Packers Path To Draft: Part 3

The Packers showed interest in West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Brown at the Senior Bowl and have a history of investing in young signal-callers. Brown is an athletic player who was comfortable in the pocket during his week in Mobile.

With Aaron Rodgers having started the Pro Bowl, the Packers are in good hands at quarterback.

Almost two decades earlier, the Packers were in similarly good hands with a young Brett Favre. That didn't stop then-general manager Ron Wolf from drafting seven quarterbacks from 1992 through 2002, including Ty Detmer in 1992, Mark Brunell in 1993, Matt Hasselbeck in 1998 and Aaron Brooks in 1999.

With only Rodgers and Matt Flynn on the active roster — they signed Chris Pizzotti to the practice squad in December — it's hardly farfetched to believe that not only will general manager Ted Thompson draft a quarterback but he'll spend a decent draft pick to acquire one.

One prospect is West Virginia's Jarrett Brown, who easily outplayed the ballyhooed Tim Tebow during Senior Bowl week. Brown met with the Packers on the first day teams and players arrived in Mobile, Ala.

Brown arrived in Mobile with comparisons to the man he replaced as the Mountaineers' quarterback, Pat White. The comparisons were obvious. White starred as a passer and runner, and Brown was cut from the same bolt of cloth. Brown started all 13 games as a senior, completing 63.2 percent of his passes for 2,144 yards, with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Plus, he ran for 466 yards and six scores.

In Mobile, Brown impressed scouts with his willingness to show he could fit the NFL mold of a pocket passer. While Tebow seldom passed up a chance to use his legs, Brown looked comfortable and poised in the pocket, allowing his receivers time to get open.

"I've always had a knack for it," Brown told Scout.com's Ed Thompson. "I was always a pure passer. Some people think I've always been a running quarterback, but I didn't get my speed until I got to college. I feel comfortable under the center and dropping back and just sitting in the pocket."

With a strong arm, surprising pocket presence and decent accuracy, Brown has a lot of tools that a team could cultivate as a developmental prospect. Late in the week, he drew oohs from a few scouts when he fired a laser for a 30-yard touchdown into tight coverage. Plus, as a Dean's List student, Brown's got the mental aptitude to adjust from a collegiate spread offense and its quick, predetermined reads to the complexities and nuances of the West Coast offense.

"There are a lot of questions out there about me – not my skill set and not my ability, but can I process and pick up plays and all those little things," Brown said. "I just want to answer that question."

Consider it answered, though perhaps too well if the Packers have a legitimate interest. His play in Mobile propelled him into a late second-round pick. The Packers have more pressing needs at that stage of the draft. If he struggles at the Scouting Combine and is passed by the likes of Texas' Colt McCoy, Fordham's rising John Skelton and Mississippi's talented Jevan Snead, Thompson might be intrigued by Brown in the third.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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