Monday, May 04, 2015

2015 NFL Draft: Packers Select Brett Hundley In The 5th Round

The Green Bay Packers selected Michigan LB Jake Ryan in the 4th round who was held back in college by a major knee injury in 2013 but he seems to be a jack of all trades and Eliot Wolf said that he won't be needed to start right away.

In the 6th round, they first selected Oklahoma FB Aaron Ripkowski because they probably had to with a football name like Ripkowski. He's also a big lead blocker who's a good enough athlete that he could develop into something more. Then they selected DT Christian Ringo, who might be a Mike Daniels-type undersized, overlooked inside pass rusher. And finally TE Kennard Backman who might provide some depth as a receiver from a weak draft for tight ends.

They didn't draft the all-around inside linebacker I'd have loved, but that player didn't appear to be available in this draft. They didn't seem too interested in drafting a two-down inside run stopper, but that's not a top priority in the pass happy NFL. They needed depth at cornerback and linebacker, and they got it done. But all of that was overshadowed on day three by their selection of QB Brett Hundley in the 5th round.

Everything about Hundley seems to be the same analysis: he's got a big arm and he's a great athlete but he brings with it inconsistency and questionable decision making. The worst case scenario for him is probably what Vince Young brought to the Packers during the 2013 preseason; if his first option isn't there then he's going to run for it.

And if the Packers gave up a 1st or 2nd round pick to watch Vince Young v.2.0 then I'd be upset. But they used a 5th round pick for him (plus their 7th round pick to move up in the 5th round). A 5th round pick can sometimes turn into Corey Linsley and a 7th round pick can become Donald Driver, but those are the exceptions. It's not going to set them back much if he doesn't work out. The player they might have selected in the 7th round might be one of the undrafted rookie free agents they signed on Sunday.

After the backup quarterback disaster of 2013, I'm glad to see them draft a quarterback who can provide some upside. I wanted to see Matt Flynn return, but he played some terrible games for the Packers in 2013 and he wasn't going to get any better. I don't know about keeping Scott Tolzien over Flynn, but Tolzien did show enough in 2013 to make me believe he could be better now after a full year of coaching from Mike McCarthy.

I'm not sure what the long plan is here with Hundley. Aaron Rodgers isn't going anywhere for a long while and Hundley isn't going to be his replacement even if McCarthy coaches him into the projected 1st round pick he was supposed to be. Maybe he can become the best backup quarterback in the NFL for a couple years before he moves on in a trade or free agency. Maybe Ted Thompson can trade him for a 1st or 2nd round draft pick in a couple years. Or maybe they'll release him before his fifth season because he never puts it all together.

I can't say I'm excited about Hundley's selection because he's going to be of no help in 2015. But Rodgers isn't indestructible so I can appreciate the value of a talented backup, if needed. I don't recall much being made of former QB B.J. Coleman's draft selection in 2012 and most of the difference between Coleman and Hundley is hype. And he can't be worse than Coleman was. Getting someone with Hundley's upside at any position is worth a selection in the 5th round, and I'm looking forward to watching him this preseason.

No comments: