The Green Bay Packers selected quarterback Michael Pratt with the 245th overall pick in the seventh round of the 2024 NFL Draft. GM Brian Gutekunst indicated he wanted to add a quarterback on day three of the draft on a regular basis and he started that by adding Pratt. Now that Michael Pratt has joined the Packers, he will provide competition at backup quarterback with incumbent Sean Clifford.

Michael Pratt Gives the Packers Competition at Backup Quarterback: Pratt’s Background

Pratt grew up in Florida and was home schooled until 9th grade. After starting a season at two different high schools, he committed to Tulane where he became a four-year starter. The team struggled in Pratt’s first two seasons there, finishing with a combined 6-14 record. Despite the team’s struggles, Pratt threw 41 touchdowns and just 16 interceptions during those two seasons.

In Pratt’s final two seasons, Tulane finished 11-2 and 10-1. Pratt’s numbers got even better. He topped 3,000 yards passing in 2022 and his completion percentage went up to 63.6 in 2022 and to 65.4 in 2023. He threw 49 touchdown passes in those two seasons and just 10 interceptions.

NFL scouts liked Pratt’s leadership and his decision making. He delivers a soft, catchable ball and does a good job of leading his receivers. In addition, scouts praised Pratt’s work ethic and dedication to the game. The biggest drawback was his lack of elite arm strength. That is what caused him to slip in the draft. Many experts thought he would go in the third or fourth round of the draft, but he ended up falling all the way to the seventh round.

The Brass Is Pleased by Pratt’s Potential

The Packers GM and coaching staff were pleased by the addition of Pratt to the roster. “Obviously a winner,” Gutekunst said. “He really turned that program around. [He] started a lot of games for them. He’s a good athlete. He’s got a pretty live arm. Very accurate. Just like the way he handled himself. He had some big wins, so we’re excited. [I] just like the way he handled himself. He had some big wins, so we’re excited. I wanted to add a quarterback and a bunch went early, so there wasn’t a lot of guys available in the mid-rounds. So, as we got later and later, he was kind of the only left that we wanted to target, so that was kind of nice.”

Head coach Matt LaFleur also liked what Pratt could bring to the table. “I think he’s a guy that, he definitely is a tough, fearless thrower and that to me is a prerequisite with the position,” LaFleur told reporters. “You’ve got to be able to stand in there and throw in muddy pockets, throw in the face of pressure and I think he exhibited that. I think he’s a winner, so we were excited. We were kind of shocked that he was still there in the seventh.”

Now, Pratt’s pro journey begins as the Packers continue their OTAs and rookie minicamps.

Michael Pratt Gives the Packers Competition at Backup Quarterback: Pratt Will Battle Sean Clifford

Ironically, the man Pratt will battle for the backup quarterback job is Clifford. The two met several years ago at the Manning Quarterback Camp and are friends.

Gutekunst indicated he really was pleased with Clifford from last season, but he wanted to resume the strategy of drafting quarterbacks on day three that the Packers used so effectively under Ron Wolf.

In recent years, the Packers have usually kept two quarterbacks on the active roster and one on the practice squad. The lone exception in recent years was when the Packers drafted Jordan Love in 2020 but kept both Aaron Rodgers and Tim Boyle on the roster. Love wasn’t even ready to be the backup that year after the entire preseason was canceled due to Covid.

It is likely that only one of the two backups will make the final roster unless the Packers choose to change the way they’ve done things in recent years.

Clifford already has one year of NFL experience and played one season in LaFleur’s offense. Clifford thinks his experience in college could help him, though.

“I think consistency is one of the most important things as a quarterback,” Pratt said. “I think that that’s one aspect of my game that I really elevated is being consistent, not being overly conservative but not being dumb with the ball and putting the ball in jeopardy. Just going through my reads, sticking to the course, trusting my training, I think is something that’s really important. I’ve had four different offensive coordinators in the four years I was there at Tulane, and they all taught me different things. I just got to learn and develop throughout all of that. I just think that consistency is one of the biggest things I’ve implemented in my game.”

Let the battle for the backup quarterback job begin.




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