With the NFL Scouting Combine just around the corner, it's time to look at some intriguing prospects to keep an eye on in Indianapolis.
Next up — NC State quarterback Ryan Finley.
The 2019 quarterback class is filled with hope and potential, but no many sure things. A lot of NFL teams are thinking about taking a gamble to go after what they think could be the quarterback of their future.
With Finley, there is very little gamble involved.
The fifth-year senior was mentioned as a potential first-round pick by several draft sites heading into the 2017 season. Some even had him as the top prospect available. A disappointing season statistically knocked him off that pedestal and forced him to return for his senior season. All he did was post the best season of his collegiate career — albeit quietly.
Throughout his collegiate career, Ryan Finley has completed well over 60 percent of his passes with over a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has operated out of an offense similar to what most NFL teams are running today, and he has mastered it.
In terms of on-field reps and overall maturity in the 2019 draft class, only Boise State's Brett Rypien — Finley's former teammate — has him beat. Finley has put up solid numbers in a Power 5 conference in three years as a starter. Nobody else in the 2019 class can say that.
At the combine, look for Finley's accuracy during his throwing sessions stand out. As for his aforementioned maturity, that will be key in separating Finley from the pack during the interview process.
Right now, scouts and analysts have Finley getting drafted somewhere around the fifth round. If he shows up to the combine, makes the throws he is capable of making and puts his maturity and confidence on display, there's no reason his stock can't rise to the point of him being projected as high as the third round.
There' a strong argument to be made that Finley is the safest quarterback available in the 2019 NFL Draft.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.