Green Bay Packers select Brett Hundley in fifth round of NFL draft
Of the teams expected to be interested in dual-threat UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, the Packers were pretty far down the list. Hundley's slide past several teams short on quarterback talent all the way into round 5, though, meant all bets were off. The Packers pounced at pick No. 147, trading a fifth- and seventh-rounder to the Patriots so they could select Hundley.
There are some rather clear pros and cons to the landing spot, from Hundley's perspective. On the plus side, he gets to develop his game while watching Aaron Rodgers, arguably the game's top quarterback. Even Hundley's college coach, Jim Mora Jr., said that it would be multiple seasons before Hundley was ready to start in the NFL. The 31-year-old Rodgers is not going anywhere in the near future, but his current backup, Scott Tolzien, is hardly locked into that spot.
The glass-half-empty angle for Hundley is this: Barring an injury to Rodgers, he has no shot at earning any meaningful playing time while in Green Bay. The Packers could stash him away for several years down the road, but any hope Hundley has of becoming an NFL starter likely will depend on what he can show in the preseason. In other words, Green Bay eventually could look to trade him away, provided he can draw interest elsewhere.
This situation will be very interesting to track in the coming seasons, regardless of Hundley's playing time. Early in the fifth round, he was more than worth the risk, especially for a team already set at the No. 1 QB spot.
Strengths: Well-built player at 6'3" and 226 pounds, with all the base attributes you'd want in a mobile quarterback. Has legitimate breakaway speed when on the run. Operates very well out of play-action, and is refining an understanding of the effect his mobility has on opposing defenses. Has the velocity to make any throw without too much effort. When in the pocket to throw, has no issue with delivering the ball and taking a hit. Real ability to succeed under center and in the pocket, though it hasn't been shown much—he took seven snaps under center total in 2014. Mentally tough and a hard worker. Will need serious development in some areas for NFL success, but is worth the time and effort.—Doug Farrar
Weaknesses: Played in a shotgun offense, and while that isn't a liability in the NFL anymore, Hundley's familiarity with a relatively simple play-calling system will be. Tends to lock on to his first receiver too often, will telegraph his reads, and will struggle further with turnovers in the NFL, when coverage windows are smaller. Drops from passing to running under pressure too often, and needs to default to keeping his eyes on his targets when on the run. Slightly hitchy delivery that leads to inconsistencies in ball placement. Needs to develop as a pure pocket passer. Takes too many sacks and needs to speed up his internal clock. Not an anticipation thrower—needs open pockets to consistently succeed. Runs into trouble when trying to read more complex coverages.—Doug Farrar
Pro Comparison: Colin Kaepernick