5. DeShone Kizer, Green Bay Packers
I absolutely had to include DeShone Kizer on this list as a backup after what we saw last season. When Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone, the season was suddenly in the hands of the backup. For the Packers, that was bad news.
A backup quarterback isn’t necessarily important, until you find out the hard way that you don’t have one. After the Vikings let go of Sam Bradford, Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater, they’re relying heavily on Kirk Cousins to get the job done. The Lions have never really had a backup behind Stafford, and the Bears are too concerned with other aspects of their team to worry about adding a backup.
Kizer isn’t the only backup in the NFC North to have starter experience, but he has the highest upside. Upside isn’t necessarily what you want in a backup, but the Packers already tried the play-it-safe route with Brett Hundley and that didn’t go so well. Kizer has a strong arm, he’s mobile, and he’s finally part of an organization that will set up him to succeed.
A lot of fans will remember his disappointing rookie year with the Browns, but he’s able to put that behind him now. Of course, the Packers shouldn’t have to play him much at all in 2018, but he’s a nice safety net. There should be more optimism around Kizer as a backup than Hundley.