Just over a week ago, we went through my personal projections for the Packers Opening Week 53 man roster. Now it’s time to break it down. And we start with the most important position on the field: quarterback.
For this series, which will finish by training camp starts, we will look at each and every player on the roster, breaking down their strengths, weaknesses, their role, and their best and worst case scenarios. I will also project their role. Let’s dive into the depths of the Packers pool of talent.
#12 AARON RODGERS
6’2” 225 lbs. Age 32 (12th Year)
Drafted in the 1st Round (24th Overall) in 2005 from California
Strengths: To put it succinctly, everything. Rodgers it the best pure quarterback the league has seen in many years. Able to throw on the run and from a standstill in the pocket, there is no better passer in both. He has a cannon for an arm and a beautiful, accurate deep ball that rarely gets picked off. Already the most efficient quarterback in NFL history, Rodgers is a master of ball placement, making unbelievable sideline passes look easy.
Weaknesses: If there is any weakness to his game, it’s his patience and willingness to take sacks and heavy hits. A touch customer in the pocket, Rodgers is less willing to throw the ball away and would rather buy time with his feet, risking a major hit.
Underrated attribute: Leaving his feet on throws outside the pocket to avoid leg injuries.
Role: Starter, Pro Bowler, All-Pro, Hall of Famer, MVP
Best Case: A third MVP season. 4800 yards, 48 TDs, 4 INT
Worst Case: A simply really good season. 4,400 yards, 38 TDs, 8 INT
Projection: Starting QB and MVP Candidate
#7 BRETT HUNDLEY
6’3” 226 lbs. Age 23 (2nd Year)
Drafted in the 5th Round (147th Overall) in 2015 from UCLA
Strengths: Extremely intelligent and quick thinking. A great athlete who can avoid pressure to deliver the pass and willing to take the hit to get the ball out. Has a strong arm and is willing to use it. Very accurate on the short and intermediate passes and doesn’t lead his receivers toward big hits. Hard worker who is universally praised by coaches and teammates for his dedication to the game. Willing to sit and listen to coaches and veterans on how to be a pro.
Weaknesses: Sometimes takes big hits and gets sacked a fair amount. Sometimes inconsistent with footwork, but still much improved from his college days. Still unproven, hasn’t seen any regular season time in the NFL yet.
Underrated Attribute: Football IQ is off the charts.
Role: Backup QB, developmental prospect, clipboard extraordinaire
Best Case: In 2016, his ceiling is that he gets in a few blowout games and completes some passes and takes a few knees.
Worst Case: He has to play in the event of an injury and shows his inexperience, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns and struggling with reads.
Projection: 2nd String QB
#6 JOE CALLAHAN
6’1” 216 lbs. Age 23 (Rookie)
Signed as an undrafted Free Agent on May 6, 2016 from Wesley College
Strengths: Extremely productive college quarterback, throwing for over 5,000 yards in 2015 and winning the Gagliardi Award for best Division III player. Has a very strong arm and has the potential to make all the throws, though the competition he faced made him a man among boys. Steps up against good competition, throwing for 8 touchdowns against Mount Union. Has the reputation for being a leader and has a high football IQ. Physically strong, putting up 18 reps at his pro day.
Weaknesses: Didn’t play against top competition in college and is unproven in that regard. Short for a pocket passer at 6’1” and isn’t the most fluid athlete.
Underrated Attribute: Ability to break tackles.
Role: Likely Practice Squad candidate.
Ceiling: He surprises everyone and forces the team to keep him as the third string QB so he can develop.
Floor: Struggles in training camp and is in the first round of cuts.
Projection: Makes it to final cuts and ends up on the practice squad.
#9 MARQUISE WILLIAMS
6’2” 220 lbs. Age 23 (Rookie)
Signed as a Free Agent on May 26, 2016 from North Carolina
Strengths: Gifted athlete, set rushing records at North Carolina. Extremely quick release for a young QB, and delivers the ball with velocity. Willing to take a hit to deliver the pass, and can escape the pocket cleanly. Throws a good deep ball and lets his receivers make a play.
Weaknesses: Accuracy dips when he is flushed, and he can be spotty on short and intermediate throws. Sometimes stares down his first option and can struggle with progressions. A prime candidate for the McCarthy QB Camp.
Underrated Attribute: His deep ball is upper level quality for a rookie.
Role: Likely practice squad player or street free agent on retainer.
Ceiling: Surprises everyone and wins a spot as the 3rd QB.
Floor: Doesn’t make it past first cuts of camp after struggling in team drills.
Projection: Makes it to final cuts but ends up on another teams practice squad.
There is a good amount of talent in this position group and Mike McCarthy has a lot of clay to mold with these young players. Stay tuned for Saturday as we tackle the offensive backfield.——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.