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Countdown to camp: Jordan Love resumes the reins for Packers

Backup QB battle will feature two recent Day 3 draft picks

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

"Countdown to camp" is a position-by-position overview of the Packers' roster heading into training camp. The series begins with the quarterbacks.

GREEN BAY – There's one burning question regarding Jordan Love as he moves into Year 2 as QB1 for the Packers.

Can he pick up where he left off at the end of last season, or does he have more growing pains to endure like those from the first half of the year?

Realistically, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Because while Love certainly doesn't have it all figured out already, and opposing defenses now have a whole season's worth of game film to study in preparing to face him, even picking up somewhere close to where he left off would be at a pretty high level, considering he became one of the league's most dangerous quarterbacks down the stretch.

The numbers are undeniable. Over his last 10 games, including playoffs, Love threw 23 TD passes and just three interceptions – two of them in the postseason defeat at San Francisco. He posted a triple-digit passer rating eight times and was above 120 four times.

Soon to be rewarded with a new monster contract that will keep him as Green Bay's franchise quarterback for years to come, the 6-4, 219-pound Love is looking like everything the Packers hoped he'd be, and in many ways he's just getting started.

How he handles higher expectations, defensive adjustments, and late-game crucibles – that last item being the primary source of the 2023 rollercoaster – will define his 2024. It's obvious the buzz surrounding the Packers for the coming season is emanating from where Love is in his development.

Behind him, the Packers have two late-round picks from the past two drafts who will compete for the top backup job.

Sean Clifford, a fifth-round choice out of Penn State last year, impressed as a rookie to earn the QB2 spot and will look to hold onto it. Playing an aggressive and somewhat fearless style for a young pro, Clifford (6-2, 218) cut it loose most notably in the preseason games last summer.

Over three outings, he completed 41-of-57 passes for 391 yards with one TD and two INTs for an 81.8 passer rating, and he now brings a broader knowledge of the offense into his second year. It would appear he'll be difficult to unseat.

But seventh-round rookie Michael Pratt is going to try. The 10th of Green Bay's 11 draft picks this past April, Pratt (6-2, 217) comes into the NFL, like Clifford did, with extensive college experience.

Over four years at Tulane, Pratt started 44 games, progressing all the way to American Athletic Conference offensive player of the year last season. During the 2022-23 campaigns, Pratt rejuvenated Tulane's program by posting a 21-3 record, much of that thanks to his 64% completion rate and 49 TD passes against just 10 interceptions.

Many projections had Pratt being selected earlier than the final round of the draft, so he'll be out to prove the Packers got a steal. In spring workouts, he showed NFL arm strength and command of the huddle, two solid starting points.

General Manager Brian Gutekunst has mentioned he wants to get back in the habit of drafting developmental quarterbacks regularly, and now he's done so each of the last two years. As for backing up Love, may best prospect win.

The following is the first installment in a series of photos examining the Packers' roster position by position. This installment examines the quarterbacks.

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