Green Bay Packers: When should they target a quarterback?

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images /

It was at this point in Brett Favre’s career that the Green Bay Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers, so could they be looking for a quarterback in this year’s draft?

Let’s go back to 2005. The Green Bay Packers held the 24th overall selection and they already had a future Hall of Fame quarterback in hand.

Aaron Rodgers was not expected to still be available when the Packers were on the clock, in fact, he was supposed to be the top overall pick. However, teams continued to pass on the California quarterback, which then put former General Manager Ted Thompson in a tough position.

But we know how the story goes and the Green Bay Packers took who they felt was the best player available. Rodgers was selected and the rest is history.

Fast forward to 2019. Rodgers is the same age that Brett Favre was at the time. That has led some to ponder whether the Packers could repeat history and pick a quarterback to sit behind Rodgers for a few seasons before taking the reigns.

Those whispers have only gotten louder as the Packers have had a top-30 visit with potential first-round picks Drew Lock of Missouri, and Daniel Jones of Duke.

Ultimately, while their ages are the same, little else lines up in terms of this historical connection between Favre and Rodgers.

Favre had routinely flirted with retirement when the Green Bay Packers made the decision to select Rodgers and it turned into a yearly occurrence toward the end of each season. While on the other hand, Rodgers has made it well-known that he wants to play into his 40s.

Favre’s contract was also different, as was the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement at that time. Whereas Rodgers’ current contract gives the Packers no conceivable way to move on from him for at least three seasons.

Should the Packers select a quarterback and start him after one season, they would have to move on from Rodgers. Such a move would carry a nearly $54 million dead cap hit over four years. Two seasons later the Packers would carry $23 million in dead money over three years.

Financially, the move doesn’t make sense at all. Rodgers will be here for the remainder of his deal.

From an on-field standpoint, the move would not make sense either. Rodgers is a much better player than Favre was at this point in his career.

In the two seasons following when Rodgers was drafted, Favre threw 38 touchdowns and 47 interceptions. That includes an embarrassing 29 interceptions in 2005 and that was the year we saw the Packers finish 4-12.

Rodgers is coming off of a year below his standards, but he still finished with 25 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Simply put, the only thing comparable between this situation and the previous one is the age of the respective quarterbacks.

Now that the idea of a first-round quarterback is out of the way, could the Packers potentially look to use this draft to add to their quarterback room?

The short answer is yes. Ron Wolf used to pick quarterbacks in the mid rounds on a yearly basis with the goal of grooming and trading them. The Packers could also be looking at a long-term solution for their backup quarterback spot.

DeShone Kizer was a player they clearly liked, as there were whispers that he was in play for the pick that eventually became Kevin King just two years ago. One year later they traded Damarious Randall for him. Kizer is talented, but his in-game results have left a lot to be desired.

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In one-quarter of play against the Bears, Kizer gifted them 10 points. He threw a terrible interception that led to a touchdown and he would also fumble with the Packers in field goal range.

His other period of extended playing time did not get much better. When Aaron Rodgers exited with a concussion in the season finale against Detroit, Kizer was unable to lead the Packers on a single scoring drive.

Then we have Tim Boyle, who may have achieved folk hero status with his fearless nature of throwing the ball down the field, but it’s unlikely he could contribute to an NFL offense for an extended period of time.

With the current backup quarterback situation in mind, if the Packers did draft a quarterback, it would be with the hopes of grooming him to be the long-term backup to Aaron Rodgers.

In addition, the Packers essentially made an all-in kind of move in free agency. Picking a quarterback with a top-100 pick would go against what is clearly their play for the next two seasons or more.

There are some intriguing options in this year’s draft, such as Brett Rypien of Boise State or Easton Stick of North Dakota State, as they are both players that could go in the fourth round or later, which is the sweet spot in the draft for the Green Bay Packers.

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But with all of this said, at this point in Rodgers career, If they’re looking for a quarterback it’s as a backup, and drafting one before day three would be a waste of resources for a team that is looking to compete now.