Packers 2018 draft class receives high praise from analysts

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 02: Jaire Alexander /

The Green Bay Packers have received high praise for their work in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Talk about making an impact on your draft debut. Ted Thompson sure did when he selected Aaron Rodgers in the first round over a decade ago. Brian Gutekunst has now made his own mark with his first swing at April’s premier three-day event.

“Winning the offseason” can often be seen as a curse, as so many bold predictions made in the spring quickly dissolve once real football begins in the fall. But on paper, it’s hard not to be impressed by the Green Bay Packers‘ 2018 draft class.

Gutekunst showed he’s willing to move both up and down to target the players he wants. The rookie GM wasn’t shy on the draft’s opening night, trading down, then back up to land cornerback Jaire Alexander. He also traded back into the third round on the second day for linebacker Oren Burks.

In the opening two rounds, Gutekunst picked up two corners with first-round talent in Alexander and Josh Jackson, and also acquired the New Orleans Saints’ first-round pick for next year’s draft.

Gutekunst’s fine work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

FanSided’s Matt Verderame ranked the Packers’ class first in the NFL. He praised Gutekunst’s draft debut. The Packers also received an “A” grade from Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated and an “A-” from Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report.

Gutekunst deserves praise for addressing many of the team’s biggest weaknesses, but not reaching on prospects just to fill needs. Why did he leave it until the final round to select an edge rusher? It wasn’t a strong class at the position, so why waste a higher pick when there is better talent available at other positions?

It’s now over to these players to prove the analysts right. Many superlatives have been thrown at Gutekunst and the Packers over the past few days, but it will be quickly be forgotten if the draft class doesn’t deliver in the coming years.

Football isn’t won on paper. And championships aren’t won in April.

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But right now, Gutekunst’s first draft class sure looks like it could be a very strong one. This group screams potential, and they could help the Packers end their eight-year Super Bowl drought.