I can't lie. I absolutely love the NFL Draft. Each and every year, I watched the entire first round, and find myself watching more of the later rounds than I initially planned. It's a time where you can see dreams come true; the hard work of hundreds of college athletes pay off and result in a chance to realize their NFL dreams.

Furthermore, I'm always keeping an eye out for those with Iowa roots getting drafted. I mean, who else was going to do a whole write-up and deep-dive into Council Bluffs native Max Duggan, who was selected by the Los Angeles Chargers in last year's draft?

As soon as the draft ends, I'm hawking over various aggregators and newswires trying to find out where a swath of undrafted free agents (UDFA) are going to land. This morning, I was amazed to find that a quarterback with Dubuque roots was signed by an NFL team!

Meet Jack Plummer, a 24-year-old quarterback who played college football at Purdue, California, and most recently, Louisville, for his fifth and final season of college eligibility. While not the son of former quarterback Jake Plummer like I initially assumed, Plummer was born in Dubuque in 1999!

Unfortunately too, that's where Plummer's connection with the region starts and stops. Shortly after he was born, him and his mother moved to Gilbert, AZ, where he began his journey to becoming a college quarterback. His first opportunity at Purdue lasted three years (2019 - 2021) until he was benched in favor of Aidan O'Connell (the current Las Vegas Raiders quarterback).

From there, Plummer transferred to California for the 2022 season, where he led the team to a 4-8 record. After Cal, he transferred again, this time to Louisville, where he led the Cardinals to a 10-2 record and a subsequent trip to the 2023 ACC Championship Game against the Florida State Seminoles.

Plummer was one of nine former Louisville Cardinals to go undrafted following the 2024 NFL Draft. However, he wasn't a free agent for very long. Shortly after the conclusion of the draft, the Carolina Panthers signed him to an UDFA quarterback deal.

Photo Credit: Isaiah Vazquez, Getty Images
Photo Credit: Isaiah Vazquez, Getty Images

Plummer is entering an NFL quarterback room defined by a veteran and a second-year player looking for a significant bounce-back season. The two other quarterbacks are Bryce Young, the #1 pick in last year's draft out of Alabama, and Andy Dalton, the longtime Cincinnati-Bengals-starter-turned-journeyman.

The Panthers struggled mightily last year, going 2-15, the worst record in their history and in the NFL. The Panthers didn't even reap the rewards of being awful, as their #1 pick selection was traded to (my) Chicago Bears last year, which allowed the Bears to select USC Quarterback Caleb Williams.

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Realistically, I could see the Panthers placing Jack Plummer on their practice squad as a possible developmental project for new/first-time head coach Dave Canales.

Either way, he's a player I'll be following throughout training camp and the subsequent preseason. However small it is, Dubuque, IA now has some quarterback representation in the NFL!

Read more about Jack Plummer on his Wikipedia page.

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