By Jordan Huenink
Coach Mike McCarthy has already gone on record say that he hopes to take four quarterbacks into training camp this off-season. With Aaron Rodgers and Scott Tolzien already locked in contractually and Matt Flynn still jobless/available on the free agent market, that still leaves at least one quarterback spot unfilled thus far.
While the Packers could bring in an out-of-work backup quarterback to fight for a spot in camp (like the 2013 Vince Young project), it also wouldn’t be a surprise if Ted Thompson decided to draft a late-rounder to fill the fourth spot. But with so many glaring defensive needs that will no doubt be addressed in the early rounds, who are some of the prospects that could fall into the Packers’ lap on Day 3 of the draft?
One of the names that has been frequently connected with the Packers lately is LSU senior Zach Mettenberger. Before tearing his ACL in the Tigers’ final game of the regular season, Mettenberger threw for over 3,000 yards and ranked fourth in all of college football in passing efficiency. His big frame (6’5″, 235 lbs) doesn’t make him a threat to run, but it does translate into a strong arm. His recent injury could scare away earlier round suitors, and if he falls to a place that fits the Packers, he could be a great, long-term backup prospect. [Editor’s note: also, cool mustache, bro.]
Another name previously linked to the Packers is David Fales from San Jose State. A strong, vocal leader both on and off the field, Fales is one of only two quarterbacks in the 2014 draft to have thrown for at least 4,000 yards in both of his last two seasons. However, scouting reports criticize Fales’ size (6’2″, 212 pounds), his pocket presence and his struggles with the blitz. The Vikings are reportedly interested in Fales as well.
If the Packers are looking for a QB to potentially battle for a third-string job or hold down a spot on the practice squad, they may want to take a look at Logan Thomas from Virginia Tech. His stature has been compared to Ben Roethlisberger (6’6″, 254 pounds), and has averaged 400 rushing yards and 8 rushing TDs over his three seasons as a starter. Despite having a huge arm, his inaccuracy (sub-60% completion) and decision-making (39 INTs in three seasons) are the main reasons his draft stock has been falling lately. This tight end turned quarterback should be available in Rounds 6 and 7 if the Packers are still looking by then.
Overall, the Packers’ need for a backup quarterback is relatively low, but it is a position that is receiving more attention than usual after last year’s injury to Aaron Rodgers. The last time Ted Thompson drafted a quarterback was in 2012 when he selected B.J. Coleman with the team’s last pick in Round 7 (#243 overall), so we could expect to see the same, late-round result this year if they do decide to draft someone at this position.