Green Bay Packers Primed for Draft Success with Five Top-100 Picks

Apr 16, 2024, 4:50 p.m. ET

Green Bay has five picks among the first 91 picks, which provides flexibility and many options to the club

GREEN BAY — Brian Gutekunst He’s pretty much done it all when it comes to the NBA draft. NFL,, even despite a relatively short tenure as general manager of the Green Bay Packers. Since his first draft in 2018, he has traded up, down, drafted a franchise quarterback in the first round, and selected two or even three players at the same position in the same year.

Now, you can do something that no general manager in the Packers has done in 18 years: make five selections within the Top-100.

As general manager of the Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst has chosen seven defensemen against one offense, with his first-round picks. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Gutekunst owns five of the first 91 shifts in the first three rounds of the 2024 NFL DraftLos Packers They haven’t drafted five players this high in a year since 2006, when Ted Thompson made five selections within the first 75 positions.

And Gutekunst does not redeem any of those shifts, it will be only the second time since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, which Packers They have so many turns within the first 91 places.

“We will probably have a little more volume at the top than in past years,” he said. Gutekunst in this offseason. “So, it gives you flexibility. It allows us to either pick, negotiate, move, maybe trade those picks for other players on the outside, veteran players. Who knows?

“It just gives you a little more flexibility. I think that, along with being in a better situation against the salary cap and having a little more flexibility there, it gives us the ability to help the team more. It would be great to have five in the first three [rondas] every year”.

In 2006, Thompson He did some maneuvers. He turned seven picks at the start of the draft into 12 eventual players. The first five chosen by Green Bay in that year they were the linebacker A.J. Hawk (No. 5 overall), offensive tackle Daryn College (No. 47), wide receiver Greg Jennings (N° 52), linebacker Abdul Hodge (No. 67) and guard Jason Spitz (N° 75).

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This year, Gutekunst It starts with 11 turns. It has the original selections of the Packers in the first three rounds, (No. 25, No. 58 and No. 88 overall), in addition to the second round selection of the New York Jets (No. 41) as part of the exchange for Aaron Rodgersand the third-round pick of the Buffalo Bills (No. 91) as part of the exchange for Rasul Douglas.

That gives the youngest team in the NFLthe possibility of repeating that distinction in 2024, especially considering that they only have one player over 30 years of age on their roster, Preston Smith31.

Of course, it does not mean that Gutekunst in fact he will choose in those positions within the first three rounds. Although he has never agreed to a trade to get into the Top-10, he will have the ability to do so in a couple of ways, should he want to. According to a table of exchange values, the combination of shifts 25, 58, 88 and 91 would be very similar to the value of the tenth global shift. The same goes for the combination of turns 25, 41 and 91, or the combination of 24, 41, along with multiple third-day picks (Rounds 4-7).

“I think it’s very expensive to do that,” he said. Gutekunst. “From what you have to pay to get that high, you’re paying a lot. So unless it’s a quarterback, or a very, very rare player, I think you have to be careful there. You know the numbers, what it takes To go from the 20s to the Top-10, you’re giving up a lot, and at the time you might think it’s the right thing to do, and if it’s a quarterback, there’s some justification behind that because of the importance of the position.

“But, paying for those kinds of picks that you’re going to have to make, that are probably going to be future picks and you don’t know what’s going to happen down the road and what you’re going to need, has never really made a lot of sense to me.”

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Gutekunst He has made five selections in the first round. Seven have been defensive players, with the quarterback Jordan Love as the only exception (No. 26 overall in 2020).

Considering the change of defensive coordinator, Joe Barry a Jeff Hafleyand the change in base scheme from a 3-4 to a 4-3, it would not surprise anyone if Gutekunst favor that side of the ball, again.

The top needs on defense include linebacker, safety and cornerback. Gutekunst released De’Vondre Campbell this offseason, and did not add a starting-caliber linebacker during free agency. Gutekunst selected an inside linebacker previously in the first round (Quay WalkerNo. 22 in 2022), but there isn’t a recruit widely considered a first-round prospect among traditional linebackers this year.

In high school, Gutekunst He has twice invested first-round picks in cornerbacks (Jaire AlexanderNo. 18 in 2018, and Eric StokesNo. 29 in 2021) and once on a safety (Darnell SavageNo. 21 in 2019), which has led some to pair the Packers with names like that of the cornerback of Iowa, Cooper DeJeanor the safety of Minnesota, Tyler Nubinranked No. 25 overall.

The last occasion in which Packers They made this drastic change in defensive scheme, it was in 2009, when he was hired Dom Capers and went from a 4-3 to a 3-4. During that spring, Thompson chose two players specifically for the 3-4 system: nose tackle BJ Raji at the No. 9 overall pick, and outside linebacker Clay Matthews through an exchange to promote to shift No. 26.

The change, this time, might not require that kind of movement.

“I’m comfortable with what we have,” admitted the head coach of the Packers, Matt LaFleurto the presentation of Hafley. “Because the last thing you want to do is just throw away everything that’s working for you, especially when you have such good players who have performed at a high level and guys with a contract.

Gutey It was part of the process when we were interviewing these guys, and I certainly wanted to make him feel supported in it, and he was pretty comfortable with it, so we went and brought Hafley

Perhaps, that could free Gutekunst to do something else he’s never done: draft an offensive lineman in the first round. The loss of the left tackle All-Pro, David Bakhtiariyou might need it, though Rasheed Walker (2022 seventh-round pick) will be competing for the job long-term, after filling in for Bakhtiari Last season.

Gutekunst has drafted only two linemen among the first 91 shifts (guard Elgton Jenkins at No. 44 in 2019 and center Josh Myers at No. 62 of 2021).

2024-04-16 20:50:00
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