Stepping Back: Baylor QB Bryce Petty

The NFL Scouting Combine is over but the dissection has just begun. Mark Schofield began by looking at the footwork of Marcus Mariota vs Jameis Winston, and now he turns his eye to Baylor QB Bryce Petty.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are firmly established as the top two quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Draft class and the race for the third spot is underway. According to most scouts and draftniks, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Baylor’s Bryce Petty, and Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson are the top candidates to come off the board as the third QB chosen. While Grayson held out of throwing at the combine due to a hamstring injury, Hundley and Petty participated in all drills.

Petty thrived in a spread system as the Bears quarterback. Reviewing footage from the passing portion of the combine, therefore, provided the first real opportunity to examine Petty’s proficiency in the five-step drop game.

As previously outlined, spread option quarterbacks often struggle transitioning from the shotgun to taking snaps and dropping back from center. Petty’s footwork was very similar to Mariota’s in this regard. Near the end of the throwing session, the quarterbacks were tasked with executing a five-step drop from the center and throwing a 9 – or go – route. Here is Petty’s first throw:

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Petty fails to hit the goal depth of seven yards on his drop. He barely makes it six yards before climbing the pocket and throwing with his left foot planted on the 16-yard line. The depth of only four yards at the moment of release is a full yard or more short. He threw this route twice more, barely making it six yards deep each time. As with Mariota, Petty needs to improve his footwork by his pro day to push himself into third place.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.

All video and images courtesy the NFL and NFL Game Rewind.


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