The Green Bay Packers will be using one of their 30 official pre-NFL Draft visits on North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen, a native of Waupaca, Wis., according to a source. The visit will take place next week.
Jensen helped lead NDSU to three straight FCS national championships, culminating in his final one this past January as a senior. It's that experience that Jensen thinks is his best quality heading into next level.
"I've started 53 college football games," Jensen told Cheesehead TV in February. "For me, being able to see different defenses, different looks, blitzes, coverages, just that experience that you get in the game and throughout practice over the course of that many games certainly helps. You can't take that away.
"And also just having an upside. I got better every year at NDSU and showing that I have my best football left in front of me. I'm very coachable. I'm a student of the game. I have great passion for football."
Beginning Apr. 1, all NFL teams could start bringing in up to 30 prospects for a visit at team headquarters, in which they can meet with a player, interview him and put him through a physical but not put him through a workout, according to former NFL scout Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post.
The Packers and many NFL teams use pre-draft visits on player they were not able to meet with at the NFL Combine or all-star game circuit. A majority of them end up being late-round draft choices or undrafted players.
Seeing as Matt Flynn remains a free agent, the Packers could very well be in the market for a backup to starter Aaron Rodgers.
Green Bay currently has Scott Tolzien under contract at the position, but Mike McCarthy said he was hopeful at the Combine that the team could add a quarterback in the Draft, citing a desire to have four quarterbacks on the roster during the offseason.
Despite the small-school pedigree, Jensen has prototypical NFL size at 6' 3" and 223 lbs. and has played against major-college competition in games versus Minnesota and Kansas State.
Jensen said that NFL scouts, including the Packers, started to take a growing interest in him after North Dakota State's unexpected road win at Kansas State this past season. Many came to campus wanting to see on film the plays that were made in that particular game.
On the day, Jensen completed 21 of 30 passes (70 percent) for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored the game's decisive touchdown on the ground with just 28 seconds to play that put the Bison up 24-21.
"We definitely don't shy away from the big moment," said Jensen. "Whatever team is in front of us, regardless if they're an FCS team or not, you're going to get my best; you're going to get our team's best. And that's what we've shown and proven over the course of my college career."
In four years, Jensen completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 8,598 yards with 72 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. His contributions on the ground added up to 1240 yards (3.5 ypc) and 35 touchdowns.
Should he be signed by the Packers, it would represent a return to his childhood as a Packers fan.
"I grew up as a kid a Packers fan," said Jensen. "I'm from central Wisconsin. Of course, I would think every Wisconsin kid growing up was a Packers fan, getting to go to Lambeau and watch the green and gold on Sundays."
Jensen is the 24th ranked quarterback in this year's draft class in Cheesehead TV's Pro Football Draft Preview guide.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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