The draft history of Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has been consistently surprising. From drafting players projected to go in the third-round to drafting players who didn’t fit Ted Thompson’s size profile to off-ball linebackers to Jordan Love, Gutekunst never fails to surprise with his first-round pick. Let’s go over a few Packers draft candidates that would blow up Twitter despite Gutekunst’s history.
Kancey is this year’s undersized (and that means short and sleight) but super quick 3-tech from Pitt. He isn’t Aaron Donald, because no one is, but he’s the next best thing for a team looking for an interior gap shooter.
Kancey would be a surprise pick in Green Bay for a few reasons. He often gets washed out in the run game and doesn’t really fit in an odd front defense. But he could move to the edge on base downs, is an athletic freak, and Joe Barry wants to create pressure on the QB with four.
Drafting a RB in the first-round would seem truly insane. The team would have more capital devoted to RB than any other team in the league. But it also seemed insane for the Packers to draft AJ Dillon in the second and Quay Walker in the first.
Like Kancey, Bijan is an athletic freak and is as well-rounded as it gets for a running back. It’s easy to see Gute having him as a top 5 player on his board and talking himself into Robinson as the best way to ease a young QB into a new starter job.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon will likely be on the team for one more season and Robinson can be the jet sweep/slot receiver in the meantime.
Hendon Hooker or Tanner McKee
I will say that I doubt the team takes a QB unless it’s in a trade back to the second/Kevin King type scenario. But if the team has fallen in love with one of these QBs, don’t be surprised if Gutekunst wants to trade down to build up more draft capital and takes one of them early in the process.
Neither is a Jordan Love/Aaron Rodgers likely future starter selection, but they can be a Matt Hasslebeck/Matt Flynn develop a backup and trade him away type selection. You can never have enough invested in the future of your QB position.
Jaire Alexander broke the Packers’ cornerback size threshold, could Zay Flowers break the team’s wide receiver threshold? Flowers has everything you’d normally expect from a Packers’ receiver: athleticism, college production, YAC ability, and aggression in the run game, except size. The Boston College product is just 5‘9” 182 pounds.
Flowers can be anything the Packers need him to be. He can start in the slot and be a juiced up Tyler Ervin, he can be a isolated X receiver pulling coverage away from everyone else, he can be a deep threat opening up crossers for Watson and the middle of the field for Doubs, he could even take over as returner if necessary. And as far as size goes, his closest mock draftable comp is Dwayne Eskridge, who the Packers were reportedly interested in taking in the first round of the 2021 draft.
A tight end in the first round would be surprising in itself, but Sam LaPorta, who is ranked 56th on the consensus draft board, would be insane. But, think about it LaPorta has an RAS over 9 despite being short and light for a tight end, is the best YAC tight end in the draft, and has experience as a traditional Y tight end in Iowa’s run-first offense.
LaPorta is the type of player who Packers fans would love as a second-round pick but be disturbed by as a first-round pick. As Packers fans it’s time that we embrace the randomness and the unexpected because that’s the expected with Brian Gutekunst as GM.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.