According to Hobbes: Packers Offseason Primer on the NFL Combine: Quarterbacks
Here’s the first of a series of articles looking specifically at the NFL combine and the Packers’ drafting tendencies. ( read here for the rationale for this series).Â This article will use the combine numbers from previous players drafted by GM Ted Thompson as a guide for what quarterbacks are likely to fit into the Packers’ scheme.
Again, this is merely an attempt to make a best guess based on statistics at which players the Packers might be interested in, game tape naturally trumps combine numbers, so take all of this with a grain of salt.Â But I believe it will make for some interesting discussion. Listed below are two quarterbacks in this year’s draft who I think fit the Packers scheme the best,Â based on their combine numbers.
Statistics of quarterbacks drafted by the Packers:
What the Packers are looking for: Ted Thompson apparently likes quarterbacks that are 6â€™2â€ as every quarterback he has drafted has been exactly 6â€™2â€, which is a little odd since 6â€™2â€ is considered on the short side for quarterbacks.Â Thompson apparently also likes his quarterbacks to weigh about 225 lbs as the standard deviation for quarterback weight is a mere 4.5 pounds, which is the lowest among all positions.Â To go even further, 2 out of the 3 quarterbacks that were signed for training camp last year also were 6â€™2â€ and 2 out of 3 quarterbacks were between 220 and 230 pounds.
The workout drill where quarterbacks had the lowest relative standard deviation (thus implying were most important) was the 40-yard dash.Â 4.76 seconds for the 40-yard dash is pretty fast for a quarterback but definitely not the fastest in any draft class.Â This probably means that the Packers are looking for a quarterback that has the speed to evade defenders in the pocket and occasionally break free and run for yards but typically wonâ€™t be so fast that they want to run on every occasion. Â The Packers prefer their quarterbacks to be pocket quarterbacks first and scrambling quarterbacks second, which would seem to collaborate with the above statistics.
As for specific skills, as a west coast offense, the Packers require their quarterbacks to foremost be accurate with their passes; great arm strength is nice but not a requirement (in comparison to a purely vertical offense).Â Quarterbacks also need good decision making ability as they are often required to go through multiple reads.Â Mobility is a bonus as quarterbacks can buy more time for longer patterns to develop but a quick release is a must as many passes will be short.
Comparable quarterbacks in the 2011 draft (analysis taken from NFL.com):
Christian Ponder Florida State/6â€™2â€/229 lbs/4.65 40-yard dash:
- Good feet when escaping the pocket
- Good accuracy with the short pass
- Good mental toughness and leadership
- Poor vision and awareness
- Struggles with multiple reads
- Not great arm strength
- Injury Prone
Andrew Dalton TCU/6â€™2â€/215 lbs/4.87 40-yard dash:
- Accurate passer, especially on the run
- Good mobility from the pocket
- Good decision maker
- Quick release
- Spread offense quarterback
- Lacks awareness in the pocket
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Alâ€™s AllGreenBayPackers.com.