When the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers with their first-round pick in this year's draft, Nall was a little frustrated but took it in stride. Rodgers was regarded by many draft experts as a top 10 pick, but slid down through the first round before the Packers used the 24th overall pick of the first round to select him.
Nall was at his off-season home watching the draft on television, checking to see if any of his college buddies and other friends would get selected. Instead, the Packers placed a big hurdle for him to clear in his quest to serve as Brett Favre's backup this season.
"If I had to make the choice, I probably wouldn't pick him," said Nall. "At the same time, I understand the coaches not being able to pass on a guy like that. You've got talent, obviously, and it's kind of hard to let him go."
Nall, entering his fourth season, had good reason to be a little irked. He worked his way up to the No. 2 spot behind Favre during the season last year after veteran Doug Pederson was injured during a game in early October. In his first and only five games that he has played for the Packers, Nall completed 23 of 33 passes (69.7%) for 314 yards and four touchdowns, without an interception. He finished with a passer rating of 139.4 and his 33 attempts were the most ever by a Packers quarterback in a season without an interception.
Most of Nall's playing time came when the game was decided, but when given a chance to play early in Green Bay's season finale in Chicago, he did well. Nall completed 7 of 13 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown as the Packers whipped the Bears.
The biggest edge Nall has over his competitors in camp this season – Rodgers, J.T. O'Sullivan and McBrien – is the experience he has in the Packers system. He also played in NFL Europe in the spring of 2003, which adds to his game experience.
Nall got a break in the post-draft minicamp when he was able to take a majority of the reps in practices for veterans a few days prior to full-squad practices. Nall split snaps with O'Sullivan because Favre was excused from the camp by Coach Mike Sherman.
When Rodgers arrived, Nall's reps diminished, but he got a good look at the player he likely will have to beat out to be No. 2 behind Favre.
"The only thing I can control is what I do out there on the field," Nall said. "I can't control Aaron's rate of learning. I know he's going to go through some tough times picking up what we're learning. But I can't worry about if he has a bad day or a good day. I have to just keep plugging away and do what I do best."
Nall started strong in the post-draft minicamp, but was intercepted a few times in other practices.
"Nall is just a fighter," said Sherman. "He is going to always fight and always compete and work hard, and that's his M.O.
"He and I visited prior to Aaron getting here, and I told him, ‘You can't look over your shoulder and you just have to be who you are and play within yourself, and you've done a great job.' I thought he had a very good season for a backup last year. When he had to step in, he stepped in and did a good job. So, I think that developed confidence in him where he can carry that into this season.
Nall feels that he can be a starter for the Packers, or any other NFL team.
"I'm confident in what I'm doing and getting better every day."