A recent mock draft has the Packers trading up for linebacker Kenneth Murray.
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has shown a willingness to be aggressive not only in free agency but also in the draft. He has traded up in the first round of each of his two drafts so far.
In 2018, Gutekunst’s first draft, the Packers traded back up to select Jaire Alexander after initially trading down on the opening night. Last season, he used the team’s second first-round pick to move up for Darnell Savage.
In a post-combine mock draft by Dan Schmelzer of NFL Mocks, the Packers pull off another draft-day trade to move up in the opening round. This move would see Green Bay jump up from No. 30 overall to No. 23, a pick currently owned by the New England Patriots.
By trading up, the Packers are able to select Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, addressing the team’s biggest offseason need in the middle of the defense.
“Murray is an extremely gifted linebacker prospect who could make an immediate impact for the Packers at a position of need,” Schmelzer wrote.
In order to move up, Green Bay gives up its third-round choice. The Patriots don’t own a pick in the second round, making them a candidate to trade down to add an extra Day 2 selection.
For the Packers, they’d be getting one of the top linebackers in the draft and a player who could help fix an area of concern on defense.
Free agency could impact Green Bay’s draft decisions, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if Gutekunst followed a similar blueprint to last offseason, signing a free-agent linebacker and then using an early pick at the position. He’s doubled-down at positions of need before and could do so again. Imagine a combination of Murray and Cory Littleton. He could then focus on the wide receiver position in the next round.
What are your thoughts on the idea of trading up in the first round?