Stars might be aligning for Packers to trade up in Round 1 of 2024 NFL Draft

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst
Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In an ideal world, the best player available at No. 25 in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft will be a cornerback or offensive lineman, allowing the Green Bay Packers to address value and need.

Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. The chances of the perfect first-round prospect falling to the Packers are slim—it's not every year that Aaron Rodgers is still on the board at No. 24 overall.

General manager Brian Gutekunst understands this and is more than happy to trade up when he feels necessary. Gutekunst has pulled off three first-round trade-ups during his tenure, making aggressive moves to draft Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, and Jordan Love. In 2022, he made a similarly bold move in the second round to land Christian Watson. If Gutekunst believes it's the best option, he'll do it.

Green Bay holds five picks inside the opening three rounds, giving the team plenty of capital to trade up.

"It gives us a little bit of flexibility," Gutekunst said at the NFL Combine. "Whether it's moving around within the draft or if there's players out there—veteran players—that are available. That certainly could be a possibility."

Another trade-up on Day 1 shouldn't be ruled out.

Packers might have to trade up to land Cooper DeJean in first round

Iowa's Cooper DeJean could solve several issues in the Packers' secondary. He has Pro Bowl potential at cornerback, safety, or in the slot. Whether he plays all three positions or focuses on one depends on the vision of his drafting team.

Green Bay needs help in all three areas.

DeJean couldn't test at the NFL Combine while recovering from a season-ending injury, but he posted impressive numbers at the Iowa Pro Day, earning an elite Relative Athletic Score of 9.89 out of 10.

There is a scenario where DeJean falls to the Packers at No. 25 overall, but it's far from guaranteed. The latest NFL Mock Draft Database consensus board has DeJean at No. 21, four positions higher than Green Bay's first selection.

In Mel Kiper's latest mock draft for ESPN, DeJean went No. 17 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Gutekunst should consider picking up the phone if DeJean is still on the board when the Miami Dolphins are on the clock at No. 21. Miami doesn't own a draft pick in Rounds 3 or 4. A trade from No. 25 to No. 21 could cost the Packers a fourth and fifth, which would be well worth it to land DeJean.

Adding DeJean and Xavier McKinney to the secondary in the same offseason would be a home run for the Packers, but they may need to trade up to make it happen.

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