American Football

Packers Rookie Preview: Michael Pratt could take over as QB2

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South Alabama v Tulane
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Michael Pratt was the tools to be a legitimate backup QB.

One of the biggest training camp battles of 2024 for the Green Bay Packers will be between the backup quarterbacks.

Sean Clifford comes into his second NFL season with some experience under his belt, but seventh-round pick Michael Pratt will have a legitimate chance of challenging him for the backup QB spot.

Pratt was a four-year starter for the Tulane Green Wave, taking over early into his true freshman season and never looking back. He finished his college career with a 27-17 record as a starter, throwing for 9,611 yards, 90 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions while adding another 28 rushing touchdowns. He ended his college career as the AAC Offensive Player of the Year.

At 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, Pratt comes into the league with a solid frame and plenty of NFL experience. However, it’s easy to see why he was considered such a late-round pick when comparing him to the top quarterbacks in his draft class.

The first thing that immediately stands out on tape is how confident and comfortable Pratt is at running his offense. Tulane allowed him to make pre-snap calls, and he had no problem running with it. Just watch the play below where Pratt checks into the team’s “can” or “kill” play, then calls out the blitzing linebacker pre-snap to help with the offensive line’s protection.

Once that’s all setup, Pratt is able to deliver a strike deep downfield to get his team into a goal-to-go situation.

When he has enough time in the pocket, Pratt also displays a good internal clock to make sure he’s going through his progressions with enough urgency to find his second or third read in stride before they have to go off-script with their routes.

The upper-body mechanics are usually pretty solid, even if Pratt can get caught being a bit too jumpy in the pocket or throwing too high off his toes.

That internal clock, combined with a solid release, can help Pratt get the ball out quickly on his one-step drops to hit the slant, flat, or now screen.

While it’s not something he was typically known for, Pratt can also throw with solid anticipation at times. However, this typically only shows up when Pratt has found his rhythm as he continues to throw within the structure of the offense and from a clean pocket.

Fans will also appreciate Pratt’s toughness in the pocket. He took a good amount of punishment over his career, getting sacked 103 times over four seasons. However, even with all those hits adding up, Pratt wasn’t afraid to step into the pocket to deliver it deep, even when he knew that he was going to take a shot.

It’s important to note that Pratt doesn’t have the arm talent to get away with much, especially at the NFL level. It’s evident on some of his throws with more zip on it that he’s really having to step into the throw to get it there with maximum effort.

However, Pratt was able to get away with less-than-ideal arm strength by layering the ball over defenders and into tighter windows. His touch and accuracy helped him make up for that, although it’s unclear how much he’ll be able to get away with against NFL defenses.

Pratt has average athletic ability, but he’s not going to be viewed as an off-script playmaker like some of the NFL’s biggest stars. He struggles with accuracy once outside of the pocket, and there are too many times when he’s still trying to make a play instead of throwing the ball out of bounds.

He’s also not going to burn past many pass rushers once he escapes.

That being said, Pratt does have a good feel for managing the pocket. Unless the rush is coming from his blind side (where he can get absolutely crushed), Pratt has a good feel for stepping up into the pocket and finding clean throwing platforms, or simply taking off upfield with his legs.

Packers fans shouldn’t expect some hidden gem in the seventh round with Pratt. However, he brings plenty of pro-caliber tools that could allow him to operate with a specific game plan if forced into NFL action.

Hopefully, that doesn’t happen any time soon with Jordan Love as the starter.

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