In a PackersForTheWin.com exclusive interview with Brian Gutekunst, the Packers GM personally guaranteed me that the Packers would take a wide receiver in the 1st round of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Despite going 13-3 and making it to the NFCCG in each of the last two seasons, Gutekunst told PFTW that it wasn’t enough and they needed to be all in.
“We brought back Kevin King and we re-signed Ty Lancaster,” Gutekunst said of the teams offsesason manuevering, “so now we’re all set at cornerback and defensive line and we can focus on our biggest need: wide receiver.”
“I noticed something clearly after re-watching our last game,” Gutekunst said to me. “Tampa’s front seven was loaded with All Pro talent and they feasted on our backup offensive linemen. Plus, they passed on our defense with ease. After watching the game for the 87th time, I knew exactly how to fix that: draft a wide receiver in the 1st round.”
Gutekunst rubbed his forehead. “It seems so obvious now. We’ve had hall of fame quarterback play for 30 years and only two Super Bowls to show for it. This is why. Pretty much every year that we didn’t draft a wide receiver in the 1st round was a year that we didn’t win the Super Bowl. It’s so obvious.”
The Packers have spent most of free agency re-signing their own players, so I asked Gutekunst about the possibility of signing Davante Adams – who is a free agent after this season – to a contract extension.
Gutekunst screamed at me and shoved a pile of papers off the table. “He wasn’t a first rounder!”
I apologized and gave him time to collect himself. He blew his nose and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” he said, “it’s just that most fans don’t realize how important it is to take a wide receiver in the 1st round!”
Last year, in what was probably the deepest wide receiver class in the history of the game, the Packers didn’t draft a single receiver. When I mentioned this, Gutekunst became noticeably upset. His eyes welled with tears and looked down at the floor.
“Why didn’t you draft a receiver last year, Brian?” I asked calmly, trying not to upset him any further.
After a hopeless shrug, he squeaked, “I just kinda forgot.”
I gave him a consoling hug. “It’s ok, Brian,” I said, wiping a warm tear from his cheek, “we all make mistakes.”
He sniffled and nodded, appearing to feel better.
I asked Brian about his propensity to trade up in the 1st round and his sullen face sparked up. He couldn’t contain his smile as he leaned in and ushered me closer. “Don’t tell anyone,” he whispered, “but we’re gonna trade up with everything we got – Mike Ditka style – to get a wide receiver in the 1st round. It’s that important. That’s our draft strategy this year.”
I mentioned that I had written a book about NFL draft strategy and that it had been rated as a #1 new release on Amazon.
“I know, Bruce,” he said, “I’ve read it. Many times. Many, many times. I keep it under my pillow at night when I sleep.”
Then Packers GM Brian Gutekunst got serious. He looked me right in the eye with a stern look and said, “Everyone should read your book, Bruce. I think it should be a sworn duty. I don’t know how anyone could possibly call themselves a Packer fan without buying your book immediately.”
The draft is on April 29th – that’s only 28 days from now, so buy your copy today!
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