I had a hard time understanding how Brett Hundley fell to the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft (so did Eliot Wolf). The Packers certainly didn’t need a quarterback. It certainly seems like the team believes in Scott Tolzien. Tolzien is only 27 years old. Backup QB wasn’t going to be a priority unless there was a special value available. Brett Hundley looked like a special value last night.
Hundley was incredibly efficient, completing 16 of his 23 passing attempts for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns. Yes, he was going against the Saints’ backups. He was also throwing to Packers backups, protected by an offensive line full of backups. His development from apparently being less impressive than Matt Blanchard in OTAs to starring in the preseason has been remarkable.
It wasn’t just last night, either. Hundley finished the preseason with a passer rating over 129. He threw for 630 yards with a very impressive 7/1 TD to INT ratio. His athleticism and arm talent, in my opinion, put him well above any quarterback drafted by the Packers after they selected Rodgers in 2005.
Often projected as a first round pick before last season, Hundley struggled as a junior at UCLA and was drafted much later than expected. Many experts beamed over the selection by the Packers. Hundley was viewed as a talented player who might be a little raw. Going to a franchise with an elite QB and a good program for QB development was a coup. It’s starting to look like Hundley’s not the only one who will benefit from his selection by Green Bay.
The fear, of course, is that Hundley’s NFL success will come in another uniform. Aaron Rodgers is barely past 30 years old. As the NFL becomes easier on quarterbacks it’s becoming clear that elite ones can play up until they’re 40 (see Brady, Tom and Manning, Peyton). In a quarterback starved league, there is no way that Hundley keeps progressing like he has and showing what he has shown in the preseason that he doesn’t get signed after his rookie deal expires in Green Bay.
Sure, if someone signs the former Bruin to a big, big deal the Packers would get a compensatory pick, but doesn’t it seem like they should get more out of it than spending a 5th round pick and turning into a pick in the late 3rd 4 years later? Hundley is a difficult investment for Packers fans.
I said in the draft recap episode of From the Benches that if Rodgers missed extended time I might want to give Hundley the look instead of Tolzien. I backed off that a bit as Tolzien looked sharp in preseason play, but now that I’ve seen more I remember that Scoots has a talent “ceiling” that Brett Hundley simply does not.
Brett Hundley puts me in a weird place as a fan. I want to see him do well. I don’t want to see him do well in someone else’s colors. If he’s doing well in our colors it means that my favorite NFL player of all time is hurt. Life is hard, so is football.