Five Reasons the Packers Will Make a Trade in the First Round of the 2021 NFL Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft will be a critical one for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are coming off back-to-back 13-3 seasons and consecutive appearances in the NFC Championship Game.

The Packers have spent most of this offseason trying to keep their roster intact. They have re-signed running back Aaron Jones, tight end Marcedes Lewis, cornerback Kevin King, safety Will Redmond and defensive lineman Tyler Lancaster, among others. The only starter lost from last year’s team was center Corey Linsley.

That means that GM Brian Gutekunst is relying on this year’s draft to help keep the Packers contenders in 2021 and hopefully to take them over the top and help the team win a Super Bowl.

Here is a look at five reasons we can expect the Packers to make a trade in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft:

1. Gutekunst’s Track Record

Gute has been the Packers GM for the last three NFL Drafts and in all three he has made a trade in the first round. Gutekunst has both traded up and back depending on the circumstances and one year he did both in the first round of the same draft.

In 2018, Gutekunst traded back in the first round to get an extra first round pick in the 2019 draft, then traded back up to nab Jaire Alexander.

In 2019, the Packers used their own pick to grab Rashan Gary 12th overall, then traded up to make sure they could select Darnell Savage with the 21st pick because they didn’t think he’d still be on the board when the Packers had their next pick at 30.

Last season, the Packers moved up from 30th overall to 26th and used the pick on quarterback Jordan Love.

That’s four trades in the first round in three years. Clearly, Gutekunst is not afraid to make maneuvers to make sure he can get the specific players he wants. He is also not hesitant to trade back and get extra picks if he feels there will be numerous players with roughly the same value to the Packers a little later in the draft.

The pattern is unmistakable and that makes it more likely Gutekunst will make another trade in the first round this year.

2. Gutekunst Said He Wasn’t Afraid to Make a Deal

Earlier this month, Gutekunst told Larry McCarren on the Packers official Web site that he anticipates making a trade in Round 1 again this year.

“I feel like we’re going to be able to move around the board a little bit to get the players we want,” Gutekunst said. “Obviously, when you had the kind of a season, we had last year, you’re picking at the bottom of every round which obviously makes it a little more difficult, but with the added picks I think if there’s a player that we can go up and we need to go up to get we’ll be able to do it.”

Again, Gutekunst is clearly spelling out his willingness to make a trade to target a specific player that he wants. At the very least, he’s indicating he’s open to listening to trade offers from other general managers even if he isn’t going to initiate the talks.

4. Why He May Trade Up

If you view the Packers as one or two impact players away from taking that final step to reaching and winning the Super Bowl, the odds of trading up to grab a difference maker in the first round make more sense.

If the Packers need an outstanding cornerback, offensive tackle, linebacker, defensive lineman or wide receiver, that player may not last until the 29th pick.

There are only a handful of players who are considered ready to make a positive impact as rookies and even fewer if you limit it to positions of need for the Packers. Gutekunst will come to the draft with a list of those players and he will be ready to try to obtain one of them in the first round.

The Packers are still considered one of the top teams in the league and grabbing a player who can step in right away and get them over the hump makes sense under those circumstances.

5. Why He May Trade Down

This year’s draft is strong and deep at the Packers biggest positions of need. This may mean that Gute can afford to trade down and accumulate extra picks and still get quality players at those positions.

There are many quality cornerbacks, wide receivers and offensive tackles in this year’s draft. The Packers could get value by trading down and may even be able to get an additional first round pick in the 2022 draft if they find the right trading partner.

Regardless, based on his history, what he’s told reporters and the Packers present situation as top contenders, it is likely Green Bay once again makes a trade in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

NFL Categories: 
4 points

Comments (40)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
splitpea1's picture

April 22, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Number 3 is missing.

+ REPLY
8 points
8
0
GilMartin's picture

April 22, 2021 at 12:50 pm

My bad, looks like I had four reasons. Thanks for pointing that out, splitpea1.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
splitpea1's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:28 pm

No need for Gute to get itchy. There are four or five guys that the Packers could really use that should be available in the latter stage on Round 1, so I hope we don't trade up--it costs too much. And there are five more guys that we could use in Rounds 2 and 3; but I'm alright with trading up in 3 if we haven't taken a DL by then and Gute likes one that he sees....Otherwise, keep all of our picks and trade down if it makes sense.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
EnemyTerritory's picture

April 22, 2021 at 12:56 pm

It’s the unspeakable...they trade #12 for a boatload of assets

+ REPLY
-6 points
0
6
Coldworld's picture

April 22, 2021 at 05:47 pm

Speakable: Lowry traded for a late 3rd rounder.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
blondy45's picture

April 22, 2021 at 06:28 pm

Who in the NFL in their right minds would do that? If there is a loco out there that would, sign me up to the funny farm. Go Pack Go.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

April 23, 2021 at 04:21 am

Only takes one ... and one can hope!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Swisch's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:20 pm

If we're serious about winning the Super Bowl this year, then it seems we should be trying to draft two or more players who can step in right away and make a significant contribution for that run to the championship.
So the question would then be whether we need to trade up to get guys who will make an immediate impact?
For those who think we should stay where we are, or trade down in the draft, who specifically do you see in the first few rounds who could step in right away for the Packers to put us over the top?
It'd be fun to hear some names at DL, CB, OL, ILB, WR, and any other positions, who would be guys with an immediate impact -- and how we could get them, trading up, trading down, or staying put in our draft positions.
Again, the idea is to have fun with such an exercise, not to use it to be overly critical. Be bold as an Armchair GM as far as being right or wrong. Put out five specific names, and maybe five alternatives, as your immediate-impact players in this draft.

+ REPLY
3 points
6
3
PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 22, 2021 at 01:27 pm

Good idea Swisch. I'd like to point out that there are two potential holes in the starting offensive line, who won't so much "make a difference compared to last year" as "make us equal to last year." Center Creed Humphrey (or maybe Meinerz?)replaces Linsley--he makes a difference by keeping us the same! I see several Right Tackle prospects (start Turner at LT until Bakh returns): Tevon Jenkins, Sam Cosmi, Vera-Tucker, Leatherwood, Mayfield, Eichenburg, Radunz, Carman, Little, etc. Any one of them might "Make a difference/Make us equal."
As far as "new impact" I'd name LBs JOK, Collins, or Browning. At DB I'd name T Moehrig, A Samuel, J Holland. At DL...maybe Barmore (or guys like M Wilson or B Brown later).
Nonetheless, that list didn't fit your parameters, so here's my five:
C Creed Humphrey, LB Jerimiah Owusoh-Koramoah, S Trevon Moehrig, S/CB Jevon Holland, LB Zaven Collins. The interesting part is that any of them MIGHT drop to 29.

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
Swisch's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:34 pm

Sometimes I think our offensive line is ready to continue as an elite unit next season; then I think that without Bakh for a good part of next season due to injury, we have one star in Jenkins and then I'm not sure.
We may have a lot of offensive linemen who are solid performers or promising possibilities, but how many of them, and which of them, do fans think are going to be able to make that unit elite again next season?
Maybe we do go OL in the first round to get an immediate-impact guy who will also be a fixture as a blocker for the next five seasons.
If not first round, who would be an immediate-impact guy for the OL in subsequent rounds?

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
greengold's picture

April 22, 2021 at 05:57 pm

From the study I’ve put into this draft, OT in R1 can be a great choice, given the level of talent. As long as they get the right one who can start immediately. Would go a long way towards setting up the remaining 9 picks. However, with the depth there this year, there’s a great many options for that 29 spot.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
greengold's picture

April 22, 2021 at 06:30 pm

Let’s put it this way, taking OT in R1 means you’re getting a legit talent at a definite position of need. Now, having that addressed allows you to take a WR or a CB in another part of the draft you may have been keeping open for a different OT, and that CB or WR might be a better option than the one you might have taken R1.

If you really comb through, look honestly at our real needs, some rounds allow for more flexibility than others. Regardless, there are players who can help all the way through. Hoping for the best.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
greengold's picture

April 22, 2021 at 06:19 pm

PEO, I’m choosing to not name players this year to avoid sparking hype. Kept my powder dry this long, I’m not going to jump in on lists a week before the draft.

However, you can imagine what might happen should they tap OL with their first two picks. That would likely mean a return of Elgton to LG, making the line solid again. Billy Turner could return to RG once Bakhtiari is good to go. Protecting Aaron Rodgers is definitely imperative. Knocking those positions out of the way 1-2 allows for other positions to be addressed liberally R3-7. Of course, we then miss out on top picks for other positions.

You’re right, all the players you mentioned and more could be immediate starters where we need the help as well.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
NoNonsense's picture

April 22, 2021 at 08:58 pm

I cant take a Center in the first round so my wish list for 29 is
Koramoah
Moehrig
Barmore
Newsome
Teven Jenkins

With a trade down into the 2nd I like
Sam Cosmi
Landon Dickerson
Quinn Meinerz
Asante Samuel Jr.
Zaven Collins
Elijah Moore

2nd Round 62 or trade up.
Paulson Adebo
Alim McNeil
Levi Onzuruki
Dyami Brown
Rondale Moore
Alex Leatherwood
Jamin Davis

3rd 92
Cade Johnson
Amari Rodgers
Osa Odighizuwa
Bobby Brown
Stone Forsythe
Thomas Graham Jr.
Nico Collins

Just to name a few that keep coming up in PFF mock drafts for me. Not sure I'm even in the ballpark on some but simply a list of guys I'd be happy with each round.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
Archie's picture

April 23, 2021 at 09:46 am

I really like your pick possibilities.

I think OT/CB cost us a Super Bowl berth last year so it is logical to hit those two positions early. Having said that, Koramoah might excite me the most as he could be the hybrid LB/S Gutey thought he traded up for in year 1.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Titletown222's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:36 pm

We have enough holes in our team that I honestly believe there will be players available into the 5th round that will help this team in 2021 and even more significantly in 2022.

+ REPLY
9 points
9
0
greengold's picture

April 22, 2021 at 06:40 pm

It’s funny, Titletown. I’ve found all kinds of players who can help this team way further back than pick 178 in R5.

When I was studying it, I busted it into 3 parts, to see how and where the Packers can really attack this draft, where we can get the most value. The depth looks pretty solid for GB this year.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

April 23, 2021 at 08:03 am

It’s a very deep draft on paper if one is looking for players who can be plausibly hoped to challenge for roles in sub packages early while they develop. Other than DL, there is also depth at the positions that we need to bolster.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
TarynsEyes's picture

April 22, 2021 at 01:33 pm

Five reasons why Gute will make a trade in the first round, and then you offer two, and then you say why the trade he makes will either be up or down, which aren't reasons, but a by-product of the reasons that didn't total five, but two.

+ REPLY
-3 points
4
7
porupack's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:07 pm

who cares? It was very nice of the author to spend time writing for our enjoyment while you were busy sleeping. But I'm sure there are a lot of teachers needed out there, and you can use us a references.

+ REPLY
10 points
11
1
TarynsEyes's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:41 pm

Who cares? I would think the author of the article would and should, especially if he desires respect for his efforts, paid or not. If you volunteer to do something, you're not excused for offering flimsy writing that doesn't meet the basics offered in the title. Whether I was sleeping when he 'toiled' over this writing, IDK, but it appears that he wrote it while half-asleep himself. To answer what will certainly be your follow-up, no, I have no inclination to write or boast of being able to offer better, but that doesn't mean I should carelessly, and blatantly allow it to simply pass, with a 'who cares' mentality, and neither should the writer, if only for his own self-respect in his attempt to be considered as such.

Do you always accept less than what you were told you'd receive?

+ REPLY
-7 points
1
8
Coldworld's picture

April 22, 2021 at 03:02 pm

Well, it was free. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?

+ REPLY
7 points
8
1
flackcatcher's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:00 pm

Couple of comments: Teams as a rule do not trade their high 1st round choices. In today's draft and build league, that is a sure route to a front office firing by the owner. Most teams consider choices 11-20 to be roughly equal to a high second round pick, and are willing to trade out. It goes without saying that the higher the choice, the more compensation must be paid. In general, when we talk about 1st round, we are talking about the lower tier where GM like Gutekunst make their living. (High 1st round picks usually takes the direct involvement of the owner, with the cost of (money and player) assets being so high. Most owners these days are smart enough to stay away from crazy town)

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Lare's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:09 pm

Gutekunst will trade up, because that's what he does.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
porupack's picture

April 22, 2021 at 02:29 pm

#4 is rock solid. I appreciate the argument that it is a deep draft, and thus a reason to acquire more pics with a trade down. But that seems more the strategy of a 2 year rebuild to me. We have witnessed the commitment by the team to match last year's talent as much as possible, and win by; 1) a year of as much cohesion as possible, 2) 2019/2020 draftee's 2nd year leap, 3) defensive coordinator changeout;, and 4) draft a few contributors. If GB needs 2-3 impact contributors, then expend the resources to outcompete the competition and not look back. Most picks can't be counted on to be impact players as rookies, especially at GB's bottom draft order. So put some chips on the deal. Play some high risk/high reward. Afterall, many here have cried out for an "all-in" approach. Can't be timid if you want to go all in. If the AR opp window is narrow, why go conservative now?

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
greengold's picture

April 22, 2021 at 03:26 pm

2-3 impact contributors? Last I checked, we could use that on our DL alone!!! Where does that leave CB? WR? OT? C? ILB? S? OLB?

Seems to me, the most "guts" would require staying where you are with 10 picks in a deep draft, trusting your scouting department, and taking. what you need to make your team better EVERYWHERE.

All-in means having all of your bases covered. Trade up, and you're left with gaping holes for other teams to exploit. Like, the middle of our Defense. Like, a hole in our secondary. Like, not having to key on a gadget player that is not there, because we didn't take one...

Some positions call out more than others. But, as things stand, I see a handful that need instant starters. Is Kevin King going to miraculously be available all year? Are we fine without Bakhtiari, Linsley and Wagner, THREE OL starters from last year? Do we not need a gadget player? Another Safety? We're all good with Martin and Barnes at ILB, with no quality backups? What about next year's cap, and contracts at OLB??? We're good there?

I'm sick of teams throwing all over the middle of the field on the Packers. Running through gaping holes on us... LaFleur missing a key part of his offensive scheme, having horrific STs because we have a ton of unreliable, horrific players at the bottom of our roster, yeah! And, having to count on two CBs who are perpetually injured in King and Jackson... along with two more behind them... Ento, Hollman, etc, etc.

Deep draft. We're blessed with 10 choices. Let's make the most of them by adding 10 better players than what we currently have. Not 6 or 7. Really take a good look at last year's Final 53 man roster. Holy crap. Who is our KR/PR right now?

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
Swisch's picture

April 22, 2021 at 09:00 pm

porupack, I'm surprised more fans aren't thinking the same as you.
If fans are dismayed by the first three selections last year of Love, Dillon and Deguara because they weren't immediate contributors, then why wouldn't they want to go all in this year?
The Packers could even trade future draft picks to move up this year.
If a rookie isn't going to get a significant number of snaps this season, then how does he help us win the Super Bowl this season?

+ REPLY
-2 points
0
2
Since'61's picture

April 22, 2021 at 04:21 pm

Linsley is not the only player departed from last season's team. I seem to recall that Jamaal Williams and Wagner were part of our team last season. If Gute needs to make a trade I would prefer that he trades down and pick up an extra pick or maybe 2. Trading up could cost us as many as 3 picks.

I would prefer to fill out our roster with as many picks as possible and if anything try to trade up into rounds 3&4 with our late round picks.

Trading up to get "our guy" doesn't necessarily mean that "our guy" is going working to out either in his rookie season or beyond. Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
7 points
7
0
nostradanus's picture

April 22, 2021 at 05:03 pm

Of course a lot of the conjecture on trading up or down depends on having a trade partner willing to facilitate the trade you desire.

Another factor would be someone dropping into your lap like CC Lamb dropping to the Cowboys last draft.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
stockholder's picture

April 22, 2021 at 05:17 pm

I don't believe Gute can control himself. So I doubt he can finish what he started. Defense , Defense ,Defense. the fans scream it. And Gute ignores it. So I'm just not going to look for any improvement from the draft. Recommendations just simply won't work. The draft must give us answers. But Instead; Gute uses his picks like a kid in a match Fight. No matter how this draft fits the packers. The signs still say he's ready to start a fire sale. So lets Burn Rodgers some more. The smoke is present. And the damage will have Barry walking the plank. My Thoughts are what use to be. I thought moving in the right direction was the goal. Finding a winning combination was what the draft was all about. Opportunity. Good Things that built champions. This draft just shouldn't be about Gute Trading up. It should be about the next step.

+ REPLY
0 points
4
4
Oppy's picture

April 23, 2021 at 03:14 am

2018: 5 of 11 picks are Defense, including rounds 1,2,3.
2019: 5 of 8 picks are Defense, including 2 first rounders.
2020: 3 of 9 picks are defense.

13 of 28 picks, 3 first rounders to defense in 3 years.
2020 was light on D, sure. But the overall history does not show a GM who 'ignores' the defensive side of the ball.

That's not even mentioning FA acquisitions.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
PatrickGB's picture

April 22, 2021 at 06:54 pm

Last year this team had the #1 offense and a top 10 defense. At the end of the season we lost a couple of good players. They can be replaced. We also have some good players who spent part of the season on IR. So, there is potential there. Sure, like all of you, I hoped for a better ending yet they still exceeded my expectations. I think that if the FO really likes a guy then go and get him if the cost is reasonable. Moving up or down a couple of spots in the first two rounds is fine. But for most of the draft I prefer BPA. The team will still be playing in 2022 and beyond.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
blondy45's picture

April 22, 2021 at 07:11 pm

I am on record wanting to trade back out of round 1. You need a good trading partner though. I studied the trade value chart for a 29th pick trade down. I see only 4 likely trading partners: Jax, NYJ, ATL, and Dal. that does not require giving up picks in 2022 or later.

1. Jaguars: 33(2) + 130(4) +170 (5) for 29th pick. Pack +3.8
2. Jaguars 33(2) +106(4) for 29(1) + 178(5). Pack +3.4
3. Jets: 34(2) + 107(4) for 29th pick. EVEN
4. Falcons: 35(2) + 108(4) for 29th pick. Falcons +12
5. Falcons 35(2) + 108(4) +187(6) for 29th pick. Pack +3
6. Cowboys 44(2) + 75(3) +99(3) for 29th pick Cowboys +12
7. Cowboys 44(2) + 75(3) +99(3) +192(6) for 29th pick. Pack +1

The most reasonable trades would be options 1-2-3-5. The others IMO are not in the Packer's best interest. So for as much as I would like four of these trades to happen, the odds are not too great. It looks to me more likely we keep our 29th pick and let the trading begin after the first round. A "good" trading partner is going to be hard to find in round 1 pick 29 IMO. If teams give up a 1st round pick next year, now that is a horse of a different color.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
NoNonsense's picture

April 22, 2021 at 09:19 pm

Ultimately Gute needs to take care of the trenches, OT,DT, OC at least 2 of those positions need to be filled by the end of the 4th round.

Then we need a dynamic player at WR, ILB or DB, with an early round pick. Preferably in the 2nd.

The 1 trade up in the first I think might work would be with the Colts. I think they might want to acquire more picks than they have so I'd offer a 4th and a 5th to see if they bite to move up to 21 for;

Koramoah
Moehrig
Barmore
Newsome
Jenkins.

If they move up they need to get in front of the Saints and Baltimore at least so maybe the Browns at 26.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
LambeauPlain's picture

April 23, 2021 at 07:44 am

Indy would never give up 160 points in draft capital just to get a 4th and a 5th. Not even the Packers both 4ths and both 5ths would get it done.

Trading up in the First is VERY expensive.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
LambeauPlain's picture

April 23, 2021 at 07:47 am

Draft Tec has a good draft value chart.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
wildbill's picture

April 23, 2021 at 12:09 am

I have a pretty good idea what our positions of need are but since I don’t watch college football I don’t know which players would fit our needs best. That’s why it’s nice to read Packer fans input which give me some names to root for.
This is the first year I have tried a draft simulator, and I know it’s just a simulation, but it has really shown how hard it is to bend the draft to your needs.
The only thing I can bank on is that Gute will surprise me and I’ll look forward to him snatching up some veteran help for us after the cuts post draft

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Archie's picture

April 23, 2021 at 09:58 am

Given that Gute/MLF hired a new DC this off-season, odds are extremely high the majority of our top picks will be on defense. Jaymin Davis is a dark horse if we can't find a way to get Koramoah. I think R2 may bring us a 3rd S and R3 will bring us the best player on O still available.

WR Elijah Moore would be a great luxury pick at 29 but needs on defensive side are too great to allow that. If pick 29 is not defense, it will be OT, IMHO. How many did I get right last year? None. :)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
greengold's picture

April 23, 2021 at 11:31 am

It all depends, Archie. There are runs at positions all the time. Gutekunst will need all of his best work in this one. I'm just hopeful they can fill 4-5 positions with great talents, and look to the rest as raising the bar at the bottom of our roster for greater return after time to develop. At least this is a relatively deep class at the skill positions and on the OL. We have that going for us deep into this draft. Of course the cream rises to the top generally, but there will be gems throughout.

Really tough calls. We as fans are not able to know how some are developing, or not where we need players to step up. We'll find out with how he chooses to work through the 3 days...

I expect Gutekunst to swing a trade or three. Sitting tight is not his style. All I know is there are many teams looking to trade down. Listening to the Giants GM last night, he is trying his damnedest to get out of #11, but he said he doesn't want "to get fleeced."

Hell, many Packers fans are wanting to trade down. We can be thankful we have as many picks as we do in this deep draft. Ultimately, I would love to see Gutekunst sit tight and make his 10 picks, but could see him trade back into Day 2, if he's wanting someone special there. The longer I've studied this draft, the more valuable those 10 picks look. I've got 3 favorites at the very bottom who I believe could help us immediately. We'll see soon enough.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
wildbill's picture

April 23, 2021 at 02:18 pm

Who are your three favorites?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.