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For the Packers, Throw BAP out the Window With the 14th Pick

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For the Packers, Throw BAP out the Window With the 14th Pick

When Brian Gutenkunst enters his first NFL draft as the Green Bay Packers General Manager, he will be put to the test immediately with the team’s highest pick since 2009, where they selected impact player BJ Raji with the 9th overall pick.

Under Ted Thompson’s reign as GM, he was widely open about his best available player philosophy in working through his drafts.  With that BAP philosophy came some draft selections that were complete head-scratchers when the team had glaring needs at specific positions.  2018 is not the year for a head-scratcher with the specific needs for an impact player that the Packers have.

The two most glaring needs of the Packers fall on the defensive side of the ball at pass rush and the defensive backfield.  These needs still remain after every first-round draft pick since 2012 being a defender.  The team moves forward into the 2018 season with an aging and battered Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Ahmad Brooks, Vince Biegel and Kyler Fackrell as their experienced edge rushers and the group as a whole just plain old didn’t get it done it 2017.  There will be options at both outside linebacker and defensive end at pick 14.

In the defensive backfield, for two years in a row now, the Packers have finished the season battered and bruised.  This led to the team having to dig far down the depth chart to put together a backfield that was continually exposed by opponents.  As well, fans are sick and tired of opponent’s number one receivers torching the Packers for 100+ yards and two touchdowns regularly.

As each year’s draft progresses through the first round, the big boards of all the draft prognosticators never fall as planned.  Each year, a projected top ten pick falls down the board and the TV coverage shows awkward footage of the player, sweating in his draft day suit with mom and girlfriend nearby, as he gets passed over pick by pick.  With some players that this happens to, a team further down the round lucks out and finds a stud for their future.  (i.e.  Aaron Rodgers in 2005) When that happens this year with one of the highly projected offensive linemen, running backs or defensive tackles, what will Gutenkunst do?

Picking at 14th overall, the General Manager knows that he will have options to select from impact players from a few different positions, and this is where he needs to throw away the “big board” and fill one of our two needs with a stud.  This first off-season will surely send a message to the Packer faithful on what kind of GM Gutenkunst will reign as, and his first-round draft choice will be an important piece of that decision-making process.


Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (77) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

4thand1's picture

Harold Landry

EdsLaces's picture

If he's healthy he is Robert Quinn 2.0 Love that dude. Chubb would be too good to be true.

snowdog's picture

trade up to get Chubb .

dobber's picture

I think someone told TT that the P in BPA stood for "project".

I think you're preaching to the choir here. BPA often should be followed by "...for team X." Many here are talking about trading up and trying to maximize day 1 and day 2 picks. If the board falls favorably, I wouldn't be averse to dropping down 4-5 spots (definitely NOT out of round 1), maybe by trading to with a QB-hungry team and still getting a player you like. Such a move nets you the equivalent of a 3rd rounder in return according to the old Jimmy Johnson trade value chart. That 3rd now becomes ammo to move back up in other places or an opportunity to pick a guy in a premium round.

"This first off-season will surely send a message to the Packer faithful on what kind of GM Gutenkunst will reign as,..."

Hopefully, it will be the shrewd kind. Too many holes to fill on this team and not enough cap $$ to buy the help they need. They need find a way to balance the immediate and the long-term.

Turophile's picture is such an over-used phrase. It's like people imagine that draft picks can be slotted into a neat order, and that just isn't so.

In reality there are tiers of similarly rated players. There might be half a dozen guys with essentially the same grade when the Packers pick.

So what do the Packers do then ? Well generally they pick a player from that pool that is also AT A POSITION OF NEED. Two birds with one stone.

For me, the most urgent need that needs to be taken in round 1, is a pass rusher. I strongly suspect one of the guys in the top tier (when the Packers pick) will be a pass rusher, whether it is Landry, Chubb, Hubbard, Armstrong, of them will be there.

RobinsonDavis's picture

"shrewd kind" is dead-on in my opinion, Dobber. I don't want us to be tied to a certain position or player until we see what falls draft day. With the number of picks we have this year, I could truly see us potentially with 3 picks in the first 2 rounds of this draft OR even move up. But this is all supposition. Currently, a lot of mock drafts are saying that Joshua Jackson, CB from Iowa will fall our way. If so, I hope we bite!

But rare are NFL caliber pass-rushers, and the rarest commodity on defense is a defensive tackle who can consistently sack and apply pressure. Yet, the top two guys have maturity issues. If one of these guys fall, would you pass on them? Regardless, I do believe changes are coming to our scheme that will optimize Daniels & Clark while hopefully doing away with "wide open down the middle!"

fthisJack's picture

i agree with Josh Jackson...he may be the BPA at 14 and they need another lock down opposite King.

RobinsonDavis's picture

There are some scouts that have dropped Jackson farther down the list than where the Packers would draft him, some don't list him in the top 5 CBs, but I love his big-play ability.

Bear's picture

I’ve read concerns about a slow 40 time on Jackson. One site has his 40 time at 4.93.

I’m like u he looks good.....hope he runs a good 40 at the combine.

snowdog's picture

Is't that exactly what we've been doing for 7 yrs ? And here we are .

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We need a pass rusher.
Get a pass rusher and our CBs will look great!

dobber's picture

In 2016, the Packers were tied for 6th in the league in sacks with 40. They were bottom quarter in completion pct allowed, yards per catch, and QB rating allowed. It DID matter who was playing CB behind them...

Duke Divine's picture

Gunter on Julio......

Tim Backes's picture

Some say Julio Jones is still running free in the Packers' secondary to this very day.

Finwiz's picture

I agree - pass rush still more important than DB's.
We may have had the 6th ranked D in sacks, but with Gunter on ANYBODY you have a problem.
I'm in the camp that our DB's are far better than anything with Gunter in it, and Rollins.
Now whether they can stay healthy is another question.
Need CB's sure, but pass rush still most important.

RCPackerFan's picture

"For the Packers, Throw BAP out the Window With the 14th Pick"

I completely disagree with this.

With the 14th overall pick you have to pick the biggest playmaker available. It really doesn't matter what position he plays. (Obviously a few positions they can avoid).
We need guys who are game changers and guys who will turn the team around. We can't just go with the best player at ___ position because of need.

If the best player on the board is Roquan Smith (ILB) for example I take him. First off he would instantly give us a Kuechly, Willis, type of ILB.

If the best player is Calvin Ridley (WR) I take him.

At this point the Packers have enough areas that they could use improvements at that taking the best available would be wise. Yes their top needs are a pass rusher and CB. But if there isn't a play making type with the 14th spot, they should go with the best play maker available.

D.D. Driver's picture

Completely agree with this. If there is an impact player on the board at just about any position, you take him. The Packers would be no where right now without Rodgers (the quintessential BPA). You do not pass up a franchise player to pick for need.

RCPackerFan's picture

Exactly right.

croatpackfan's picture


You do not understand. We should pass any other position player except OLB/DE. Why? To allow competition to get game changer player instead of Packers.

So that we can again complain how bad Packers were drafted...

The TKstinator's picture

You don’t take Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan because you “need a center, not a guard”.

marpag1's picture

Kudos. Perfectly stated, and exactly correct.

RCPackerFan's picture

Exactly right.

Colin_C's picture

Definitely agree RC. The only positions I wouldn't take are probably guard and center (maybe QB as well). This team needs more blue chip players, and if the guy you draft has to wait a bit behind the current starter, so be it.

stockholder's picture

Then you take a QB first? You can't believe Hundley is an answer.

dobber's picture

So you make a choice:
Draft a QB early who won't play for you for 4 years and don't pick a guy early who you can put on the field and improve your game-day talent now.

Draft BPA, find a backup QB off the rubble pile, expect that BPA and a new DC to improve your onfield performance enough to make your team relevant in the SB discussion and to have a chance to stay afloat if #12 misses half a dozen games.

"You can't believe Hundley is an answer."

Nope. But they aren't going to easily find a QB of the caliber it's going to take to carry this team if #12 misses extended time.

stockholder's picture

choice 1. 4years = insurance policy. a. A-rods contract wants. b. injury c. emergency situation. d. The miami dolphins could not have won a super-bowl without earl Morral. Even Terry Bradshaw had Hanratty. No way Hundley is even close to those two back-ups. The scrap pile: We tried bringing in others. A good back-up is still going to cost you the same as a #1 pick. $$ A-Rod fell to us. It could happen again! He learned under Farve. I doubt we find a Joe Theisman. The packers had so much trouble before Favre.( finding a QB. ) Even the very bad John Hadl trade. Seems if the choice comes down to question marks. You take the player that can answer the question marks. And forget about gambling on the FUTURE.

Coldworld's picture

Darn it, RC you nailed it again.

BPA is critical just not the only thing. It is better to take the BPA than an outright reach though.

fthisJack's picture

Josh chipper shutdown corner to play opposite King would make the secondary better instantly. 6'1" 215. at 14 he could be the BPA at a position of need. i agree that OLB/DE pass rush is a big need also. Smith...the ILB from Georgia would be a good pick also. fast and a great tackler and good in coverage but i think CB is a bigger need.

mrtundra's picture

I like Josh Jackson a lot. He is what we need in the secondary. What if Courtland Sutton falls to the Packers pick in the first round? Do we take the best WR in the draft or do we go with Jackson. Rodgers throwing to Sutton would be an amazing showcase of talent on game day. Sutton can show the ability on every play that Allison has shown in flashes when he has played. What if Mike McGlinchey falls to the Packers' pick? We could get a made for the NFL OT which would solve a lot of O Line problems along the right side of the line. This draft is going to be an interesting draft.

EdsLaces's picture

Smith is such a be totally happy with that selection.

JohnnyLogan's picture

I too agree you take the BPA. Yes, we need pass rushers, but we need great players even more. BPA is subjective and is different on every board, but Gute should trust his board. Landry vs. Smith?... Ridley vs. Key?... who knows?... but there's a reason you create a board. The question than becomes how have you built the board. Subconsciously you know you need a pass rusher and maybe a fast receiver more than a LB, but is Ridley going to be a better player than Smith, or Nelson, the guard, that many think is an instant All-Pro? Trust your board and take the BPA. Fill the holes in FA.

dobber's picture

The problem is that your best shot at hole-filling (FA) is done prior to the draft. This is where the league has it messed up. If they really want parity, what they do is move the draft up when teams have far more holes and really could draft BPA more often, allow teams to pick first, then open up free agency after so you KNOW where your holes are likely to be. By having the draft second, BPA really is diminished and drafting for need tends to win.

Tundraboy's picture

"I too agree you take the BPA. Yes, we need pass rushers, but we need great players even more."

Agree. A Great Pass Rusher, Great WR, Great CB or Great TE. All would do wonders for this team. Draft or Free Agency, need to pick up two or more of these sooner than later. A OL stud wouldn't hurt either.

Pack88's picture

I'm not sure your premise is correct! The idea to take a lesser player is somewhat subjective because in the previous decade GB has been in a position to take the 3rd or 4th best player at one position vs the 3rd 4th or 5th best player at a position of need so really hard to say how the Packers drafted.

This year GB has a chance to draft a player that is at worst the 2nd best player at his position- which is a huge difference. I see all the ink about a pass rusher and cornerback- count me in the group that loves Arden Key (but not at 14 ) or Josh Jackson, however what if the consensus best RT is there for the having (Orlando Brown) and is the best player on the board. Would you pass up a fix at what was a problem area all year to find a pass rusher that isn't rated that high?.

I'm sure every GB fan looks at the Harold Landrys, Marcus Davenports and the kid from Oklahoma (nobody outside of Nigeria can spell his name).

Outside of Davenport who apparently plays in some community college (just kidding) I liked all of the above listed players and saw them a few times. I am concerned that they will need time to grow into the NFL game.

I do think Orlando Brown would be very good and I also think Josh Jackson would be very good immediately, and help their position group in 2018.

So I will not be surprised if pass rusher is not the call at 14 and will not be shocked if Gutekunst does something out of the box with his first choice this year!

Coldworld's picture

If your player isn’t approximately equal in rank, you trade down or take a BPA in the next highest rated priority and so on. Reach more than a spot or two and you are shooting yourself in the foot.

4thand1's picture

I've watched tape on both Landry and Smith, either one of these two players would instantly make our defense better. Both are fast, can tackle, and are instinctive football players.

4thand1's picture

looks like someone doesn't want the defense to improve, dislike this.

fthisJack's picture

Landry reminds me of a young Mathews. he seems to have one move....beat the OT with speed outside. would like to see someone that has a couple different moves. bull rush, swim, etc.

Turophile's picture

Landry is mostly a 'round the OT' guy, but he does do that really, really well. That lean as he goes round is special. He is also happy to engage a tackle head on, which is a very good start if you want to develop a few other moves. A year in the Packers S&C program (strength and conditioning) would help him.

It takes time to develop a good selection of moves and a guy who willingly takes on an OT, one who is already a natural pass rusher with rare agility and lean, that is a great foundation. Green Bay never normally gets a shot at these kind of rushers, grab that chance while you can.

Tarynfor12's picture

The first pick for the Packers better be a Day-One starter regardless of position played...less QB.

We don't need a project since the Packers are already leaps and bounds ahead in the project department for good or bad.

Coldworld's picture

Agreed. After that a really good project means we have to get a vet FA if it is a position of need. No more all rookie depth chart lines.

RobinsonDavis's picture

Also agree....Although I think we have to look seriously still on the defensive side, our o-line was a mess the first half of the year. A number of teams are in big need of O-lineman and I feel we have this need too. How many "look out!" blocks did we have? What if McGlinchey is available, would you bite? You could move him into Guard to start and have him prepped as a back-up for Bulaga or to start right away?

Turophile's picture

Wrong, wrong, wrong. You want a guy who is best for the Packers OVER HIS PLAYING CAREER. Are you really going to pick a guy with a slightly more advanced game over a slightly greener guy with upside through the roof. You should not be in a position where you are relying on a rookie guy to be special. It is year two where many talented guys make their jump. Look to last years draft choices, more than this years - that can be hard to stomach, but it is true,

Packers need to take a chance on greatness occasionally - not all the time- but now and again, because it is difference makers that make the special plays often enough to, well, make a difference.

I will give you one example of 'safe but wrong'. No it isn't back when the Packers took A.J.Hawk, it was letting Taysom Hill go, when he had clearly outplayed Hundley. Packers went safe there, but wrong, in my opinion.

Manitou's picture

The Packers are expected to get 4-5 supplemental draft picks this year which are expected to include a third round and 3 fifth rounds. Last year the Packers had extra picks and 2 of them never made the 53 man roster. With all those picks, the best strategy seems to be quality over quantity. Trade picks to move up from the later rounds.

Tundraboy's picture

"With all those picks, the best strategy seems to be quality over quantity. Trade picks to move up from the later rounds."

Exactly. It will be interesting to see what Gute does with them. This year we need to really hit on the early picks. Let's do our shopping in the first few rounds. Why waste late round picks for talent we most likely won't use anyway.

fthisJack's picture

those late round picks can be valuable if you've got good scouts....see Williams and Jones. Bak and Lang and Hyde and Heyward, Lane and Tretter who they should have never let go. hopefully Gute can get some nice late round players like that and nail his top 3.

Kevin Ven's picture

You only get 4 supplemental picks at most, fyi

Manitou's picture

Besides the 4 supplemental picks, I included one that the Packers might get from Buffalo in a previous trade.

Colin_C's picture

Not sure about Key and Landry at 14. Both have some concerning issues with their game. Same goes for CB. Denzel Ward is by far the best cover CB in draft, but he's a bit undersized compared to the mold we're trying to build at the position. Jackson is flashy, but sucks at tackling and isn't nearly as consistent as Ward in coverage. I still think BAP is the way to go, minus guard and center.

4zone's picture

I'd take Raji all over again. Would make pro bowlers out of CM3 and Perry.

Coldworld's picture

Would you cut Daniels or Clark? If not who will not get the playing time? Too much of a good thing just means less dollars for other groups. Can’t do that with a top paid QB and Benefit the team as a whole most likely.

Since '61's picture

First, I would take a shutdown CB if available. Second an impact day-one pass rusher and third a game break WR.

After that BPA. Bottom line is that we need better players at every position group except QB, RB and Special Teams (Place kicker, Punter and LS).
Thanks, Since '61

Coldworld's picture

A shut down corner in his rookie year is almost as rare as the unicorn. I would look at corner in the second day if the draft falls right. WR or OLB ideally in round one if BPA or close. If not trade back. Use the return to trade back in late round.

Since '61's picture

I guess I have seen about 12 unicorns play in the NFL at CB.

Herb Adderley
Lem Barney
Mel Renfro
Deion Sanders
Darrell Revis
Willie Brown
Mel Blount
Darrell Green
Emmitt Thomas
Mike Haynes
Jimmy Johnson
To name a few.

If you believe in Unicorns there are plenty of them out there. But you need to pay attention to see them while you're watching the games and reading posts ( My post said "if available") Thanks, Since '61

stockholder's picture

You guys may like Key 6'6" , Landry 6'3" 250, and Smith 6'1" 225. All have off field issues. All should be gone if they have a good combine. But= The packers look for size at Lb. They want 6'3 240. We've seen to many good ILbs in past drafts that just don't have the speed or size in the middle. The trophy is not going to help anyone. I believe the packers shouldn't take any. Not at #14. No to TE early! No to Wr.= The class of 2014 had the best Wrs of any. To many were stuck behind others. To impact. Any drafted WR will be stuck behind Nelson,Cobb, and Adams. The game is won in the trenches. If Clark goes down who replaces him? We need a Raji like 2009. Especially with the 3-4-4. Who else can collapse the pocket? The first pick should be DT/NT. You then trade up for your gamble like TT did with Mathews. Tramain Edwards anyone 6'5" ? Jefferson ? Evens? And surely Sam Hubbard might be your #2 pick then.

dobber's picture

" But= The packers look for size at Lb. They want 6'3 240. We've seen to many good ILbs in past drafts that just don't have the speed or size in the middle."

I think we're all hoping that a new guy calling the shots makes much of what's happened in the past irrelevant.

stockholder's picture

That's True. BUT Not as long as Moss is the LBs coach.

4zone's picture

Yup stockholder.

worztik's picture

I’m of the Ron Wolf school of thought. CB... CB... and more CBs!!! Great cover guys that will hit and be a team player!!! We’ve seen cover guys that can’t hit a fly and hitters that can’t cover with a sheet. Hard to get the best of both traits but, that’s the ideal imo. Pass rush is like #1-, almost equivalent to [email protected] I choose CB... then again... throw in an athletic 6’ 7” 315# RT and who knows what may be? Just sayin’

Arthur Jackson's picture

I don't necessarily think a CB has o be drafted first but in general I agree about them. Wolf said you could never have to many good ones right? Anyway my theory is it only takes one pass rusher to get a sack and wreck the play for an offense and conversely it only takes one CB to not cover and wreck a play for the defense.

The TKstinator's picture

Good points.
But if a defense has only one threat as a pass rusher he is more easily negated.
GB needs some guys who can defeat blockers, not just dance with them. If all they do is dance, they are
Just sashayin’ !!!

fthisJack's picture

thats why i think Pettine may be good in switching up his DLine and get more pass rush out of Clark and Lowry and Daniels. thats really what they need....push up the middle and get the QB out of the pocket.

worztik's picture

And we’ve seen enough of that!!!!

CAG123's picture

I’m on the Ardon Key train and if he’s there they should take him (I still like Rashaan Evans if he available anywhere else) but the Josh Jackson hype has to stop most of his production came from 2games and he’s not that consistent in coverage he is actually what the Packers needed last year in a zone guy but with Pettine wanting his DBs to play more press if they do go corner it needs to be a press corner.

Colin_C's picture

Yep, Jackson is pretty overrated. Certainly has the athletic traits, but is afraid to hit, and get's beat in coverage more than you think. He's decent, but certain not top 15 worthy from what I've seen.

Coldworld's picture

After the underwear olympics the hype trains will really start rolling. I hope one aspect of TT lives on: his complete disinterest in the predraft hype season.

Coldworld's picture

One factor in all this is who does he feel is or will not make the grade. Who will the new broom sweep away opening new needs?

snowdog's picture


fthisJack's picture

he's one of the top 2 CB in the draft and i wouldn't be disappointed if they took him. opposite King, he would improve the secondary.

John Kirk's picture

I think there's a strong misconception that we'd been taking BPA over the years. In 6 straight drafts we chose a player at a position of need for our defense with our top selection. Ironically, our defense has been middling, at best, during the past six seasons. Nobody will ever convince me that it wasn't straight need drafting and there wasn't a single offensive player rated higher for the past 6 drafts.

What the Packers need to do is the exact opposite of this article and take BPA. It's not taking the BPA that has created the notion that we need to move toward need drafting, but, again, this is what's created this line of thinking in the first place.

Everything is backward in Green Bay. We overpay our own under the premise we don't have anyone else should "x" leave in FA, so "x" better be overpaid or we have nothing! Fear based management. Create the shortage, increase demand, and overpay to not improve but stay the same that you need to improve from. I don't understand what has been going on in Green Bay for years.

If not for actually taking BPA, we don't have Aaron Rodgers. We have the next Datone Jones, or Ha Ha Clinton Dix. Can you imagine actually being able to know that's what you did looking back? You can't go need based. I'd love a WR in Round 1. However, if there's a much higher rated player at another position then take him instead.

Over-correcting for years of mismanagement doesn't seem prudent. That leads to reaching and forcing picks. It's time to leave bizarro backward world and start doing things the right way.

If there's a QB there who is higher rated than a CB or EDGE player, I take the QB.

My big hope in seeing change that has been long overdue is that we would no longer be this odd outfit doing things in unorthodox manners trying to be the smartest guy in the room all the time. I was hoping we would run like an intelligent organization with a gift of a once in a lifetime QB like New England does. To advocate for over correction for years of squandering our gift is just the wrong direction but opposite.

Please, just do the right things starting yesterday. No more weirdo world.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

In 2005, BPA = Aaron Rodgers

packerbackerjim's picture

With free agency occurring before the draft, this will allow Gutekunst to fill one, maybe two areas of need. At 14, the choice will be among very closely bunched players rated well above average. If the difference is quite minor, Gute will likely go for the guy who fills a need. If the player is so obviously superior, according to the scouting, it will be BAP. Just my opinion.

Coldworld's picture

I agree completely. Let’s hope he fills more than one hole with a difference maker and then later adds some Patriot-like lower level experience depth after the draft.

NitschkeFan's picture

Trade up if the big Edge rusher they really want is available at #9 or 10. (package #14 pick with their 3rd round pick and if necessary throw in their 4th round pick). They are supposed to get 4 compensatory picks this year (late rd 3 and three more in rd 5).

With plenty of picks this year I think they must get an IMPACT player or two. And we all know there are no "sure things", But the probabilities drop rapidly as you get later in the draft.

Either that or move up in round 2, or package a bunch of picks to move back into round 2 for a second round 2 pick.

Gute's picture

IMO TT drafted BPA for need. It's unusual for someone like AR to fall like he did in the draft and TT would have been nuts if he had not selected him. Hawk, Bulaga, Perry, Jones, Dix, King were all a need. Rodgers wasn't at the time, but too good to pass up. So, if a top 5 guy this year drops to us then take him. If not then go for need or possibly trade down. We pretty much have needs everywhere so its just a matter of what is more important - ER over WR, CB over RT, etc.

We seem to live or die with AR at the helm so I think filling the RT spot with someone reliable should be heavily considered at #14 - even over ER and CB.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I would take two good pass-rushers in the first and second round and then we get 2 third round picks.

There we can get maybe a right tackle ,cornerback or tight end . But, we need to pick up a couple wide receivers in free agency or at least one maybe try and pick up Jimmy Graham for a cheap price just to have a veteran tight end. Our team is in sad shape people.

tincada's picture

"a message to the Packer faithful on what kind of GM Gutenkunst will reign as," to me that will be demonstrated by what he does with FAs. They al draft, big deal. Yeah knowing the right, hopefully, guys is very helpful but if he goes down the Terrible Ted road of destruction they might as well turn TT's chair around and wake him up. We need some veterans.

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