2017 NFL Draft Underrated Prospects: Nathan Peterman

Welcome to NFL Mock’s latest series, “The Underrated,” which will uncover some of the hidden gems of the 2017 NFL Draft

Every year, there’s always numerous question marks in the NFL Draft. There’s players that always leave us scratching our heads. You see their names on the starting lineups before the game. Sometimes you see them crush your fantasy team and you always ask, “who is this guy?”

Each week, I’ll give you a detailed analysis of a player at the college level. That player is someone I think has the potential to become a good player at the next level.

Maybe that player will become a Super Bowl MVP or maybe that player will be a lockdown corner for your teams defense over the next ten years.

Either way, I welcome you to “The Underrated.”

Oct 8, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Nathan Peterman (4) passes the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 8, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Nathan Peterman (4) passes the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pictured above is Nathan Peterman, a 6’2 and 225 pound quarterback out of the University of Pittsburgh. Clearly, he’s not the biggest quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he won’t be what every scout is looking for when they look for a franchise quarterback. However, he has the skill set to eventually become a starting quarterback on Sunday’s.

Not every great quarterback lit up the stat sheets in college, nor were they Heisman trophy candidates. Nathan Peterman would be considered your average joe. In fact, he has a lot of work to do this offseason to prove he should even get drafted. Do I believe he will get drafted? Absolutely. What round will we see a player like him drafted? Last year, Jacoby Brissett got drafted in the third-round, so anything is possible. Normally, someone like Peterman is a fifth or sixth-round draft pick.

When you look at Nathan Peterman’s tape, it won’t make your jaw drop. Did Kirk Cousins make your jaw drop when he came out of Michigan State? Unless you are a Spartans fan, probably not.

When I watch Nathan Peterman, he reminds me of Kirk Cousins. Neither quarterback has a big frame but they stand in the pocket and deliver multiple throws, even with serious amounts of pressure. Peterman’s pocket mobility is what really stands out to me. He averages about six rushing attempts per game with an average of 3.5 yards per carry. But, he can extend plays with his feet and trusts his arm to deliver a great pass down field.

Does Peterman always make the perfect pass? With a 60.3 completion percentage, I’d think not. For statistical purposes though, he’s averaging almost five touchdowns for every one interception (19TDs to four INTs). That’s not bad considering he’s only thrown for 2,114 yards on the 2016 season.

For a senior quarterback to be on his second college team (Peterman transferred from Tennessee in 2015), he really is starting to figure out how to play at a high level. Just this past weekend, Peterman was responsible for five touchdowns and zero interceptions in an upset road victory over second ranked Clemson.

However, his career record is only 18-14 during his 32 career games. Winning hasn’t been easy for Peterman, but when is winning ever easy? With time, Peterman will continue to improve his decision making, especially on third downs and that will open the door for more wins.

With Pitt running a pro-style offense, the transition to the NFL should be easy for Peterman. He’s not turning the ball over, and is averaging 8.39 yards per pass attempt. Despite lacking top tier arm strength, Peterman can still throw the ball down field and completes many of his passes at a high percentage.

The quarterback class for the 2017 NFL Draft isn’t shaping up to be legendary, that’s no secret. Slowly but surely, Nathan Peterman is proving that he could be the drafts best kept secret.

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