NFL Draft 2014: Analyzing UCLA vs Stanford for Brett Hundley


Oct 19, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal linebacker Shayne Skov (11) brings down UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) during the second quarter against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up everyone. This was kind of a lame game to watch, as there was basically no scoring until the second half. I’ll be honest with you, I hadn’t ever watched Hundley before, so I had no idea what to expect, though I was optimistic, given the hype surrounding the kid. From the commentaries I’ve heard, this is his worst performance of the year – which is good for him, because if he’s had anything worse… Anyway, here we go. (The video can be found here.)

Stanford Background: Not a whole lot to say about this group defensively. They didn’t look particularly fast or physical when I watched the game. They had no defensive prospects drafted last year. They played with a fair amount of opportunism, though, taking picks where they could find them, and a fumble as well, if I recall. They may have a high-round draft pick in their defensive end Trent Murphy, but really, there’s nothing outstanding here. They just play hard.

UCLA Background: I didn’t really know much about either team, but I assumed going in that UCLA would have a pretty solid offense. I’m thinking this, um, “performance” was an outlier, but in any case, they didn’t perform well. The Bruins were trying to make a statement game to make a title bid, but couldn’t do it. I don’t have much to put here because I wasn’t very informed about them heading into this game.

The Bruins, to put it plainly, did not perform well offensively. They seem to run a sort of West Coast, read-option hybrid, using a lot of screen passes and zone reads mixed with some slants and crosses. Hundley, in this game, didn’t do much adjusting at the line of scrimmage. Out of 64 offensive plays, he called two at the line of scrimmage. That’s less than five percent, meaning that Hundley was editing routes or protection not even once in every 20 plays. Not good. I thought Mariota’s was bad, but this was just disheartening. Anyway, on to the passing breakdown.

Time for the passing numbers breakdown (I can’t remember whether I rounded down or up for the yardage rankings, but trust me I didn’t change anything.)

D = Drop, * = Miscommunication, @ = Interception, $ = Touchdown

Yardage Rank LeftCenter RightTotal with Raw Percent (%Adjusted for drops and miscommunications in parentheses)
1-5 4-5 2-2, $ 10-13 16-20, 80%
5-10 2-3 0-4,@ 2-4 2-11, 36%
10-20 2-2 0-0 1-3 3-5, 60%
20+ 0-1,@ 0-1 0-0 0-2,0% 0-1,@ 0-1 0-0 0-2, 0%
Directional Totals 8-11 2-7 13-20 8-112-7 13-20
 72%,@ 29%,$@ 65%

His full stats were 13 of 20 for 192 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. That’s 65% accuracy, 9.6 YPA, and 14.7 YPC. He ran eight times and was sacked thrice.

Safe to say, it wasn’t the best performance for the (former) Heisman contender. There were some positives, though. Hundley possesses above-average straight-line speed. He can accelerate in space and burn defenses down the sideline, as he did once or twice during the game. He isn’t a natural looking runner (will touch on that later), but if he gets in open space he can be tough to catch. As you can see in the statistics, Hundley is accurate on the short pass, especially towards the sidelines. He connects on 77% of his short-sideline passes. However, I’m skeptical as to whether this is a good thing – In my opinion, Quarterbacks are expected to be accurate in the short game.

Now for the negatives. First off, when he’s inaccurate, he’s very inaccurate. The three incompletions for his right short passes were all screens that he threw into the ground. And everything goes downhill from there. His accuracy over 5 yards is less than 30%. This stems from slow footwork while in the pocket. He doesn’t move his feet fast, and instead almost hops around back there. This affects his base, and ability to step forward to make an accurate throw. I didn’t see anything positive or negative in regards to his arm strength in this game. What I did see was a lack of decision making. He holds the ball way too long, leading to sacks and incomplete passes as he searches for a target. I frankly expected him to run a lot more than he did, which would have been preferable to the way he holds the ball. He’s not necessarily a statue in the pocket, he just isn’t decisive and can sometimes run into a sack. This speaks to another thing – he is not clutch, in even the most remote sense of the word. He was 3 out of 10 on third downs, and failed to make any sort of comeback in the second half. He threw two easy picks. And finally, he just doesn’t look like an athlete. I know that’s a very strong argument to make, but let me elaborate. When he runs, he isn’t shifty. He doesn’t traverse the pocket well. And there’s an air of disarray when I watch him. He doesn’t read the play beforehand and therefore always reacts during the play, as opposed to deliberately going through his reads. Now, maybe this is a fault of his supporting cast – once again, I don’t know much about the team – but great, even good Quarterbacks can find a way to compensate for their team and pull out the win, especially during games as big as this. In this game, however, Hundley hurt his team more than he helped them – which doesn’t bode well for his NFL Draft prospects.

Brett Hundley needs to stay in school. I didn’t touch on this before; maybe I should have. He’s an underclassman, he doesn’t really need to come out this year. He should stay at UCLA to help his team to a possible title berth, and himself to a higher understanding of both the physical and mental aspects of Quarterbacking. I make these threads to appraise their 2014 NFL Draft status, however, so I will. I wouldn’t invest anything above a fourth, or possibly third round pick on this young man. His best chance, if he comes out this year, is to sit and learn behind an established signal-caller. Otherwise, I would almost guarantee a failure from him. Once again, this was his worst game, but bad things stood out. He didn’t show the mental skills that makes a Quarterback prospect polished, or the physical talents that make running the risk on potential a good idea. As a result, I would suggest the Jaguars stay away from Brett Hundley for the 2014 NFL Draft.

(Thanks for reading. Leave comments and critiques below. If you have a QB you want me to analyze, comment his name and the game you would like me to watch.)