Will Packers use a first-round choice on a receiver for the first time since 2002?

NFL Preseason - Green Bay Packers vs Jacksonville Jaguars - August 27, 2004
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The Packers signed free agent Sammy Watkins, and General Manager Brian Gutekunst said Monday the receiver has “some juice still left in him.” That doesn’t mean the team is done at the position.

After trading Davante Adams to the Raiders and losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the Chiefs in free agency, the Packers remain in the receiver market. Gutekunst implied that potentially adding another veteran receiver won’t happen until after the draft.

“I think across the board, at every position, I think we’re kind of looking at everything right now,” Gutekunst said, via Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com. “So I think this draft’s going to be really important and then we’ll see where we sit after the draft and we’ll move forward at that point.”

The Packers currently have Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Juwann Winfree, Amari Rodgers and Watkins as their top receivers. Green Bay holds the 22nd and 28th overall choices, but Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Alabama’s Jameson Williams and USC’s Drake London all could hear their names before then.

“I think it’s a pretty good receiver class,” Gutekunst said. “I think the last few have been pretty deep, and I think this one is another one. I think it’s a product of just kind of how these players are coming up through high school and college, how much more they’re throwing the ball in college and I think certainly seven-on-seven and some of the flag football youth leagues, these guys have been catching and throwing for such a long period of time now.”

The Packers have not selected a first-round receiver since Javon Walker at 20th overall in 2002, and Walker is the only wideout the team has selected in the first round in the past 33 drafts.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good quarterback and that helps significantly, so certainly I think there’s probably going to be more opportunity for that young player if we happen to go that route to come in and have some opportunities,” Gutekunst said. “Hopefully it’ll be quicker if we go that route this year, but . . . when Tae (Adams) came in, certainly having those guys ahead of him was a challenge for him to get the opportunities, where maybe this time it won’t be as big of a challenge, but I will say we got some pretty good players in the building that I think are very eager for their opportunity, which maybe they haven’t had yet.”

20 responses to “Will Packers use a first-round choice on a receiver for the first time since 2002?

  1. Obviously, the priority need is WR.

    Gutekunst should trade a pick for a known commodity as an offensive weapon and that would allow him flexibility throughout the draft. Like a stud TE for a second and then he has 3 top 60 picks to work with. This would make everyone happy.

  2. Rodgers only throws to his comfort WRs, not sure he’d throw to a rookie anyways.

  3. Pats have only done it once. It’s pretty risky. The Chase types are pretty rare.

    GB needs to pick the best player available.

  4. It won’t surprise or dismay me if they use their first round selections on other positions or even trade back into the upper second round with one of them. There are a lot of WRs who probably will last to the second or third round (Pickens, Watson, Pierce, Tolbert, Doubs and others) who check all or most of the boxes of what the Packers look for at the position. And they have found guys like Adams, Nelson, and Jennings in the second. There’s nothing magical about taking a receiver in the first.

  5. Just read where the packers were talking with the Raiders about Waller their very fine receiver. Why would they do that having to give up a pick and having to pay top dollar when you have a freeking draft full of receivers just waiting for you. My only guess, is Rodgers is up to his eyeballs in this draft and their decision making. I think he is putting pressure on them to get him someone who is not a rookie who needs to be broken in.

  6. I hope not. Look at the guys asking for big contracts and where most of them where drafted. Drafting WRs early is something the Lions, Falcons or Jets will do. Not something smart franchises do.

  7. I remember when Javon was holding out for a contract, and Brett Favre (highest paid QB at the time at like $10 million per) committed the biggest no no in the NFL and commented on another teammates contract, and basically told the kid to shut up and play. He backed off and in his first game back blew out his knee. Still bad blood between them.

  8. With two first round picks, a rarity for the Packers, two opportunities to select that first round receiver. But would not surprise me to se the Packers trade their later first round pick down to pick up an extra second and maybe extra third.

  9. “I think it’s a pretty good receiver class,” Gutekunst said. “I think the last few have been pretty deep…”
    So he thinks the last few draft lasts have been deep at receiver and he has Amari Rodgers and probably the worst WR core in the NFL to show for it.

  10. Remember when the Packers drafted Jordan Love instead of a WR? They had the No.1 ranked offense in the NFL that year. They didn’t need a WR. What they needed was Aaron Rodgers not choking in the postseason, as he has done numerous times in the last ten years.

  11. The year the Packers drafted Jordan Love, it’s been widely reported their preferred target was Justin Jefferson, but obviously didn’t spend what they needed to to get past MN,….the queens are always picking higher than the Packers, hhhmm, why is that? I digress, I love the potential discussion about Darren Waller, a strong TE who can stretch the field could make a difference for Rodgers and rookie WR’s. I’d hope he wouldn’t cost much more than a 3rd and 5th, but might be worth a 2nd round pick. As for the draft, we’ll be fine. We should have a shot at Pickens, Burks, Watson, Tolbert and some others. Jordan Love wasn’t a great one, but overall Gutey has been a well above average drafter, I can’t wait for Thursday and Friday!

  12. No. They will not spend a “1” on a receiver. From the second round on, will be go time for WR’s. 1st round should be a D-lineman, O-lineman and/or Edge rusher.

  13. I love hearing what GMs have to say leading up to the draft. Politicians are more trustworthy then these guys at this time of year.

  14. Thanks for this.

    I always love to be reminded the Packers passed on Ed Reed.

  15. If the Packers don’t trade up for one of the top 3 WRs, then I could see them landing George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue, at 22 And then a Dotson, Burks or Watson at 28. That would be a grade A round. Packers have made a science out of getting excellent OL later in drafts, so confidence is high at that position.

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