Legacy of Gutekunst and LaFleur forever tied to the 2020 draft class

As the 2020 NFL Draft has drawn to a close after a wild and wacky weekend that consisted of surprisingly no major technical difficulties for the virtual draft, the Green Bay Packers will be welcoming in nine new players to their roster. And while training camps (whenever they end up happening) will help determine the state of the roster for the 2020 NFL season, the future of their top decision-makers are forever tied to this group of players.

By selecting a quarterback (Jordan Love) in the first round, when there were many more pressing needs to help improve the state of this team at the moment, it showed a complete demonstration of faith in the current roster makeup, even though they were absolutely slaughtered by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.

Wide receiver was a needed commodity coming into the draft, or so we as fans thought it was, and instead of general manager Brian Gutekunst taking full advantage of one of the better WR draft classes in recent memory, he ended up addressing this position group by not selecting one receiver throughout all seven rounds.

The fingerprints of head coach Matt LaFleur are all over this draft, as there were certain areas, elements, and positions that were selected at surprising times that led to Packer faithful displaying their lack of faith in the brain trust. By going QB, RB (AJ Dillon), and TE/H-back (Josiah Deguara) across the first three rounds, the thought process seems to be that LaFleur is trying to form and mold the GB offense into a replica, or at least one that mirrors, the 49ers offensive schematic elements.

Love is obviously a future asset that, without an injury scare to Aaron Rodgers, will not see the field for very much meaningful playing time in 2020. Dillon can be counted on as a perfect cold-weather running back that loves to tote the rock in the trenches, and he can be seen as the eventual replacement for Jamaal Williams if he does not come back. Deguara is the player that looks to be the Kyle Juszczyk for GB, a field-splitting receiving threat that can add another element to the offensive scheme.

While on the surface it may look as though this draft approach was a very confusing one of sorts that did not do its due diligence on addressing today’s needs and instead focused on the needs of tomorrow, there has to be a measured impact felt by this class in some capacity in this upcoming season, even if it is a very minimal one. Of the expected contributors, both Dillon and Deguara should see enough playing time to give fans a sense of what this draft class can bring to the table, even if the rest of the defensive players (LB, S, and DE), as well as the trio of offensive linemen that were taken in the sixth round, do not see the field all that much.

For Gutekunst, his 2018 draft haul was impressive enough (mainly thanks to Jaire Alexander) and that honeymoon period carried over into the 2019 draft class that saw the first round focus on defense yet again with both Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage. But with Alexander being the lone big-time contributor in that ‘18 class, combined with Savage looking to be the better player (so far at least) than Gary, the 2020 draft class is going to be a boom or bust type in a few years, especially since that is going to be how long it will take to see if Love and others pan out to justify their selections.

Rest easy (or at least kind of easy) Packer fans – no reasonable takeaways can be pulled from this draft class quite yet, except for the fact that we do not truly know why this was the direction that the front office and coaching staff decided to go.

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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23

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One thought on “Legacy of Gutekunst and LaFleur forever tied to the 2020 draft class

  1. So just out of curiosity, what’s the most rushing yards ever given up in one season by an NFL defense?

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