Get To Know The Forgotten Quarterbacks Of The Packers Roster

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody talks about Aaron Rodgers, for how much he will play, his contract and the high-level of play he has executed for the last two seasons. Everybody thinks about what is the Packers plan regarding Jordan Love, a 2020 first-round pick who has had only one start so far in his NFL career. But the Green Bay Packers also had other two quarterbacks under contract, and you might not even know them. Let’s talk about Kurt Benkert and Danny Etling, third and fourth-string QBs for the Packers entering the offseason.

Kurt Benkert

The number 6 is a Packers Twitter favorite and well-known gamer. But the 26-year-old QB is much more than that. Born in Baltimore, Benkert played in college for East Carolina and Virginia - he transferred to have more playing time and it paid off. He had 46 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in two years. After being undrafted in 2018, he signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons. Benkert had some good preseason performances, but was sparsely promoted to the active roster and spent most of his time in Atlanta on the practice squad - in 2019, he had a serious toe injury and was placed on the injury reserve, missing the entire season.
After being released by the Falcons new management in February, Benkert remained unsigned for three months. In May, 2021, he had a workout alongside Chad Kelly with the Packers. He was chosen, and signed to be a camp arm (but ended up being more).
Last preseason, Benkert had significant playing time, in part because Aaron Rodgers didn't play, and also because Jordan Love suffered a shoulder injury. His performance wasn't good enough for him to be kept on the active roster, but he gained a chance to be on the practice squad and spent all season in Green Bay. In an interview to the website Go Long last year, Benkert talked about the experience of preparing himself without knowing if Rodgers would be back.
“I'm fortunate that I was so deep in the playbook, learning new stuff, that I really didn't have time to worry about it”, he said. “I know that directly affects my situation but I'm part of a team and I want to win. And he's the best player in the league and, in my opinion, the best to ever play the game. At that position. It's a cool opportunity to be part of a team that he's on. For me, it was easy to block out because — every day, every night — I'm in the building trying to learn the playbook”.
In December, Kurt Benkert had the first opportunity to see the field for the first time in an NFL regular season game. After Love had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Benkert was promoted to the active roster and kneeled the ball twice in the end of the win against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. After the season, he signed a future contract to be with the Packers again in 2022.

Danny Etling

Etling is 27 and played college football for Purdue and LSU. The quarterback was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 2018 seventh round, but he hasn't had stability so far in his NFL career. In the last four years, Etling spent time with the: Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, CFL's BC Lions, Seahawks again, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and now the second stint with the Packers.
Etling even transitioned to wide receiver at the end of his stint with the Patriots, but moved back to quarterback to pursue his dream.
"My first football memory would have been, apart from flag football, it would have been when I got to try out for football because I bet my mom that if I won a tennis tournament — because she wouldn't let me play football — that I would get to sign up for football the next day," Etling said in a recent interview. "I won the whole tennis tournament, signed up for football and never looked back."  
Etling's first opportunity in Green Bay came when Jordan Love was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Benkert was promoted to the active roster, and Etling ended up signed to the practice squad. He was released later, but left a good impression - enough for him to sign a future contract in Green Bay after a brief experience in Jacksonville.

With Rodgers and Love on the roster, it's hard to find a third spot for any of them. But the practice squad opportunity is available - plus training camp reps and preseason playing action. When you're a player at the end of an NFL roster, every chance counts.

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Wendell Ferreira covers the Green Bay Packers for Zone Coverage and Cheesehead TV. He is a Brazilian journalist with over a decade of experience covering the NFL, soccer, NBA, and MMA. Follow him on twitter at @wendellfp  

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Comments (19)

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JoannBarbosa's picture

April 12, 2022 at 03:16 pm

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Oppy's picture

April 12, 2022 at 03:42 pm

" I am a daily student and work simply one to a pair of hours in my spare time."

Whoops, typo! Somehow, "hours" got put in there instead of "c**ks".

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Johnblood27's picture

April 12, 2022 at 03:49 pm

!!That's MY man!!!

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LLCHESTY's picture

April 12, 2022 at 04:25 pm

www.casha$$.com!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 12, 2022 at 03:44 pm

Guys like Kurt Benkert and Danny Etling are both in a good spot, or bad spot depending on your perspective. They get to learn from the best QB in the game, work with a great offensive mind in MLF, and they are not going to be required to play so they can just stick their nose in the playbook and learn. On the downside they are unlikely to ever see the field and barring injury one of them likely will be cut. Personally, I just do not see Love being traded but suppose always possible.

Separately, I just had what I thought was my very best & most intriguing mock draft on the Profootballnetwork.com simulator. See what everyone thinks. Would you draft both Jordan Davis and Devontae Wyatt if both are available at #22 and #28 in round one? An abundant of riches! I hesitated only for a minute and said absolutely while still getting an incredible haul at Edge, WR, TE, and OT. The defense would be the best in the league while getting younger and freeing up cap space by letting Lowry go. Plus, these two DL would command huge trade possibilities whether in 2022, or in a future year. Here you go!

RD 1 with Jordan Davis, DL at #22, and Devontae Wyatt, DL at #28
RD 2 with Boye Mafe, Edge at #53, and John Metchie, WR at#59
RD 3 with Calvin Austin, WR
RD 4 with Zach Tom, OT, and Charlie Kolar, TE
RD 5 Tyquan Thornton, WR,
RD 7 with Bubba Bolden, S, Velus Jones, WR, and Bamidele Olaseni, OT

Boy did I get top end speed at WR even though I'd have liked a little more height with Metchie. I'd take this draft to the bank and likely to be the best, or one of the best ever by the Packers! LOL!

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stockholder's picture

April 12, 2022 at 04:47 pm

Where's your weapons? You'll stop the run, and thats about it. No Lbs? The potential for a OL early is increasing. If I was a Bears fan I'd give you an A-.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 12, 2022 at 05:26 pm

SH,
Are you drunk?

The other day you say after round 1 there will be no WR's with speed and hands available. Now you say where are the LBs, and where are the weapons? LOL!

Boye Mafe is a very highly rated Edge by everyone out there.

WR's including Metchie with sub 4.5 speed, Calvin Austin at 4.32 speed, Tyquan Thornton with 4.28 speed and fastest WR in draft, and Velus Jones with 3.37 speed who is best KR in draft. I even have a decent TE in Charlie Kolar.

Apparently unless it is 'your mock draft with your favorite WR's' anything else is a waste. Rediculous!

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BirdDogUni's picture

April 12, 2022 at 05:28 pm

Velus Jones Jr. is the fastest human in the galaxy with 3.37... Super Hero speed... Faster than the Flash.

I'm all for it.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 13, 2022 at 08:42 am

Bird,
What is strange is Velus with all that speed and his success on field is ranked on the boards so low. I watch video and he looks amazing. I recognize the draft simulators and mocks are not absolutes but still surprised. He no doubt will be drafted higher than predicted. There are quite a few talented WR's in those middle rounds to be had.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 13, 2022 at 10:06 am

With 3.37 speed, package picks and draft him the #1 overall.

He's faster than Forest...Forest Gump!

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x24's picture

April 14, 2022 at 10:45 am

Al Davis would have been on him slicker than the blood from his own head-wounds

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stockholder's picture

April 12, 2022 at 06:13 pm

Your Wrs will fit the slot more than the outside. They all tested well. But they body catch. Metchie had a ACL tear and has average play speed. - The straight speed is there, no doubt about that. Remember Janis? * I believe I saw Velus Jones wasn't great in the 3 cone. Good PR. They're going to take time to develop. Mafe will go before 53.

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Starrbrite's picture

April 12, 2022 at 05:31 pm

I tell you what Knockthesnotoutof you—-I like your thinking. I would take a receiver in rnds three and four.

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egbertsouse's picture

April 12, 2022 at 07:07 pm

Looks like Love will be 4th string going into training camp.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 12, 2022 at 08:59 pm

E,
I still am holding out hope that the young man without a father's guidance continues to grow and mature going into year 3. Until the Packers indicate he just doesn't have it I'm going to believe in him and wish him the best. He is still very young and he has talent.

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egbertsouse's picture

April 13, 2022 at 09:48 am

I'm glad you have faith in him. The problem is the FO doesn't. They are saying they haven't seen enough to tell if he is good but that is a load of crap. They have 2 years of practices and some game tape. Former OC Bob Schnelker used to say he could tell by end of the first morning of practice if a QB had NFL level talent. Believe me, they know.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 13, 2022 at 10:10 am

5th string...after Coan is drafted in the 5th round as some here want to do. Haha.

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egbertsouse's picture

April 13, 2022 at 09:40 am

I hear the Diva is going to skip voluntary camps this year. I kinda thought that since they tossed him $150 mil, he might want to show up and demonstrate his commitment to the team. But what do I know?

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Qoojo's picture

April 13, 2022 at 01:06 pm

They are voluntary. There are a limited number of plays/throws which younger players would benefit far more from taking. I don't see it as a big deal.

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