The field general, the signal-caller, the commander of the huddle...call him whatever you want, but the quarterback is the most important player in all of football, and the Green Bay Packers have been blessed over the past 20-plus years to have two great ones. Where better to start breaking down the roster than with the most glorified position that is played by the team's premier superstar?
Lock to Start
This man is the most obvious starter in the entire NFL. As you know, Rodgers was drafted 24th overall out of California by the Packers in 2005 and sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons before taking over as the starting quarterback in 2008. Since then, he has won Super Bowl XLV, the Super Bowl MVP award, the NFL MVP, and has the highest career passer rating in the NFL's history. He also holds the lowest interception ratio (1.7%) in the NFL's history and is 4th all-time in yards per pass attempt.
Obviously, there is only one starter, and none of the other three players on the roster are a threat to Rodgers' job. They are, however, vying for the backup position behind number 12.
Out of the Running
Harrell bounced back and forth between the active roster and the practice squad in 2010 and 2011 before becoming the Packers' full-time backup quarterback in 2012. An undrafted free agent from Texas Tech, Harrell put up ridiculous numbers in his college system under Mike Leach, ranking in the top 5 in NCAA FCS history in nearly every major passing statistic. Harrell's arm strength is a bit of a question mark, however, and he will be fighting to keep his backup job during camp.
A seventh-round draft pick in 2012 out of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Coleman has the stature and the big arm that teams tend to covet in quarterbacks. He spent the entirety of the 2012 season on the practice squad, but will be the primary challenger to Harrell for the backup job this season. With a year of seasoning under his belt, Coleman needs to show a better command of the offense during training camp if he wants to make the roster. He is eligible for the practice squad again this season.
The final piece to the puzzle is Brown, a rookie free agent from Illinois State who was signed shortly after the draft's conclusion. Brown was a 4-year starter for the Redbirds, and he was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2012, his senior season. Brown is also a practice squad candidate.
Stay tuned this afternoon to see which quarterback we project to back up Rodgers this season.