Welcome new CCC writer Dylan Hildebandt to the fold with his first piece:
As we approach the NFL Draft, it’s safe to say that Gutekunst and crew haven’t tipped much of their hand as far as prospects and plans go. Especially at the top of the draft.
As far as fans go; we don’t know. And as far as draftniks and insiders go; they aren’t too sure either.
So what do we know?
Aaron Rodgers is QB1. Cut. Print. Check the gate.
They’ve also traded their “top cornerback” and in return received quarterback Deshone Kizer. It was no secret that Green Bay coveted the former Cleveland Brown as they nearly drafted him instead of Kevin King in last years draft.
But is newly-added Kizer, not-quite-season-savior Hundley and stick-around-another-year Callahan enough? Probably something else we don’t know.
But in a class that will see anywhere from four to six quarterbacks taken in the first, there will be developmental options in the later rounds that Green Bay may consider taking a flyer on.
Kyle Lauletta: Richmond
If you haven’t heard Kyle Lauletta’s name yet then you may want to throw him into your internet search bar. After an impressive senior year, Lauletta received a Senior Bowl invite that inserted his name into the “he may go in the later rounds but has all the tools to be a successful starter” conversation.
Lauletta comes with a fast twitch arm that delivers a tight spiral to receivers, throws well on the run, methodically breaks down coverages and takes advantage of his athleticism to throw on the run. Sound familiar?
But not everything that Lauletta does makes you want to declare him a top prospect. Hence his draft stock projects him going anywhere between the fourth and sixth round. He lacks deep ball strength and accuracy, tends to lose himself under pressure resulting in sacks or turnovers and hasn’t played against top competition. He is also less than two years removed from an ACL injury that kept him out of the 2016 FCS playoffs
All of the skill set concerns about Lauletta are certainly coachable and could be accelerated with his experience in a West Coast system. If Lauletta were to be sitting there in the the fifth round, Gutekunst would have to consider adding him to a quarterback room with serious questions at the backup quarterback spot.
2017 stats: 3,737 yds, 28 TD, 12 INT, 64.9 comp %
Round selected: 5th
Nic Shimonek: Texas Tech
Ever since watching Graham Harrell light up opposing defenses with Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech quarterbacks have had a special place in my heart. The fandom would live on with my first exposure to Baker Mayfield, whom I believe to be QB1 in the upcoming draft (insert “change my mind” meme). And not to my surprise, my 2017 QB1 Patrick Mahomes was selected at No. 10 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs last year (insert Jonah Hill excitement meme). Which brings me to Nic Shimonek.
Now he isn’t the quarterback his counterparts were during their college careers, but he does possess the heart and determination to make him an interesting development prospect that will most likely be on the board in the 6th and 7th rounds.
Shimonek has the arm strength to throw the 20yd, opposite sideline outs and awareness to look safeties off when attempting to make said throw. He also meticulously progresses through reads and had enough magic to bring the team back in the Alamo Bowl last year. All good things.
On the other hand, Shimonek wasn’t able to create enough magic to string together enough solid late game performances which resulted in his benching late in the season. He isn’t anticipatory of passing lanes and gets caught locking in on receivers too often which leads to turnovers. Not good things.
There could be enough to work with that McCarthy may be able to mold him into a solid backup in the future. Or maybe it’s just my Texas Tech induced blindness.
2017 stats: 3,963 yds, 33 TD, 10 INT, 66.5 comp %
Round selected: 6th
Luis Perez: Texas A&M-Commerce
Luis Perez is exactly what you’d consider an “interesting prospect”. Maybe even the most interesting prospect in the upcoming draft.
A former stud on his high school’s BOWLING team, Perez didn’t play a single down for the football team. It wasn’t until his attendance to their last game that made him realize that he had the skill and leadership to play the quarterback position. And from there Perez took off.
The 2017 Harlon Hill Division II Player of the Year finished his career with the Lions as the most-decorated quarterback in the school’s history. Perez has good size and even better accuracy that allowed him to put up gaudy numbers at A&M-Commerce. Even with his small sample size, Perez showed that he can make throws all over the field with accuracy and zip. He also shows savvy and poise in the pocket giving him the ability to take care of the ball.
Perez is definitely a quarterback that will need his mechanics refined and exposure to the pace and playbooks of the NFL. Although it is likely he isn’t drafted, he projects as a hot commodity UDFA that will be fielding calls if he is still available.
2017 stats: 4,999 yds, 46 TD, 11 INT, 71 comp %
Round selected: UDF
Other prospects to consider:
Tanner Lee, Nebraska
Mike White, Western Kentucky
Logan Woodside, Toledo
Alex McGough, Florida International
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