Who’s the best rookie quarterback to draft?
"Tanner writes: The Packers really need to sign a veteran quarterback as a security blanket behind Rodgers, but it just feels like this front office is going to draft a late-round quarterback anyway. Hopefully they do both. Who’s your favorite quarterback that could end up in Green Bay at the end of the draft?"
Finally, something positive to talk about. The Packers do desperately need to sign a veteran backup. Fortunately, there are plenty of them out there. This isn’t about those guys though. This question is about the rookies coming up in the draft.
Before we get to my favorites, here’s a video of Rodgers I came across yesterday that I think applies to this question.
Obviously this is an insane amount of knowledge that we may never know is typical of NFL quarterbacks. I like to think this is one of the things that separates Rodgers from the crowd. No rookie will be able to see these things, but the potential to someday get to this point has to be there for a rookie quarterback regardless of where they’re drafted.
Kurt Benkert, Virginia
(I’ll preface this by saying first that I don’t think the Packers should draft a quarterback until day three of the draft. The guys I talk about below reflect that thinking.)
Benkert might be my favorite of the late-round quarterbacks. His draft profile from NFL.com is full of key phrases that garner interest. He has a strong arm, an NFL body and he can escape pressure and throw well on the run. His downfalls come with accuracy and being over aggressive, which show in his sub-60 percent completion percentage. He’s a gunslinger.
Being too aggressive gets some young quarterbacks into trouble, but that’s a mentality I would prefer to see developing behind Rodgers. McCarthy never seemed to open the playbook up for Brett Hundley despite claiming he trusted him. Perhaps Hundley wasn’t capable of playing down the field like Benkert can.
He looks like he has the natural ability to play the position and the instincts to develop into the assassin that Rodgers displays in the video above. Late round quarterbacks are a shot in the dark but I like what Benkert brings to the table.
Jeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston State
I’m not very fond of too many quarterbacks in the draft this year. I also hope the Packers don’t take one too early, which doesn’t leave many quarterbacks left. Briscoe is a small-school guy who has insane numbers and a fearless mentality.
His draft profile also categorizes him as a gunslinger. He was in a pass-heavy offense and was one of the best quarterbacks in FCS the last two years. He threw 26 interceptions in 2016 and 2017, which is a lot, but he also threw or 102 touchdowns in that time.
I like this video of Briscoe’s four touchdowns against South Dakota from last year. It has a little bit of everything and he shows off his arm well here.
A lot of the time a quarterback isn’t rated highly by scouts because of a weak arm. That isn’t the case for Benkert or Briscoe. They have confidence and arm talent but can lack accuracy. I like their seemingly innate abilities to make plays and I think that’s what will translate. Accuracy is something that is heavily debated over about whether it can be taught or not. I know one thing is for sure though; a strong arm, big body and a habit for making plays definitely cannot be taught.
Take these late quarterbacks for what they are. They likely won’t become regular starters. If you’re looking for somebody to groom into a suitable emergency replacement for Aaron Rodgers, Benkert and Briscoe are good starts.