Don’t count on the Green Bay Packers staying put for their 30th overall pick for Thursday’s draft. General Manager Brian Gutekunst likes being aggressive in the first round, and he won’t hesitate to make a move if necessary.
“I think we’ll be able to be aggressive as we need to be,” Gutekunst said during a pre-draft conference with the media on Monday. “I like to move around. I think it’s a very good draft. I’d like to move around and get to areas of the draft I think are strong.”
Gutekunst isn’t lying when he says he likes to move around. In each of his two drafts as the Packers GM, he has traded during the first round. In 2018, Gutekunst traded back and then up to grab cornerback Jaire Alexander. Last year, the team ended up selecting two players in the first when they traded up to snag safety Darnell Savage 21st overall.
This time probably won’t be any different. Gutekunst is nothing like his predecessor Ted Thompson who managed Green Bay more conservatively.
The Packers could go in a few directions when it comes to this year’s cast of prospects. Wide receiver, inside linebacker, defensive line, and offensive line are all areas they could attempt to target come Thursday.
This will be Gutekunst’s longest wait for the first round of the draft, perhaps making him a bit anxious. He could look to trade up or even move back to accumulate more picks.
“That’s a long wait, and a lot of really good players will come off the board,” he said. “We’ll be prepared to move if we need to be, and we’ll be prepared to move back if that’s what’s best for us.”
If you asked me what I thought the Packers were going to do on Thursday, I’d probably say they will trade back. The better fits for the team such as wide receiver Justin Jefferson and inside linebacker Kenneth Murray are projected to be off the board before they pick at 30. Of course, trading up is an option, but I would be hesitant to surrender a second-round pick in order to do so.
Looking at Gutekunst’s recent history, we should all be expecting Green Bay to select somewhere other than 30th overall.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.