Gutey Has Georgia On His Mind.Posted:Apr 28th, 2022 11:10 pm
You can’t come away from the first round of the NFL draft and be surprised that the Packers extended their streak to 21 years of not selecting a wide receiver on day one. Wideouts were flying off the board faster than Davante Adams fled to Vegas, and Gutey and his team did what they always do: stay true to their board and take the top guy left. And address the team's biggest need: adding talent to fix the run defense.
If there was any doubt before, there can be none now: the Packers identity is shifting to its defense. By adding a pair of Georgia defenders (making it three Bulldog defensive stars drafted in the first round in the lsat two drafts) the Packers infused talent into two spots that they have neglected early in recent years: inside linebacker and the defensive line.
Linebacker Quay Walker is the first ILB drafted by the Pack in round one since AJ Hawk. Saw a tweet from Zach Kruse from packerswire.com that Walker had a faster short shuttle and three cone time than Eric Stokes. And Walker is 6’4” and 240. Think freak athlete who can be deployed all over the front seven—a stout run defender and a guy who can cover tight ends and running backs in space. With Walker and Campbell, the Pack has a pair of uber athletic inside linebackers for the first time in forever.
I thought Green Bay might grab a safety at 28, with their uncertain depth there after 2022, but they pounced on Devonte Wyatt, the massive D lineman who will finally give Kenny Clark a legit wingman and reduce the double teams Clark constantly faces. I saw a scouting report that comped Wyatt to Clark. Have to think this will allow the Pack to move on from Dean Lowry and accrue some cap savings. Wyatt is an older prospect than the team usually targets, but guys his size are hard to find and with free agent Jarran Reed, the Pack has restocked the defensive front.
The biggest takeaway from Thursday night is that the Packers below average run defense in 2021 has been addressed and should be much more formidable in 2022. They’ll still add a safety and edge rusher before the weekend is out.
But Friday will be about adding to the offense. Will Gutey package a third or fourth rounder with a second to move up to grab a receiver he likes like Pickens, Watson, Moore, Metchie or Pierce? Or will he jump up to grab a tight end like Trey McBride? I’ll be surprised if they sit back and wait until they’re on the clock.
On second thought, if he makes a move it has to be for Pickens, right? Gutey still seems to have Georgia on his mind.