As the 2021 NFL Draft draws ever closer, Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst’s club is sitting at No. 29 following back-to-back trips to the NFC Championship Game.
Having knocked on the door of a Super Bowl berth in two straight seasons, Gutekunst knows the Packers’ window is open now to cash in on a talented roster. Thus, when asked Monday about consideration of moving up from the 29th spot in the first round, he admitted the temptation is there.
“It’s always tempting for me,” Gutekunst said. “I think when you’re sitting at [No.] 29 and watching those kind of players come off the board that you’ve spent so much time studying and kind of thinking about how they could affect your football team, it’s always tempting. You gotta be careful and you gotta be careful not to fall in love with any individual player. We’ll look at each opportunity we have to move up. We’ve done that in the past, we’ve moved down in the past, as well. But, we’ll look at each opportunity and, if it makes sense, we certainly won’t be afraid to do that.”
The Packers moved up just last season, trading up four spots to No. 26 to select quarterback Jordan Love as the hopeful heir apparent to star QB Aaron Rodgers. Among the reasons that pick was scrutinized was that Love didn’t help the Packers win in the present — he didn’t even play in 2020. This time around it appears, Gutekunst has his eyes on the prize of winning now and getting a first-round difference maker is something he’s at least pondering.
“We have a very good football team coming back. Which gives me a little more freedom, I think, as we attack the board to go with the best player. But I think at the same time, I think for me, the one thing, if we have a chance to move up to take a specific player that we feel is special, I think you have to always consider that. I think we have since I’ve been kinda, the last three years, I think we’ve done that and we’ll always kinda do that. There’s only so many game-changing-type players in this league. If you have the opportunity to acquire one, I think you have to consider it.”