Cory's Corner: Brian Gutekunst Moonlights As A Prophet

The Packers general manager has been going above and beyond by being able to tell the future. 

You have to be happy about the direction of the Packers. The NFL Draft is still a month away and there is no reason to fret. 

The Packers are traditionally a team that stands pat in free agency, but general manager Brian Gutekunst was aggressive and proved just about everyone wrong. He signed one of the best afeties in pro football in Xavier McKinney and a featured back in Josh Jacobs. 

How much confidence does Gutekunst have in McKinney to shore up a teetering defense?

“His next three years are going to be the best football he plays in our mind, and we’re excited about that,” Gutekunst recently said.

Think about that for a second. McKinney was a top five safety last year. He’s an excellent tackler and he’s very good in coverage — and the Packers think that he’s going to be even better in Green Bay. 

That’s the tough part about being a general manager in the NFL. You have to be able to make tough decisions but you also must be able to tell the future. Of course that’s 38 shades of impossible, but Gutekunst has proven that Merlin’s hat fits pretty well. 

Gutekunst signed Adrian Amos, Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith. Amos turned out to be a rock solid addition and was the leader the Packers defense was desperate for. Preston Smith came to Green Bay after racking up 24.5 sacks in four seasons at Washington and in five seasons in Green Bay he’s got 41.5 sacks and will likely retire as a Packer. Za’Darius Smith had 18.5 sacks in four seasons in Baltimore. Gutekunst saw that and knew that it could be even better. He was right. In three seasons, he tallied 26 sacks in Green Bay — technically two seasons, because he only played one game his last year in Green Bay. 

Then there is the offensive line. He signed Billy Turner and Ricky Wagner. Both guys were instrumental units on the offensive line — Turner even started at three different positions. 

There are a lot of people that don’t have a lot of faith in what Gutekunst has done or what he’s about to do. What I like about Gutekunst is that he has stayed true to what he said he would do. He will remain aggressive and keep pointing the Packers in the right direction. 

Thanks to swinging for the fences in free agency, the Packers don’t need to hit a home run in the draft. They still need a piece or two, mostly at offensive line and more depth at running back but Gutekunst can breathe a little bit easier now that he secured two high-profile free agents. 

Which is amazing in itself because Green Bay has traditionally been known as a Siberia for free agents but Gutekunst turned it into a Vacationland again with plenty of fudge and ice cream shops on the corner. 

This is a time to celebrate Gutekunst. I don’t know how he does it, but he can somehow read the tea leaves and know when the Packers can squeeze more juice out of players they sign or draft. It’s not an easy task, but it’s something that Gutekunst has already done.

So as we get ready for the home stretch of the NFL Draft, be confident that the Packers general manager is also a soothsayer. 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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9 points
 

Comments (89)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
BuckyBadger's picture

March 26, 2024 at 06:54 am

It is far from time to celebrate anything. Gute has done some good things but he has plenty of misses as well. EVERY team in the NFC North is feeling like they have their arrow pointing up but the schedule had a lot to do with it. In the previous season the NFC East had a similar feel to it and looked how they looked this past season. Giants thought they had their QB of the future and paid him too soon. Washington was .500 and thought their team was on the way up. The next year all the teams looked less, one cleaned house and the Giants are a year away from doing so.

What have we won that we are celebrating? I thought these guys where brought in to get us over the top and win a title and that hasn't happened yet. I was happy to see them move on from the diva (a year too late but glad to see it) but this team isn't any closer to winning a title then it was when they took over. They had 8 game stretch they looked formidable but they had many times they looked less than ordinary. This year will bring a much more difficult schedule and DCs will have a years worth of film on Love. How this coming season goes will be very telling.

-3 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:36 am

Can’t argue much except that the 8 game “surge” seemed more like improvement after a struggling, adjusting, learning first half of the season, rather than just a random hot streak. But totally agree that the NFL margins are pretty thin between winning and losing. I also think it’s reasonable to feel optimistic going into next season. This young team is on the rise!

12 points
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dobber's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:24 am

"But totally agree that the NFL margins are pretty thin between winning and losing. "

The Packers played 11 one-possession games in 2023--12 if you count the playoffs. They were 6-6 in those 12 games. They were 1-4 in one-possession games--and 3-6 overall--up 'til the loss to Pittsburgh. After that they were 5-2 in one possession games and 6-3 overall.

This feels like a team that was getting things figured out, and not like a situation that's ripe for regression (see: Vikings, Minnesota, 2022 season). The schedule looks significantly more challenging in 2024--at least in March--so this could be an improved team without showing a lot of improvement in W-L. I'm optimistic that this is going in the right direction, though.

8 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:49 am

The optimism ought to be from the fact that this team looks like it is one on an upward curve with young talent that has yet to peak on O and a chance at an improved D after ending the frustrations of the Barry era.

There’s a plausible window where this roster gets better and the potential that Love proves to be QB to anchor around which teams can be constructed thereafter. This is more positive than clinging to an aging roster that is draining future cap in the hope of the five finally falling in its favor.

The tendency to take an opening window and deem it already thrown open is already prevalent, we are not there yet in terms of what should be our peak, but I think it’s reasonable to assume we finished a better team than we started last season and should see some growth from there from young players and in consistency. Hopefully from the coaches too.

Lots of reasons to be positive if one keeps that perspective on where we are on the curve. There are no guarantees in a parity league no matter how good one is to start a season.

5 points
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jont's picture

March 26, 2024 at 02:00 pm

"Lots of reasons to be positive if one keeps that perspective on where we are on the curve."

I agree completely, CW, but the off-season is no time to keep things in perspective. Verge of greatness, my friend, this is the year!

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Untylu1968's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:36 am

Using the phrase "time to celebrate" should've looked more like time to give credit where credit is due. I agree, no time for a party or parade, but definitely nothing wrong with being happy and optimistic about the Packers' direction.

14 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:23 am

Well stated. Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you sit there.

7 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:00 am

This season may prove to be about: is you the runnER, or the runnEE?

How many people can Josh Jacobs run over? How many tackles can he break? How many blocks can he get to make how much forward progress before contact?

If MLF prioritizes that, up to about half of the playcalls and uses them intelligently so that opposing defenses never know what's coming - that's the sort of thing we were hoping to see last season that never really materialized.

It all starts up front. A dominant O line all the way across beginning in week 1 makes this dream possible. Somebody excelling in "the Kyle Juscyk role" will also be pivotal to Josh Jacobs being his best. In that environment JL10 can shine!

0 points
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Guam's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:22 am

If you only celebrate titles, you don't get to celebrate very often do you Bucky?

Like you I am still in "show me" mode regarding this generation of the Packers. I am hopeful, but this team is hardly a proven playoff juggernaut. However I did celebrate a much quicker turnaround than expected regarding the post Rodgers era. Before last season I had no idea if Jordan Love was an NFL grade quarterback and thought this team would take a couple of years of sub 500 play before finding enough talent to return to the playoffs. Happily Love is proving to be an exciting young QB and the team replaced old talent with young talent in very short order.

I am celebrating raised expectations for this season and look forward to watching a young team grow. Hopefully a bigger celebration for a Super Bowl victory is somewhere in the foreseeable future.

11 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

March 26, 2024 at 02:03 pm

Bucky, how about celebrating not only making the playoffs but pounding the crap out of the #2 seed (and top scoring QB) and then coming one score shy of getting to the NFC Championship game?

All of this with the youngest team in the league by a lot, and a new starting QB after the loss of a hall of famer. Look at the teams that lost their Super Bowl winning QBs and they are not doing nearly as well as GB (NYG, IND, NO, NE, PIT). Gutey is keeping this team competitive and appears to have drafted a franchise QB, given the elevated play at the end of the season.

If you only rate GMs by winning a super bowl, then 31 GMs should be fired each year. I think this team is much closer to winning a title than it was when Gutey took over. It is a young squad with room to grow and a window of several years.

It's not just the 8 game stretch, it's the improvement from all the offensive skill positions and the offensive line. Only one QB scored more TDs than Jordan Love. Daniel Jones was never at that level, even his best season, so I don't think it is a fair comparison.

3 points
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Strat's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:09 pm

All true. Do they beat the Saints if Carr doesn't go out? Do they beat the Rams if Stafford is playing and not Mark Rypien's nephew? They caught the Chiefs when the Chiefs were playing poorly. Some positives to look at for sure, but all this Super Bowl talk already, that's an optimism overdose. Here's hoping, but it will be more difficult this next time around.

1 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

March 27, 2024 at 12:07 am

Name me one gm, just one, from any era, who doesnt have a long list of misses.

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:12 am

While those moves all have been instrumental in getting us into the playoffs and have helped keep us a competitive team year in and year out, what I really like with Gutey are the bargain barn moves. The moves that are inexpensive and yet they have been key contributors to the teams success.

Moves that I'm thinking about are Marcedes Lewis, Tyler Ervin, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon, Chandon Sullivan, Jared Veldheer, Whitney Mercilus, Jarran Reed, Eric Wilson, Justin Hollins, and more.

While a few of these guys were bigger names, what I liked about these signings is they came in and provided an impact to the team. Gutey has done a very good job of finding the inexpensive guys that have contributed over the years.

Don't be surprised if Gutey does more bargain shopping this year.

13 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:03 am

We could certainly use some DBs, LBs, and a RB from day 3 picks to show up big!

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:37 am

Definitely.

I want a RB with speed/shiftiness to compliment Jacobs.

I want another LB that can go sideline to sideline to fit in next to Walker really well. Preferably a great tackler too.

And I want a good Safety and another CB to work in the defense that Hafley wants to run.

Other wants are at least 2 OL. Need another OT and OC/OG. As a bonus/luxury type of pick I would really like them to get an upgrade over Deguara. I know its a spot that LaFleur likes, so I would like to see them find that guy.

0 points
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murf7777's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:22 am

I agree with the RB and LB, but most important for me is the DL. Especially, in the 4-3, even if that is only one down or short yardage situation, you need some high-quality big guys. You must rotate them to keep them fresh. Ron new it and Ted always said you can never have enough big guys and I agree with that. I'd be shocked if Gutey doesn't draft one in the top 5 picks. I'd expect another later in the draft. There's one area the game hasn't changed.... #buildthetrenches

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:57 am

I have a hard time with the DL. Just because I have no clue how Hafley wants his DL to look. Does he want the Gilbert Brown NT in the middle of the field? What does he want his Edge players to look like? Where do the current guys fit in?

I think DL could be a bigger need to them then we think it is just based on what Hafley wants for his D.

Honestly they should always draft for the trenches. That is where most games are won/lost.

0 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 26, 2024 at 01:06 pm

As of right now, I believe the D-line is 52, 95, 97, and 90. All first rounders. Plus there’s Preston in the mix at end and Slaton in the mix at tackle. Not too shabby.

1 points
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murf7777's picture

March 27, 2024 at 06:54 am

To be at their best they must rotate and you need to have very good rotational players as well. That’s why the SF and Jets who play the same D stress the DL in drafting and FA.

1 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 27, 2024 at 09:15 am

No such thing as too many good players, but there are at least six right now, without even bringing up Brooks and Wooden.

1 points
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murf7777's picture

March 27, 2024 at 03:20 pm

IMO, they need to be more dominate. You want to be feared. I'm a big believer you win in the trenches.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:53 am

This off season is still in kindergarten. Most of our resignings are not guaranteed anything. We have not had the draft, the biggest single recruitment event, we haven’t been through the post draft FA period or the summer shuffle of depth and role player pieces. Really, a couple of big moves aside it hasn’t started in earnest. We’ve filled some competition slots and will need to fill more just to complete the 90 and kick off some real competition.

3 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:59 am

I can't wait for the draft. Just 1 month away.

We just got some competition at Kicker too. I like the move. At the very least it will push Carlson.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:20 am

Gutekunst will ultimately be judged by his succession plan at quarterback.
So just forget all the other clear vision, short term, or long term objectives.
Gute is a Con Artist; and does possess all the traits that go with it.
We’ve been led to believe, the team has been inadequate for the last 5 years.
But in truth; isn’t it really poor management, when you don’t give coaches,
and your team Leaders, what they need?
I will always believe Gute set up his players for failure.
Until he is part of a Super-Bowl win!

-23 points
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25
TKWorldWide's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:37 am

Iambic pentameter?
Pentagram-eter?

6 points
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2
PeteK's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:57 am

Find someone who's turning and you will come around.

0 points
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porupack's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:10 am

Thats really funny, Stockholder. For a minute, I thought you were serious. To go along with you, I think Gute guarantees his players that all they have to do is come to GB and they are guaranteed to win SB because, its obvious that the Trophy should automatically go to "titletown". Damn, he fools them everytime. Con artist he is. What the players really need? Damn, what could it be Stock? Gatorade has been tied. Cash.

2 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:32 am

Stock, I edited your piece for better reading -

Gutekunst will ultimately be judged by his succession plan at quarterback.

You're welcome

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:59 am

You said the same of TT. You also said neither he nor Rodgers would get one well into the season that they did.

I’m not even going to get in to the convolutions of your complaints about a team shaped more by the very Rodgers you beatify continually and perhaps the choice of Barry by LaFleur whom you exonerate. You don’t create castles in the air but dung hills. As fallacious but infinitely less edifying.

5 points
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Oppy's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:40 pm

Not sure if you caught Gutekunst sleeping with your wife, or if he hit your dog with his car, but whatever it is, you need to get over your hatred for the man.

The roster you lament has been stripped of all its leadership and stocked with players you claim have been intentionally set up to fail is the youngest roster in the league that just went storming into the playoffs and looking like they absolutely belonged there.

You have won the "consistently worst take on CHTV" award lately. Please, get some level headed perspective.

0 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

March 27, 2024 at 12:13 am

Its worse. Gute sacrificed SH's deity and now SH will forever fight this digital jihad.

0 points
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NickPerry's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:24 am

I think as a Packers fan you have to be pretty happy with this team and the direction Gute has them pointing. Think about where we thought they were LAST year about this same time. Many of us commented daily that IF Packers could win somewhere around 6 or 7 games, Jordan Love showed some semblance of a QB who could lead us to a SB, we'd all be happy with that.

Fast forward to January of 2024 and the Packers are playing in SF for a chance to go to the NFCCG, WHILE paying a QB who wanted to be in New York $40 Million of the salary cap. Gute has LOADED this team up. He's built IMO a team who will compete in the NFC for a chance to go to the SB, and he's done so much EARLIER than anyone could have expected.

I know a lot of people still don't like Gute. They'll ALWAYS point to the negative or the missed draft pick instead of all the great picks he's made. Make NO MISTAKE about it, this team is where they are today because of Gute and the rest of the Packers front office and staff. They are where they are today because Gute can make that impossible decision like moving on from Rodgers or Jones. All I know is when Gute nails this draft, this team is going to be set up for YEARS. It's a great time to be a Packers Fan folks!

20 points
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3
BuckyBadger's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:29 am

Where exactly is the team today? They had a good run but a good run for 8 games does not make a successful run. Sure there is reason for optimism but all this could look very different if the team stumbles next year. A lot of those heroics last year where a little lucky with Love throwing up some prayers. All I am saying lets not pop the Champaign just yet. It is too soon to know if Love is the guy and I wouldn't hand him a contract until we see how plays next year vs a more daunting schedule.

Gute's drafting hasn't been great. last year's class was the 1st one to show real promise. It will all come down to how Love looks this year.

-10 points
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T7Steve's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:49 am

I choose to be optimistic, rather than pessimistic this time of year.

I believe all Nick was saying is that we're ahead of schedule. Not that he's satisfied we've gone far enough.

We all know it's a work in progress and one step at a time. We just took 3 steps last season not 1. Most (except maybe LH and me) didn't think we'd get to the playoffs till maybe this season and start winning playoff games in 25.

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:11 am

"Gute's drafting hasn't been great. last year's class was the 1st one to show real promise."

What do you classify as success? Is it based on how many starters come from the class? What do you use to rank each class.

His first draft was in 2018. He made a hell of a trade to gain an extra first round pick and get Alexander. That draft he took Oren Burks who was a key member of the 49ers this year. JK Scott is still punting in the league, MVS is still in the league as is EQ.

2019, Gary is a great player. Savage was really good before Barry came. Jenkins is one of the best OL in the league. Ka'dar Hollman is still in the league

2020, Love looks like a stud. Dillon is still a factor, Runyan just got a big payday.

2021, Stokes was good but has been injured the last couple of years. Myers has been their starting OC since day 1. Newman somehow is still on the team. TJ Slaton has been a good player for them. McDuffie has really emerged.

2022, Walker, Wyatt, Watson all have been great picks. Rhyan might be the starting RG. Doubs and Tom were steals. Enagbare was another great pick. Walker might be one of our starting OT's. This was a great draft class.

2023, This was a very good draft class. Gutey's best thus far. The first 9 picks all contributed significantly. Only 1 of them is not with the team anymore.

8 points
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PeteK's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:06 am

Thanks RC I was thinking the same thing, forgot the diamond in the rough, TOM.

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:39 am

Speaking of Tom, something I have been wondering, is if they would consider moving him to LT. He seems like a natural fit there. But he has been very good at RT. So i could see them keeping him there. Just something I have been wondering about.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:09 am

With the whole summer, I think it’s possible they look at that. I think Gute made a reference to the possibility in his post stearin comments. A lot depends on how they view both Ts as being optimally suited and thus combination most likely to get the best play on both edges.

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:49 am

And they have a history of moving guys around. They had Jenkins at LT, they have moved Runyan to RG, plus other moves.

It makes sense that they would move him there. Walker would be the first option at RT. I could see this being decided on after the draft. But it would not surprise me if they made this move.

0 points
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golfpacker1's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:38 am

That post really clarifies how much the draft is a crapshoot. What Gutey has done the last 2 years is off the charts phenomenal. If we don't do something stupid, like trade up from #25 while wasting premium picks, at worst GB should get 5 great players at PON with our first 5 picks. If we hit on 3 of the last 6 picks, then this draft will be as good or better than last year. We are getting closer to having a really complete team.

Whether we have a blah season, or a really strong one is just a guess now. A way tougher schedule is coming in 2024, and our division games alone will not be easy. So much depends on injuries and health too. Any way you cut it the Packers are on a faster upward trajectory than anyone would have predicted before last season.

3 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:55 am

I agree with you on not trading up.

I love that we have 5 picks on the first 2 days. And I love having 5 top 100 picks.

I hope they at least keep them if not add to them. I think they could get 2-3 starters and 2-3 very key role players with those picks.

1 points
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Oppy's picture

March 26, 2024 at 05:48 pm

Savage- not really good, ever.

3 points
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BuckyBadger's picture

March 27, 2024 at 08:36 am

You are celebrating many of these picks far too soon.

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:40 am

The topic is about where the Packers are today...vs where many believed they were going to be before last season.

No one is discussing whether or not pour the champagne. Rather, is your glass half full or half empty...and has the personnel team been adding to the contents? Most assuredly, the young talent and FAs shows they are filling it.

Don't know how you evaluate drafting greatness...which is just one part of NFL personnel management anyway. And the coaching staff has more to do with a team being great as does the draft. Hafley hopefully will add even more to that dynamic.

But one measure of drafting success is reflected by wins and losses...and since Gutey has been in charge of the draft, the Packers have won far more games than they have lost.

1 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

March 26, 2024 at 12:51 pm

In my opinion, since WWII or so, the two best GM's that the Packers have had are Wolf and Gutekunst. The vast majority of Lombardi's great players were already on the roster when he arrived (primarily thanks to Jack Vainisi) Those that followed: Bengston, Devine, Starr, Gregg, Sherman were all below average GMs. Thompson had his moments, but mostly during the first few years, when he actually would use free agency, and before he got sick.

Remember all the "we're going back to the 70s-80s" hand wringing going on here just a short time ago? Thanks to Gutekunst and his staff, we witnessed one of the shortest re-builds in memory. It's a shame there are still those out there that won't acknowledge that.

-1 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:18 pm

To the 2 down voters, I would love to hear the GM's you feel have been better in Packers history. Go back as far as you'd like. I'll wait.

2 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

March 27, 2024 at 12:17 am

Bucky, if you cant even get excited in the offseason, especially with this team, why even pay attention?

-1 points
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BuckyBadger's picture

March 27, 2024 at 08:38 am

I am a realist and see wholes in this roster that will get exposed when it plays a harder schedule. This team played one of the easiest schedules so be prepared for a step back this coming year. You have been forewarned so don't act surprised.

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:12 am

I was one of those who would have been ok with 6 wins last season, as long as the team was progressing as a whole. I wanted to see steadier progress, but remain absolutely blown away by the end result, which I see as having competed very honorably against SF, but having come up short in many plays throughout the whole game. Not just one missed kick or one poor decision that led to an int under not enough pressure to make that decision; it was a panic. They did their best, and came up short; still better than ANYONE expected, and by a very wide margin :)

Even without FA or draft genius, if the roster attacks this off-season with the vengeance due that near miss, it has all the makings of coming back for a Lombardi. Add Gutey's moves? Especially if he's on the same page with MLF and Hafley?!?

Man, I'm here for THAT. GPG!!

3 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

March 27, 2024 at 12:16 am

A year ago, I told everyone on this board, repeatedly, that this team would make playoffs. I was universally mocked and downvoted.

0 points
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T7Steve's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:34 am

"They still need a piece or two, mostly at offensive line and more depth at running back."

Cory, the O-line is a place they need help and can get it, but I think ILBs is the place I'm worried about most. Till we see how this draft and FA works out the D will be a mystery to me.

8 points
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dobber's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:12 am

The nice thing about the OL situation is that the front line is set, and is more than just competitive. It's a pretty solid looking group. At this stage, Lord help us if these guys get hurt, though. I think they could draft as many as four, depending on whether they see the likes of Tenuta or Jones ever really being a contributor on game day. All these people who say they don't think there's room for 11 draft picks on the roster need to look at how many of the final 53 are gone, and how much churn there is in those bottom 10 spots.

9 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:55 am

Of all positions, the homework done on OL draft prospects provides the greatest return on investment. The Packers have been very good finding OL talent in the mid to late rounds.

OL prospects do not have the splash stats of sacks, receptions, yards, INTs, passes, tackles etc. Not much sizzle...need to find the steak. Have to evaluate consistency on video, availability, toughness, technique, growth, continuous improvement...so much is more subjective.

This draft is labeled as loaded with solid OL prospects. Even if the Packers don't draft one early, I also expect them to "load up" with most selections from the OL class.

5 points
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T7Steve's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:56 am

Yes the line is tentatively set. I'd like real competition for those starting spots especially inside so we can be comfortable as possible with the depth going into the season. Like someone else said (you?) some high draft picks not these UDFAs and 7th rounder projects. We need those too, but it would be nice to have some 5 star types for a change.

3 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:21 am

Since January I've said Gutey needs to draft 3 at O line and they all need to be good. We're losing 4, Royce Newman needs to go after getting beaten out of the 53. Picking 4 to come up with real competition at C and RG is still reasonable, even if Mt Caleb Telfort and Tenuta are all viable at least for depth.

I didn't realize how hurt Myers had been playing until the final game. Maybe without injury he really is good? The only two who weren't playing injured were Nijman and Rhyan. Pretty lucky JL10 didn't get injured. To say "we need depth" is an understatement!

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:16 am

Agreed Steve. Even with 0 picks at RB, that room is better than pretty good. And we all expect at least one pick at RB.

O line, DB, and ILB are the biggest needs. And not necessarily in that order of draft pick, but in that priority of importance, wherever they can be found.

Excellence in run blocking will be more important this season.

0 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:49 am

If more fans followed other teams as closely as they follow GB, it would provide perspective on how teams’ management fares. We all put GB under a microscope and sometimes think “no other team misses on as many draft picks as the Packers”, until you start actually looking at all their moves.

Jealous of San Fran? How did Solomon Thomas pan out? (Who? #3 overall pick d-lineman in 2017.) How about that trade for Trey Lance a couple years ago? Oh, sure, Mr. Irrelevant bailed them out. But you can’t tell me they thought he’d be that good. If they did, they would not have waited until rd 7. So, I call that luck while others will chalk it up to John Lynch’s brilliance. You do you, my friends.

Many years ago, Mike Golic said of the draft: “There is a lot of agreement among scouts about who the top players in college are. But the draft is about projecting how they’ll transition to the NFL.” That’s where all the debate comes in, and to me, that’s where all the fun begins. Floor/ceiling, scheme fit, improvement (or lack of). Giddy up, and always, GPG!

16 points
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Cheezehead72's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:09 am

I agree. I do try to follow other teams as I am a football fan too. It is hard so I concentrate on the NFC North.

Yes other teams have bad drafts and bad picks.

Packer fans tend to make the team better than they are and some make them worse than they are. A true fan is honest and gives credit where it is deserved and is critical of the team when it is needed but in truth. I do not like those optimistic fans that look at all the Packers do is good. And it goes the other ways to.

I am a pessimist by nature. I will always look at the negative first and then move to positive. I am a realist.

2 points
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porupack's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:14 am

Brilliant, TKW.

2 points
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dobber's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:52 am

The fact that Gute has been in a position over most of his time in GB where he's not looking over his shoulder and making desperation moves scrambling to save his job (ahem: Ryan Pace) means he's been afforded the luxury of executing longer term planning. Some of the time he's drafting to fill glaring holes, but mostly he's filling holes 1-2 years down the road. He's not making the mighty reaches that excite the fan base in the short term but exhaust resources and leave the team talent poor in the longer term.

Roster management is all about hard work, good scouting, and accurate projections. They hit on guys like P. and Z. Smith, although we argue about the cap hits now. McKinney is a signing in the same vein as the Smiths: the cupboard at the position is bare, they need a playmaker (or two), and they spent to get one and shore up a problem spot for the future. Prior to the Smiths coming in, the Packers' OLBs were Nick Perry, CMIII, and Kyler Fackrell...oof. I'd argue the Billy Turner and Adrian Amos signings were not so "spectacular" as they were workmanlike. We hold up Amos as a win, but I'd argue that's indicative of just how lackluster the safety play in GB has been since Nick Collins got hurt.

If Stokes plays (recently a mighty if) and plays well, Gute's draft track record over the last three is pretty good. At this stage, I don't expect they'll offer him the 5th year on his rookie deal, though. Every GM has their pet projects--guys who hang on the fringes of the roster because they were a draft darling of the GM. I'd argue that's been less the case with Gute, especially of late. He's cleaned house over the last couple years...we'll see if any of these pet projects develop--I'm sure there will be some--but the churn is very real. He's been right on these guys more often than not.

9 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:58 am

Yes! You must have been typing this while I was typing mine. Lots of agreement! (Great minds? 😉)

6 points
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dobber's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:00 am

"(Great minds? 😉)"

I keep mine in a jar on the shelf. It's labeled "Abby-Normal".

8 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:56 am

Puttin’ on the ritz!

4 points
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porupack's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:15 am

Good point about long term planning and stability/support around coach and GM.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:58 am

Let's not forget that Gutekunst consistently is getting extra picks in the draft. He got a bonus first round pick that was used for Savage. He traded Adams away for a first and a second. He traded Rodgers away for two seconds. Getting those extra premium picks is a neat piece of work, IMO.

Like his predecessor, he hasn't made big mistakes in FA. Nobody gets it right all the time, but if you don't make big mistakes and you have extra picks, it really improves your odds, IMO.

1 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

March 26, 2024 at 08:54 am

Whatever Gute does in his spare time is none of our business as long as it doesn't impact his work with the Packers. If he needs to augment his salary with some soothsaying and whatnot, that's fine, but remember, behind every palm reader, crystal ball-gazer, and tarot card-reader, there's a numbers person. Think estimated prophet, right?

7 points
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calabasa's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:30 pm

Gutey’s words fill the sky with flame, for sure.

1 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 27, 2024 at 09:17 am

We bask in the glory of his turbulence.
We also Baskin-Robbins.
I’d call that a win-win!

1 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 27, 2024 at 11:00 am

LH: Your approach is always greatly appreciated here, my friend!

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:09 am

I believe Brian Gutekuenst has earned his stripes to actually be promoted to the GM of the Packers, not just the GM of Player Personnel and one co-equal member of MMs football committee.

He has been a very successful strategic leader in my view. So many NFL personnel teams are so tactical...day to day management that get the headlines but erratic results (see Da bares). Gutey employs long term strategic personnel planning and executes tactics to realize team goals.

Ron Wolf and BG's mentor Ted both did great jobs as GM of Football Operations. Brian can too.

4 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:28 am

This is more important than any one signing, IMHO. Hopefully MM is gracious about this as he approaches retirement ...

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:53 am

I don't think it's about what Gutekunst has earned, or whether Murphy is gracious. I think this reorganization was done because Murphy thought it was best for the team, and it is working pretty well, IMO.

Our roster is good, we have extra draft picks, we have money available under the cap.....what about this isn't working?

In a year......less...Murphy will be gone and his successor can reorganize it to the extent he can get the Executive Board to agree, if that's what he desires. Or, he might just keep it, since it's working pretty well.

My first Packer memory is the 1962 Thanksgiving game. I started paying abnormal attention to them later in life. I watched Bart get fired, I watched Forrest Gregg fail. I watched as we spent two decades in mediocrity and did some amazingly stupid stuff in the front office, particularly with the draft.

Then, the Glorious Resurgence. Harlan, Wolf, Holmgren, Favre, Reggie. And in the 30+ years since, we've had one of the better teams in the league. I haven't checked, and I'll leave it to others, but we've probably won more games and division titles than most teams. More playoff appearances.

I think this is one of the best front offices we've ever had. I think the GM/HC combination is one of the best we've ever had. We have a lot to be thankful for....it could be MUCH worse.

The Vikings, Bears, and Lions have combined for 1 Super Bowl appearance in those 30+ years.. The Packers have done better. Why? Is it just dumb luck? Of course not. The Packer organization is better. It clearly understands the QB position in a way the other teams don't. It doesn't do stuff like trade for Cutler. And that's because of the culture in that organization, a culture that Gutekunst has been immersed in for 20 years. He's the end product of Wolf and Thompson and all that they've done. Get good people on and off the field and develop them.

We've got Gutekunst/LaFleur/Love for the next several years. I think we're going to the Super Bowl with this group.

0 points
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Cheezehead72's picture

March 26, 2024 at 09:52 am

The Packers were one of three teams that voted against the new kickoff rules. Watch the UFL to get used to it.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:18 am

Odd. Gute and LaFleur have both spoken in favor of reviving the kick off. I think Bissacia has made it clear on numerous occasions and through his instructions to Nixon last year as he framed them publicly that he sees it as important and of course we just resigned Nixon the 2 time pro bowl returner. Yet Murphy votes no.

2 teams wanted the kick off abolished per public statements and we were the third. It will be interesting to hear why and if it was because we wanted an additional tweak or less tweaking rather than no change at all or no kickoffs.

0 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

March 26, 2024 at 11:08 pm

I will look forward to one of those more analytically inclined to go back to review UFL games to determine the most interesting lines of attack both defensively and offensively.

I watched a few of those kick-offs and returns, and honestly didn't like it. It was so gimmicky.

0 points
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GregC's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:21 am

Wow, it got approved. I didn't think that was going to happen. Packers voting against it kind of refutes the theory that they gave Nixon that nice contract because of his kick return abilities though.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 26, 2024 at 11:32 am

Not if Gute expected it to be passed. The margin of as pretty conclusive among the other teams. I have to think they had a pretty good idea. Why we voted against is odd given how we played last year under the old rules too.

0 points
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GregC's picture

March 26, 2024 at 12:52 pm

I suppose that could be true. So maybe it was some kind of protest vote? The other teams that voted no were the Raiders and 49ers, and yet the article in the Athletic quotes 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan saying, “I think that’ll be a fun thing in the league. I think it’s going to be a different thing each week.”

0 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:28 am

I haven't been Murphy's greatest fan over the years and I thought that Eliot Wolf was the best choice for GM. However, it appears that our CEO was spot on when he tagged Gute. While I still would prefer a more traditional NFL organizational chain of command with the General Manager being solely in charge of all football operations, I will tip my hat to Murphy's selection of Gute. You guys are lucky I'm not calling the shots or we might look like our neighbors to the south.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 26, 2024 at 11:00 am

What if the "football operations" are in conflict with making the numbers work? What if the HC has a different opinion?

I like having the HC, and the Finance guy, not directly under the GM's chain of command.

-1 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:03 pm

What if your "great leader" chain of command usurps the roles of the personnel professionals and you wind up in cap hell, dependent on a narcissistic, aging QB who is loyal only to himself. What if your CEO disregards the now silo'd professionals and makes decisions that aren't in the long term interest of the team, but rather the short term interests of his own legacy. What if that happened. Good thing they're not idiots, huh?

2 points
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golfpacker1's picture

March 26, 2024 at 10:45 am

I know it's a guess at this point. But what does everyone think our Top needs will be next year? DT will be at the top I think because of Kenny Clarks age. I have looked at the 2025 DT class and it looks really strong, headed by a 6'5 370 lb monster from Alabama.

Maybe Edge and CB are 2 others depending on Preston Smiths 2024 season, and whether Stokes gets healthy and returns to form. If not, I can see GB moving on from him and possibly Alexander in 2025. Bakh proved if you can't play the games, why pay the big dollars?

1 points
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Coach Cleve Steamer's picture

March 26, 2024 at 11:22 am

Doing well what he’s paid to do. Good scouting, Improved roster, improved spending cap. Diligent, thorough,Lucky!

3 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

March 26, 2024 at 12:22 pm

The portal for a bright and successful future is opened - not by a GM - but by an elite/franchise QB. Of course the GM must find that QB - which is a challenge at an Indiana Jones level. All GMs will attempt to seek that (Grail) QB. Most will fail. It seems that Gutekunst had chosen wisely.

1 points
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Packer_Fan's picture

March 26, 2024 at 12:35 pm

I like what Gute is doing. We have two years of keeping the offense together minus Myers at center. And that means a two year window before some of these young players leave. A two year window to win the Super Bowl. Then a rebuild.

So on offense, replace Jones with Jacob's. See Gute draft some OL depth and future replacement. We have a starting OL with Ryan. Then draft high a C/G to compete with Myers and Ryan. And draft a future RB.

On special teams they locked up Nixon and a few key players. Then they just signed Joseph to press Carlson. Smart.

Then on defense, sign the best safety. Gute must like the CB's because they resigned Nixon and Ballentine. I believe that some of the issues we saw last year was due to Barry and not the players. I expect Gute to sign a cheap veteran safety and then draft a safety high to compete for a starting job by years end. Same with LB. Sign a cheap veteran and draft high for competition.

This scenario responds to the weaknesses of the team while building for the future.

1 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

March 26, 2024 at 01:14 pm

Yes.
If a fan cannot find reason to be optimistic right now…😬

1 points
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4thandinches's picture

March 26, 2024 at 07:05 pm

Preston Smith has been a great Packer but I don’t see him retiring with the team. In fact, I can’t recall the last established defensive player that played their last season with the Packers. I think that goes against the ‘young man’s game’ philosophy that TT and Gutey clearly ascribe to. Can anyone tell me the last established player that retired a Packer? I’m at a loss…

0 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

March 29, 2024 at 12:29 pm

BJ Raji and Nick Collins.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 29, 2024 at 01:28 pm

Mark Tauscher retired following the 2010 Super Bowl. He only appeared in 4 games that year, and 9 the preceding year. Chad Clifton retired following an injury plagued 2011 season.

Donald Driver retired in 2012
.
Johny Jolly played 5 seasons in 8 years with the Packers before retiring in 2013. Yeah, there's more to that story.

Nick Perry played 8 seasons and retired in 2018.

Several others came close, but finished out long careers elsewhere, like Mason Crosby.

0 points
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