Green and Bold: Where Does Brett Hundley's Value Lie?

Picture this (and then knock on the nearest wooden object): Aaron Rodgers goes down with an injury early in the 2018 season, and the player sitting behind him isn't experienced quarterback Brett Hundley, but Joe Callahan or Taysom Hill, neither of whom have taken a snap in a live game for the Packers. 

Obviously, that's not an ideal situation. In fact, it borders on disaster.

But now, imagine that in return for losing Hundley, the Packers gained a second-round draft pick. 

Where does Hundley's greatest value lie—in potentially sitting on the bench for 16 games in the off chance he needs to step in for Rodgers, or in netting the team a high draft pick that will allow it to select a player who could turn into a starter?

It's the question Packers fans knew would rear its head eventually when Green Bay nabbed Hundley in the fifth round in the 2015 NFL Draft. It was too soon to be drafting Rodgers' heir apparent, though Hundley showed in his rapid improvement in his first training camp that he could be up to that challenge someday. 

But now, 2019, the year when Hundley will hit free agency, is sneaking up quickly. Suddenly, if general manager Ted Thompson wants to flip Hundley for a higher draft pick, he'll need to do it in 2018. 

No one can blame Hundley for wanting to start; he's proven he's ready. 

“I can’t lie and say no,” Hundley said last week about the prospect of being traded to start somewhere, per Pete Dougherty of Packers News.

“I’ve always said, I went in the fifth (round), I want a first-round pick from someone trading for me.…Everybody wants the house to be traded for them, because that’s showing you what that team values you for.”

What will interest potential suitors for Hundley's services will be dependent on how he performs in the preseason this year. An ankle injury caused him to miss most of the preseason action in 2016, and so he doesn't really have a big enough body of work to convince teams to give up a third- (or second-...or first-?) round pick for him. 

However, Hundley finished his first NFL preseason in 2015 as the leader in passer rating (129.6), so he's definitely shown enough to pique teams' interest. 

It's always a relief to have an experienced player waiting in the wings to come in should the starting quarterback go down. And Hundley is more than capable; in his limited sample size, he's looked pretty darn good. 

But ultimately, the Packers selected Hundley as an investment, and the time has come for them to see a return on that. One of the first entries in the GM rule book has to be that if you have a chance to turn a mid- to late-round pick into an early pick, you do it. Thompson will very likely have that chance with Hundley. 

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Comments (22)

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Packer_Fan's picture

June 21, 2017 at 06:46 am

Trade him next spring for a higher draft pick. Unfortunately for him, but he won't take the Pack to the Superbowl if Rodgers gets hurt. And he won't get a new contract.

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carusotrap's picture

June 21, 2017 at 06:49 am

I think Ted is probably shopping Hundley right now, but that market will heat up when some franchise guy goes down in the first week of training camp. The GBP backup position is like grad school for QBs, and the smart ones know they're going to play. The question is how they handle sitting on the bench for 4 years.

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RCPackerFan's picture

June 21, 2017 at 07:25 am

If Hundley goes out and has a lights out preseason his value will sky rocket. Also if Hundley plays at all during the season and performs well his value will also increase.

I don't remember who the last QB was to be traded and what they were traded for, but I think Hundley could reward GB with at least a 2nd round pick and possibly more.

Teams are desperate to find even decent starting QB's. I mean prime example is look at what the Texans did to get Osweiler. Teams will overpay and give away to much for a starting caliber QB. The Packers could definitely benefit from this.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

June 21, 2017 at 07:36 am

The frustrating thing is that the Packers are going to have a bunch of extra selections in next year's draft, but it doesn't look NEARLY as good as this year's draft. :(
A 2nd rounder this year probably will be as good as a first rounder next year.
Personally, I really like both Hundley AND Callahan (and if they actually succeed in developing Hill, WOW!).
We've really been spoiled by Rodgers' iron man play (remember when people said he was "glass" and "injury prone?")

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Hematite's picture

June 21, 2017 at 07:45 am

How has Hundley proven that he is ready to be a starter?
The correct answer is, he hasn't proven anything yet.
He would probably be more likely to net us a 4th round pick rather than a 2nd round pick.

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Bedrock's picture

June 21, 2017 at 08:52 am

Teams will look at Hundley as a 3 or 4 year backup. Yes, it's to a superstar, but that's a long time from being a rookie. Not too many teams are willing to trade a first rounder for a relatively unproven veteran of his age. Most GM's like to draft "the man".

Maybe, maaaaaaybe GB can get a 2nd rounder. Most likely, however, it will be a team that is picking low in the rounds and doesn't trust the QB's in the draft to be worth early picks. But looking at what KC did in the draft...oh boy...they're taken early.

Considering age, need, ability, suitors, etc., Hundley nets a 3rd rounder.

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Handsback's picture

June 21, 2017 at 08:53 am

TT presented the idea to trade Hundley at last year’s draft. I don't know if it was deliberately done to generate future interest or a real effort to trade him for a particular pick and player. People forget his talent and sometimes need a reminder that this young QB has some talent and should be considered as a starter. I suspect that there will be more eyes watching him in pre-season than previously.

Of course, it could be exactly what was reported and nothing more complicated…TT wanted a 2nd round pick and nobody wanted to give it.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 21, 2017 at 09:06 am

"One of the first entries in the GM rule book has to be that if you have a chance to turn a mid- to late-round pick into an early pick, you do it."

That's sort of true. More true if it read that a GM should trade a mid to late-round pick who is highly unlikely to ever become a starter for your own team for an early round pick. Also, some kind of sliding scale needs to be added. If as a trade you can only get a 3rd round, and a reasonable guess is you'll get a 4th or 5th round comp pick, that's a closer call.

If someone had offered a 3rd for Tretter after the 2015 season, should that have been taken? What happens when Linsley goes down for 9 games and we have Barclay starting? One more loss and we probably don't see any playoff games.

I hope that Hundley lights it up in the preseason. But if the issue is mental processing speed and recognition, playing vanilla preseason defenses isn't going to showcase Hundley all that well. Hard to tell just how desperate some team might be though.

The other question is if Hundley has to play 5 games, can he lead us to 2, or 3 victories? I don't know whether he can - we'll get a better idea in the preseason.

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croatpackfan's picture

June 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

"What happens when Linsley goes down for 9 games and we have Barclay starting?"
Barclay surprise everybody and play on highest level...
Like everybody was spitting on Lane Taylor when TT released Josh Sitton...
I might be wrong but I chose to believe coaches and Aaron more than any of you!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 22, 2017 at 01:04 am

It is a hypothetical set in 2016. We all saw how Barclay actually played in 2016. We are not guessing what Barclay might do in the future, we are talking about last season. Given how Barclay played last season, the only logical conclusion is that Barclay as our starting center for 9 games last year would have been dreadful. I suppose it could turn out that Barclay was always meant to be a center: if so, I wish those coaches would have realized that in 2012, instead of subjecting us to Jeff Saturday.

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dobber's picture

June 22, 2017 at 08:09 am

If the Packers go into the season with Barclay as the only guy who can snap the ball aside from Linsley, who has missed almost as many games as he's played (hyperbole font), all I can do is hope that C turns out to be his best position and pray that he's serviceable if called upon.

...but don't get me wrong: I'm hoping they find someone in camp who can back up all 3 interior positions and doesn't wear #67.

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Since'61's picture

June 21, 2017 at 11:41 am

Obviously another good preseason for Hundley will get him some attention from teams in need of a QB. At the same time there are 2-3 QBs who will be eligible for the draft in 2018 who look like locks to become NFL starters. Sam Darnold from USC looks like a 1st rounder and possibly the first pick in the draft. There are a few other probable first round QBs as well. Does a GM trade for Hundley or do they wait for the draft. Depending on the level of desperation I don't think Hundley will fetch much more than a 3rd rounder based on his current level of NFL experience. If he gets into a few games and plays well then the Packers would have a good chance to pick up a #2, maybe even a #1. GMs may also hold out until Hundley's contract is up and offer him a great contract. Remember, Matt Flynn received $20 mil. from Seattle for basically one game. IMO, the Packers need to play this situation close to the vest until they know that A. Rodgers is going to resign with them. Otherwise they could find themselves in a situation without Hundley and without Rodgers. Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

June 21, 2017 at 10:39 am

I think you're right: Hundley needs to perform and he needs to perform at a level that makes him competitive with those QBs in the 2018 draft. If he shows well in the upcoming preseason, he'll have suitors. It's just a matter of whether they'll give what the Packers want.

If the Packers were to trade Hundley, it would've happened during or prior to the draft. At this stage, they need him for 2017...ARod's collarbone injury a few years ago (and the injuries to David Carr and Ryan Tannehill last season) showed that if you're a team with playoff or SB aspirations you must have a second QB who can play. As much as I hate to use the Pats as an example, Jimmy Garoppolo (and even Jacoby Brissett) saved their bacon last year. It's very possible the Packers would have wanted to use the 2017 draft to find a potential backup if they'd dealt Hundley.

Dealing Hundley prior to the upcoming off-season is playing Russian roulette with this team. After all, the Packers would likely be forced to sign a veteran FA to serve as the backup...do we all remember Seneca Wallace? Still, we don't know enough about Hundley in actual game action against defensive starters to know if he's any better than Seneca Wallace.

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Arthur Jackson's picture

June 21, 2017 at 11:08 am

Most teams don't have one good QB so not many QBs get traded. When a team DOES trade for a QB they are not trading to get a backup. They are trading for a starter. If team is trading for a QB to start it stands to reason they feel he is better than anything they can draft and they are likely desperate for a starting QB. So in that situation Hundley is worth more than a 4th rounder. Also since good QBs play effectively to 35 or more often 26 or 27 isn't very old.

The closest recent examples I can find are:

Matt Schaub (26 years old) 3rd round Atlanta Falcons
-3 seasons, 0-2 as starter, 51.8% completion, 1049 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs.
-Flipped 2007 1st round picks moving from 10 to 8 and received Houston's 2nd round picks for 2007 and 2008.

Kevin Kolb (27 years old) 2nd round Philadelphia Eagles
-4 seasons, 3-4 as starter, 60.8% completion, 2082 yards, 11 TDs, 14 INTs.
-Traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Arizona's 2nd round pick in 2012.

Whether we personally think he is the next Aaron Rodgers or the next Rick Mirer is irrelevant. It's what NFL GMs think. For his value to go up to the type of deals the above teams got I suspect he will need a huge preseason and/or for Rodgers to go out at least a couple of games and for him to show some ability in real games.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 21, 2017 at 11:05 am

Hundley has shown NOTHING in real games. We would be lucky to get anything for him this year. All hype so far. But time will tell, its still early. I can hope.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

June 21, 2017 at 11:31 am

Michelle Bruton quote:

"No one can blame Hundley for wanting to start; he's proven he's ready. "

Statements like that make me question your judgment and wonder how much research you have done for this article.

I am saying this in hopes that you will consider restraint in future articles for if you make such a statement follow it up with data which would substantiate your position.

Had you made such a bold statement about the Patriots' backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, you could have provided some successful game statistics to convince your readers. I simply don't see that for Hundley.

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Arthur Jackson's picture

June 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Lack of understanding. Proven he's ready to start is not the same as a proven starter.

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Mojo's picture

June 21, 2017 at 02:11 pm

Except that I don't think he's PROVEN he's ready to start either.

In his first two seasons with us he had a very good preseason in his first year (so did Callahan) . His second preseason was washed out by injury.

In real games he's played he's 2 for 10 with one INT and no TD's during mop-up duty. That's' it. Slightly more than someone fresh out of college, but not much.

The point is he's had way to little exposure to declare him either a bust or the next great QB. The sample size, with real bullets flying, is far to limited. We don't know how strong his mechanics or decision making are.

What any trading partner needs to judge him on is how much he's progressed from college and whether he can run their system. I don't know if teams allow potential suitors to give their possible trade targets try-outs, but unless they do they have very little NFL tape to project how he will work for them.

I guess the best thing you can say about Hundley or Callahan or any number of unseasoned backups is that you don't know if they can't play.

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marpag1's picture

June 21, 2017 at 02:44 pm

The article is one big contradiction. In addition to saying "he's proven he's ready," it also calls him "an experienced quarterback."

And then the following words clearly say that he is neither proven nor experienced: "He doesn't really have a big enough body of work to convince teams to give up a third- (or second-...or first-?) round pick for him. "

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Mark Quarderer's picture

June 21, 2017 at 08:11 pm

Keep him for the next two years we have him under contract. If Rodgers gets hurt, we'll be glad we have Hundley. In two years, if he leaves in FA and signs a contract as a starting QB, we'll almost certainly get a 3rd round comp pick for him.

And if ARodgers takes some injuries between now and then, we'll have an option if we want it.

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NJMagic's picture

June 21, 2017 at 11:15 pm

I never commrnt, but avid reader. The most glaring at in this doldrums piece (how many days to TC??) - apart from the lack of loving anything against vanilla defenses-

It's that if we hold him another year for a cheap experienced backup, it's the difference between the potential trade (2 or 3 maybe) and a COMPEMSATORY pick (4 OR 5 prob).

Is that difference worth putting a Vince Young it Seneca Wallace back there?

If he can win you 2 or 3 to stave off potential catastrophe on an otherwise promising team, you keep him and get the Comp.

Would say Brady/Cassell the best example.

Now, how many days until real news?

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NJMagic's picture

June 21, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Wow, my phone did a number on that one. Sorry for the typos. Sigh. Technology.

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