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Brett Hundley wants to enter the draft, and so he should

Hundley AP

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota recently decided to keep playing football for free.  Or, more accurately, for money that someone else gets paid.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley currently is wrestling with the same decision.  According to Tony Pauline (via Rotoworld), Hundley wants to enter the draft.  Persons close to Hundley are advising him to stay in school.  Obviously, UCLA is doing all that it can to keep him — in large part because plenty of people at UCLA are among those who get paid a lot of money by the money Hundley helps earn.  (But doesn’t personally receive.)

As Pauline puts it, the question is whether Hundley is content to be a second-round pick in 2014 or a potential top-10 pick in 2015.

And here’s where we tell Hundley what no one with a vested interest in Hundley staying in school will tell him:  Under the current rookie wage scale, that doesn’t matter as much as it used to.

While being a top-10 pick could carry with it some off-field opportunities that don’t exist for second-round picks, the potential path to a truly life-altering contract becomes much shorter for a second-round pick in 2014 versus a first-round pick in 2015.

With top-10 picks no longer making gigantic money, it’s arguably better to start the clock on a second contract.  For Hundley, entering the draft in 2014 means that he’d be eligible for free agency in 2018.  If he waits until 2015 and rises to round one (there’s no guarantee he will), Hundley won’t be eligible for free agency until 2019 or, if the team exercises its first-round option on a fifth year, 2020.

It’s not as if Hundley would be sitting on the bench if he’s a second-round pick, unless a team with a clear-cut franchise quarterback decides to invest a selection that high on a backup.  In today’s NFL, where quarterbacks taken in the first two rounds get put on the field quickly because the people who drafted them and who coach them may not be there to use them later, Hundley probably will play right away, like 2013 second-round pick Geno Smith did.

Besides, if Hundley wants to enter the draft, he should.  Even if it’s ultimately the wrong decision, it’ll be his decision and not someone else’s decision.

Of all the potential lessons to be learned via this process, the worst one would be to not let other people make your decisions.

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32 Responses to “Brett Hundley wants to enter the draft, and so he should”
  1. realitypolice says: Dec 7, 2013 11:17 AM

    If he wants to stay in school for football development purposes, fine. But please don’t come at me with any “he needs to stay and earn his degree” nonsense.

    First of all, there is no guarantee that this guy is on track to get a degree in any amount of years. Second, if he is serious about his education, he can always go back. Lots of players do.

    During the tech boom, computer companies were yanking talented programmers out of college after one or two years by the thousands and no one said a word. Why stay when they were being offered a job in the field of their choice?

    And this is different how?

  2. realfootballfan says: Dec 7, 2013 11:27 AM

    I doubt he’s going to be a good pro whether he stays in school or not, so it really doesn’t matter. He looked ordinary every time the competition jumped for UCLA. But if he thinks he can get any one team to bite, go for it. That’s good money.

  3. fballguy says: Dec 7, 2013 11:31 AM

    Shouldn’t that last sentence read…”the BEST one would be to not let other people make your decisions”?

  4. christiaan12 says: Dec 7, 2013 11:32 AM

    It would be better to earn your degree now then wait cause if he gets injured then he at least has a degree to fall back on

  5. huthuthut says: Dec 7, 2013 11:32 AM

    realitypolice says: Dec 7, 2013 11:17 AM

    If he wants to stay in school for football development purposes, fine.
    ————

    Agree with you completely on this point, though I do think he would benefit from another year of experience, especially on a team that is likely to be very high profile.

    The most important consideration is not so much *when* you get that life-altering contract – its *if*. If you are going to join a team that will start you year one you have to show you belong, or you’ll end up on the scrapheap or at best carrying a clipboard.

    So the question is: is he ready to succeed at NFL speed and with NFL expectations?

  6. raiderbeat says: Dec 7, 2013 11:32 AM

    He is not ready. Watch him in games that he played against better or equal talent and he presses. He does not make the right reads and he stops looking down the field at the first sign of trouble. He is a great talent with great size, but it is not going to hurt him at all to spend another year learning to play the position. The NFL is not going anywhere.

  7. nasaelvis56 says: Dec 7, 2013 11:35 AM

    By my count, that makes 4 legitimate first round QB’s in the NFL Draft: Bridgewater, Carr, Hundley and Boyd.

    I’m pretty sure there are more than 4 NFL teams desperate for a QB, which will likely make Johnny Manziel a first round reach.

    And Hundley should protect HIS interests. We know UCLA (or any other major program) won’t advise what’s best for the athlete.

  8. ndnut says: Dec 7, 2013 11:36 AM

    Rick Spielman will draft him in the first round. It will be Ponder all over again where he is overdrafted and the idiots in our fanbase will pin all of their hopes and dreams on the kid’s first and second year, then turn on him when he hasn’t won a Super Bowl. I am a Vikings fan but I can already see it coming.

  9. Pat says: Dec 7, 2013 11:37 AM

    who the hell is this guy arguing against? no one is/does make that point

  10. ravenswhat says: Dec 7, 2013 11:37 AM

    He can’t be worse than Geno.

  11. FinFan68 says: Dec 7, 2013 11:50 AM

    Please stop with the college athletes don’t get paid nonsense. They do. They are getting an expensive education (if they are smart enough to take it) and they are provided an opportunity to showcase their talents in order to get that lucrative contract in the NFL. When is the last time an NFL star never played college ball?

  12. packerfan12 says: Dec 7, 2013 11:50 AM

    Who says he’s going in the 2nd round? It seems to be a pretty solid consensus that he’s the 2nd best quarterback behind Teddy Bridgewater. As of right now with the latest draft order, he’d probably go at the LATEST 6th overall. Especially with Mariota going back to Oregon.

  13. whatjusthapped says: Dec 7, 2013 11:52 AM

    I’ve never seen the kid play so if he doesn’t have a strong arm, tends to lock on to his primary receiver, and throws ill timed INT’s, the Vikings will draft him.

    Granted, its the same as Ponder but Spielman buys another couple of years.

  14. qdog112 says: Dec 7, 2013 11:53 AM

    The point is he helps make millions for the school. None of which he can claim. He can succeed or fail, but the choice should be his alone.

    Whether he’s ready or not is not the question. He could stay 10 more years and not be ready or he could bust his body up on the first play next year and never play.

    In America, it’s about supply and demand. The kid should not be limited by anything but his ability, regardless of age or desires of the school that benefits by him staying.

  15. pillowporkers says: Dec 7, 2013 11:54 AM

    With all the desperate qb needy teams, this guy isn’t making it to the second round. And if he somehow does, hell be gone by pick 40.

  16. swu32733 says: Dec 7, 2013 12:11 PM

    Those who say college athletes aren’t paid have obviously not paid for a college education recently.

  17. cbrown386 says: Dec 7, 2013 12:19 PM

    What these kids are given to go to college is plenty of compensation to play a sport to land a multi-million dollar career. As a college student, I know how much their education costs and I know how student athletes live – they live the absolute perfect college life. They get to live stress free aside from playing a sport for as long as they want until they get paid more than most of their class will make combined in the next decade.

    If college athletes were paid, even more of them would end up ruining their lives with legal trouble before they even start living.

  18. beavertonsteve says: Dec 7, 2013 12:51 PM

    If he goes late in the first he’d almost certainly end up in a better situation for him than the top 10.

  19. realitypolice says: Dec 7, 2013 12:53 PM

    Saying that these guys get “paid” with a free college education for some of them is like saying “come work for me and I’ll pay you in lobsters” when you’re allergic to shellfish.

    They don’t want it, they can’t use it, and most of them will never earn their degree anyway. And because the NCAA and NFL are in bed together, the NFL will never create a credible minor league which means kids who have no business being in college are forced to go because it the ONLY path to the NFL.

    I’m only talking about maybe the top 5% of players- for the rest, they know they are not pros and yes, a free education is worth it for them. But for many of the top players, being forced to go to class hardly counts as “payment” for their services.

  20. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Dec 7, 2013 1:05 PM

    By my count, that makes 4 legitimate first round QB’s in the NFL Draft: Bridgewater, Carr, Hundley and Boyd.

    I’m pretty sure there are more than 4 NFL teams desperate for a QB, which will likely make Johnny Manziel a first round reach.

    By no means do I think Manziel will be a good pro, but thinking Lynch is a better NFL prospect than Johnny is blind hate. I’m not sold on Boyd either, but I do think he’s a better prospect than both Lynch and Manziel.

  21. cbrown386 says: Dec 7, 2013 1:26 PM

    It’s not so much that they’re paid with the education, it’s that they are given a place to live, all the food they can eat, NCAA coaches and conditioning staff, free merchandise from school sponsors, celebrity status on campus, and pretty much any other benefit most college kids can dream of. Trust me, I realize most of these kids don’t do anything meaningful with the education aspect, but they are compensated in various ways.

  22. grumpyoleman says: Dec 7, 2013 1:28 PM

    Last I checked they get around $20,000 or more per year towards an education along with other benefits. How exactly are they playing for freeze plus those that ended up playing pro are getting free developmental training.

  23. huthuthut says: Dec 7, 2013 1:46 PM

    Report comment
    cbrown386 says: Dec 7, 2013 12:19 PM

    What these kids are given to go to college is plenty of compensation to play a sport to land a multi-million dollar career. As a college student, I know how much their education costs and I know how student athletes live – they live the absolute perfect college life. They get to live stress free aside from playing a sport for as long as they want until they get paid more than most of their class will make combined in the next decade.

    ———

    College is not the right place for everyone.

    In baseball, athletes have a choice – they can either go to college or enter the professional minor leagues. If they aren’t interested or able to compete academically they can still pursue their athletic career.

    Football and basketball don’t have that, and that’s why you see far more NCAA “scandals” revolving around those sports than baseball.

  24. coltzfan166 says: Dec 7, 2013 1:59 PM

    @ nasaelvis56

    You remember Derek Carr’s brother David, right?

  25. brenenostler says: Dec 7, 2013 2:03 PM

    He’ll go 2nd round….to the Jets.

  26. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 7, 2013 2:28 PM

    It’s a great time to declare for the draft now that Mariota has freshly dropped out. If you wait too long to announce then you could be missing an opportunity to motivate some extra QB to also drop out who is making a tough decision. Smart move by Hundley but I would have preferred a quicker announcement than this just to play things safe. And he’s ready to work towards the next level. Not really anything but nice weather guarantees to look forward to by staying in school.

  27. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 7, 2013 3:27 PM

    There are a lot of good reasons to play another year of college. Mainly, in Hundley’s case, the fact that he hasn’t dominated there yet. Coming out raw has it’s own set of long term risks. Teams are willing to give a young quarterback a shot early, but unless they show instant success, they can be written off early as well. There is every chance that Hundley will advance his “brand” much more so in college next year than he would as a pro. The way Tebow did. If Tebow came out early and crashed, no one would care who he was.

  28. trollhammer20 says: Dec 7, 2013 3:34 PM

    It won’t surprise me to see a lot of draftees getting quick chances to play, and to see more teams taking chances reaching for young talent at the position.

    A young QB who can play well has one huge benefit for a team that goes far beyond having solid performance at the most important position on the field: They won’t break the team’s bankroll.

    Part of Seattle’s success right now is the fact that their QB only makes $680k this year, limited by the new cap rules. This year, Bennett, Harvin, Avril, and Wilson, combined, will cost Seattle less than what Baltimore is paying Joe Flacco.

    Take a flyer on a young guy, or pay bank for a guy like Schaub or Bradford, who both may be available in the near future….what would you do?

  29. fearthehoody says: Dec 7, 2013 6:12 PM

    As a UCLA season ticket holder for the last 4 years, Ive seen all of Brett’s games. He becomes extremely average versus equal to better competition. He is quick to tuck-and-run, but lacks elite or even plus speed. What alot of Bruin fans have also noticed is that the coaching staff wont let Brett throw past 5-7 yards some games, calling nothing but outs, ins, and screens behind the line of scrimmage. That says a whole lot about his decision making and/or ability.

  30. fearthehoody says: Dec 7, 2013 6:17 PM

    Some posted Carr as a legit 1st round pick!? I bet Case Keenum, Kliff Kingsbury, and Timmy Chang agree!

  31. offthelows says: Dec 7, 2013 6:49 PM

    Well, if you are a bust, a top 10 pick’s contract is a lot better outcome than if he were to be a 2nd rounder… but Hundley could be a first round pick anyway in 2014.

  32. boomgrounder says: Dec 8, 2013 1:20 AM

    He needs to stay at UCLA and play CFB because he is not ready to play as a starting NFL QB. That is the bottom line. If he goes in the draft now he will be unemployed in 5 years. If he stays at UCLA for another year or 2 he could be a good to great NFL QB with a long career. He’s just not ready yet.

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