GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – As he walked into the media auditorium at Lambeau Field, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst started off his pre-draft press conference by thanking the medical staff, his coaches, and his scouts for all the work that’s gone into getting the organization ready for the upcoming draft.
Then the questions came, most of them surrounding the wide receiver need the Green and Gold has and how many drafts picks the Packers have in their hands this season.
“The draft board is just about set and we got very comfortable with the board over the weekend,” Gutekunst said as he addressed the media on Monday.
While he wouldn’t go into detail about how that board will fall, he acknowledges this year’s draft class has deep talent at a number of positions. Most notably, wide receiver, which many have called for the Packers to draft that position in the first round over the past couple of years.
“I think it’s a pretty good receiver class,” Gutekunst said. “I think it’s a product of how these players are coming up through high school and college, and some of the youth leagues, they’ve been catching and throwing for so long.”
The Packers general manager went on to say that even with all that talent, history has proved that it still takes time for all rookies, not just wide receivers, to acclimate themselves to the NFL.
The Packers have 11 picks in this year’s draft, four of which come in the top 60 picks. While many fans would like to see the Green and Gold take a wide receiver in the first two rounds, Gutekunst has talked quite a bit about the talent among the offensive line and defensive line in this year’s draft.
“The depth of the big men in this draft is pretty good,” Gutekunst said. He said some players sitting out a year due to COVID-19 has also pushed back the depth a couple of years and that’s why you’re seeing a lot of depth in this year’s draft.
Regardless of who the Packers take at 22, which is their first pick in the draft, Gutekunst is committed to making the Packers better in the long-term, not in the short term.
The general manager reiterated that on Monday and said that having all those picks has brought on quite a discussion as to whether or not they should trade up and get a player or sit and let it come to them. For the Packers’ GM, it’s about making sure that he’s always doing right for the longevity of his team.
When asked if quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be kept in the loop as to the draft process, Gutekunst said he’s been in constant communication with Rodgers since the end of the season and they would continue their communication much like they have the past year and a half.
The NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 28.