The Green Bay Packers are one of the teams fortunate enough not to need a franchise quarterback from the 2014 NFL Draft — they already have their franchise quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, one of the game’s truly elite players. However, that doesn’t mean Green Bay isn’t looking for a little help at the position.
Ever since last season’s fiasco, when Rodgers was lost for nearly nine full games due to injury and Green Bay went 2-5-1 in his absence, there has been talk of the team drafting a quarterback in the draft.
The Packers did recently re-sign Matt Flynn, who filled in admirably for Rodgers and went 2-2-1 as a starter, to be the backup in 2014. Yet, the deal he signed with Green Bay is only for one season. The other quarterback on the roster Scott Tolzien, also has a contract set to expire after the season, meaning the Packers will be without a backup quarterback on the roster next offseason — unless they find a quarterback in the draft.
One quarterback prospect the Packers appear interested in is Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage and according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwakuee Journal-Sentinel, the team hosted the 6-4, 229-pounder on an official visit within the past couple of weeks.
We shouldn’t read too much into Savage’s visit, generally the Packers utilize visits for late-round picks and undrafted free agents. At one point, it was thought Savage would be a day three selection in the draft so from that perspective it would make sense. However, there has been tons of buzz surrounding him recently and now he’s being projected as early as the second round.
Savage, who played two seasons at Rutgers before transferring to Arizona then Pittsburgh, sat out the 2011 and 2012 seasons before completing his college career in 2013 with the Panthers. In 13 games as a starter, he completed 61.4 percent of his passes, while throwing for 2,958 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
There is no question that Savage has one of the strongest arms in the draft and is experienced in a pro-style offense. He can make all the throws, has made great strides in terms of accuracy and probably has as much upside as any quarterback prospect in this draft.
“I think a lot of the buzz that comes before he wasn’t as much a part of because he hadn’t played for two years,” Pittsburgh Head Coach Paul Chryst said. “I think what he did in the season, the combine, individual workouts, it’s been great to see. Hopefully everyone is right and his stock is rising.”
In my opinion there are two possible scenarios at play here; one, the Packers are generally interested in Savage and are hoping that he falls to the third round so they can use one their two selections in that round on him. Two, they are hoping to show interest and convince teams they are willing to draft him, then trade down if he starts falling.
Don’t get me wrong, Savage would be a great backup for Rodgers but at the end of the day, the Packers have too many needs to use a top-100 pick on him. Therefore, his visit to Green Bay seems more like due diligence to me than anything else.