OK, let's get right to it. Yeah, I'm wondering that myself, thinking it's a real possibility to get at least one of those fourth-rounders back. Depends in part on how Gutekunst has the draft tiered. If he thinks he could get the same level prospect later in the second or third round than where he's picking, I'd think he'd be very much open to moving back. Just took a quick look at the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, looks like he'd probably have to move back seven spots or so to get a mid-fourth rounder. There's some leeway in these deals.
That's basically what Gutekunst said, said he was impactful, even said he sometimes "wrecked" plays, which is a fairly strong statement. So that's what he saw. I was texting with a scout today who expressed ambivalence on Gary. He called him a good pick and assumed the Packers are betting on Gary's upside. He did express some reservations about Gary's personality, said he has a really high opinion of himself -- Gary was the No. 1 recruit in the nation coming out of HS -- and wondered if that could be a limiting factor, that he might be unable/unwilling to appreciate when he's not playing as well as he could.
That's an interesting comparison, they are kind of similar, though physically I think Gary is a little bit of a Perry-plus in most ways. He's a little taller (6-4 3/8 to Perry's 6-3), heavier (277 to 271), faster (4.58 to 4.64) and better side to side quickness (4.29 short shuttle to Perry's 4.66). So I think Gary as far as physical ability is a notch above Perry.
I'm thinking in R2 and R3 they'll take two players from among TE, RB and T. That's my best guess. I'd consider those their greatest remaining needs. You never know, they might have a guy at another position rated a notch above everyone else on the board and take him, but if I were a betting man I'd go with those three positions. I don't consider WR as big a need as many others seem to. They have some guys to work with -- besides Adams, they're getting Allison back, and ESB and MVS showed some ability last year. Doesn't mean they won't take a receiver in rounds two or three, if there's a guy they really like I'm sure they would. But their needs at TE, RB and T are more acute in my opinion.
I guess you're asking if he's reckless. I don't think so. He's been aggressive, no question, taken some risks. The spending spree was surprising but I get what he was doing/thinking. I keep hearing good things about Savage. The same scout I was texting with about Gary today said he loved Savage, thought he was much better than Juan Thornhill and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. I'm sure there are plenty of scouts out there who weren't real high on the Savage move, too. Depends on who you talk to. The truth is, nobody knows how these guys are going to turn out.
I would guess they'd have a tough time getting both of those guys sitting and picking where they are. I talked to a couple scouts who were pretty high on Sternberger, so I'd question whether he'll be available to them in R3. We'll see.
It would probably take a fourth-round pick to move up from R3 to R2, and they don't have any fourth-rounders left this year. After trading two fourth-rounders yesterday, I doubt Gutekunst would trade a future pick (if you trade a pick next year, you usually have to go a round higher, so he'd probably have to give up a 3) to move up. My best guess is he's more likely to move back a little and try to recoup one of those fourth-rounders.
From what I can tell Thompson has a minimal role with the Packers at this point.
I wondered, like the previous questioner, whether Sternberger might interest them. Sounds like he's a really good athlete, and he put up very good numbers at Texas A&M. Once you start getting into the second round it's even harder to predict specific players because the pool of players is so big, and teams' grades are all over the map. I concentrated on learning about the first-round prospects, so honestly I don't know that much about the second and third rounders except for what I've read, which probably is the same as what you've read.
That seems like a stretch at this point after signing two of them for big money in free agency then picking one with the first-round pick. I realize none of the three is a speed outside rusher, but they're all pass rushers. To take another one in the next few picks would be a big-time luxury, so I have to think it's really unlikely. As important as rushers are, they do have several pressing needs. Like I said, I think RB is way up there. LaFleur wants to run the ball, and while Jones is a really good back he's just too injury prone to think he can be a primary back. Williams is a good FB player but only an OK runner. IMHO they very much need another back who's a really good runner and receiver.
This happens every year, there are a few guys that a lot of teams like but whose names aren't as prominent among the media and independent draft services/scouts. Nick Collins was an example of that way back. Savage and Thornhill were maybe the best examples this year. They weren't even on my radar when I started asking a handful of scouts about the top safeties a couple weeks ago, but then one of the scouts said they were rising up draft boards, which just means that teams that liked them started to realize that other teams liked them just as much. Gutekunst paid a fair amount to move up for Savage -- two fourth-rounders, that's two decent bites at the apple -- but he must have had intel that somebody at 22 or 23 was going to pick him (or trade into those spots for him). I looked at who knows how many mock drafts on Wednesday and Thursday -- 20? 30? they all started running together -- and did see a couple that had Savage going in the mid-20s.
No, I think the Packers really need to add some talent at tight end. I mean, you can't just force it and take a guy just to take that position if he doesn't warrant it, but I'd say it should be high on the priority list. They're keeping Graham for this season but I'd bet he won't be back in '20. Tonyan is interesting but still very much unproven. I'm not even sure M Lewis is going to make the final cut. They need young talent and young legs at that position, and it often takes a year for TEs to adjust to the league, one of the harder positions to transition to in the NFL because they have big roles both in the run game as blockers and in the pass game as receivers (and sometimes as blockers). Lots to learn.
I disagree, I think a lot of the good offenses have good TEs, and a good TE is really valuable in today's game, a big target over the middle, and DBs can't just hammer them anymore. Even a guy like Rudolph has been valuable for the Vikings even though he's not a great player. And if you can get one who's a fairly complete player (blocker and receiver), that helps a lot with play selection and not tipping off the defense what's coming based on personnel, because it can be run or pass. Look at NE, they haven't had any really good receivers for years, but they had a top-notch TE and a QB who makes his well-schooled receivers a lot better.
That's a standard part of the evaluation, one of the biggest reasons the combine is important, their doctors attend and do a medical workup on every player. I asked Gutekunst last night if Gary will need surgery. He basically said not this year. but left open the door for surgery in the future. I heard from another scout this morning who thought Gary would need surgery down the line, probably next offseason. DeMarcus Lawrence is having the same surgery this offseason. That's never good, it's a pretty long recovery, but the Cowboys paid Lawrence a huge contract this offseason knowing he would need the surgery. I mean, I agree there's an injury risk, but Gutekunst said "I felt very comfortable long term that that issue was going to be resolved." So he must not feel like he's taking that a big risk, and that surgery next offseason or down the line will fix the issue.
I could be wrong here, but I do think Gutekunst is running the draft, and these are his picks, not Murphy's or anybody else's. I completely agree with your take on the structure, though, that the streamlined setup with the GM having autonomy over football, and everybody in football reporting to him, is the best way structure. No structure is perfect, but when you have three people (GM, coach and cap guy) reporting to the president, you open the door to politicking and back stabbing if things are going poorly.
Pettine really emphasizes the inside rush, has said it's at least as important as outside, maybe more, because it's the quickest path to the QB, and inside pressure is the hardest pressure for a QB to escape. I wouldn't be surprised if Gary ends up being more of an inside rusher down the road, and that might have been part of the thinking.
I wondered about the redundancy too, because he seems pretty similar to Z Smith, an OLB who bounces inside on passing downs. But I'm sure there are ways to get all three Smiths on the field at once on passing downs because they do have some versatility. It would be a more power-oriented rushing group, that's for sure. The Packers at this point don't have a speed rusher. I too wonder if down the road Gary ends up being more of an inside player, and he might not even need to add 10 pounds. He's already 277. I'm not at all saying this guy is Aaron Donald, but Donald is only 280, so Gary already can probably play in there. They need him to be more than Lowry, though. Don't get me wrong, Lowry is a nice rotational player. But they need Gary to make a difference getting after the QB.
No idea how he looks this year, I wasn't at the open practice Wednesday. But he is an interesting player, has some speed and skill, flashed some playmaking in the red zone in camp last year when he got the chance. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on in camp.
As said earlier, it sounds like the Packers think he can manage it fine this year. A scout told me today that his team thought Gary will need surgery down the road, probably next offseason.
They still have a pick in the second and third rounds. Those are high picks and can produce good offensive players. Nelson, Jennings and Adams were second-rounders.
It had better be much improved. They've put huge resources into it. All that money with the three free agents and then two first-round picks. I have to think Pettine said he could find ways to maximize Gary, or why pick him?
I probably should go back and look, I was kind of wrapped up in the Packers. But I'd say Drew Lock.
If Savage doesn't start as a rookie they made a big mistake drafting him. He essentially cost three picks. They need him to start immediately.
Spriggs for sure, maybe Davis if they draft a guy who can return punts and kicks. Adams showed some improvement later last season.
I have to think an RB would play a lot. If they're going to run the ball like LaFleur says he does, which would help Rodgers a lot if they can run effectively, then they definitely need another good back.
I wonder what he would have done if Bush had been available. I'm guessing he would have taken Bush, but that's just a guess.
They have reason to feel unsure. You just never know how these picks and signings are going to work out. I remember Wolf's draft in '95 getting panned and it ended up being his best one. And we've all seen drafts that got fans really excited and ended up bombing. The Packers were bad last season, and now they have a new coach, so it could take time to learn the new system and for the staff to figure out how best to use the players, etc. On the other hand, they spent huge on three defensive starters and used their first two picks on defense, so theoretically the personnel on that side of the ball should be a lot better. But that's theoretically. Nothing wrong with being skeptical and waiting to see the proof on the field. Really, the truth still remains, a lot of it still comes down to how Rodgers bounces back and plays in the scheme.
Burks deserves a second season to show what he's learned from last year and to make some physical improvement too. Jones has shown he's not really a safety, he needs to play in the box. I wonder if he's going to be basically a linebacker now. But yeah, the light needs to go on for him this year or he'll basically be a bust for a second-round pick. He's an explosive athlete, but it's only shown up occasionally on the field.
I haven't heard anything bad about Savage from the handful of scouts I've talked to. Small sample, but ...
I'm thinking he's coming in this draft.
OK, have to wrap it up, I have to get caught up on the news and then get over to Lambeau for rounds 2 and 3 tonight. As for your question Tony, I get what you're saying, but in the end I don't think it's Belichick's model that produces results. If that were the case his proteges wouldn't have such a high fail rate. It's him and Brady that have made that franchise so dominant. Whatever "it" is, Belichick has an abundance. There's just something about his ability to see the game and players, and figure out ways to take away what opponents do best, and how to attack defenses, that sets him apart from the rest. No system can duplicate that. And with that, we'll wrap this up. Just as a reminder, our Tom Silverstein will be doing a live blog again tonight during the draft, I highly recommend following it. Also, Olivia Reiner will be doing a Facebook Live livestream starting at 5:30, with Ryan Wood, Jim Owczarski and me each joining her at different points. And keep checking back to PackersNews.com today and all weekend to keep up with all the news, we'll be updating constantly. Thanks for taking the time to join me and share your thoughts and questions, lots to talk and think about. Will be an interesting weekend. We'll chat again next week and try to take it all in. Until then, take care.