Packers Consider QB Options, Moore Looks to Overcome Size

As the Packers look for a backup to replace Matt Flynn, Boise State's Kellen Moore is trying compensate for his lack of height to break into the NFL.

INDIANAPOLIS––Although Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson won't concede that quarterback Matt Flynn will leave the Packers organization this offseason, it's a near certainty.

Flynn is scheduled to become a free agent in March, and regardless of whether or not the Packers choose to place the franchise tag on him and subsequently trade him, they're going to be in the market for a new backup quarterback next season.

Similarly, the decision makers in the organization won't admit to drafting for need. They also go after the B.P.A., best player available.

But if there's one exception to the rule, it might just be at the quarterback position. Even if the Packers think a quarterback is the best possible player in the early rounds, they might have to take a pass.

With Aaron Rodgers around, it would be awful difficult to justify a first or even a second round draft pick on a quarterback.

But at some point in the last weekend in April, they'll grab a quarterback. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin will be gone, and so the Packers will have to settle for someone with flaws, perhaps a quarterback without ideal height in the mid to late rounds.

"At the end of the day, yeah, you’d like to have the prototypical … you’d like to have guys who are like John Elway," said Thompson at the NFL Combine on Friday. "That doesn’t mean it’s an end-all, be-all. There’s some really good players––one certainly in New Orleans that’s probably not ideal height. It doesn’t seem to bother him at all."

Of course, Thompson is referencing the Saints' Drew Brees, one of the NFL's best trigger pullers, and a guy that succeeds in spite of his 6-0 frame.

Boise State's Kellen Moore, one of the most decorated college football players of all time, also measured in at exactly 6-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium and counts Brees as a player he admires.

"Drew Brees, I think, certainly I can relate to. Some similar fashions," said Moore. "I love watching the way he plays, the way he moves in the pocket. He’s constantly moving, doing a tremendous job of finding lanes and throwing the ball downfield. Tom Brady is another guy. I think there’s so many guys in the league that you love to watch. You try to pick a piece or two out of them and take that and better yourself."

Moore is at the Combine looking to break into the NFL, hoping to increase his stock and impress some team enough to draft him.

And just being drafted, at all, might come as a challenge for Moore as many teams will be scared away from his less-than-ideal height. Moore is now used to the criticism and tries to brush it off.

"There’s a lot of ways to evaluate a quarterback," said Moore. "Some evaluate it and put a lot of emphasis on that. That’s fine. Smile, and move on."

For someone who has gotten as many accolades as Moore, it's almost hard to believe he's in danger of being drafted.

He's the all-time winningest quarterback in college football history with 50 victories at Boise State compared to only three losses. And he finished fourth in the 2010 Heisman Trophy voting.

He was the metaphorical big fish in a small pond at Boise State, and now he'll be a small fish in a big pond in the NFL. And if you're talking about size, that comparison can be taken both literally and figuratively.

In addition to his height, Moore also has to overcome concerns about his arm strength and the ability to throw the ball deep down field.

"Some games you are presented with a lot of opportunities to throw it deep, some games you don’t," said Moore. "We’ve had guys like Titus Young and other guys who are playing in the NFL right now that certainly were able to take off and go. I felt very comfortable throwing it with them and I felt we had a lot of success throwing to those guys."

The Packers like to throw it deep with frequency. It's something Rodgers became very adept at doing this past season when he tied for the NFL lead with four completions of 70-plus yards.

And so they must now consider acquiring a new quarterback, either one with ideal size, or one with intangibles, like Moore who's praised for his leadership and timing and ability to win.

"There are players in every draft that maybe don’t fit the ideal height-weight-speed thing but they turn out
to be good players," said Thompson. "That applies to all positions and certainly with the quarterback position."

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Comments (3)

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Tom S.'s picture

February 25, 2012 at 11:27 am

It's unrealistic to expect guys like Moore, Russell Wilson, and any other short, successful college QB to be the next Drew Brees.

That said, it's understandable when those guys play that card in order to increase draft value. You simply never know how guys will develop. Moore to me feels like more of a project than Wilson because it's more than just his size. Either would be a fine pick up though as a later round pick.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 25, 2012 at 03:49 pm

So Drew Brees is Drew Brees and no other QB under 6 ft. 1 can be him, or at least be a legitimate starter? Kind of sounds like the same thinking that led San Diego to dump a guy who now holds some serious NFL records in his hand that is adorned with a Super Bowl ring for a guy who was taller.

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BubbaOne's picture

February 25, 2012 at 02:29 pm

I appreciate what you do at CHTV but this is one I have to ask "WTF, why write about a QB who's too short and has a rag arm; a guy TT/MM won't take even as an UDFA!?!

W/ Harrell and Hill in the fold if they take a QB it will be in the latter rounds or UDFA. I'd prefer you write about Aaron Corp, Case Keenum, Alex Tanney, Chandler Harnish, and esp B.J. Coleman and G.J. Kinne. The last two would add to AJ, BJ, CJ, 2-DJ's and TJ roster.

Have you noticed all the QB's brought to GB under TT are in the 6-2 to 6-3 range (Rodgers, Brohm, Flynn, Harrell, and Hill)...coincidence?

Speaking about QB's: last year I wrote the run on QB's may affect the Packers 1st round pick. It's early in the process but it may happen again. Teams that hadn't acquired their QB in FA or the 1st round may trade back into the 1st to get a QB. Washington for instance has the 39th and 70th picks which would be enticing to TT for his 1st (28), 4th, 5th, and 6th round picks.

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