GREEN BAY – It takes one to know one.
Packers Director of Pro Personnel Eliot Wolf has been watching film and scouting players since his teenage years, when his father Ron was Green Bay’s GM.
The younger Wolf may have found a kindred spirit when he interviewed UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley at the scouting combine.
“I kind of thought he was a football nerd,” Wolf said, a few moments after the Packers traded up 19 spots in the fifth round to select Hundley on Saturday. “He was really engaging. I thought he knew his offense front and back. He was eager to please, and he didn’t want to talk about anything other than football.”
The three-year starter for the Bruins didn’t dispute Wolf’s characterization of him.
“I love football. It’s who I am and what’s bred inside me,” Hundley said. “I love being quarterback. I can sit there and watch film all day and just learn. I like knowledge. If I don’t know something I want to know it.
“Green Bay is perfect organization to learn as much as possible and (has) the best coaches to help me do that, and Aaron Rodgers.”
Hundley will compete with Scott Tolzien to be Rodgers’ primary backup. He’s the first quarterback the Packers have drafted since 2012 (B.J. Coleman, seventh round).
The Packers surrendered their seventh-round pick (No. 247 overall) to the Patriots to move up from No. 166 to 147 and nab Hundley.
“We like the prospect. We felt we got good value in the trade,” Wolf said. “Big, athletic guy. Strong arm. A lot of upside. We expected him to get drafted a lot higher. Fortunately, he was there.”
Hundley expected to get drafted higher as well. He was considered in the running to be the third QB selected, after top picks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
But he had to wait all through Friday night’s second and third rounds, and Saturday’s fourth round, before finally getting the call. He was the sixth QB taken.
“That really just puts a chip on my shoulder,” said Hundley, who had already received congratulatory text messages from former UCLA teammates and Packers draft picks Johnathan Franklin and Datone Jones by the time he spoke with Wisconsin media via conference call.
“I’m coming to work. I got my opportunity and that’s all I can ask for.”
He also is quickly accepting the reality that he wasn’t drafted by a team in need of a starting quarterback, so he won’t be competing for a No. 1 job anytime soon.
Hundley felt that’s where he was headed, as over his three years as UCLA’s starter he improved his completion percentage from 66.5 in 2012 to 69.1 last year. He also dropped his interceptions from 11 to five in that time.
He had one year of college eligibility remaining but felt it was the right time for him to turn pro. He’ll be making the transition from a spread offense, in which he ran a lot, as he learns the NFL game.
The “football nerd” in him knows the best move for his career now is to try to soak up everything he can in Mike McCarthy’s offense, and position himself for whatever the future holds.
“I’m blessed to be in this position and to get picked by Green Bay,” Hundley said. “You always have expectations of going No. 1 or high in the draft, but everything happens for a reason. That’s how I look at it. If I’m supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be here, and I’m going to make the most of it.”
Additional draft coverage - Day 3