Brian Gutekunst using pre-draft visits differently than his predecessor

The Packers general manager spoke about the difference at the scouting combine. 

Former Packers general manager Ted Thompson almost always used his allotted 30 pre-draft invitations to the Packers' facility on prospects that projected to be undrafted free agents.

He almost never brought in prospects who were slated to go early in the draft, some would say because he didn't want to tip off opposing teams on who the Packers were thinking about selecting in the early rounds.

Thompson's protege and current Packers GM Brian Gutekunst took a very different approach last year in the run up to the draft, bringing in several prospects who were expected to be selected early on in the draft. 

I asked him about that here in Indianapolis:

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Comments (17)

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Community Guy's picture

February 28, 2019 at 02:23 pm

how much of activity around the draft has to do with playing poker?

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dobber's picture

March 01, 2019 at 07:55 am

Most of it.

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SCLI's picture

February 28, 2019 at 02:23 pm

Every Year at least 1 player who is projected to go in the top 10 drops. Sometimes into the 2nd rd. I like the fact that Gute does his due diligence & gets to Q & A these players. What maybe a problem for some GM's may not be a problem for Gute. Remember Aaron Rodgers draft?

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 28, 2019 at 02:43 pm

Look at this last draft. Harold Landry was projected to the Packers at pick #14 he fell to #44. Josh Jackson was.projected to the Packers at #14 and fell to them at #45. Draft analysts are just throwing mud at a wall to see what sticks. They take the credit when their prediction is accurate and none of the blame when they are dead wrong. Same thing happened for the Packers hiring MLF.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

February 28, 2019 at 03:55 pm

Gute failed in free agency last year bigly and pretty much failed in the draft except for Alexander and MVS. Hitting on 2 in 15 to 20 players is not exactly Penske material. Ted Thompson was one of the NFL's greatest GM's and should be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame some day. Maybe Gute should try being more like Ted instead of doing the opposite. Just a thought.

Dash

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 28, 2019 at 04:37 pm

How has Gute done the opposite of TT? TT signed Bennet Gute signed Graham. TT picked up Letroy Gion Gute picked up Breeland. TT picked up Peppers Gute signed Wilkerson. TT drafted 3 rbs in 1 draft 2 of which worked out. Gute signed 3 WRs 2 of which worked out. I think ESB had a better finish to the year MVS had a better start.

Gute traded down in the draft for an extra 1st round pick. TT traded out of the 1st round and picked up a 4th rounder he used on Biegel with the 2nd rounder on King. So far I like Alexander over King. Your argument isn't exactly Penske material Rash.

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

February 28, 2019 at 05:05 pm

Dash in usually agree with most of your points, but I think we need Gute's first and only draft last year to mature a little. Certain 1st round players are expected to come in and contribute right away and Jaire did, at a high level. Jackson played okay but hope to see a jump, same with the WRs. Burks is the only ? so far for me, but still need time to adjust....the fact that Jaire as great, Jackson was serviceable and we netted an extra 1st, that's an A IMO.

As far as FA, Graham was not used properly, neither were the RBs, Wilkerson got hurt and Breeland played well. Let's see how they do this year. Dice were rolled on with not a ton at stake, which is better than TT saying "Win I win the lottery I'll"....but Gotta play to win.

Love the aggression and confidence in Gute, excited for FA and the Draft. Go Pack Go!

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Skip greenBayless's picture

February 28, 2019 at 06:18 pm

Nobody gave Ted Thompson time when his first player drafted was a useless qb who was never going to play in Aaron Rodgers. He got crucified by many for that pick. Why is this "Gutey" protected and held to lower standards? He has a year under his belt. We can grade his moves so far right? His free agency spending spree was a disaster. We all can agree with with that right? No impact players period. His rookie class netted one impact player in Alexander. Actually it's worse now than my original post. I said two but MVS rarely played. One guy out of his draft and all of free agency was an impact player and people think Ted is the worst GM in history. It's unbelievable how quickly people forget consistent greatness due to boredom in exchange for what's behind curtain no. 3.

Dash

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 28, 2019 at 06:38 pm

I'm sorry but nobody should ever judge a draft after one year.

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PackerAaron's picture

February 28, 2019 at 06:57 pm

Seriously. Gutekunst isn't being "protected." Reasonable fans are letting things play out rather than burying him in a hot take avalanche. That's progress.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

February 28, 2019 at 07:31 pm

He certainly is being coddled and protected by many here. Compared to Ted Thompson's first year it's not even close. Gutey is hailed as God by many here while Thompson is ripped to shreds. I read it every day PackerAaron and it's a disgrace how he's treated. These people deserve an 0-16 season.

Dash

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

February 28, 2019 at 08:07 pm

I don't think anyone is heralding as a god but rather progressive and deliberate, which is not something you'd associate with TT. I remember watching the Rodgers draft and jumping for joy when he was picked. Those who disagreed were fans of Favre and did not understand the pick. I understood that he held the team hostage in the off-season and the Pack had a chance to obtain the legend's successor projected to be #1 but instead fell to #24.

I also remember Jamal Reynolds, Justin Harrell, Ahmad Carroll, etc....

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Barnacle's picture

March 01, 2019 at 09:08 am

Dash

Thompson provided players that would have posted a lot more wins if they would have been coached well. Our STs, defense, play calling and clock management were awful for at least the last four years under MM.

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LeotisHarris's picture

March 01, 2019 at 09:10 am

Would an 0-16 season make you happy, Dash? Would that somehow validate you as the Keeper of the Thompson Legend and prognosticator extraordinaire? You do you, buddy, but I don't get the constant angst. Can you possibly just be a fan without the chip on your shoulder?

I'm not sure what to expect moving forward with this team. It would be great on game days if my enthusiasm leading up to the game was rewarded with an enjoyable game to watch. After last season that would be a huge step in the right direction. Someone make the NFL fun again, please.

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Johnblood27's picture

March 01, 2019 at 12:17 am

Dash Tardrock speaks.

I really try to not be like this, but that post by you was just too over the top to ignore.

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LambeauPlain's picture

March 01, 2019 at 07:48 am

Dash isn’t exactly putting on a clinic on how “win friends and influence people”.

Ted was a good GM, especially during his first 7 years but his last 5 were producing diminishing returns.

Letting Hayward, Cook, and Hyde walk with little effort in trying to keep them....attempting to get Lang to re-sign for a big home team discount....and cutting Sitton, getting nothing in return created holes in the Packers that hurt them badly.

His 2015 draft has to be one of the worst in Packer history. He did recover with his 2016 draft...2017 draft still too early to grade.

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dobber's picture

March 01, 2019 at 08:01 am

If Fackrell really has turned a corner, that 2016 draft is actually starting to shape up pretty well: Clark, Fackrell, Martinez, Lowry. Four starters (depending on how you view Lowry) out of 7 picks.

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