Green Bay Packers: If Harrell Can't Cut It, Trade for Colt McCoy

Chris Peterson@@ThePPRExpertsAnalyst IAugust 17, 2012

McCarthy said he believes in Harrell but should his faith start to be questioned?
McCarthy said he believes in Harrell but should his faith start to be questioned?Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

We all know that you have to be cautious not to overreact to NFL preseason games but sometimes preseason games are the only way to evaluate talent.

In the case of the Green Bay Packers, this preseason was a chance to see whether or not Graham Harrell, the former rookie free agent from Texas Tech, was good enough to be Aaron Rodgers' backup.

Well, after receiving extended playing time in each of the last two games, it's starting to look like Harrell can't hack it, which should be a major cause for concern for Green Bay. 

To this point, the former Red Raider has completed just 27 of 51 passes, good for a completion percentage of 52.7 percent. He has also thrown for 237 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. 

Harrell, who has spent the majority of the last two seasons on the Packers' practice squad, has always had questionable arm strength and it has shown so far this preseason. He has struggled to push the ball down the field, which has resulted in an average of just 4.9 yards per pass attempt. 

On the other hand, Cleveland Browns backup Colt McCoy has looked solid in limited action this preseason, completing 10 of 14 passes for 146 yards and no touchdowns. He's also averaging 10.4 yards per attempt, which more than doubles Harrell's average. 

McCoy also has something that Harrell does not: starting experience. 

Harrell has never thrown a pass in a regular season game, while McCoy has 21 starts under his belt in two seasons with the Browns.

In 2011, the former third-round pick in the NFL Draft completed 57 percent of his passes, while also throwing 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. 

Besides getting a backup quarterback with starting experience if they were to make a trade for him, the Packers would also be acquiring McCoy at a very cheap rate.

The Browns have named Brandon Weeden as their starter and it's clear that the former Texas product wants out of town, meaning he could probably be had on the cheap, possibly a sixth- or seventh-round draft choice would do the trick. 

Cleveland also runs the West Coast offense, so the transition for McCoy into the Packers' offensive system would be much easier than normal due to familiarity. 

It's a deal that makes perfect sense for both sides—the Packers get a quality backup and the Browns get rid of an unhappy player who had no future within the organization. 

It would be a great chance for McCoy to rejuvenate his career with free agency following next season and quite possibly the Packers' final hope of finding a competent backup quarterback this season; 'cause if we use the preseason to judge, Harrell is simply not going to cut it. A viable alternative must be found.