Brian Gutekunst’s first draft day was filled with excitement and high fives. His second day was almost as exciting.
In the second round, I made no bones about hte fact that there was only one guy I wanted: Harlod Landry.
The fan base was pretty much divided 50-50 into a love-hate tug of war. I was definately digging in on the “love” side of things. I didn’t think he would last three picks into the round, never mind getting all the way down to 41, where the Packers could almost smell him.
In the end, the Titans traded up to snatch him before the Packers had a chance. Given the fact that he fell and the fact that a team traded up to get him, I’m led to belive GMs may have had the same love-hate divide that Packers fans had. Maybe Gutey wouldn’t have taken him, anyway – the world may never know.
Either way, I give Gutey props for doing what he did next – sat patiently and waited and then stuck to his board.
Sure, it was tempting to move up as big names dropped off the board, but I believe in draft patience (even though you can target players for moving up at a reasonable price). He waited and Josh Jackson fell.
I love love love this pick.
I thought Jackson was a guy the Packers could take in the first if they stayed at 27. Heck, I wouldn’t have been all that upset if they took him at 18. I thought he was a top 8 or 9 defender in this draft. His size and skill set give the team anothe dimension in the secondary. Matching up 6’1″ Josh Jackson and 6’2″ Kevin King – both of whom jump and make one-handed highlight film interceptions – should make the red zone defense pretty tough to pass on.
So sitting tight and catching Josh Jackson in the 2nd was a huge win for me.
Now the Packers were without a pick for a couple solid rounds.
With some big name defenders still on the board in the 3rd, Gutey moved back up, trading the highly strategic 101 pick (the first pick of day 3) and a 5th rounder to Carolina for pick number 88.
I was hoping it was for Arden Key, the best pass rusher remaining (red flags aside), and was a little teary-eyed when the Raiders, who traded with the Rams, snatched him one pick earlier.
Now I was totally on-board with Josh Sweat the next, next best pass rusher or Maurice Hurst, the uber-talented DT with a heart condition that seems to be scaring teams away.
They went with Oren Burks, a versatile linebacker who has athletic range, can cover, and even rush a little bit. I like Burks, but I think it was a bit high. Burks is a nice toy for Mike Pettine to play around with. He could replace Joe Thomas as a cover backer, he could let Josh Jones play safety exclusively, he could be an upgrade over Jake Ryan, or even be a situational rusher from the inside or the edge.
But I think it was a little early, especially with the trade up for him.
I would have rather sat at 101 and grabbed Josh Sweat, with another 5th rounder to try to grab a Da’Shawn Hand, Shaquem Griffin, or maybe even a Tyrell Crosby.
Time will tell how it works out. I’m not angry – maybe because the first two picks generated a lot of goodwill – but I am a little wary. I think the first few moves by Gutey were good, but digging down into the third round and trading up for Oren Burks – that’s where we really find out if you know what you’re doing. He’ll be a guy I use to judge Gutey by.
I can’t wait to see how it works out, but first, I want to see what happens in Day 3.
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