Packers should consider trading up for these dream first-round targets

Cooper DeJean
Cooper DeJean / Matthew Holst/GettyImages

Under general manager Brian Gutekunst, the Green Bay Packers have traded up in the first round three times in six drafts. He isn't afraid to move up for a top target if the opportunity presents itself.

Gutekunst traded up to land Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, and Jordan Love. His decisions have paid off.

There's potential for Green Bay to make another draft-day trade in the first round, as Gutekunst has five top-100 picks to work with. It all depends on how the board falls and whether the Packers believe there is an opportunity to get maximum value by moving up.

We shouldn't expect a drastic move to the top of the draft board, but the Packers could realistically move as high as the No. 15 pick without having to overspend. For example, a trade with the Indianapolis Colts at No. 15 would likely cost Green Bay the No. 58 pick, which is in the second round. That's far easier to justify with the Packers also owning the No. 41 selection from the New York Jets.

Gutekunst won't move up for the sake of it, but he should consider picking up the phone if one of these three prospects falls far enough.

Potential trade-up targets for Packers in Round 1 of 2024 NFL Draft

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Pick a random NFL mock draft, and there's a good chance Cooper DeJean goes to the Packers at No. 25. However, it's anything but a guarantee the Iowa star will still be on the board when Green Bay hits the clock. The NFL Mock Draft Database consensus board has DeJean at No. 20, and his versatility to play across the secondary could interest teams picking above the Packers.

DeJean is worth trading for. Would he play outside corner, in the slot, or at safety in Jeff Hafley's defense? The answer could be all of the above. However, it would have to be tempting for Hafley to put together a potential All-Pro combination at safety with DeJean and Xavier McKinney.

"I wouldn't rule out a move to safety, where his strengths as a player would be featured. He reminds me of a bigger Eric Weddle coming out of college," writes NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah.

What if DeJean is still available at No. 19 or 20? The Packers could move up by using one of their third-round picks, which is a reasonable price to land a potential difference-maker in the secondary.

Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Offensive line could sit atop the Packers' list of priorities entering the draft. With potential openings at right guard and center—and right tackle if Zach Tom moves inside—Green Bay needs to focus on the offensive line this spring.

Washington's Troy Fautanu can do it all, with the ability to play all five offensive line positions.

His best fit? That depends on who you ask. Many believe a move to guard or center will help Fautanu reach an All-Pro level, but sticking at left tackle, where he played in college, is possible. Fautanu has an RAS of 9.62 at tackle, 9.94 at guard, and 10.00 at center. In other words, he has the athleticism to play any position.

Fautanu has All-Pro potential and could start immediately in Green Bay. His ability to play across the line would give the Packers additional flexibility if they were hit with injuries.

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

With his first pick as the Packers' general manager, Gutekunst traded down and then back up for Jaire Alexander. It would be fitting to find another potential All-Pro cornerback via trade.

In a deep cornerback class, Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell stands out as the perfect Packers fit.

From size to athleticism to production, Mitchell has everything Green Bay looks for. He is 6-foot and 195 pounds with an elite 9.79 Relative Athletic Score.

"The star of the Senior Bowl, Mitchell dominated every receiver thrown his way throughout the week of practices. He had six interceptions and 32 pass breakups over his final two college seasons, and he allowed a completion rate of 35.2%," writes ESPN's Matt Miller.

Mitchell is likely a top-15 pick and could even hear his name called in the top 10. However, at what point would Green Bay consider trading up? What if Mitchell is there when the Colts hit the clock at No. 15 overall? Trading No. 25 and a second-rounder to land Mitchell makes all the sense in the world, giving the Packers two potential All-Pro starters at cornerback.

More Packers news and analysis