they pass on Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, or if either doesn't declare? According to Gil Arcia of, the Bucs are enamored with the talent level of UCLA's Brett Hundley, a quarterback who may be available later in the draft. That doesn't mean they actually think he's better, but they may see him as a project with the necessary tools to develop into a quality passer.

This past November I wrote on that some close to the Bucs like UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. In fact, some scouts had him, Winston, and Mariota listed in that order for talent level. Hundley's mindset and control in the pocket has been a concern as well but is considered a good "project" quarterback.

In the same article, Arcia notes that Lovie Smith liked what he saw in Jameis Winston's performance at the Rose Bowl, while reporting that Winston may not declare for the draft.

But that evaluation of Hundley as potentially the most-talented of the group is correct, to an extent. Brett Hundley certainly has a better arm than either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston, and  he's a big, strong athlete. He makes a couple of wow throws in every game, and that's one of the reasons why I thought highly of him last year. Unfortunately, he has a crippling problem that I've never seen anyone fix in the NFL: he drops his eyes to look at the rush when pressured.

As soon as a quarterback does that, the play is over. They can't make a throw down the field, because they're not the watching the routes or the coverage. The only thing they can do is to try to run for it, or somehow escape the pocket and re-orient themselves. But it's almost impossible to do that consistently, and pressure is so frequent in the NFL that this kills quarterback's careers regardless of their talent.

Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston don't have that issue. Both of them handle pressure well by manipulating the pocket and keeping their eyes down the field. Mariota has a bit more of a tendency to escape the pocket than Winston, but he never stops watching the receivers and coverage -- that's more of a stylistic difference than anything else.

Not with Hundley. With him it's a crippling problem that will only get worse in the NFL. And if the Bucs do draft him, they'll be taking a massive gamble on his ability to fix something I've never seen anyone fix.