Predicting the Packers Draft: Quarterback

When it comes to quarterbacks in this year's draft, it's important to remember two things:

  1. The Packers are probably not going to draft a quarterback
  2. The Packers are going to evaluate all the quarterbacks anyway

No NFL team can afford to not evaluate a particular position, even if it's not one that seems like a pressing need. This is an important information gathering time, both in terms of future team planning and in terms of scouting potential future opponents.

The Packers have a particular set of physical attributes they look for in a quarterback, and though this is not considered a deep draft for passers, it's still worth taking a look at what the Packers value.

What do the Packers look for in the draft at quarterback?

Our data shows that Green Bay prefers quarterbacks that are about the same size as the league average, but superior athletically. The average quarterback drafted by the Packers tends to be a little bit faster in the 40-yard dash, a little bit more explosive in the broad jump, and a little bit quicker in the 20-yard shuttle.

What’s the best round to select a quarterback?

The data indicates something most people would believe to intuitively be true: if you’re going to draft a quarterback, you’d better do so early. Once the top tier of quarterbacks have been selected in the first and second rounds, there’s almost no chance of acquiring a top prospect. Mid-round successes like Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins are the exception, not the rule.

The lone exception is the sixth round, but that data is affected by the presence of one very notable player: Tom Brady. Don’t bank you draft strategy around finding Tom Brady in the sixth round.

2016 Pro Football Focus grades by round selected - QB

What rounds have the Packers drafted quarterbacks?

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Highest pick: Aaron Rodgers, 2005
Ted Thompson’s first pick was also his best. Rodgers is a future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Biggest disappointment: Brian Brohm, 2008
After Brett Favre retired, the Packers selected Brohm in the second round as protection for Rodgers, who at the time was an unknown commodity. Green Bay demoted him to the practice squad after his rookie season.

Best value: Matt Flynn, 2008
Green Bay got tremendous value from Flynn in the seventh round. He served as a stop-gap quarterback when Rodgers was injured and helped the team make the 2013 playoffs.

Who might the Packers draft at quarterback?

Obviously, the Packers probably won’t be thinking quarterback early, but Mitchell Trubisky does fit well with what the Packers have done in the past.

Beyond that, though, Nathan Peterman of Pittsburgh hits almost all of the Packers’ average physical attributes, and if the Packers aren’t satisfied with Joe Callahan, he could be an intriguing option.

High-end quarterbacks

  • Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

Mid-round quarterbacks

  • Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
  • Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech

Late-round/undrafted quarterbacks

  • Mitch Leidner, Minnesota
  • Cooper Rush, Central Michigan