NFL draft preview: Packers could target late-round QB
First in a 10-part NFL draft position-preview series looking at prospects who might be of interest to the Packers. Today: Quarterbacks.
The Packers should already feel better about their quarterback depth in April than they did in January, but it’s a risk to believe the work is finished. Though he is a better prospect, there’s no guarantee DeShone Kizer will find more success in Green Bay than Brett Hundley. Both were among four quarterbacks who started at least half their team’s games last season and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Coach Mike McCarthy said at the NFL scouting combine he prefers four quarterbacks on the roster, including one developmental prospect on the practice squad. Whether the Packers intend to keep both Kizer and Hundley or just one, they could use one of their 12 picks — including nine on Day 3 — to take a quarterback. Priority level: Low.
KURT BENKERT, VIRGINIA
The good: Athletic, two-year starter with the Cavaliers. Unprompted, Benkert professed his admiration for Aaron Rodgers at the combine, saying he spent much of last season studying the two-time MVP. Benkert was especially drawn to Rodgers’ dual-threat ability. Not a runner, but patterns his game on ability to make throws outside the pocket.
The bad: Strong arm, but sometimes trusts it too much. Threw 20 interceptions the past two seasons. Accuracy and decision-making must improve.
Projected round: 5-7.
TANNER LEE, NEBRASKA
The good: Impressed at the combine with arm talent. Can make every NFL throw. A Tulane transfer, threw for 3,143 yards with 23 touchdowns in his lone season with the Cornhuskers.
The bad: Poor decisions. Tossed 16 interceptions and completed just 57.5 percent of his passes last season. Must further develop as a quarterback, not just a passer. “In a pair of shorts,” NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock said, “he’s always going to look good. His issues were more bad decisions and bad throws in games.”
Projected round: 7-FA.
Best and bust
Because Brett Favre arrived in Green Bay via a trade, Aaron Rodgers in 2005 is a no-brainer for best quarterback the Packers ever drafted (although Bart Starr in the 17th round wasn’t too shabby). It wasn’t all rosy when Ted Thompson drafted a quarterback: The Packers selected Brian Brohm in the second round three years after Rodgers; he never played in a game for them and was out of the league after a quick stop in Buffalo.