Brian Gutekunst made a bold move by trading Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. The Green Bay Packers are now looking at a wide receiver depth chart completely void of elite talent, and Gutekunst will have to make an equally as bold move to get the Packers out of this mess.
To be fair, the situation is not hopeless. The Packers received a first- and second-round pick in this year’s draft for Adams, meaning they have some draft capital to work with.
Recently speaking to the media, Gutekunst revealed some of his intentions for that draft capital, and replacing Adams is a huge priority.
The Green Bay Packers have to replace Davante Adams ASAP
Adams is the best receiver in the NFL. Cooper Kupp “won” the Triple Crown last season, and he certainly made his case. In terms of pure superstar talent and ability to make any play at any time, though, Adams is the top dog.
His route running is second to none. His big-play ability is unrivaled.
For years in Green Bay, his connection with Aaron Rodgers was also unrivaled, and it led to a ton of success for both players as well as the team.
Now that Adams is gone, not only do the Packers have to find a player Rodgers can vibe with, but they need to find a No. 1 and probably even a No. 2 option defenses will respect.
Allen Lazard is a fan favorite and a tremendous story, but he’s best as a terrific blocker on edge and a sneaky-good No. 3. Randall Cobb is well past his prime, and though he can make plays, he can’t carry an offense.
Tight end Robert Tonyan Jr. is coming off an ACL tear and only has one truly good year under his belt. Aaron Jones is always a receiving threat, but you can’t have your running back be your leading receiver as well in 2022.
Three’s no doubt about it. The Packers have to fix this problem as soon as possible.
Brian Gutekunsts reveals he may have a bold plan for the 2022 NFL Draft
Moving on from Adams wasn’t any easy decision for the Packers, but it’s one that had to be made.
Credit to Gutekunsts for having the confidence to make a move. As the incomparable Kenny Rodgers once sang, “you’ve got to know when to walk away and know when to run,” and that situation applied perfectly to the Packers this offseason.
That’s not to say Green Bay wanted to run away from Adams. They simply found themselves in a situation where they didn’t have the long-term money to give him what he wanted to stick with the team, and he was clear that he wasn’t going to play on the franchise tag.
“To lose a player of his caliber and what he’s done for the organization, those are hard decisions and a hard thing to move on from,” Gutekunst said at the 2022 NFL Annual Meetings, according to the team website. “But at the same time, I think once we got through the discussions with Davante after the season, this was what was best for the organization and Davante moving forward.”
It was time for Gutekunst to cut bait, and he did so brilliantly by getting the Packers an extra two picks in the top 100 of this draft in return.
That pesky problem of replacing Adams is still coming up, though, and to that point, the Packers could very well use two of their first four picks on a talented group of wide receivers expected to go high in the draft.
“My history and even with Ted’s history [speaking of late general manager Ted Thompson], I don’t think we’ve ever shied away from taking multiple players at one position in a draft,” Gutekunst said. “So certainly if the right players are there, we wouldn’t shy away from that.”
Gutekunst didn’t explicitly say that he’d do so at wide receiver, but that’s clearly Green Bay’s most significant position of need right now.
The Packers aren’t afraid to double down on one position in the draft
As Gutekunst alluded to, he has a history of stocking up at one specific position in the draft, which he undoubtedly learned from Thompson.
Ironically, the most glaring example of that was when he stocked up on wide receivers in the 2018 NFL Draft.
He selected J’Mon Moore out of Missouri in Round 4, and then followed that pick up with Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fifth and Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth.
Moore was talented but flamed out pretty quickly as an NFL player. MVS, on the other hand, just received a contract from the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Packers couldn’t have been happy to see him go in free agency. St. Brown never lived up to his potential and was essentially a practice squad player, but the Chicago Bears have taken a chance on him nonetheless.
Gutekunst was trying to address a wide receiver depth problem with that draft. Now that he has an actual talent problem, he’d be wise to employ the same strategy but instead do it much higher up in the draft.
Taking a wideout in Round 1 and Round 2 would make sense for Green Bay, and it sounds like Gutekusnt is prepared to do just that.
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