Coming off another season where Aaron Rodgers missed significant time, Packer backers are eyeing this strong quarterback class with a magnifying glass. The Packers have the 14th pick in the draft, and may have the ability to snag a nice talent at the position, but it seems too soon to start searching for a new girl. Aaron is our muse, and the reason why we’re a power couple in the first place. The past few offseasons the organization has talked about how desperate they are to put a super bowl caliber team around their star quarterback. They’ve been working with sub-par draft picks, so I think they’ll look to take the best non-QB talent at 14, or trade down and try to add as many talents as possible for next season.
As pretty as the “top-tier” quarterbacks are, it doesn’t feel like the right time to send a drink and millions of dollars over to them. I could see the new general manager, Brian Gutenkunst, acquiring a quarterback anywhere from the second round to a undrafted free agent. So, let’s take a look at the Senior Bowl MVP Kyle Lauletta our of Richmond.
One thing you’ll read again and again with Lauletta, he’s a good leader. I have nothing against Brett Hundley, but as Matt Flynn said himself, his Bayou attitude went a long way to keeping the Packers afloat in 2013. Someone with natural leadership qualities isn’t a bad idea. Watching the prospects highlight videos, he seems to be an accurate, smart passer. His deep ball was money, although his receivers were able to create about five yards of separation on every throw. He can keep himself balanced as he throws on the run, obviously an important skill in the Packers system. He also looks like he could adapt the ability to throw off a slight hop, another skill taught in Green Bay.
Although he hit on a lot of deep balls in FCS play last season, he throws them about as high in the air as Aaron Rodgers Mo-town hail mary. He needs his receivers to create great separation, or his deep balls have the potential to be a coin flip turn over. Imagine a Brett Hundley deep bomb attempt last season, a lot of them floated a bit, and the Packers receivers didn’t have the space to adjust and make a play on the ball, leading to missed opportunities or turnovers.
Lauletta tore his ACL in the regular season finale of the 2016 season, and fought his way back to play the all 11 of Richmond’s games in 2017. It’s a good sign he was able to rehab so quickly, but it’s obviously a concern going forward.
His footwork has potential, but he gets the case of happy feet here and there. To the young quarterbacks credit, he looks able to overcome an awkward shuffle to throw a nice pass. Mike McCarthy’s system also does a nice job of teaching footwork, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Arm strength may end up being the difference between Lauletta being a Scott Tolzein, or a Matt Flynn.
Despite winning the MVP at the Senior Bowl, Kyle’s draft stock hasn’t shot up much yet. He’s become a name, but he’s still considered a third day to undrafted prospect. The upcoming combine, and individual work outs give him a chance to turn his name recognition into hype. A late round quarterback still feels like the direction the Packers will go, should they draft a quarterback, so keep an eye on the
Fit in Green Bay:
I think he could be a good deal for the new look Packers. They need impact players all over the roster, so drafting Aaron Rodgers successor doesn’t make much sense, but using a third to seventh round pick on a quarterback seems within range. He does a lot of things well that the Packers have liked in their back up quarterbacks. We’ll see if the regime change affects that at all, but Kyle Lauletta has Ted Thompson written all over him. As of right now, a lot of draft analysts would probably say, the Packers already have Joe Callahan, but I think his stock will rise before April 26th.