McGough played with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in the Spring and was named league MVP. He would complete 67% of his passes for 2,104 yards, the third-most in the league, and rushed for 403 yards, the sixth-most. McGough would lead the USFL in passing touchdowns with 20 and rushed for five more.
"“In one of the most accomplished seasons in professional spring football history where [McGough] accounted for a modern USFL record 25 touchdowns in just 10 games, we’re proud to announce that Birmingham Stallions quarterback Alex McGough is the 2023 USFL Most Valuable Player,” said Daryl Johnston, President of Football Operations."
The 6’3″ – 214 pound McGough is 27 years old and was a 2018 seventh-round pick by Seattle out of Florida International. He has also spent time with Jacksonville but has no regular-season NFL snaps. In college, McGough was an experienced player with over 1,500 dropbacks. He would complete 60% of his career pass attempts at 6.8 yards per pass with 64 touchdowns to 37 interceptions. McGough was effective with the ball in his hands as well, rushing for almost 600 yards at 6.0 yards per attempt over his final two seasons, per PFF.
The addition of a quarterback prior to training camp beginning shouldn’t be all that surprising–both Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur have kept the idea of adding to the quarterback room open since the draft. However, the fact that the Packers went with McGough over more established players like Carson Wentz or Nick Foles may be the surprising part.
With Jordan Love navigating his first season as a starter, there is value in having a veteran backup who has gone through the weekly preparation of being a starting on the roster. That’s an extra set of eyes in the film room, on the practice field, and on the sidelines for Love to work with.
But nonetheless, from an experience standpoint, the Packers’ quarterback room remains young. While, of course, the college game is far different for a quarterback than the NFL, what the Packers did like about rookie Sean Clifford was his experience at Penn State, appearing in 51 games, along with his intelligence, and fit in the locker room–all important aspects to being a backup quarterback.
With the addition of McGough, the Packers now have one too many players on their 90-man roster, which means a cut is going to follow. My guess is that it will be Danny Etling who is waived. During the offseason programs, Matt LaFleur said that with how young the quarterback room is and the number of practice reps that are needed for each player, keeping four on the roster could present some challenges.
"“I just think it’s really, really difficult to get four guys the amount of reps that you need to do,” said LaFleur."
McGough’s ceiling this upcoming season with the Packers is likely as a practice squad player. Given there could be a roster crunch at other positions, such as edge rusher, receiver, and safety, to name a few, I don’t believe keeping three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster is in play. Also, it’s not as if Green Bay is going to cut Sean Clifford, who they just used a fifth-round pick on.