Jayden Reed trade and 9 other genius Packers moves Brian Gutekunst got right

Green Bay Packers, Jayden Reed
Green Bay Packers, Jayden Reed / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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8. Signing Rasul Douglas off Cardinals' practice squad

Following a significant injury to Jaire Alexander early in the 2021 season, Gutekunst picked up Rasul Douglas off the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad.

Twenty-eight starts, 10 interceptions, and 32 pass defenses later, the Packers traded Douglas to the Buffalo Bills in a deal that landed them a third-round pick. Douglas was a key player and leader for three seasons in Green Bay.

7. Packers' top three picks in 2019 NFL Draft

The Packers kicked off the 2019 NFL Draft by selecting Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage, and Elgton Jenkins.

Gary has become one of the league's best pass rushers, with 24.5 sacks and 62 QB hits in his past 38 games. Jenkins is a two-time Pro Bowler at left guard but has also played tackle, making him one of the Packers' most important players. Savage is no longer in Green Bay but started 69 games over five seasons.

6. Trading for Jaire Alexander and future first-round pick

Gutekunst entered his first draft class as general manager with the 14th overall pick. He left the first round with Jaire Alexander and a 2019 first-rounder from the New Orleans Saints.

It was the first sign of Gutekunst's excellent trading ability. He traded down then back up to land his top target while acquiring a future premium pick, which he used to trade up again for Darnell Savage the following year. It was an incredible piece of business.

5. Finding four starters in 2019 free agency

Spending big in the opening week of free agency is a gamble that rarely pays off. It did for the Packers in 2019, and in a significant way. Green Bay landed Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Adrian Amos, and Billy Turner.

Za'Darius Smith made two Pro Bowls for the Packers. Preston Smith has made 24.5 sacks across 79 starts and is still a key player. Adrian Amos never missed a snap in four seasons. Billy Turner offered positional versatility and was outstanding at right tackle. The Packers swung big in free agency, and it transformed their roster.