Cory's Corner: Can Gutekunst Become A King Of Thrift?

The Packers have seven picks after the first three rounds. 

Every single year the NFL Draft outdraws Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. 

And the reason is simple: it’s such a mystical fairytale. 

So many hardcore fans pin their hopes and dreams on one player and then when a different name is called, they belt out a cascade of boos. The thing I will be looking for is what the Jets do. Even though the 86th annual NFL Draft will take place in Cleveland, there will be plenty of Jets fans to either love or loathe the next franchise quarterback after Sam Darnold was shipped to Carolina. 

In Green Bay there is a lot of intrigue as well. General manager Brian Gutekunst has traded up in three straight drafts and now with the Packers picking No. 29, there’s a real chance that he could do it again. 

The question is what direction the Packers will go. Do the Packers add more weapons on offense like receivers Rashod Bateman or Terrace Marshall? Or does the Green Bay brass take to heart how Tom Brady picked the Packers apart and beef up the defense with a corner like Caleb Farley or Asante Samuel, Jr.?

There are so many pundits trying to pinpoint who each team will pick. But nobody really knows anything after the first two picks. Even guys like Mel Kiper, who has been churning out analyzing the NFL Draft since 1984, doesn’t really know anything. His hair may look perfect on TV, but most of the information up to this point has been a smokescreen. 

And that’s why this is such a spectacle. To the average fan, it’s just a guy reading names into a microphone. To others though, it’s a well-played made-for-TV movie that often makes chiseled, first-round picks turn into a puddle after realizing their childhood dreams. 

The Packers have 10 picks in this draft, but only have three in the top 100. That includes two fourth rounders, two fifth rounders and two sixth rounders. But that shouldn’t scare you because Kamal Martin was a fifth rounder last year and really turned heads by becoming a starting inside linebacker and a dynamic playmaker. Another excellent fifth round pick by Gutekunst was JK Scott. I realize that the punter position is easily forgotten, but Scott has been a top five punter in the last two years. That’s a huge weapon for a team. 

The first round talent gets all the praise, but Gutekunst is going to make his money with the seven picks from round 4 on. Can Gutekunst become the King of Thrift and pull out some more gems?

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (57)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
PF4L's picture

April 20, 2021 at 06:39 am

I'm not so sure i'm calling a guy with 17 tackles and 1 sack a dynamic playmaker yet.
We all want Martin to excel inside and grow into a difference maker, but really?
If that's the benchmark, than Lowry, Lancaster, King, Sullivan, Burks, Summers are all dynamic playmakers

With apologies to Martin and Keke, who need more time to develop.
I don't see a lot of success (thus far) after round 2 in Gutes drafts.
I understand they need time, and i'm not closing the book.
But at this point i'm not painting Gute as some middle to late round draft picking guru.

I'm pulling for Barnes and Martin, but right now they are your starters because...who else do you have...Oren Burks, Summers?

"Can Gutekunst become the King of Thrift and pull out some more gems?"

Really Corey?

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:28 am

That's fair. I'm just saying that Martin might have the most explosiveness we've ever seen from the ILB position. The future is certainly in front of him.

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:58 am

Whenever I read initial thoughts on players coming to GB from both the writers and comments of fans here, my eyes roll faster than the slot machine wheels in a casino.

'Dynamic Playmaker' is the standard description for any, and I mean any and every player that comes to GB, regardless of circumstance/path for their arrival.

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CheesyTex's picture

April 20, 2021 at 11:58 am

Agree with you, but isn't it the same in virtually all NFL cities (notable exceptions: Eagles, and perhaps Jets and Giants)?

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 20, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Yes, to varying levels, but can those here in GB at least make a worthy effort to remove themselves from the nose-to-tail circular link that binds that ridiculous mindset where GB seems to desire/aspire to the lead in such, to have a sense of being the WINNER.

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splitpea1's picture

April 20, 2021 at 11:47 am

You forgot to negate the excellence of JK Scott, who will definitely get some competition this time around--and rightfully so. Why is it so difficult for this team to land a consistent punter?

5 points
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arthurl's picture

April 20, 2021 at 06:53 am

I am definitely looking forward to what the Packers do in this draft. If anything is consistent, it’s the big surprises the GM has up his sleeves which has played out these past few. There has been some terrific talent drafted like Alexander and Jenkins, others seem like good selections, and still others like “why?”. Overall, these mocks have no merit with what the Packer brass feels.

With ten selections, I could see Gute moving around and that will be fun to see how it all plays out.

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PF4L's picture

April 20, 2021 at 06:59 am

Yea....i'm not so sure this current team needs any more "big surprises" in the draft, i'm not over the last one.

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:30 am

I agree. With 10 picks, I expect a lot of moving around. That could be moving up or down it could be trading for a future pick. Either way, the phone at 1265 is going to get a workout during the draft.

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cheezyone's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:05 am

There are talented players all through the mid rounds. Aaron Jones was a fifth rounder, and Jamal Williams was a fourth rounder.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2021 at 02:36 pm

Another time, another place. This is a year to focus on the high rounds.

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PF4L's picture

April 20, 2021 at 05:48 pm

Cheezyone....

Martinez (4th)...Linsley (5th)...Tretter (4th)...Hyde (5th)

Daniels (4th)...T.J. Lang (4th)...Sitton (4th)...Bakhtiari (4th)

In retrospect...Not too bad for Big Ted

Now it's Gute's turn....Tick Tock

4 points
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stockholder's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:17 am

Take Heart. How Tom Brady picked the Packers apart. /// Yes, it was Failure! With a capitol F. For the last 10 years we've blamed Capers, Pettine, TT, and now Gute. And it just isn't going to change with this DL. So lets once again draft a cb. Patch a defense with low picks. And expect Rodgers to win it all. If thats a winning formula. Tittle-town is on Drugs. Were so close. We've patched a secondary with Shields and Tramon Williams in the past. Yet, CB still seems to be the answer for the last 10 years. Super-Bowl teams have great Lines. Winning football is not just about the cb. You'd think we'd learn that after 10 years.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 08:33 am

I agree the trenches is where the game is controlled. Terrific Tom threw 3 INTs in the NFCCG but Tampa's front 7 stopped Rodgers and the O cold with pressure D.

When you have a pinpoint strong armed passer like #12, keeping him clean in the pocket to rifle a pass to a receiver working open, the OL makes that happen. Pack truly missed David B in that game.

And for this team that runs nearly as often as it passes, great run blockers help AJ and soon Dillon get manageable 2nd and 3rd downs, even move the chains.

There are a few DL that Gutey can draft early to upgrade the front....and there is a plethora of OL available. I would be pleased if the Pack selects 2 OL and 2 DL in this draft....hopefully in the first 4 rounds if they trade back and get 7 picks for those rounds.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:57 am

My only quibble with all that you say is that we picked 3 OL last year. I don’t think we need 5 in 2 years. Stepaniak was a known redshirt pick, I think he’s a mauler and will be a good guard, Hanson needed to add lower body strength and Runyon contributed last year.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:43 am

Fair point.

I like Runyan a lot. Yet we did lose two OL from last years roster...Linsley and Taylor. I don't know if Stepaniak or Hanson will contribute on the 53...they may...way too early. But my rationale is this draft is deeper at OL than last year where all 3 OL were drafted late.

Would you draft a guy like Tevan Jenkins in first round or early second (trade down) then nab Meinerz late second or 3rd round if he is there? I would.

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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:06 am

I wouldn’t be opposed to a Tackle prospect. I’m not sure that we need one early— I’d prefer DL or a defensive player, but it would be hard to complain too much given what I think the choices are likely to be. If we do take OL first, I’d prefer it to be after a trade back and maybe a T/G like Leatherwood. I don’t think Jenkins will fall close to us. I’m not on the Meinerz bandwagon. He will be over drafted as a C, as you suggest and I don’t see him playing at G this year.

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blondy45's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:29 am

Lambeau and Coldworld, I have agreed with almost all of your posts on this site. Your ideas match mine. Just a quick rant. I get so sick of the pundits who blow their minds because the Pack has not won the Super Bowl since Super Bowl 45. I totally agree the main goal is to win the Super Bowl every year. But the fact is the Pack has had a great team for all but 2 in the last 11 years. They still have a great team.

Have the Bucs had a great team for the last 11 years? No. They have drafted wisely and now have a well deserved Super Bowl victory rich with talent. Pundits think the Packers have all these inferior players that need booted out of town. They are so micro focused on the last game Green Bay played. Losing stinks, but the facts are the Pack was very close to winning the Super Bowl last year. I still prefer supporting a team and it's FO that produces winning teams for the last 9 out of 11 years. The Bucs have their Super Bowl, but in the last 11 years FAR inferior to the Packers record. Those Nancy naysayers say what have you done for me lately? The answer? Since the early 90's win most every year. If those critics want to root for the latest winner, I guess they should now just become Bucs fans. NOT ME!

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:07 am

I think had the Pack scored one more TD...they had their opportunities...or prevented the late TD in the first half and gone to the SB, they would have earned another Lombardi. KC's OL was terrible.

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 20, 2021 at 11:39 am

The continuing story of the GB Packers. If they did this, if this happened, if, if, if only.

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CheesyTex's picture

April 20, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Hope springs eternal.

I, for one, would rather end up drafting in the high 20s or 30s each year knowing the Pack had a shot at the Super Bowl than being a loser for a decade to get high draft picks.

Lighten up a little bit -- this may be the year where there are no "ifs".

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 20, 2021 at 12:48 pm

There's no solace in always being the 3rd or 4th team behind the two that play in the final. There is no pity for crying about drafting at the end of a round because you're content with that place and how garnered by the action/inaction to achieve better each season. Your very response of accepting having such draft positions, and having only a shot at the SB is the very mentality that the FO appears to have and to secure for years to come. That doesn't make you a WINNER in any facet, but rather a LOSER that has become content in all the facets that losing implies. However, as long as you're happy not winning, don't be a hypocrite by ever talking down about the team that does become the WINNER.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 04:01 pm

Your continuing story is almost always one of negativity toward the Pack. Are you even a fan?

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 20, 2021 at 05:05 pm

So only those whose continuing story is of an agreeing positive, optimistic, however blind by such, will not be asked or accused of not being a fan. Do you know what they call people who walk lock-step to a specifically designed beat? Your initial answer should awaken you to why that question of yours is pitiful.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 20, 2021 at 05:50 pm

Having both your starting OT out for the SB does make a difference.

1 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

April 20, 2021 at 05:58 pm

Do Packer fans not rejoice in a victory when the opponent is missing starters? Where is the stability of the backups for the position? That's an issue for the FO and the coaching staff, and shouldn't be ignored for the loss of any game. This is and has been an issue for many a season, and too many in my opinion. Still, near all here constantly boast of the depth they believe is real, and full of 'Dynamic Players'.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 21, 2021 at 07:11 pm

You are spinning way too hard Taryn, when you have already made your case. (and do not give me I have to do cause the commenters are too dense crap)

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:08 am

Sometimes it isn't about having a 'great' team, but having a team that understands what it takes to be the WINNER. The Packers seem to miss out on the aspect every year. Although, the crying about Refs and penalties, draft position etc, will always be bountiful as excuses over the reasons for such consistency they seem content on continuing.

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Since'61's picture

April 20, 2021 at 11:18 am

Good point Taryn!!! It's also about coaches and a FO that understands what it takes to win and I don't believe that we've really had that since the Wolf/Holmgren era in Green Bay.

Yes we won the 2010 SB with TT/MM but they let future opportunities pass by never adequately addressing the defense after losing Jenkins, Bishop, Collins and Woodson over the next 2 seasons. Then after the combination of collapsing in the 2014 NFCCG and the unexpected loss of his younger brother within 10 days after the defeat MM was never the same and TT fell victim to the illness which would eventually take his life. Beyond that Murphy was consumed with building Titleworld or whatever it's called and everything was allowed to slip away for about 4 seasons.

Now we're at the point where MLF is still learning what it takes to win in the playoffs along with his staff and Gute thinks it means keeping the band together even if that means retaining players like King and Lowry. Which basically means that MLF needs to take his own 3rd year leap as an HC and the team will mostly be all about Rodgers again unless we draft a CB, WR, and DL who can evolve into effective starters during their rookie seasons. Not to mention the team remaining relatively healthy and other players making significant leaps in their level of play. We need a lot to break correctly in 2021 staring with the upcoming draft. Let's see where we're at on May 1. Then the next major checkpoint will be at the end of the preseason. Between now and then it will be all hype and hope. Stay well. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:34 am

Rashod Bateman is one of my favorite players in this draft...Davante Adams 2.0 with better long speed and better hands.

2 points
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Guam's picture

April 20, 2021 at 08:03 am

Bateman is good, but I just don't see WR as a position of enough need to expend a #1 which is what it would take to land Bateman. The Packers already added Funchess to a group that helped the offense to #1 in the league. I would much prefer to see a CB, DL or OT at #1. The WRs can come on day three.

4 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2021 at 08:50 am

I agree, for the most part. WR is not a position I would be drafting at #29 if I were calling the shots. Bateman being a Gopher aside, I was just saying that I think he's going to be a really good NFL wideout.

What the Packers do on days 1-2 will tell us a lot about how BG is managing the roster and what we can expect regarding players and contracts going forward.

5 points
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Guam's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:14 am

I'm an avid Badger fan and Wisconsin - Madison alum so I have a little animosity toward Bateman for being part of the Gopher wrecking crew that interrupted Wisconsin's long winning streak over Minnesota. That said, he is a very good WR, damnit.

I agree that this is going to be a very telling draft not only about BG and the roster, but also about the defense Barry is going to run. I am looking forward to see who they draft.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:27 pm

Your scouting is accurate. Watched him play the past three years in the Gopher Hole. He has similar traits.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:10 am

I see him as not that similar to Davante Adams in play style. More polished definitely coming out, but I see less upside as a result. Doesn’t play close to that speed. Could help this year, but I doubt he will get many snaps or even active without injury if we have an option/returner.

Do you want to spend a first to replace EQ? I don’t, especially if I see him long term as number 2 at best. I’d look at him at the end of the second simply because he could play adequately this season as depth. He is an AJ Hawk type pick.

5 points
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dobber's picture

April 20, 2021 at 02:24 pm

If the Packers burn a 1st on a WR, it won't be to replace EQ...it will be to replace Davante Adams (in 2022).

5 points
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PF4L's picture

April 20, 2021 at 03:36 pm

Yea....lol..i don't think it takes a 1st round pick to replace EQ.

I would have thought signing Adams would be a given.

But with Gute...you never know i guess.

dobber's proclamation might not be so far fetched.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:35 pm

Remember, when Packertown,LLC drafts a wideout with a one pick , they generally provide a body of work that puts them in Canton. Walker the exception. James Lofton and Sterling Sharpe game-changing players. wtf. 40 plus years and only three chosen??

2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:27 am

I would rather take Moore/Purdue in the second if he falls there. He would contribute immediately from the slot, as RB on motions or backfield, as PR/KR and as gunner in kick coverage. Yes he is short (I see him listed as 5'7" some list him as 5'9"), but is powerfully built at 180 lbs. and runs a 4.3. His moves and breakaway speed make defenders look silly at times. Opposing teams would have to adjust to his presence when on the field.

And as added benefit, his work ethic and character are off the charts. His teammates would love the kid.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2021 at 02:46 pm

That is why you need to bag two players in the first round. Get a defensive gem and target a guy like Moore to fit LaFleur's offense and a dynamic returner; 4.28 40 on the track.

2 points
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blondy45's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:31 pm

No beef with Moore at 62. He would fill a major need for sure. I still think rounds 1 and 2 belong on the defensive side of the ball though.

1 points
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Guam's picture

April 20, 2021 at 08:19 am

The draft is normally a crapshoot and this one more so than any other in recent memory because of the difficulty in player evaluations. Gute and the scouting staff are going to get their mettle tested. I hope Gute is able to use the many day three picks to move around and get the players he wants in rounds 2-4 which is where most draftniks seem to think the value is. And please don't trade away the Packer's fourth round picks to move up in the first!

7 points
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blondy45's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:33 pm

AMEN GUAM! 29 or back in the first round.

1 points
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nostradanus's picture

April 20, 2021 at 08:49 am

Gutekunst will use 3 of those extra choices to move up in the first three rounds. The Packers don’t need 10 rookie draft choices on a championship ready roster, 7 choices in this draft are more likely. The trade ups provide better value and a better chance to get the guys who may actually contribute this year.

3 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:13 am

Those extra 4th, 5th, 6th round picks will not let you move up much in the first 3 rounds. With a draft deep in positions needing quality depth, the Pack would be better served to make the picks.

Just to move up 8 spots in round 1 will cost you both 4th rounders. I would pay the price if say Barmore, Komorah, or Farley was still there....otherwise I would trade back and get another 2nd and 3rd and load up on OL, CB, LB, DL and WR.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

April 20, 2021 at 02:50 pm

I will roll with the two guys from the first, burn the two and three picks to move up and retain both fours for DT/DE.

-3 points
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PhantomII's picture

April 22, 2021 at 09:38 pm

And 2022 #1 RD pick.....Burn it too. Roll the dice. GPG

0 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:15 am

Cory, I hope Drayton can resurrect JK Scott's career. His best year was as a rookie then Menninga coached him down.

Top five punter? He was 22nd best punter in avg last year and one of the worst in net....giving PRs return opportunities with line drives. I don't think the Packers would add Winslow (P) to the roster if you felt you had a top 5 NFL punter.

Gutey has selected 18 players after the 3rd round. MVS, Keke, Hollman, Martin, Runyan have contributed very well. Of the remaining 13, only 4 are gone (all from 2018 class) with remaining 9 (2019, 2020 classes) still with the team mostly playing STs.

So I agree Gutey has found NFL players in the later rounds.

7 points
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Handsback's picture

April 20, 2021 at 09:12 am

Just a couple of things, first the punter may not even be on the team next year. He's very talented, but inconsistent and could be wearing different colors next season. That said, it's small stuff when you compare players captured in first 5 rounds.
This draft is very questionable as to player grades and past performances. The team that has the best scouting bench will be the winners of the 2021draft. Ignore the pundits and see how the players perform before adding weight to any discussion on the draft outcomes.

7 points
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Since'61's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:09 am

I realize it is unlikely to happen but I'm hoping that Gute trades back and picks up another 2nd round pick and maybe an additional 3rd or 4th rounder. In this draft I think that it would be great to have 4 day 2 picks.

As usual the pundits have no idea what is actually going to happen after the top 5-6 players are taken. Between trades and surprise picks the Packers board may look very different by the time they get on the clock at #29. I would let Day 1 play out, trade back and reset the board for Day 2 hopefully with 2 additional picks.

Nostradamus makes a good point about the Packers only needing 7 picks in this draft. I would prefer that 4 of those 7 picks come from rounds 2-3 or at worst 5 of the 7 come from rounds 2,3 and 4. 6th and 7th rounders are pretty much the equivalents of UDFAs so if we can trade up to pick up a late 5th rounder I'm fine with that as well.

I have no doubt that we will sign our usual plethora of post-draft UDFAs regardless of how the draft plays out. No matter I still believe that we need to pick a DL, CB and WR with whichever first 3 picks we end up with and in whichever order provides us with the BPA at each of those positions. Thanks, Since '61

5 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

April 20, 2021 at 10:32 am

J.K. Scott is a top 5 punter? Who knew?

4 points
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Since'61's picture

April 20, 2021 at 11:21 am

Maybe it's another JK Scott that we didn't know about! Thanks, Since '61

2 points
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Duneslick's picture

April 20, 2021 at 12:02 pm

We will have to start calling him Great Scott

2 points
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JohnnyLogan's picture

April 20, 2021 at 02:50 pm

I think the best value is Christian Barmore in the 1st. I know CB and WR are both big musts, but having to watch Lowry and Lancaster get pushed around for another season is just too much. Barmore alongside Clark will dramatically improve the pass rush by freeing up Clark, Z, and Gary, and he'll be a force to stop the run.

Let Gute move up twice, three times for all I care, but get a DL, WR, and Corner in the first three rounds. He drafted 3 OL last year so I think waiting till the 4th round this year is fine.

My gut says Gute moves up in the first for the OL Jenkins or Caleb Farley, either would be great, but I think Barmore in the first is a home run.

7 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

April 20, 2021 at 04:14 pm

Barmore is still only 21 and redshirted his freshman year, played some as a back up as redshirt freshman and was productive and improved steadily as a starter last year. He needs a lot more coaching up on technique but is big and quick and would improve the front 7 immediately.

3 points
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blondy45's picture

April 20, 2021 at 07:45 pm

The Pack does like young prospects. If Barmore is at 29, I would be beyond happy and hope the Pack turns their pick card in with the first 10 seconds on the clock! No way I would trade up to take a player who only had basically 3 good to one great game the end of the year. I am no talent evaluator, but I have read that he takes way too many plays off. He also played for Alabama who surrounded him with top talent. Improve the front 7, yes, but again at what cost.

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

April 20, 2021 at 05:10 pm

Scott is by and far the worst NFL punter I have ever seen. His only consistency is inconsistency. I have not seen one shank so many or line drive so many before giving great field position on shanks and awesome return yards for the opposite team. He's the oppositions best player at times and add his embarrassing tackling attempts, It's pathetic. He played for Alabama and I doubt they punted much. I would rather pick up a stellar punter from a poor team who has created the best field position for his team with enough hang time for defenders to get in position to make a play. Throwing the poor snap to Crosby to get crushed was a big flop as well. Crosby is our ST. You can get us a new long snapper as well, or better yet how about Jenkins doing that job since he is awesome at everything they throw at him and he's already on the roster. I would rather Gute be decisive and draft the best DL / CB / ILB he can at the top of the draft.

7 points
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