Remember when the Texans drafted Drew Henson as a safety plan, then held his rights hostage when he decided he was ready to give up being the Yankees’ third baseman and wanted to come back to football? Well, there’s a PRO FOOTBALL TALK rumor that the Packers have worked out Duke point guard Greg Paulus at quarterback, despite the fact that Paulus hasn’t thrown a competitive pass since high school. If that sounds surprising, well, this may be even more shocking: The Packers may be dead serious about drafting him, too.
(Yes, this really could be Aaron Rodgers’ new backup in Green Bay.)
While Paulus was never going to set the world ablaze as Duke’s point guard, he still insisted on playing for Coach K because Greg’s just a hoopster at heart. That’s never taken away from his overwhelming talent behind center, where he was the starting quarterback in the U.S. Army All-American game and was also a Parade Magazine All-American. How good was Paulus in high school? Good enough that, if he decided to take a scholarship offer to play quarterback and point guard at Notre Dame, Miami or Syracuse, he easily would have been not just the top quarterback recruit on Rivals.com’s list of national prospects, he would have been the top ranked recruit overall.
Believe it or not, his talent justifies Rivals’s reaction, too. Not only did Paulus set six New York state passing records — including career passing yards — while throwing an ungodly 152 touchdowns in 45 games, he did so with absolute ease. He can throw while rolling out of the pocket to either side. He can throw while sitting in the pocket. In fact, regardless of the quality of his line, he could practically throw touchdown passes in high school from a lawn chair while sipping a glass of iced tea. He was that good.
In fact, his talent was so overwhelming that when he announced he was going to hold a recruiting press conference at his Manlius, NY, high school in December 2004 — despite the fact that he’d already committed to Duke — Rivals sent a camera crew and reporter to the Syracuse area high school just in case he announced he was going to play football after all. Needless to say, they weren’t too happy when they showed up and Coach K was there to ceremoniously plant a Duke banner on Paulus’ turf.
Now, does any of this that mean he’s going to be a star in the NFL? Hardly. What it does mean is that the Packers are probably not taking his workout lightly. If Paulus shows the arm strength and incredible accuracy he had in high school, he’s surely a better prospect than a handful of the quarterbacks currently on Mel Kiper’s draft board. No, he’s not going to be a pick in the first two rounds. He’s not even a first day pick. But if the Packers or another team like what they see, Paulus could easily be an early second day draft pick that turns out to be the steal of this April. In fact, we’ll go out there right now and say he’ll have a better NFL career than the last Paulus — or Powlus, rather — drafted as a quarterback.