Packers GM Brian Gutekunst isn’t against drafting a quarterback, even in the early rounds, and that’s the right approach to take.
General manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to beat writers on Friday, and he addressed the situation.
Many fans might not love the idea of the Packers drafting a quarterback early but, according to Ryan Wood of PackersNews.com, Gutekunst won’t rule it out:
“But the Packers GM made clear his conviction Friday that drafting a quarterback in the first round would be a worthwhile pick — if the right one is available,” Wood wrote.
And it’s absolutely the right decision. If a quarterback Gutekunst loves is on the board at No. 30, he should draft him.
Aaron Rodgers is 36 years old. As noted by Mike Spofford of Packers.com, Gutekunst still believes Rodgers has “got a lot left.” But how long will Rodgers be able to play at a high level consistently? What if he’s only got two or three years of playing close to an elite level? In such a scenario, quarterback could become a need in just a few years, and imagine the Packers had passed up the opportunity to draft a starter this spring.
Ted Thompson was willing to draft Rodgers back in 2005 despite the fact Brett Favre was still the starter in Green Bay and would continue that role for another three years. The selection of Rodgers was met with a lot of criticism, but it was the right move.
Of course, there’s no guarantee drafting a QB in the first round this year would ensure the Packers had their future starter. For every Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes who is drafted, sits for a year or more and develops into a star, there are far more players who don’t.
But if there’s a QB that Gutekunst loves at No. 30, he should be willing to take that risk. If the prospect is as good as Gutekunst believes, with time to develop, he could eventually become a starter either in Green Bay or elsewhere. If it’s the latter, the Packers could bring back value in a trade.
As the Packers are picking so low in the first round, it’s likely many of the top quarterbacks in the class will already be gone. Back in 2005 only one quarterback, Alex Smith, had been picked before the Packers were on the clock.
It might be unlikely that Green Bay uses an early pick on a quarterback this year, but Gutekunst won’t rule it out, and that’s the right approach to take.