Brian Gutekunst has been no stranger to cutting deals and swapping positions during the NFL draft, having trading out of his initial first-round pick in each of his two seasons as the Green Bay Packers general manager. And from the sounds of it, 2020 could make it three in a row.
Gutekunst spoke with members of the Packers media via conference call Monday afternoon and answered some preliminary questions before the start of the 2020 NFL draft at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, including whether he plans to continue his trade-around strategy in his third draft as head honcho.
“I’d like to move around,” Gutekunst said, via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “I think it’s a very good draft. I’d like to move around and get to the areas of the draft that are strong.”
The Packers are currently in possession of 10 picks for the draft with three in the sixth round and two in the seventh round. They also own the No. 30 overall pick in the first round after a successful 2019 campaign saw them finish 13-3 and make it as far as the NFC championship game.
“Whether we come out of it with 10 picks or more or less, we’ve got enough ammunition to move around a little bit and do what we gotta do,” Gutekunst said.
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Gutekunst Keeps Door Open for Drafting QB
During Monday’s call, Gutekunst also mentioned he has discussed some of the Packers’ personnel decisions with quarterback Aaron Rodgers this offseason, which isn’t uncommon given his longstanding history as the team’s centerpiece. He didn’t specify which decisions they discussed, but he did say they did not talk about the team drafting a quarterback.
The Packers don’t have an immediate need for a new quarterback with Rodgers signed through the 2023 season and still playing at a high level, but some have begun to wonder when the team will seek out a replacement for the 36-year-old passer. He is now a year older than Brett Favre was in 2005 when the Packers drafted Rodgers to be groomed as his successor.
But Gutekunst also said he believes Rodgers would be very understanding if they selected a quarterback in 2020, which tracks with what Rodgers has said when addressing the possibility.
“Well, look, I’m a realist,” Rodgers said in early March. “I know where we’re at as an organization and where I’m at in my career. I still feel like I have a ton of years left playing at a high level. I’ve always felt like it doesn’t matter who you bring in, they’re not going to be able to beat me out anytime soon. I feel really confident about my abilities and my place.”
The Packers have held virtual pre-draft meetings with a few of the bigger names in the 2020 quarterback class, including Utah State’s Jordan Love and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts — both of whom could be off the board before the end of the second round.