Packers Projected to Land Experienced 24-Year-Old Quarterback

Devin Leary

Getty The Packers landed Kentucky QB Devin Leary in a recent 2024 NFL mock draft.

The Green Bay Packers may not be satisfied with their backup quarterback situation, and former Kentucky QB Devin Leary could be a legitimate target in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Matt Schneidman with The Athletic shared a seven-round mock draft just a few days before this year’s draft. The mock included some exciting prospects for the Packers, as well as a new backup QB in Leary with the team’s fifth-round selection.

“[The Packers are] certainly set at starter and appear more than satisfied with 2023 fifth-round pick Sean Clifford as a backup,” Schneidman wrote. “Gutekunst, however, said this offseason that he wants to get back to drafting multiple quarterbacks since he finds developing young guys at the most important position in sports invaluable.”

Other picks in Schneidman’s mock include offensive tackle Amarius Mims in the first round, and fellow Georgia teammate Javon Bullard in the second. Linebacker Trevin Wallace, another Kentucky prospect, also went to Green Bay.

Devin Leary Scouting Report

Leary isn’t a top-tier QB prospect, but there was a point where he was getting legitimate draft buzz.

A 3-star recruit out of New Jersey, Leary was one of the top recruits in the state in 2018. His offers included programs like Baylor, Iowa, and Syracuse. However, he decided to stay on the East Coast, committing to N.C. State.

After redshirting his first season, Leary saw some action as a starter over the next two years. He finally got his breakout season in 2021, leading the Wolfpack to a 9-3 record as a starter. He finished the year with 3,433 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just five interceptions.

Leary was never able to replicate that 2021 campaign, even after transferring to Kentucky in 2023. Still, he did enough prior to the start of last season to earn a permanent captaincy for the Wildcats as an incoming transfer.

On tape, Leary has a good arm and touch when attacking soft spots in coverage. His accuracy is too inconsistent, however, and there are too many instances of him staring down a receiver.

For a team interested in a backup, Leary could be a good developmental pick, hoping that he can find his way back to his 2021 form.

Will the Packers Draft Another Quarterback?

The ascension of Jordan Love should have the Packers content at quarterback. However, Brian Gutekunst seems to be on board with the idea of drafting another one.

“Getting back to drafting multiple quarterbacks is something that I’ve wanted to do,” Gutekunst said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We kind of went away from that for a few years and I’d like to get back to that because I just think having young talented quarterbacks on your roster that the coaches can develop, I just think is really healthy and important for a franchise.”

The team currently has two backup quarterbacks on the depth chart. Sean Clifford was a fifth-round pick in last year’s draft out of Penn State. While he had a good handle on running and handling an offense in college, his physical limitations hurt his long-term outlook.

The Packers also have USFL MVP Alex McGough as their third-string QB. A two-time champion for the Birmingham Stallions, McGough made some plays in the spring league. However, at 28 years old, there’s limited upside with him.

A backup QB like Leary with more physical tools could be a worthwhile investment in this year’s draft.

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