Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst came under a bit of fire for his performance in the 2020 NFL Draft. He recently sat down and talked with NBC Sports’ Peter King and explained why he traded up four picks to take Jordan Love. Gutekunst said he saw people who claimed he didn’t need to move up to take the former Utah State quarterback, but he knew of one team which was planning to do the same. He says the team didn’t have a first-round pick but was planning on trading in to get Love.
The Packers’ GM also pointed to another quarterback the team acquired decades ago for a first-round pick in Brett Favre.
“Ron [Wolf] traded a one in 1992 for Brett [Favre], who’d been a second-round pick and wasn’t even starting for Atlanta. Imagine the media fervor if that happened today.”
Gutekunst added he understands general managers are going to come under fire for their decisions now and then, and that’s not going to stop him from making calls he believes will help the team.
That includes taking Love with the Packers’ first-round pick, despite current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers making it clear he plans to play for several more seasons. In the end, even knowing that people would wonder if the team was actively searching for Rodgers’ replacement, Gutekunst said he felt like he had to do the deal because Love had fallen into his lap.
The front office didn’t expect the former Aggie to fall into their laps that late in the first round. The general manager said he expected the player to go somewhere in the teens. Then Gutekunst heard another team was looking to jump into the first round to take Love, and he pulled the trigger.
Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report pointed out that decision and the Packers pick in the second round sparked quite a bit of shock and dismay among the team’s fans. Gutekunst decided on running back AJ Dillon for his round two selection. Dillon joins two running backs who split time a year ago in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Both still being on the roster had some Pack fans wondering why the front office ended up spending its first two rounds drafting backups.
Conway points out it may not be just the fans who were annoyed at Love and Dillon going one and two for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers has not publicly commented on the draft though Love did say the two quarterbacks talked shortly after he was taken.