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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4. Trading down for Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, and Karl Brooks

Gutekunst has made several smart draft-day trades, but few are as impressive as his work in the 2023 NFL Draft. In two quick trade-downs with the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay moved from No. 45 overall to No. 50, selecting Jayden Reed.

With the two additional picks in the fifth and sixth rounds, the Packers added Dontayvion Wicks and Karl Brooks. All three made significant contributions as rookies and are breakout candidates for 2024.

3. Packers' Day 3 selections in 2022 NFL Draft

Finding three starters in an entire draft class is considered a success. The Packers found three starters between Rounds 4 and 7 in 2022: Left tackle Rasheed Walker, right tackle Zach Tom, and wide receiver Romeo Doubs. Gutekunst also landed edge rusher Kingsley Enagbare, who has become an important part of the pass-rush rotation.

On Day 3 of the draft alone, Gutekunst found two quality starting tackles (many teams have zero), one of Jordan Love's most trusted targets, and a reliable pass rusher.

2. Packers trade Aaron Rodgers to Jets

Aaron Rodgers said he was 90 percent retired. There was effectively zero chance he would play for the Packers again. Green Bay either had to trade him or be stuck with his contract. Despite those factors working against Gutekunst, he still fleeced the Jets. Only injury prevented the Packers from receiving the Jets' 2024 first-round pick, but they still landed the No. 41 selection, which they used to select Edgerrin Cooper.

The full details of the trade are complete. Gutekunst swapped a player who was likely done in Green Bay, regardless, for Lukas Van Ness, Luke Musgrave, Edgerrin Cooper, Evan Williams, Jacob Monk, and Anders Carlson. Chef's kiss.

1. Drafting Jordan Love

Gutekunst knew the reaction he would receive for drafting Jordan Love, especially after trading up. He accepted it might anger Aaron Rodgers and lead to his Packers departure. Gutekunst also understood that if Love never became a franchise quarterback, he would likely lose his job.

But he stuck to the process. He believed in Love's potential, viewed him as a first-round talent, and thought he could become a quality starter with time to develop in Green Bay. And Gutekunst was right. He was so right.

Love looked like a star in the second half of the season, throwing for 2,150 yards, 18 touchdowns, and one pick, with a 112.7 rating in the final eight games. He then dispatched the Dallas Cowboys and their dominant defense with a near-perfect passer rating in his playoff debut. That's an MVP-level run.

Drafting Love when they didn't need a quarterback ensured the Packers' rebuild lasted all of eight games. Gutekunst deserves all the credit in the world.

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