In professional football, having consistency and stability at the quarterback position is crucial, and nobody has had a more stable run at that position over the last two decades than the Green Bay Packers. From one sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback in Brett Favre, to another who is well on his way to Canton in Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have had unflappable talented behind center.
But has the QB well finally run dry in Green Bay?
If you look at the guys playing behind Rodgers now, there is no one that jumps out as being the next man in line to meet the lofty expectations that have been set by their predecessors.
Two years ago, the heir apparent to Rodgers–once he calls it quits–appeared to be Matt Flynn, and given his performance in the final start of the 2011 season, the rest of Green Bay was convinced of the same. After his 480-yard, six touchdown performance against the Detroit Lions, Flynn suddenly became the hottest QB commodity on the market, and was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 (where strangely enough, he ended up backing up rookie Russell Wilson).
So with Flynn gone, are the Packers looking at one of their current backups–B.J. Coleman and Graham Harrell–to be groomed as the next starter? Or is the next guy to step in the huge shoes created by Favre and Rodgers sitting out there somewhere, yet to be drafted?
It would seem unlikely the Packers will draft a quarterback in 2013, as the talent in this year’s QB class is less than stellar, so for now it would seem the Coleman and Harrell have at least one more season to show that they can be the next starter. But if neither of them have the goods, where do the Packers start looking, and how easy will it be to get the guy they want if the team continues on the success rate they’ve had since 1992?
When you challenge for a Super Bowl appearance in nearly every season, it’s hard to move up in the draft order, where most (but not all) quality quarterbacks get picked. Trading away your future to the sake of moving up in the draft to pick someone who will hopefully be your franchise quarterback can be risky, even disastrous.
None of this is meant to say that Rodgers is done, or even close to it. But the Packers know as much as anyone that when it comes to the QB, you have to plan for the future and have your man in place sooner rather than later.