Only two quarterback prospects – Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota – seem to be vying for the first overall pick in this year’s draft. In fact, they might be the only two quarterbacks taken in the entire first round.
That bothers Brett Hundley.
“I think just what I’ve done the past three or four years at UCLA – and how I feel like I set myself up to be in that position – it does (bother me) a little bit,” Hundley told Damon Amendolara, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “It sort of just makes you work harder, and I’m going to continuously work harder. It gives me that chip on my shoulder.”
Hundley accounted for 3,800+ total yards, 32 touchdowns (22 pass, 10 rush) and just five interceptions this past season, leading UCLA to a 10-3 record and a 40-35 win over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl.
He will have no problem telling NFL coaches, scouts and general managers that he deserves to be considered among the best of the best.
“Yeah, I think that’s one thing you have to do,” he said. “People may not think of you as the No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback, but you know – and you’re confident enough in your abilities – to say that you can be better or play with the likes of Mariota or Jameis. I think that’s just the confidence level that you have to have as a quarterback and being able to tell that face-to-face with a GM or a coach or anybody who asks.”
Hundley may not be the first overall pick, but he does have at least one thing going for him: size. The Chandler, Ariz., native is 6-3, 227 pounds. That build bodes well for enduring the rigors of the NFL.
“Very much so,” Hundley said. “I’ve shown throughout my career (that I’m durable). I’ve never missed a game, never not started. I’ve been out if I got injured, but I never missed the next game. I think that’s one thing that you can see throughout my track record. Even if I get injured, I’m going to still play and I’ll play through injury and I’m going to be out there every single week.”
Hundley, like every elite prospect, has spoken with several NFL teams in recent months. He said most of the questions he’s received have centered on intangibles: who he is as a person, what type of leader he is, how he handles certain situations, etc. Very little, in fact, has been about football.
“That’s really the key thing,” Hundley said of intangibles. “You can watch as much tape as you want. They know everything you can do – your weaknesses, strengths, everything. They see it all on tape and they’ll make their judgements from there. But it’s the person you are off the field. It’s the person you are between your teammates and talking to one another and leading your team. I think that’s what they really try to dig into and find.”
Hundley also opened up about his final season at UCLA. The Bruins entered 2014 with high expectations, with Hundley a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and UCLA a popular pick to win the national championship. Back-to-back October losses to Utah and Oregon, however, derailed those plans.
Did UCLA get too much attention too soon? Did all the hoopla simply create too much pressure?
“I feel like we were a mature enough team to handle those pressures,” Hundley said. “Now, it is a little different for a team to go from underdogs to the people they expect to win a national championship and everything so quick. But at the same time, that’s what you sort of work for. That’s what you want to be in. That’s the position you want to be in. I felt like it wasn’t too much pressure or anything on our team. We finished 10-3, a top-10 team. We may have not won the national championship or the Pac-12 championship, but we still did a great job (and improved) from where we were three years ago.”