Packers need a third quarterback

Only question is whether they’ll use a draft pick to acquire one

Quarterbacks Jordan Love and Aaron Rodgers is taking a look at the Packers' roster, position by position, leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft. The series begins with the quarterbacks.

GREEN BAY – Last year, only General Manager Brian Gutekunst knew how strongly a quarterback was on the Packers' draft radar, and the first-round selection of Jordan Love surprised many.

This year, it's safe for anyone to say the position is not a high priority for Green Bay, as their 1-2 for 2021 is set with MVP Aaron Rodgers and Love.

But the Packers do need a third one, so quarterbacks are still under consideration in the draft, even if the state of the position precludes any serious discussion of selecting one until at least the later rounds.

Rodgers is coming off his third MVP season, an historic achievement in its own right earned via a rather historic year.

He set franchise records with 48 TD passes and a completion percentage of 70.72. Plus, his league-best 121.5 passer rating fell just one rating point shy of his own NFL record of 122.5 set back in 2011, his first MVP year.

Rodgers reached a masterful command of Head Coach Matt LaFleur's offensive system in just his second year running it, and the results were evident to all. The Packers once again fell one game short of the Super Bowl, similar to 2019, but the 2020 offense was on a different level and one of the best in the league (first in points, first in red-zone TD percentage, second in third-down efficiency).

Take a look at the top quarterback prospects heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.

Love, meanwhile, spent his entire rookie year as a game-day inactive, and the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from getting to play in even a preseason game last season. So his only 11-on-11 snaps in a Packers uniform to date have come in practice, and those reps were limited as the third guy.

But the No. 26 overall pick in last year's draft from Utah State is naturally moving up to be Rodgers' No. 2 this year, as the Packers let their previous top backup, Tim Boyle, leave via free agency for the Detroit Lions.

As the No. 2, Love will get more snaps than a year ago with the first-team offense in practice, and he'll take the majority of the scout team reps as well. His workload will ramp up considerably now that he's spent a full year learning LaFleur's system, and preseason games are slated to return, which will be important in his development.

The Packers still need to bring in a third quarterback. It's just a question of whether they will draft one with a late-round pick or sign an undrafted rookie to come in behind their established 1-2.

Green Bay went the undrafted route to find Boyle back in 2018 and he remained on the team's active roster for three years. Prior to that, they spent Day 3 draft picks on backups Brett Hundley (fifth round, 2015) and B.J. Coleman (seventh round, 2012).

Gutekunst has five picks in the fifth through seventh rounds at his disposal, so drafting a quarterback for a second straight year would come as no surprise. Drafted or undrafted, a quarterback addition of some kind is on the horizon.

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