This is the first in a series of stories that’s examining the Packers’ roster, position by position, leading up to the 2017 draft. The series begins with the quarterbacks.
GREEN BAY – With the team’s three quarterbacks from 2016 returning for 2017, the Packers aren’t really in the market for another one.
That doesn’t mean Green Bay won’t select one if the right guy falls to them in this draft. But given reports of a thin QB class and only eight picks to shore up a number of other positions, the Packers likely will stand pat here.
Aaron Rodgers will be entering his 10th season as the starter, with third-year pro Brett Hundley and second-year prospect Joe Callahan behind him.
Rodgers played arguably as well as he ever has during the Packers’ eight-game winning streak that led to an NFC North title and trip to the NFC Championship Game last season.
A couple of rough games in the first half of the year prevented Rodgers from receiving serious consideration for a third MVP award, but the season as a whole stacked up well in a decorated career.
It finished first for him in passing attempts (610), first in completions (401), tied for fourth in completion percentage (65.7), third in passing yards (4,428), second in touchdown passes (40), tied for fourth for fewest interceptions (seven), and fifth in passer rating (104.2) among his nine years as a starter thus far.
Hundley was drafted in the fifth round in 2015, when he took the NFL preseason by storm and spent his rookie season as the No. 3 behind Scott Tolzien. He was elevated to the No. 2 role last season as Tolzien departed as a free agent, but a preseason ankle injury significantly limited his on-field work last summer.
It opened the door for Callahan, though, to make a surprise bid for a roster spot as an undrafted rookie out of small Wesley College, where he set a number of Division III records.
Callahan’s impressive 2016 preseason mirrored that of Hundley’s from the year before, and he forced his way onto the opening-day roster, one of five rookie free agents to stick around.
Injuries at other positions eventually led to his midseason release, but after brief stints in New Orleans and Cleveland, Callahan came back to the Packers’ practice squad in early December and was re-signed to the active roster two weeks later for the stretch run.
Whether or not Rodgers takes any more than the scant preseason snaps he took last year remains to be seen, but either way, Hundley and Callahan will look to make their marks again this summer.
With Hundley one year away from the final year of his rookie contract, he could be in essence auditioning for other teams, while Callahan will be out to show he deserves the No. 2 spot should Hundley depart after this year.
This spring, Callahan will get the full offseason in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s QB school that Hundley got for the first time a year ago, while Hundley’s growth should only continue with two seasons in McCarthy’s offense under his belt.