Less than four months into the new year, it’s been anything but dull in Packerland.
Fans got all excited when for the first time in about a decade it looked like Green Bay was going to pick a player in the top half of the first round. Due to the general manager’s trade mania, it didn’t quite happen, as the 14th pick turned into the 18th.
Here’s what day 3 has in store for us at the moment:
The Packers’ plans for the 2018 draft were put into place by the old regime. Key to the strategy was the abundance of compensatory picks the team was in line for. Though Brian Gutekunst has shown us he’s anything but a clone of Ted Thompson, he inherited this very bottom-heavy glut of picks, so he’s going to try to maximize what he’s been given.
Four picks in rounds four and five! Two were traded away to get back into the third round on Friday. History tells us there are immense prospects for solid players here: Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan, Corey Linsley, David Bakhtiari, J.C. Tretter, Micah Hyde, Mike Daniels, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton. All were chosen in rounds four or later.
Brian Gutekunst will make it or break it based not on Jaire Alexander, but on the guys he selects in those picks from 133rd through 174th overall.
The four round six and seven picks don’t have such an illustrious history: James Starks, Brad Jones, Mason Crosby, Scott Wells – and going way back to 1999, Donald Driver.
Yes, the transition from Thompson to Gutekunst is happening, though we won’t see it in full until next year’s draft. Meanwhile, I remain guardedly optimistic that Gute will have even more success than his predecessor at finding nuggets of gold in those middle rounds. Given the Pack’s order of picks, the scout team has surely been directing most of its recent energy and attention to appraising mid-round draft prospects.
As fans, all we can do is sit tight, remain hopeful, tune in on Saturday, and trust that Gute is adept at making lemonade.