One of the most interesting preseason roster battles for the Green Bay Packers is for the backup quarterback spot. After the disaster the Packers faced without Aaron Rodgers in 2017, it has become crucial to see who would try to keep Green Bay in the playoff hunt if #12 goes down for a few games.
Fans do not want to see Brett Hundley back on the field after a disastrous stretch last year, but he has been impressive in the preseason. His lack of quick decision-making caused many of his struggles in 2017, but he looks to have improved that area of his game this offseason. His continued inclusion as the first QB in the game after Rodgers, demonstrates what the coaching staff thinks of him and the likelihood he will be QB2 for 2018.
DeShone Kizer has been wildly inconsistent this offseason, but it is easy to see the flashes of potential that made him a high second round pick. Mike McCarthy said Kizer would have been a first round pick if he came out this year, and you see similarities when comparing him to rookies like Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield who have shown flashes, but have yet to put it together consistently. While the Packers investment in Kizer isn’t as extreme as it may seem on the surface, I have a difficult time seeing Green Bay cutting a 22 year old with as much arm talent as DeShone.
Tim Boyle has had a fantastic camp. The reality he has a ton of potential, but the Packers would have to use an active roster spot on a guy who would have no chance of contributing this year. Many teams having their own developmental QB prospects they are working on, so it isn’t a lock someone else would want to use an active roster spot on Boyle. On last Tuesday’s episode of Hard Knocks, Browns coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were raving about undrafted rookie QB Brogan Roback, and how they had to get him reps in the first preseason game. I’m also reminded of another undrafted rookie in Joe Callahan who got signed by the Saints and the Browns, and ended up back in GB. It is a big commitment for another team to sign a QB to their active roster they know isn’t going to contribute this season. While I would love to have him on the Practice Squad, there’s no guarantee Boyle would want to spend the season in Green Bay, with limited snaps in practice and no path to playing time in the future with the priority of developing Kizer.
I see the Packers depth at quarterback being significantly improved this year. Of course, Green Bay is in significant trouble if Aaron Rodgers misses any time, but they may have the talent to survive a short stretch without him. Let’s hope the only action the Packers backups face is testing the defensive starters in practice.Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig