Get to Know Packers QBs Tim Boyle and Nick Stevens
We’ve reached the end of an era as the Packers released quarterback Joe Callahan on Monday. Callahan made the 2016 roster as an undrafted free agent from Division III Wesley College and managed to lead Green Bay’s offense for a series in the fourth quarter of 2017’s Week 17 loss.
For a brief but fleeting four hours, Callahan was the only active Division III quarterback on an NFL roster with regular season experience.
While the roster is still under construction, the Packers have signed Eastern Kentucky quarterback Tim Boyle and are bringing in Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens in for rookie mini-camp this weekend.
Are either Boyle or Stevens a threat to make things interesting during Packers training camp?
Is Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens an NFL prospect?
NFL analyst and long-time front office executive Gil Brandt ranked Stevens as the seventh-best quarterback prospect available in undrafted free agency, ahead of familiar names like TCU’s Kenny Hill and Michigan’s John O’Korn.
Stevens finished his fifth year on campus graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in tourism management. He’s a shining example of the NCAA’s “student-athlete” mantra, earning a 4.21 GPA in high school and arriving on campus with more than 50 academic credits to his name.
On the football field, Stevens entered the season with a strong, seasoned supporting cast and lofty expectations. Colorado State bounced back from a tough non-conference schedule, and Stevens led the Rams to their first 4-0 start in conference play in over fifteen years in 2017.
Stevens faced high-profile opponents in 2017, playing the Alabama Crimson Tide and Wyoming’s Josh Allen. Unfortunately, Stevens struggled in both contests – completing 29 of 52 passes for 357 yards and a pair of interceptions – and the Rams lost both.
He finished his career with 8,550 passing yards – good for second in school history behind current Falcons quarterback Garrett Grayson – and a school-record 70 touchdown passes.
Ultimately, Stevens is a quarterback who is athletically similar to Kirk Cousins and A.J. McCarron but lacks the arm strength. He’s an extremely accurate passer – he finished in the top five in college football last season in completion percentage – and may show enough to warrant an invite back to training camp.
Is Eastern Kentucky quarterback Tim Boyle an NFL prospect?
A former top quarterback prospect in Connecticut, Tim Boyle had big name programs like the University of Florida, Boston College and the University of Houston involved in his recruitment. Ultimately, Boyle stayed in-state and played three seasons with UConn.
Statistically, Boyle leaves much to be desired. Over sixteen games with UConn and eight starts, he threw just one touchdown pass. Boyle may have been rushed along by a UConn coaching staff looking for a spark to save their jobs. Ultimately, too much turnover in the coaches’ ranks and too many turnovers on the field spelled the end for Boyle after his junior season.
“The three years I was at UConn, I had three different head coaches, three different offensive coordinators, three different quarterback coaches,” Boyle said in an interview with Packer Report. “I wasn’t winning a whole lot of games. I wanted a clean slate, go somewhere where I could start fresh, get my confidence back a little bit.”
Eastern Kentucky welcomed Boyle as the Colonels have been trying to revitalize a downtrodden program. Boyle worked with offensive coordinator Angelo Mirando – heralded by Florida head coach Dan Mullen as “brilliant… a tremendous asset in the development of our quarterbacks” when the two worked together at Mississippi State.
Boyle led all quarterbacks in the Ohio Valley Conference in passing and completion percentage, but threw more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (11) in his final collegiate season.
The Packers used one of their precious 30 pre-draft visits to bring Boyle in to Green Bay, and signed him to a contract shortly after the conclusion of the draft on Saturday. Boyle is athletically comparable to Stevens, and much like Stevens struggles with arm strength and deep ball accuracy.
How Gutekunst builds the Packers roster determines QBs’ fates
General manager Brian Gutekunst is tasked with building the Packers roster, and has promised to push for competition at as many position as possible. Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 2018 will unequivocally be Aaron Rodgers, and Gutekunst swapped corner Damarious Randall for quarterback DeShone Kizer before the draft.
Boyle and Stevens are entering a crowded quarterback room in Green Bay. Not only is Rodgers the definitive starter, but the addition of Kizer this offseason all but means the undrafted free agents are fighting for a third-string spot at best.
There’s a reason they’re both spending time at Lambeau Field, and that’s likely due to the pedigree associated with Packers quarterbacks over the last two decades. If you’re a quarterback with talent and looking to improve your game, Green Bay has historically been a good place to hone your craft.
And that’s just what these two quarterbacks aim to do.