Brian Gutekunst on Day Two picks: Matt LaFleur wants to tie everything to run game

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The Packers raised some eyebrows and the ire of some of their fans in the first round of the draft when they picked quarterback Jordan Love rather than a player who would be in line to help them in 2020 and their second day picks drew some similar reactions.

They took former Boston College running back AJ Dillon at No. 62 despite the presence of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on the roster. In the third round, they chose former Cincinnati tight end/fullback Josiah Deguara with the 94th overall pick while passing on bigger perceived needs at wide receiver and on defense.

General Manager Brian Gutekunst shrugged at any negative reaction to the selections and said they fit the offense head coach Matt LaFleur wants to build this season.

“I think he’s talked to you guys repeatedly about how much he’d like to run the ball and have the pass work off of that,” Gutekunst said, via Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com. “I think as we went through, we wanted to have some versatile pieces. Obviously AJ’s a big, bruising back with very, very good speed . . . Josiah, just the versatility, whether it’s a lead blocker, his ability to create mismatches in the passing game. Matt really wants to tie everything to the run game and off the run game, and these guys will help us do that.”

Those skeptical of the picks wonder how much Dillon and Deguara will help a team that made it to the NFC title game win now, but Gutekunst said he believes both players he picked on Friday will help the team win in the short term and get better down the line.

35 responses to “Brian Gutekunst on Day Two picks: Matt LaFleur wants to tie everything to run game

  1. Awesome game plan. Rather than just rely on Rodgers as previous regimines have. A little more balance for the Pack will be just what can get them over that last hump and back to the big game. GO PACK GO.

  2. Matt LeFleur wants to tie everything to the run game and the backup quarterback.

  3. Translation: after the 1st rd, lefluer spent the rest of the draft trying to appease aaron.

  4. Is it true A-A-Ron was pushing for a WR while GB picked Love?

    …it’s a delicious story, true or not. 😉

  5. Rodgers head is going to explode and for once I don’t blame him but it will be enjoyable to watch Rodgers squirm because he is so unlikable.

  6. I normally sit back and recognize that the personnel guys have forgotten more than I will ever know. That is still the case. However, from a strategy & confidence angle, this draft is a failure.

    John Elway is giving Drew Lock weapons galore. Brian Gutekunst is showing Rodgers the door – post draft.

    Miami would’ve given GB all three D1 picks for 12. Adams, Bakhtari, Smith brothers, and Amos all would’ve provided picks – Adams & Bakhtari likely low D1 or high D2 picks. Trade them all, fix the cap, and get young talent at OT, LB, DL, RB, and WR.

    They want to be like SF, except that Lynch can draft & aggressively goes after impact players.

    Murphy & his outsized ego, Gutekunst, and LaFluer can all go to Cleveland, where they’d be better suited for failure.

    Dear Green Bay: welcome back to the 70’s & 80’s.

  7. Change is hard. Especially so in these self quarantined days. Had to catch my breath a few times and open my eyes up wide. It appears Green Bay is actually going to run the ball more which should open up the pass. Not only that but it will keep the defense off the field more often. Longer drives. Better red zone execution and goal line offense with the 2nd/3rd picks. It might make Rodgers a better QB at this point in his career.

  8. Nothing wrong with a balanced attack. A strong running game only helps the passing attack and imagine Rodgers magic if the play action threat is always there or the team has a second and three or four instead of second and long.. Very promising!

  9. As a logical fan here is my take:

    Moving up the draft to select a player that has been compared to Mahomes as the backup Rodgers isn’t a terrible idea. Considering Rodgers is on the back-9 of his career there should be capable backups in place should Aaron get injured again anytime in the next 4 seasons he is under contract.

    Selecting a RB with size to wear down defensive lines is the key to buying more time for QBs in the pocket so adding an additional running back to support Williams and Jones in the backfield should not be discounted.

    Seems like Coach is getting his way. I just wish that included Duvernay, guy didn’t drop a pass in his last year in college. Reminds me of Donald Driver.

    Love JiMi

  10. I’m guessing Rodgers may have been startled by a first round pick on a quarterback. He has no issues with the selection of a quarterback in general and has said so. If it had been 3rd or 5th round, no big deal. But let’s move on, Jordan Love is not the issue right now.

    After the selection of a bruising RB and a stud hybrid TE/FB, both of whom are noted for having excellent blocking skills, I realized LaFleur knows exactly what he’s building. With superb protection Rodgers can make anyone a star, and it won’t all be on him. LaFleur is a successful youngblood with his finger on the pulse of a game that is changing fast. The NFCN division rivals won’t be geared for it.

    I’ll wear my Green and Gold tinted glasses for awhile.

  11. The theory makes sense in a vacuum, but the Packers have a pass-blocking offensive line. And none of these dudes can stop the 49ers (and others) from blowing giant holes in the defense. So no, I don’t get the plan at all.

  12. We all saw the NFC championship game and we all want to close that huge gap. The problem is while LaFleur and Gute think San Francisco’s great run game was the difference, the rest of the football world realize it was Green Bay’s soft defense that stunk up the field.

  13. pbhansen says:

    Miami would’ve given GB all three D1 picks for 12.
    ###

    Let’s say that would have been true.

    Green Bay couldn’t pull the trigger on that deal as it would have caused a $50,000,000.00 cap hit.

    There are severe ramifications to giving a player $80,000,000.00 in the first 12 months of a contract.

  14. Right, and then you find yourself trailing and you have to throw. Now that running game is on the sidelines. I smell a housecleaning coming soon to Green Bay.

  15. The reality is that Rogers skills are in decline. We all saw it the last couple years. Giving him a great run game may just keep him around longer. That is a reality, and if one refuses to acknowledge that, and drafts like Rogers is still 28 YO, then you are putting your head in the sand and setting us up for failure for a long time.

  16. I’m not questioning why we are trying to improve our running game, I’m questioning why we are improving our running game in the 1st three rounds when the running game was the least of our worries last year. They have not addressed any glaring holes on this team and have only slightly marginally improved the offense. That is not going to help our defense at all and our offensive line is still the biggest problem for our running game. A tight end is not going to solve that problem.

  17. I get it, the Packers want to be like the 49ers and Vikings. Makes sense. But couldn’t they take a RB and TE that were at least considered worthy of their draft position? I defy anyone to find any published ranking that had either player going anywhere near the slot at which he was drafted. Gutey could have waited until much later rounds to get these guys and picked up a really talented wide receiver and linebacker with the earlier picks.

    You may say Gutey knows more than these online rankings, but wouldn’t you think a guy worthy of being drafted that high would at least have some consensus on being worthy of the pick? These are sixth and seventh-round guys, folks.

  18. There are severe ramifications to giving a player $80,000,000.00 in the first 12 months of a contract.
    —–
    You talking about your team or ours?

  19. RELAX This is just what Rogers needed! The passing game is going to take off with play action and he is going to light it up. The group of receivers are good enough to compliment the run game. Lighten up.

  20. Smart move by the Packers. They have been too one-dimensional. The passing game tends to do better ween the opposing teams have to respect the run. Play-action only works when defenses respect the run.

    And drafting a QB? That is smart, too. Rogers is 36 and QBs tend to decline at that point. It may be a few years before that happens to Rogers, but it would be great if they could have an heir-apparent learn from one of the greats. That helped Rogers to follow Farve and win a title.

  21. pkrlvr says:
    April 25, 2020 at 10:47 am
    There are severe ramifications to giving a player $80,000,000.00 in the first 12 months of a contract.
    —–
    You talking about your team or ours?
    ###

    Your’s of course.

    Cousins only got a $1.5M signing bonus back in 2018. His salary was a paltry $22.5M. I’ll do the math for you, that’s $24,000.000.00 in the first 12 months.

    Rodgers got $57.5M just to sign the contract, a $7.8M roster bonus in 2018, a $13.4M roster bonus in March of 2019 for a rough total of about $78,000.000 for just those 3 terms of the deal.

    Add in his 2018 salary of $1.1M and workout bonus $500.000.00 for a grand total of right around $80,000,000.00 in the first 12 months.

    Yours, obviously.

    The Packers gave Rodgers $80,000.000.00 in the first 12 months of his new contract that Aaron forced onto the Packers in 2018. How else does he have a $50,000.000.00 cap hit if he leaves in the 3rd year of the deal?

    The Packers are now suffering from buyer’s remorse and trying to figure out how to get rid of Rodgers.

  22. The Jordan Love pick in the first round was a head-scratcher. Dillon and Deguara in the second and third rounds makes much more sense.

  23. The Pack should run more — they’ve got a great RB and a good O-line. Yet they had that before the draft.

  24. They are copying the Scott Frost offensive at UCF from 2016 2017. Running backs lined up as receivers. And running back in backfield

  25. It definitely signals a offensive scheme change. I wonder if motivation was part of it for Arod. Love is very young so 3 years is the window. It sent a message for sure. Makes sense that Lafleur wants a QB he can mold. Timing and draft position are head scratchers.
    We wont really know for a couple years. I want to see if Gute addresses the other holes in the roster

  26. These moves help illustrate why the Packers effortlessly went 6-0 in the division this year.

  27. I’m going to save this webpage comment section and bring it up next January to evaluate the armchair GM comments to what actually happens with our picks.

  28. I’ve noticed a few people are picking up the real story from the packers’ draft, but not many. There’s a few interesting conclusions that I draw from their selections:

    -The packers brass views last season as an aberration, as most people do who watched their games. You don’t spend your first three picks on backups if you think you’re going to be a contender.

    -The packers brass is well aware that rodgers is declining. They are retooling the offense with a focus on the run. No weapons of significance added for rodgers despite their one good wide receiver being a concussion away from retirement.

    While the drafting of Love provides some entertaining fodder/speculation on rodgers’ ability to deal with his future replacement possibly being on the roster for the first time, the real test for rodgers will be the obvious fact that LaFleur is clearly planning on moving the focus of the offense away from rodgers.

    The packer faithful will undoubtedly rationalize the moves, the most obvious of which will be a stout running game will “open up opportunities for the pass”. Never mind the fact that rodgers has traditionally been a poor play action passer and that the offensive line is built for pass blocking, not run blocking.

    This is all to say nothing of the fact that the packers made some highly questionable reaches on several players. But that’s a whole other subject….

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