Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: QB Jordan Rodgers
Jordan Rodgers, QB Vanderbilt
6-1, 212 pounds
Hometown: Chico, CA
News and Notes:
Based on the comments from my previous draft posts, I’d like to point out that this is a prospect profile, not a draft prediction. I haven’t analyzed a player who I think the Packers will take at 26 and that trend is going to continue; in fact I’m not advocating one way or the other that the Packers should draft/sign Jordan Rodgers at all. With that being said, Jordan Rodgers is an interesting prospect because he’s almost a reflection of what Aaron Rodgers’ story might have been had it not gone as well; Jordan also started at Butte Community College, where he lead the team to it’s first undefeated season in his second year. He then transfered to a big name football program (Vanderbilt) but ended up redshirting his freshmen year with a shoulder injury. From there he rode the bench until injuries struck and ended up as the starter, again much like his brother. However, it took Jordan two years to transfer out of JUCO, then lost a year after getting a medical redshirt and only ended up as the legitimate starter in his senior year. All in all, Jordan Rodgers will begin his NFL career at 25 while his older brother was only 21, which makes Aaron’s story all that more incredible. It’s hard to imagine how different Aaron Rodger’s story would be if Jeff Tedford hadn’t come up to Chico to scout a tight end or if Rodgers hadn’t had the chance to start as a junior, but in fact that story might be Jordan Rodgers.
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “Short, but otherwise possesses a reasonably stout and athletic build for the quarterback position. Boasts the same quick-strike release that has helped his brother compensate for his lack of elite size (6020, 223 at 2007 Combine). Appears to have just average arm strength, overall, but possesses impressive velocity on short and intermediate throws, as the ball zips out of his hand.”
- Good ball carriage, looks to have copied Aaron’s NFL carriage (luckily not his college carriage, which was criticized coming into the NFL).
- Displays good touch, accuracy and great velocity on short and intermediate throws. Lacks the arm to really threaten defenses deep, ball seems to float on long passes, which gives defense more time to bat/intercept the ball.
- Jordan might actually be a little faster than Aaron and displays the same ability to scramble for yards, also being in a spread/option offense had lead to more designed runs for Jordan as well, which is the current craze in the NFL
- Possess similar ability to roll out and throw accurately on the move like his brother, even when going against his body momentum. Also keeps his head up while scrambling for more “creative” passes.
- Appeared to only read half the field, though that might have more to do with Vanderbilt’s offensive scheme than actual ability. Does show the ability to go through his progressions during rollout and play action pass plays.
- Definitely on the shorter side, couple with low throwing velocity on deep passes means lots of batted balls. However shorter quarterbacks like Aaron, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have shown that lack of height can be compensated for.
- Displays the grit and tenacity to get the first down when running and stand tall in the pocket, however will have to get down and get rid of the ball quicker in the NFL or risk injury and turnovers.
If drafted by the Packers
So should the Packers consider drafting Jordan Rodgers? It’s a very interesting question and something I’m sure the Packers front office is debating. The only recent comparison I can think of is when Jay Palmer was the backup for his older brother Carson with the Bengals, but that turned out pretty disastrously when Carson decided to hold out and Jay was forced into a lame duck situation as the starting quarterback.
On one hand having Jordan as the Packer’s backup quarterback is favorable since Jordan’s game is very similar to Aaron’s. There’s really nothing that Aaron can do that Jordan can’t, albeit at a lower proficiency. This is favorable since play calling and offensive scheme can remain the same in the event that Aaron gets hurt; the obvious example of where this was a problem was with Brady Quinn, a right-handed traditional drop back passer, backing up left-handed, option/spread/throwing H-back Tim Tebow for the Broncos in 2011 (It’s believed the Broncos had a completely different offense set up for Quinn in the event that Tebow was injured). On a more personal note, since Jordan and Aaron are brothers they also likely have similar voices when it comes to tonation, inflection and cadence, all of which can make the transition easier for the rest of the offense. Furthermore, Jordan’s skill set translates well as a backup, he isn’t going to stretch the field or really be the catalyst for many plays, but he can keep the offense on schedule with the short and intermediate passing game as well as create some creases scrambling that would keep defenses honest.
On the other hand, Jordan gets thrust into a situation where he can basically do nothing but fail as there’s almost no chance that Jordan will ever surpass Aaron and he would have to deal with that pressure constantly. Questions about favoritism will have to be addressed from both the Packers coaching staff and Aaron himself. Also questions arise if Jordan were ever to be cut/traded; it would be best not to piss off the face of the franchise, and cutting his little brother might be one of those things that even normally composed Aaron might not take well. Most importantly, while they do have very similar skill sets, the Packers have to be cognizant that Jordan is a different person and at a different point in his development and there are things Jordan should not be asked to do that Aaron regularly does; the Packers also risk stunting Jordan’s development if they force Jordan to try to imitate Aaron too much.
Overall, I’m torn between the advantages/disadvantages of having two brothers on the same team. If the brothers and the team can come to some peaceful coexistence then Jordan would be a near perfect candidate to back-up his older brother as the transition between the two quarterbacks would likely be as minimal as possible. However in the real world, the pressure of playing with his superstar older brother as well as the politics of the NFL and locker room likely make signing Jordan Rodgers too big of a risk for the Packers; there would be plenty of other quarterbacks out there with just as much up-side but considerably less potential baggage.
With all that being said, what do you think, should the Packers draft/sign Jordan Rodgers?——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.