2. Gutekunst gets aggressive on day two
While the first round may be boring or safe I expect day two to be the opposite. Regardless of what Gutekunst does at 14, there is going to be another hole to fill in the second round. The nature of the beast that is the NFL Draft is simple. Expect the unexpected. Somebody will fall a little lower than normal and potentially out of the first round altogether. That’s when Gutekunst will strike.
There are a handful of cornerbacks and wide receivers that could go anywhere from pick 20 to pick 50. Sitting at pick 45 might be a little too late for comfort for Gutekunst. With all the picks he has at his disposal, an aggressive trade up wouldn’t significantly deplete the draft capital at hand. Guys I think Gutekunst could target in this window are Isaiah Oliver, Jaire Alexander, Mike Hughes, Donte Jackson, Anthony Miller, Dante Pettis, D.J. Moore, D.J. Chark and Courtland Sutton. The possibilities are endless.
Besides getting a great player and somebody that might have a first-round grade on his draft board, Gutekunst could earn some serious brownie points from the fan base with a move like this. I know a good GM doesn’t pander to the fans, but this isn’t a typical GM-fan relationship at the moment. If Gutekunst is on the fence about whether to make a move up from 45, the tiebreaker should definitely be how the fan base will perceive the move. Plus, he’d be getting a better player, in theory.
I would be all for a move like this on day two, even moving back into day one, if the Packers stay put and make a strong pick at 14. As mentioned previously, the Packers have the most picks of any team in the draft this year. A trade up wouldn’t leave them without ample opportunity to still fill needs later on. Trading up from 45 is a low-risk, high-reward move. For the right guy, it’s almost necessary. It’s just unusual for this organization. Hopefully that changes.