UCLA’s Brett Hundley Skipping Senior Bowl May Benefit New York Jets


Fans of the New York Jets have been used to looking ahead to the NFL Draft a week before the Super Bowl for 46 years and counting. Many of them were not even born the last – and only – time that their favorite team won a championship. So this crowd has perused the mock drafts more than information about the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, who will face one another in a week for the honor of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

New general manager Mike Maccagnan certainly has plenty of work to do before he and his staff get into the war room on draft day. With the sixth overall pick, they probably will see the two top prospects at quarterback off the board by the time they get a chance to fill out the card. Both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are expected to be selected right away, so Maccagnan’s Plan A should be to proceed with neither of them available.

The next names on the quarterback list are not expected to be of the top-10 variety, so the best chance for the Jets to address this position is in the second round or later. One of those happens to be Brett Hundley, who was being spoken in the same category as Winston and Mariota in the preseason.

The 6’3”, 227-pound UCLA signal caller has three years of experience as a starter but was inconsistent this past season as a junior. He was invited to participate in the Senior Bowl but declined. This is being viewed amongst the scouts as a mistake and a positive showing there would have helped his draft status.

All you have to do is look at the last two drafts for examples. In 2013, Geno Smith did not attend the Senior Bowl and slipped to the second round after being projected for the first. On the other hand, EJ Manuel, who played well in the game that year, was picked in the first round when he was expected to go no earlier than the third.

Then last year, A.J. McCarron – who had a great career at Alabama and would have had a hometown crowd at the Senior Bowl – skipped the game and wasn’t chosen until Round 5. Derek Carr was picked three rounds ahead of McCarron and was a starter all year for the Oakland Raiders.

More from Geno Smith

The Jets pounced on Smith when he fell into their laps and he probably will get one last chance to prove that he can be a full time and productive starter at this level. But if Hundley is still on the board when the Jets pick in the second round, do they take him or pass and hope that he is still around in the middle rounds like McCarron?

Either way, they may not even have had the opportunity if Hundley participated in the All-Star game in Mobile.

Next: New York Jets Name Pepper Johnson D-Line Coach