Packers Sign QB Jerod Evans to Practice Squad
The Packers have signed quarterback Jerod Evans to the practice squad, filling the spot created by the promotion of Joe Callahan to the active roster.
An undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech, Evans spent time earlier this year as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. After a foot injury in rookie minicamp, Evans was placed on injured reserve by the Eagles, then was released and had not signed with any team prior to his agreement with the Packers. He did work out for the Packers in late September, but did not sign a contract at that time.
Physically gifted but but raw prospect
Evans started his college career at the Air Force Academy, but transferred after a knee injury in 2013. After two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College, Evans transferred to Virginia Tech.
As a dual threat quarterback, Evans enjoyed a successful junior season for the Hokies, throwing for 3,309 yards, 27 touchdowns, and just five interceptions while rushing for 846 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Clay Patterson, the offensive coordinator at Trinity Valley during Evans’ time there, said the talent was always evident in Evans’ game.
"You could tell Day 1, when he was out there throwing, that he had an elite arm talent," said Patterson. "There was no doubt about it. All the tools were there. He was just a little raw. The first time I saw him throw a football, there was no doubt he had all the tools to be great one."
Despite his physical gifts, it was still a surprise when Evans declared for the 2017 NFL Draft, forgoing his senior season.
Draft analyst Tony Pauline minced no words when it came to his decision to declare early.
"Shocked the (heck) out of me," Pauline said. "I never really watched him because I never took him as a serious pro prospect this year. He was never a guy where, I would watch Hodges, I would watch Isaiah Ford, I would watch (Ken Ekanem), I would watch (Brandon) Facyson, (Chuck) Clark. I never watched the quarterback as a serious, next-level guy."
A promising project, but no short term help
Evans does have a bit of a raw game, but in a vacuum it’s easy to make the case for the Packers doing a deal. At 6-3 and 232 pounds, Evans still clocked a respectable 4.8 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine this spring and appears to be a good all around athlete.
Even a cursory glance at highlights reveals obvious arm strength, but also the somewhat unconventional release scouts have mentioned.
Though they haven’t carried three quarterbacks on the active roster in some time, the Packers do prefer to keep three quarterbacks in their developmental system if possible, and that appears to be the likely fit for Evans. He doesn’t seem to be at a point in his career where he could contribute on the 53-man roster, but given his physical attributes, there could be a role for him somewhere down the road.
In the short term, Evans certainly isn't hurting his chances at becoming a fan favorite in Green Bay. He said before the draft that Aaron Rodgers is his favorite quarterback to watch, hoping to pattern his game after the two-time MVP.
"As far as who people compare me to, I wish they’d say more Aaron Rodgers, like a bigger Aaron Rodgers," he told Sporting News. "Just the adjustments he makes, extremely strong arm, he’s a great leader, all those things I try to do."