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Baylor QB Bryce Petty says he belongs in same company as Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota

Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty drops back to throw

Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty drops back to throw the ball during practice for the Senior Bowl college football game, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Credit: AP / Brynn Anderson

MOBILE, Ala. - Bryce Petty thinks he should be right up there with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.

Actually, the Baylor quarterback thinks he should be ahead of both of them on NFL mock drafts.

"I feel like I'm No. 1. I really do," he said Wednesday after the South team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl. "That's not a cocky thing, it's not an arrogant thing. It's just me being confident in what I do and understanding that I have a learning curve [to adjust to]."

"But at the same time, I'm really like a little kid in a candy store. I love the idea of playing chess instead of checkers, which is what we've been playing in college. So beating you with my mind and my arm is an aspect that I haven't had the opportunity to do, so I'd love it."

Draft experts, however, don't seem to share his opinion.

The 2015 draft is shaping into a two-man race between Mariota and Winston to see who will be the No. 1 overall selection and the top QB off the board.

The Jets need a solution to their quarterback woes, but with the No. 6 pick they likely won't get a shot at either Mariota or Winston. But even if Geno Smith returns to training camp as the incumbent, the Jets' new general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles could choose to draft a quarterback in the later rounds. And that could mean Petty, UCLA's Brett Hundley or Garrett Grayson of Colorado State could be selected.

Petty said he's well aware of the scouting reports on him, but he's not fazed by them.

"Those guys are good at what they do, but I'm good at what I do," he said. "And I understand that my capabilities and potential for learning an NFL offense are sky-high."

"So it's just about getting in it, it's just about doing it and that's part of the reason I wanted to come here. I wanted to show I could do it."

He said there have been "a whole lot" of teams that have expressed interest in him this week, but he hasn't had any meetings with the Jets to this point, he said.

The decision by Mariota and Hundley to skip the Senior Bowl has left more room for Petty and other quarterbacks to shine in front of scouts. But he hasn't been consistently accurate with his passes in practice. Nevertheless, his confidence never wavers.

"I knew I was going to take my bumps and bruises and [make] mistakes, but it's getting my foot in the door, and that's what I wanted to do," he said."My expectations for myself are higher than what you guys have. I guess, if you wanna say it's added motivation, but I already had it anyway."

As for whether the absences of Mariota and Hundley at the Senior Bowl will help separate him from the pack, Petty just shrugged.

"Who knows, man? Who knows? I'm sure (the draft experts) will have more to knock me on (by being) here," he said, smiling. "That's just the nature of the beast, that's how it goes. I'm having fun with it, I'm taking every opportunity not for granted and I'm loving being out here and competing with these guys."

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