When senior quarterback Manny Wilkins earned his first start for Arizona State in 2016, he was following a couple of the top Sun Devil quarterbacks in recent history. Taylor Kelly and Mike Bercovici led ASU to a 35-19 record from 2012-2015, however, their playing days after college have been unfruitful.

Kelly became the starter as a sophomore and found major success with former head coach Todd Graham. The Idaho native flew up the ASU record lists to first in total touchdowns and scores in a single season due to his playmaking ability with his arm and legs. He also sits at fourth in passing yards, just eight yards behind Jake Plummer for third (if Kelly had not missed three games as a senior he most assuredly would have overtaken “Jake the Snake”). In 2013, Kelly led the Devils to 10 wins for the first time since 2007 while capturing the Pac-12 South title.

Credit @Taylor_Kelly10 Twitter

Unfortunately, NFL scouts did not see much professional potential in the former Sun Devil. Kelly’s issues were that he had “Below-average poise from pocket… Balance as a passer and decision making dipped sharply at times… Fails to play with the consistency of an NFL quarterback”, according to NFL.com’s scouting analysis by Lance Zierlein. His sophomore season was his best and his completion percentages dropped in each of his years.

Kelly went undrafted in 2015. He was invited to work out with the Arizona Cardinals before they decided not to sign the hometown hero. He now works in developing young quarterbacks and coaches at the esteemed Mater Dei High School.

As for Bercovici, he filled in for three games in Kelly’s absence during the foot injury in 2014 before taking over as the full time starter the next year. Despite only starting for just over a season, he finished his ASU career with 48 touchdowns, eighth in school history. But, after the 2015 season, Bercovici received little draft attention and went unselected.

Unlike his predecessor though, Bercovici received NFL chances. He played for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers during the 2016 and 2017 preseasons, where he struggled mightily, finishing 36/65 with one touchdown and six interceptions. He never made it beyond the Chargers’ practice squad, and they released him after their final preseason game in 2017.

Credit @MikeBerco Twitter

After getting cut, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Despite the team’s injury problems at quarterback, Bercovici never made the active roster. He was cut before the year ended and is a current free agent.

Manny Wilkins seems to have a similar uphill battle for the NFL. He was overshadowed by the star quarterbacks of the Pac-12’s last few years and, instead of bursting into overnight prodigy status a la Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Justin Herbert, his college performance started out mediocre — but he’s been improving ever since. If that trend continues in 2018, who knows — maybe Wilkins will reverse the trend.

For quality up-to-date sports reporting, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Author Details
Content Creator at Armchair Arizona State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I am from Los Angeles and I am a huge Angels, Clippers and Baltimore Ravens fan (liked them long before the Rams came). I loved playing and watching sports growing up and since I don’t consider myself an MLB talent, sports journalism seemed like the way to go. I am a sophomore at Arizona State. In my first year, I covered ASU Baseball and Women’s Basketball for Devils in Detail. I also had a sports talk radio show called Road to Glory on the student radio station Blaze Radio, and I am on that show again along with a couple of podcasts on blazeradioonline.com. I also called a couple of ASU softball games for the station. I work as a cameraman and did color commentary for high school athletics for School Space Media.
×
Content Creator at Armchair Arizona State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I am from Los Angeles and I am a huge Angels, Clippers and Baltimore Ravens fan (liked them long before the Rams came). I loved playing and watching sports growing up and since I don’t consider myself an MLB talent, sports journalism seemed like the way to go. I am a sophomore at Arizona State. In my first year, I covered ASU Baseball and Women’s Basketball for Devils in Detail. I also had a sports talk radio show called Road to Glory on the student radio station Blaze Radio, and I am on that show again along with a couple of podcasts on blazeradioonline.com. I also called a couple of ASU softball games for the station. I work as a cameraman and did color commentary for high school athletics for School Space Media.
Latest Posts

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.