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The big Combine question: At QB, who's No. 3?

INDIANAPOLIS --Whether Jameis Winston throws or not at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, there is little question that the Florida State passer and Oregon's Marcus Mariota are the top two quarterbacks at the Scouting Combine.

But for teams picking outside the top 10 selection the most pertinent question regarding quarterbacks is which one will be the third off the board -- and where is the right spot to pounce?

UCLA's Brett Hundley can barely fathom that he's in the discussion as the No. 3 quarterback. At one point, he was a candidate to be the top overall pick, but his stock fell a bit last season as Mariota and Winston asserted their preeminence.

"My goal is to be No. 1," Hundley asked about his draft-day goal.

That seems unlikely unless he laps the field Saturday, but this is the healthiest he has been in some time. He sat out the Senior Bowl last month because he was recovering from shoulder and elbow injuries.

A handful of images of players Denver might be considering in the 2015 NFL Draft

Hundley's absence allowed Baylor's Bryce Petty and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson to make their pitches. Grayson was more refined, befitting his work in a program that then-CSU coach Jim McElwain ran like a professional outfit, but he is not expected to work out at the Combine amid reports that he injured his hamstring.

Of the three fighting for No. 3, Petty is the most intriguing -- and the biggest projection. He's prolific, smart, has a strong enough arm, and the third-largest hands of any quarterback at the Combine (10 inches), which should help reduce the potential for fumbles.

But he played in a system at Baylor that kept him from lining up under center, and, as teammate Antwan Goodley noted Friday, didn't even have a real playbook.

All that changed at the Reese's Senior Bowl last month.

"Before that, I had no idea what to expect as far as even what a play call was," Petty admitted.

The issues under center were apparent when Petty lined up for his first day of Senior Bowl practice on Jan. 20. Footballs squirted out of his grasp at an alarming pace. But by the third day of work, the bobbles dropped, and Petty looked more at ease.

"Once I see it, whether I did it right or wrong, I normally learn from it pretty quick doing it," Petty said. "I felt very comfortable getting in and out of play-actions that are just five-step drops, seven-step drops, things like that.

"Definitely room to improve, but I like where I'm headed."

Last month, Petty compared the transition to going from writing in print to cursive: same language and words, but a different style.

"We were in the spread (at Baylor) but at the same time I feel like I am a pocket passer," Petty said. "I want to extend plays, extend plays within the pocket. That might be a little bit different than most spread quarterbacks who want to run it out of the pocket.

"For me, I feel like my game can translate easier in that and the fact that I want to play within the pocket and I want to extend plays within the pocket and beat you doing that."

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