The Packers have benefitted from generational stability at quarterback, a stability that stemmed from drafting one in the first round when they had a 35-year-old star at the top of his game.
But even though Aaron Rodgers was a clearly defined successor to Brett Favre, Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst downplayed bringing in Missouri quarterback Drew Lock for a pre-draft visit was part of a plan to eventually replace Rodgers.
“I think the whole succession plan thing, I think is a little bit overhyped or whatever,” Gutekunst said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “I go back to when I first started and certainly when Ted [Thompson] came back [as GM in 2005], we value that position extremely highly. And I think every year we spent a lot of time on quarterbacks and try to figure out what kind of players those guys are going to be in the NFL. I think it’s really, really important to us because if you don’t have one it’s really tough to win in this league. So, you know, for us it’s just about each and every year trying to decide which of the guys that could potentially be starters in this league and difference maker-type players. And then if you ever have an opportunity to take them sometime in the draft and it’s the best thing for your team I don’t think you can hesitate with that, you know?
“Again, we’re lucky to have the best player in the NFL playing that position right now. But at the same time, just like I was talking about before, your needs can change just like that. So, I think it was just doing due diligence. There’s always questions, specifically with those guys, maybe that are a little more thorough and more in depth that you’ve got to get to the bottom of and so we were trying to do that.”
The Packers are in a position to invest for the future, since they have a pair of first-round picks (12th and 30th overall).
And it would be easier to dismiss bringing in Lock as one of their 30 visitors if they didn’t also try to schedule Duke’s Daniel Jones. But Gutekunst said between medical issues and other considerations, the extra visits could mean many things.
“Certainly, there’s a medical part of it,” Gutekunst said. “There was a bunch of guys not at the combine that we needed medical grades on. That’s part of it. A lot of it is just trying to get to know guys a little bit more. There were some unanswered questions that when we came out of the combine or pro days that we didn’t feel like we had answered.
“And then sometime there’s just some subterfuge thrown in there as well.”
And that’s fine, as they have enough visits to do things just to mess with their opponents. If that’s all they’re doing, of course.