The much anticipated NFL draft is here. The NFL off-season seems to take forever with the draft being at the end of April. The mock draft season is finally over and tonight we will see who goes where. Finally, we will get an insight into each team’s general manager’s strategies. One in particular that will be on display is new Green Bay Packer’s general manager Brian Gutekunst.
Gutekunst will be leading his first draft after taking over for Ted Thompson. The Packers are sitting in an unfamiliar spot this year. Since 2009, the team hasn’t had a top-15 pick. Packers have normally picked somewhere in the 20s. Also, Gutekunst has the capital to really shake up the draft. Stocked with 12 picks, the most out of any team, gives him the ability to move around for players that are desperately needed. Let’s look at four scenarios that will work out in the Packers favor.
Green Bay Packers Draft Scenarios
Cleveland Browns draft Baker Mayfield #1
According to Adam Schefter, there is growing belief that the Cleveland Browns will select Baker Mayfield as the number one overall.
Why does this help the Packers?
North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb will then fall down the draft board. The Packers are in need of secondary help. The top three prospects are Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Denzel Ward. With Mayfield going one, it will start a string of quarterbacks being taken driving the top defensive prospects down the board. In this scenario, the Packers won’t have to give up a lot of their capital to move ahead of the Chicago Bears to pick up one of their guys.
Patriots trade into the top-10
Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger. Bill Belichick traded away their future, in Jimmy Garroppolo, leaving them without a plan. There are some reports that Baker Mayfield is their top choice along with Lamar Jackson. The Patriots are stocked with two first round picks along with five in the top 100. The pick capital is enough to catapult them into the top 10, maybe the top five. Just like the first scenario, this drives the top defensive prospects down the board. At the same time, it could take out a team that is in need of the same secondary help the Packers need. If this happens, the Packers stay at 14 with their choice.
Trade back into the first round
Let’s say the worst case scenario happens. Meaning all three of the top corners/safeties are all gone at 14. Another position of need gets filled; edge rusher. Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are a lethal combination, when healthy. After them, there hasn’t been much production out of their edge rushers. Kyler Fackrell has shown signs, but not the consistency needed. Gutekunst has repeatedly stated that it’s harder to find big guys than it is to find small guys. Here we have the Packers addressing the edge by drafting Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport.
Remember the twelve picks?
Gutekunst makes a splash by trading back into the first round to select Jaire Alexander or Isaiah Oliver. Alexander doesn’t fit the height requirements of Ron Wolf’s philosophy so the pick would be Oliver. At 6′ 1″, Oliver would slide right into an outside corner role with Kevin King on the other side.
Packers stay put
The last time the Green Bay Packers trading, in the first round, was back in 2009. They drafted B.J. Raji with the ninth pick while trading to 26 to draft Clay Matthews. This is the most likely scenario that will happen. The number of picks needed to move up may be too much given how many holes needed to fill. By staying at 14, it would give Gutekunst plenty of ammunition to move in rounds two and three to give them more value.
Aaron Rodgers’s window is closing. The Packers need to get him help on both sides of the ball for them to compete. With the rest of the division getting better, they can’t sit back anymore. Aggressiveness needs to be obtained and with how free agency has panned out, Gutekunst has shown his willingness to be aggressive.
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