Packers Host Under-the-Radar Quarterback For Visit

The Green Bay Packers already have their long-term answer at quarterback, but the team is bringing in former UTEP QB Gavin Hardison for a visit ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.

NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero posted to X that the Packers were hosting a pre-draft meeting with Hardison on Wednesday, April 17.

There are plenty of other noteworthy names at the quarterback position. Hardison currently ranks 504th on the consensus big board. The pre-draft visit was likely being used as a recruiting visit in the event he became an undrafted free agent following this year’s draft.

Still, it’s an intriguing prospect for the Packers to bring in for a visit just over a week away from the start of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Who Is Gavin Hardison?

Hardison is hardly a household name. However, more hardcore college football fans might recognize the name from his time with UTEP.

Prior to attending UTEP, Hardison was a virtually unknown high school recruit who spent a year at New Mexico Military Institute. He transferred after one season with the JUCO program to play for the Miners.

Hardison won the starting job in his second year with the program. The COVID-shortened year granted him an extra year of eligibility, and he took advantage of it. He played for the Miners from 2019 through 2023, appearing in 37 games. He finished his college career completing 53.7 percent of his passes for 7,963 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 33 interceptions.

After playing for so long, Hardison’s college career ended on a sour note. A torn UCL in his throwing elbow resulted in season-ending surgery, prematurely ending his final college season.

According to Pro Football Network’s Ian Valentino, Hardison boasts a strong arm. He was willing to step in the pocket and launch in deep in an aggressive vertical passing offense. However, his age, lack of pro-style experience, and inconsistent mechanics all raise questions about his ability to develop at the NFL level.

Still, it’s worth noting that the Packers had enough interest to bring Hardison in for a pre-draft visit.

The Packers Might Draft a Backup Quarterback

It may not be the most pressing need, but the Packers may take a quarterback in this year’s draft.

General manager Brian Gutekunst spoke about the possibility in a recent press conference.

“Getting back to drafting multiple quarterbacks is something that I’ve wanted to do,” Gutekunst told reporters 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.”

Sean Clifford was taken in the fifth round of last year’s draft. He was an experienced starter at Penn State with decent mobility and a good handle of making pre-snap adjustments without the help of coaches.

However, his limited upside could have the Packers taking a developmental backup in later rounds of this year’s draft. Just don’t expect any backups to be the preferred starter ahead of Jordan Love any time soon.

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