The Curious Case of Kurt Benkert

The Packers have an interesting quarterback situation.

We know all about Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, but let’s not forget about Kurt Benkert who, in addition to winning over the fanbase with his social media presence, has been flashing some arm talent during training camp.

Benkert wasn’t a blue chip college prospect. After tearing his ACL in his second year at East Carolina, he transferred to Virginia, where he put up a school record 455 yards against UConn amid a couple solid years as a starter.

An average athlete with solid size and a great arm, he went undrafted due to accuracy and decision-making questions and spent a couple years on the Falcons practice squad before joining the Packers.

With Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love on the roster, Benkert is a long shot to see any playing time this year, but what about a roster spot?

The Packers will have tough cuts to make at wide receiver, running back, tight end, and offensive line given all the depth they have. That may make it hard to keep a 3rd quarterback on the roster.

However, if the Packers think Rodgers is going to be gone next year and they’re going to start Jordan Love, who has never played a down in the regular season (and hopefully won’t see meaningful action this year), they may want to keep a developmental quarterback like Benkert around to groom as a backup.

The question is if they will keep him on the roster or try to sneak him on to the practice squad.

The last time the Packers tried to stash developmental quarterback that the fans loved on the practice squad was Taysom Hill, who, despite playing mostly a tight end and gadget role, looks likely to start at quarterback for the Saints this year (and is still a Packers fan darling).

If the Packers want to get Benkert to the practice squad, a common strategy would be to not play him in the preseason so that other teams don’t get a chance to scout him and see if they would like to sign him.

Since the Packers plan to keep Aaron Rodgers out of the preseason, that would mean Jordan Love would get all the preseason snaps.

Which could play right into the Packers plan to develop and prepare him to be next year’s starter.

Anything could happen, but if I’m making a guess, I’ll guess Jordan Love gets all the snaps this preseason, making it easier for the Packers to get Benkert onto the practice squad and use that roster spot for another player (maybe Randall Cobb), then, when Love becomes the starter next year, Benkert gets more preseason snaps as he steps into the backup quarterback role.

Anything could happen, though – building an NFL roster is a very inexact science.


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