Packers: QB Nick Mullens Would Provide Added Veteran Presence

Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) warms up prior to facing the Washington Football Team at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) warms up prior to facing the Washington Football Team at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers are going to add another quarterback — and possibly two — to their roster. And no, doing so isn’t them showing their hand with the Aaron Rodgers’ situation—this was going to happen regardless.

Rodgers and Jordan Love are the only two quarterbacks on the roster, and if Green Bay only wants to carry two on the 53-man roster, that’s perfectly fine and is something they’ve done before. However, you can’t get through training camp with only two quarterbacks—there are just too many reps to go around.

During his post-draft presser with reporters, Brian Gutekunst mentioned that the team was looking at both veteran and rookie options to bring in at the position. And in Green Bay’s case, bringing in someone with experience makes way more sense than the latter.

For starters, and I’ll start by saying that it is no player’s job to help develop Love,  but having that additional experienced presence certainly doesn’t hurt. Whether it be in the film room or on the practice field, that is someone else for Love to lean on–especially since we don’t know what the recent developments are going to do to Rodgers’ and Love’s relationship, which by all accounts, was fine last season.

There are plenty of examples of a veteran being on the roster to help out a younger quarterback. As Maggie Loney of CheeseheadTV points out, a few recent examples include Drew Stanton and Baker Mayfield in Cleveland along with Josh McCown and Carson Wentz in Philadelphia.

We also have to discuss the doomsday scenario where Rodges isn’t under center come Week 1, and in that situation, you’d much rather have someone with experience as QB1 if the Green Bay Packers feel that’s the best course of action or as Love’s backup to provide some stability. Putting a UDFA in that position is just asking for trouble.

One intriguing option who the Green Bay Packers could sign is former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens. Now, Mullens doesn’t have the same years of experience as Stanton and McCown, who were referenced above, but this will be his fifth NFL season, and he does have 16 career starts and 19 total appearances.

However, there is a caveat with this signing, and that is that Mullens has to be healthy. He underwent offseason elbow surgery, and while the reports suggest that he will be ready for training camp, the Packers’ medical staff would have to sign off on that. And for this exercise, we are going to assume everything is in good order.

An undrafted rookie out of Southern Miss in the 2017 class, Mullens has been thrown into the fire a few times. Over those 19 appearances, the Niners had a 5-11 record while Mullens started as he threw for 25 touchdowns to 22 interceptions and completed 64.5 percent of his passes—not bad. He would average 248.1 passing yards per game — 4,714 total — 7.9 yards per attempt and logged a quarterback rating of 87.2.

I also have to mention that transition from the Kyle Shanahan offense to Matt LaFleur’s would be rather seamless, as there is a lot of overlap in what the two coaches like to run. This is a plus for Mullens, but also Love, who, as I said, could benefit from an additional veteran presence.

During a recent meeting with reporters, 49ers’ GM John Lynch and Shanahan both went out of their way to praise Mullens. Shanahan would call Mullens a “stud” and add that he “helped us out a ton here.” Meanwhile, Lynch had this to say:

"“One of our favorite players,” Lynch said via Yahoo! Sports. “I’ll never forget him, coming in here in his suit as a free agent for his top-30 visit. And then turning into that player. I really admire that kid. He gets the most out of his ability and we wish him well, whether it’s here or elsewhere.”"

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By no means should the expectations with Mullens be that if called upon — for whatever the reason might be — that he is going to lead the Green Bay Packers to the playoffs. But if needed to win a game or two, he gives you a chance. And not to be repetitive, but given his familiarity with the style of this offense, he is someone who can hopefully be a resource for Love–and in the end, getting Love ready to compete is the ultimate goal.