Is Brian Gutekunst Really Any Good At Drafting?

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has made some big splashes drafting studs like Jaire Alexander and Elgton Jenkins, but not all of his picks have been so productive, which begs the question: Is Brian Gutekunst really any good at drafting? 

Brian Gutekunst started his first draft as Packers GM on fire. He traded down in the 1st round with the Saints in exchange for another 1st round pick the following year, then moved up to take Jaire Alexander (the best cornerback in the NFL).

It was the biggest steal the Packers scored by trading a draft pick since Brett Favre.

In his second draft, Gutekunst traded up with the Saints pick to take Darnell Savage (who has been a starter since Day 1) after grabbing Rashan Gary (who looks like a breakout player) earlier in the round. Then he took Elgton Jenkins (who made the Pro Bowl last year) in the second round.

Last year, he took Jordan Love, who (we hope) will be the quarterback of the future and set the Packers up for another decade plus of high-end play from the quarterback position (again, we hope).

At that level, it looks like Gutey is really lighting it up, especially after his predecessor struggled to nail his 1st round picks, taking guys like Datone Jones and Damarious Randall (and, gasp, passing on TJ Watt).

But if we look a little deeper into Gutey’s drafting, things don’t looks quite as rosy.

Last year, his draft class was a… uh, let’s just say it didn’t pay immediate dividends, since no one from the class started more than a handful of games as a rookie (and those starts pretty much all came as the result of an injury to as starter).

The year before, after hitting big with picks in the 1st and 2nd round, he failed to grab a single player who has made a difference.

In 2018, after getting Jaire Alexander, he managed to get an inconsistent deep threat and a mediocre punter.

That’s it.

Three drafts, with four 1st round picks, and he’s only been able to find four players who have started more than 6 games per year in Alexander, Savage, Jenkins, and MVS.

The draft can be a crapshoot, but even bad teams can get more than one starter out of each draft, especially when they get an extra 1st round pick. And it’s not like last decade, when the Packers were always picking around 30. Gutey had a couple chances in the top 15 before trading.

Sure, it’s possible that guys like Gary, Jon Runyan, Kamal Martin, and yes, even Jordan Love, could become starters in the future. But right now, Gutey’s drafts have not paid great dividends.

It may be a little early to judge the 2020 draft, but his 2019 and 2018 classes, which have had a couple years to develop, simply haven’t had that much of an impact.

It’s nice to see guys like Jaire and Alexander and Elgton Jenkins come in with high picks, but championship-winning teams teams are built when teams find starters, or even stars, on Day 3.

As it stands, the Packers are winning despite Brian Gutekunst’s track record in drafting.

 

Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @PackersForTheWn.

 

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Comments (137)

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Lphill's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:16 am

I don't think its all on him maybe sometimes the scouts and talent evaluators may be the weak link.

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:48 am

By that theory (and i'm not arguing)...he was a weak link under Big Ted.

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Packindepth's picture

March 28, 2021 at 01:48 pm

Really? He is the GM and it's all on him. Who else makes decisions regarding quality when it comes to "the eye of the beholder." Sports Analysts are saying he chose to draft Mr. Love without getting any input from his head coach. He never consulted with anyone, so the tab is on his shoulder alone. So he is the one responsible for the decisions made when it comes to drafting player personnel. That's his job!

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Hematite's picture

March 29, 2021 at 11:16 am

I seriously doubt that he drafted Love without any input from his head coach or that he never consulted anyone.

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Packindepth's picture

March 29, 2021 at 07:21 pm

Doubting is one thing, reality is a whole new ball game!

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BruceIrons's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:11 pm

Reasonable point - his scouts play a part in it to. Drafting, like anything, is a team effort, but at the end of the day, Gutey is the guy who is accountable for getting impact players in the draft.

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nstewart1's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:18 am

Like any GM, with hindsight Gutekunst could have drafted better (particularly the middle of 2018), but I think you're giving him too little credit. Given injuries and the depth of our squad, some players have not really had a chance to demonstrate their abilities; and I expect a number of them will step-up this year.

All things considered, Gutekunst has done a fine job navigating roster building; fully utilizing the Draft, UFA, and FA. I have confidence in him and the organization.

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BruceIrons's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:14 pm

I think you could make a case that he's better in free agency than the draft (even with the Jimmy Graham debacle).

There's still time for his draft classes to develop and have an impact - Deguara could have had a big impact last year and I think he will this year. So far, I don't think it's a great 3 year haul. That could change, but right now, I'm leery.

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PackfanNY's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:29 am

Drafting “success” is very difficult to evaluate. Gute like most GMs has had some hits and some misses. You also have to consider where a team is drafting. Many teams will be declared “winners” of a draft. Many of those “winners” probably would have preferred two straight NFC Championship game appearances. Well, if you are drafting at the top of a draft I think it’s pretty easy when you are drafting say Trevor Lawrence or some other big time known quantity. You also need to give some time for development. Anyone notice how Savage or Gary were being labeled “busts” by some a year ago? After last season they seem to be developing nicely. I get why people hate the Jordan Love pick. However, how does that pick get graded if Love becomes the player the Packers think he can be?

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:45 am

The "number of starters" criterion for a good draft is a pretty specious argument for quality. Draft picks tend to linger on rosters: after all, they represent significant investment by the team, an elevated expectation, and I would argue are a point of pride/ego for GMs. They just seem to get more chances. If they hang around long enough, some become starters by attrition (especially on mediocre rosters) but that's not a sign of quality.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Well said....

Marshall Newhouse, Datone Jones, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, et al were all draft picks that became starters at one point. Two of them were 1st rounders, another a 2nd rounder. Not the greatest way to evaluate a draft in my opinion. The 2015 draft, which is universally viewed as a horrible draft produced 4 starters. Randall, Rollins, Montgomery, Ryan.

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Demon's picture

March 28, 2021 at 01:02 pm

Dont forget AJ Hawk. The epitome of a player that hung around only because he was a former high draft pick.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:48 pm

What kind of a fan throws shit on the franchise’s all-time leading tackler, a key performer on our last Super Bowl team, and sure-fire member of the Packer HOF?

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Oppy's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:15 pm

A lot, and I mean a LOT, of Packers fans don't understand the player that AJ Hawk was when he was drafted and the position he was drafted to play.

They also don't understand the player he transformed into in order to play a completely different position in a completely different scheme. They don't understand what he was asked to do, or how well he did it.

Mostly, they just see "Tackles made 7-10 yards too late down field", not understanding that most of those tackles were Hawk saving the other LB's ass who missed the tackle in the first place.

Hawk came into GB as an athletically gifted weak side LB in a 4-3 scheme, and was asked to suddenly change his body into a bruiser 3-4 ILB tasked with keeping the other ILB clean. Too many of Hawk's tackles were made on ball carriers bursting out of someone else's gap. Hawk was a good LB who changed his body and position, did the dirty work asked of him, and never complained about it.

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Oppy's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:51 pm

Don't forget AJ Hawk, the epitome of a player that highlighted how little some Packers fans really understand about football.

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barutanseijin's picture

March 29, 2021 at 06:21 am

As a young guy, Newhouse beat out a first round pick for playing time, and he’s managed to claw his way on to a lot of NFL rosters. He may still be playing pro ball next season. He’s had amazing longevity in a sport where most careers are over in a couple seasons. For a journeyman, he’s a Hall of Famer. All of which is to say the guy has had way more career value than draft duds like Neal & Perry.

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89Chewy's picture

March 28, 2021 at 06:35 pm

I totally agree! People talk about how great Ron Wolf was at evaluating talent but he had a lot of clunkers, especially early in the drafts. Ron and Ted were better in the mid-rounds while IMO Gutey is better in the early rounds. Ron's first rounders were T-Buck, Jon Michels, Ross Verba, Aaron Taylor, and Craig Newsome. None of those guys got a second contract with the Pack. Ron built this team via free agency and trades! Ted hung his hat on the draft too much and showed too much loyalty to the guys he chose, but he was really good at getting talent in the middle rounds. Gutey is using all the avenues afforded him. He just didn't have any money to spend this year because of Covid. The only negative i have to say about Gutey is his middle rounds, because his third and fifth rounders haven't done anything and his fourth rounders always get spent to move up in the first round.

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BruceIrons's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:16 pm

I'm trying not to judget too early. It's not a final great, but more of a status report. Until some of these guys really elevate the way Savage did last year, it's going to look like a weak 3 year crop.

Last year's class deserves an incomplete as it was clearly a class for the future. Time will tell.

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Stroh's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:33 am

Per Ron Wolf... if a draft hits on 3 starters or heavy contributors you've had a quality draft. 4 outstanding and 5 exceptional. If any of them become All Pro, it raises the grade significantly.

Its only just now, that you can evaluate his 1st draft.

Let's just say the author leaves plenty out of his "analysis ". Ron Wolf was even worse in rd 1 than Thompson!

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:53 am

Yeah, the “analysis “ is kind of long on opinion and short on facts. MVS is an “inconsistent deep threat”? True. It would be equally true to say he has contributed in all 48 games and is one of the league’s top deep threats. His AV is higher than any other receiver in that draft, including first rounders. Given that we got him on Day 3, I’d consider this an A+, even with his infuriating drops.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:16 pm

"Mister, I pay you to do one thing on this team. I pay you to catch the football, if you can't or won't do that I will find someone who can tomorrow." Vince Lombardi to WR Bob Long after he dropped a perfectly thrown long pass from Bart Starr that would have been an easy TD.

I don't see why the same should not apply to MVS. A 52% catch ratio in his 3rd season in the league is unacceptable. That maybe an A+ for you but it is aC- minus for me. As I've posted before, even drafting at #29 we should be able to find a WR in the draft who would be a more effective pass receiver than MVS.

The Packers led the league in lost yardage, specifically 552 lost yards, due to dropped passes by receivers not named Adams in 2020. I'm confident that neither Vince Lombardi or Mike Holmgren would find that acceptable or allow it to continue. It's either on the WR coach or the receivers or both. In any case the HC should expect/demand better results.

These are the things along with lack of preparation and poor coaching decisions that result in the annual playoff exits. Case closed. Thanks, Since '61

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Let’s judge our QB by open receivers he doesn’t see, blockers by missed blocks, tacklers by missed tackles, edge rushers by sacks they didn’t get.

MVS has dropped some passes. If you think that overrides all the good, then we disagree.

Adams was considered a bust by many early in his career. His AV after 3 years was 19; MVS is 48.

Wrap your head around this: During their first two years in the league, MVS outperformed Davante Adams.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:04 pm

But we already do judge our QB by open receivers he doesn't see and yet he had 70+ completion % in 2020 and won the MVP award. blockers are judged by missed blocks. We stats have stats for sacks allowed, QB hits and hurries. Isn't that at least part of how we determine who starts on the OL and who doesn't? Don't we judge edge rushers by their sack production? Hasn't Preston Smith been scrutinized for his lack of sacks as compared with his 2019 sack production? Hasn't Gute been questioned for retaining P. Smith in a very tight cap season?

if we shouldn't judge Was by their catch ratio what should we judge them by? Only be the receptions that they actually make about half the time?

Wrap your head around this; the lowest catch % that Davante Adams has ever had was 53.2% in 2015 which was his 2nd season in the league. Even that %, a career low for Davante is higher that MVS catch ratio in 2020 his 3rd season in the league. And Davante was pretty severely blasted at that time right here on this blog. In fact many of our posters wanted Davante gone. You were not posting here then so you would not be aware of that.

So if people wanted Davante chucked, why is it unreasonable to expect that MVS should be chucked for a worse performance in his 3rd year in the league? BTW, MVS 2020 AV is 8 not 48. Maybe a typo on your part, either way, once again, the case is closed. Thanks, Since '61

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:03 pm

He has outperformed every other receiver taken in the draft that year.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:22 pm

I could care less. I'm only speaking about MVS. His AV is 8 not 48 after 3 years in the league. I would be fine if he was our #4 or #5 WR but not our rotational #2. He would be great to threaten and stretch a defense in a spread formation. In that situation he would likely be going against a 3rd or 4th level DB. That could make him more effective but it still wouldn't mean that his catch rate would improve.

It's great to have guys streaking open but it doesn't mean anything if they drop the pass. But hey, let's blame that on Rodgers or on the play call. We probably would be better off handing the ball off to Dillon. Then we could blame Rodgers for not seeing MVS wide open down the field.

Maybe Rodgers sees MVS drop passes in practice everyday and fully understands what he has out there. Or maybe it's his fault that MVS runs poor routes. I can only comment on what I see during the game. And while I would like to see MVS improve and become a legit receiving threat I don't think that we need to wait for what is now going to be his 4th season at the professional level for that to happen.

it's part of the Packers problem since the 2010 SB. Waiting for D. Jones to emerge, waiting for N. Perry to emerge,
waiting for CBs or ILBs to emerge. Now we're waiting for MVS to emerge. But it's OK because we're building for the future. 2021 will be our 11th season of building for the future. That means we're 38% of the way into another 29 year championship drought like we had between 1967 and 1996. But at least this time we've had Rodgers so we've had hope unlike the 70s and 80s when there wasn't much hope.

At least I know this, I not hanging any hopes on MVS based on what I've over the last 3 seasons. Thanks, Since '61

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:56 pm

"He has outperformed every other receiver taken in the draft that year."

That's not even close to being true: (3 year totals)

MVS 97/1723/10
Calvin Ridley 217/3061/26
DJ Moore 208/3156/10
Michael Gallup 158/2457/13

Outperformed them in what exactly?

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 03:33 pm

Thank you 13Times. You saved me from yet another reply to an inaccurate and misleading post. Stay well.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:55 pm

I stand corrected. He only averages more in yards and touchdowns per target.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 06:41 pm

No worries. Cherry picking facts/stats w/o context to distort reality can be fun.

I hope he becomes the next Jordy/Sterling/Davante. I really do. Dreaming is good!

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:53 pm

MVS has potentially further room to grow. He was extremely raw coming in. The narrative that he sucks fails rationally, as shown by opposing and statistically. Moreover he was our best receiver in the Championship game. Time for this nonsense to stop. Let’s root for the guy to continue doing what he did late last year.

If you want to look at lost yards look at what came behind ... essentially nothing. Time to appreciate what we have and draft to surpass it.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:55 pm

I stand corrected. He only averages more in yards and touchdowns per target.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:58 pm

You had mentioned the need for a timeline over a period of time to make a fair assessment of a player. I totally agree.

Let's do a timeline on MVS's catch % over his 3 years in the league: 52%...46%...50%. His job is to catch the ball. He only catches half of the passes thrown to him from a HOF QB. This warrants an A+? While he has improved in other areas...still his main job is to catch the ball. I'm not really into grading players, but common sense would tell you this is not an A+ NFL receiver.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

March 28, 2021 at 01:09 pm

Hey 13. Not sure about this but I’m thinking a deep pass might be tougher to catch than a 5 yard out. Maybe it’s like the 3 pointer in basketball. I’d rather have a guy who hits 40% of his threes than a guy who shoots 50% in the paint. In other words, the catches MVS does make have more value, so we put up with the drops.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 01:23 pm

Fair enough, but....

As another poster mentioned....think Lombardi or Holmgren would "put up with the drops"? I believe it was Bill Schroeder who Holmgren hauled off the field by his facemask after blowing a play.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:27 pm

Exactly correct 13TimeChamps. It's not that the receiver drops the ball, it's that the coaches allow it to continue.
We have something like 25 coaches on our team now. Isn't there one coach who can work with some of our guys on how to catch a pass in the NFL.

I don't care if it's the strength coach. Somebody on the staff must know how to catch a football. It's like we have one coach for every 2 players but some things like pass receiving and tackling never get better. Why? WTF?

Makes no sense to me. Thanks, Since '61

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:59 pm

No, Doug, MVS was personally responsible for every incompletion. Every pass was on target. The defender didn’t make a play. He wasn’t the closest receiver on any throwaway. And it’s all that matters. NOt staying available , or getting open in the first place. He’s dropped passes, so he sucks.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:01 pm

Yes, it’s all about catch %. No other criteria should be considered.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:21 pm

Maybe I didn't articulate it properly. There are a number of factors/skills that go into being a quality receiver. When you are in the bottom 10%, league wide, of one of those factors, a pretty important one, how does that grade out overall as an A+?

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 05:05 pm

It's about the catch % because if the player doesn't catch the pass what other metric should we consider?

Secondly what is the NFL benchmark catch % for a #2 NFL WR in his 3rd professional season? I'm confident that it is higher than 52%. As for other metrics MVS averaged 2 receptions per game for 43.4 yards per game. I expect that # of receptions and yards per game should also be criteria worth considering. If I'm missing something let me know.

We can disagree, that's fine. I just don't believe that 2 receptions per game qualifies for a #2 starting WR role in the NFL. Again, especially after 3 seasons the league. Thanks, Since '61

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 05:54 pm

What you are is more important than what you aren’t.

Babe Ruth struck out a lot. Shaquille O’Neal was poor at free throws. Brett Favre turned it over more than anybody. So we should focus on that?

MVS hasn’t missed a game, Availability = 100%. He has one of the top yards/target and yards/reception averages in the league. He was our best receiver in the Championship game. He’s outperformed MOST of the receivers in his draft class. And we got him in the 5th round. But let’s ignore all that and focus on a couple of drops.

Gal Gadot can’t sing or dance, but I’d take her in a second. What you are is more important than what you aren’t.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:32 pm

A couple of drops...lol

We're comparing him to Ruth, O'Neal and Favre now. ALL-TIME greats in their sports. Watch out Don Hutson....you're about to be replaced in Packer's lore by the immortal Marquez Valdez-Scantling.

I bet Atlanta is kicking themselves for picking Ridley over MVS.

I was wrong. I defer to your far more informed insight on NFL receivers. My apologies.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:50 pm

4 drops. Four. Four. You are going nuts over four drops.

The comparison to Ruth, Shaquille, and Favre wasn’t to imply he was a future HOFer, but I think you know that.

You had been doing pretty good until then, Princess. Back on ignore.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:57 pm

Ah.....you start losing an argument and you resort to your comfort zone....name calling.

Actually, I thought, for once, we were having a civil difference of opinion. Obviously I was wrong.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:32 pm

By the way.....if you had ANY idea how much I would LOVE the opportunity to have you call me Princess to my face....

But you just keep posting stupid tough guy/animal avatars. We're all really impressed.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:42 am

I think you would have to look at all the GMs and their drafts for the past 10-15 years to determine a baseline, and then you could compare what Gutekunst has done against the average, before you could answer the question intelligently.

IMO, if you get two decent players that you would offer a second contract to, and two contributors, you’ve had a pretty good draft.

I also think you have to consider UDFAs as part of your draft.

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murf7777's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:41 am

LH....took the words right out of my mouth. Many fans just don't realize the amount of failures in every teams drafts. Without a baseline opinions are mostly meaningless. And, as others above have stated, you have to take into consideration the position order the team is picking in each round.

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:47 am

Teams have 53 roster spots and draft about 7 (with comp picks, a shade over 7) players per year. Most teams keep their picks. Over the course of 4 year rookie deals, that churns almost 30 roster spots....with 22 nominal starters.

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:29 am

"I also think you have to consider UDFAs as part of your draft."

Maybe, but the only thing it really has in common with the draft is that these players are new to the NFL. These guys hold significant say in terms of where they end up, and--yes--an NFL team has to show interest to begin with, but they're looking for teams with weaknesses in their roster or opportunities that give them a good chance to stick. With the exception of how the CBA gives teams significant control over their contract status going forward, these guys are street FAs. That said, I think you make a good point in that you can't judge a GM or management group solely on one part of the player procurement process. The draft, FA, UDFAs, trades: they all fit together. Being awful in any one area usually doesn't pan out well.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Dobber I would give you 100 thumbs for both of your posts if I could. However, because you actually pay attention to what is going on and make spot on comments you get numerous cookies as usual. Stay well.
Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 01:53 pm

Covid isn't the only thing that's been hard on my figure...

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:00 pm

I think UDFA has a lot in common with the draft these days, especially after the 5th round. Teams spend a great deal of time s counting and ranking. This year the talent overlap with the back half of the draft could be particularly great. Going to be interesting.

The draft is no longer the only Avenue hanks to Gute, for that I’m thankful even if Covid’s effect on the cap means little FA activity this year. The back half of the roster in particular benefits from that. I’m hoping we keep the PS rules from last year. Good for players and football.

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KneelYoung's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:36 am

"It's possible Rashan Gary becomes a starter in the future." was one of your points. Really?....Really?

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Go figure right......?

The 12th pick of the draft being a possible starter in the future?

What a compliment :)

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kozmo's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:31 pm

Gary is a STUD!

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BAMABADGER's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:22 pm

A yet to be proven stud.

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NickPerry's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:43 am

Considering they say it takes 3 years to really know what you have in a draft pick, the 2018 class SHOULD be the one we're judging this year.

The draft is a crap shoot and hindsight is 20/20. It's really easy to say Gute should have taken this guy or that guy based on that players stats a few years into their careers. When you consider the extra 1st he got in 2018 and drafted Savage, 2018 looks better than just Alexander and MVS.

2019 he drafted Gray, (Savage), Jenkins, Keke who looked pretty damn good until his injury, and I still have hope for Sternberger.

2020 it's just too early but Runyan will be a starter for years to come on the O-Line IMO and Dillon is going to help form the best 1-2 punch at RB in the NFL this year (just watch). And I like DeGuara and Martin in the little they played last year and think they'll be solid picks.

All in all Gute's been pretty good. Not great but pretty good with a chance to be great. We have to give them TIME!

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:18 am

We seem to ignore the fact that BG inherited a fairly mature roster on the offensive side of the ball...the only 2020 preferred starters brought onto the roster under BG's watch are Jenkins, Turner, and MVS/Lazard (whichever is considered to be the starter opposite Adams)...that's after 3 seasons. I think the "starters" rule on the offensive side should be tempered. He's turned over all but 3 starters on the defensive side (Clark, Lowry, King (presumably)) and used FA liberally. His high-end draft picks on the defensive side--except for Jackson (and Burks, if you consider him high-end)--have turned out to be productive or have progressed rather than regressing. I don't think his track record in the draft is awful...I would argue pretty average so far.

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:17 pm

"Considering they say it takes 3 years to really know what you have in a draft pick..." - N. Perry

Well, Kevin King pretty much gave us a clue in his first two years what he was.

Most fans knew Jaire Alexander was special his 1st year.

Did we need 3 years for Josh Jackson, Oren Burks, etc?

MVS has played 3 seasons now and he shows some flash plays here and there. The problem is his target catch rate of 50.5%
Which by most NFL standards usually impedes you from making a roster.

This is from someone who has been rooting for him to improve. But unless he can drastically change that, he still might get a 2nd contract, but he won't receive much money.

People who say you need 3 or 4 years to judge draft picks, are usually people being apologetic towards players.

You have a clue what they are in the first year or two.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:11 pm

Guys develop at different rates. Very few begin show in year 1 or yr 4 and beyond. The vast majority give you that clue in yrs 2 & 3. You can have a clue about individual players but judging the class as a whole takes 3. Or even 4. Not 2 and especially not 1.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 05:29 pm

I’m wondering....what did Rodgers do his first two years that made anybody think he was a player? Tonyan?

As my Uncle Elmer said, “every ear of corn tassels out in its own time. Nobody knows why”.

There’s a reason rookies sign four year contracts.

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Swisch's picture

March 28, 2021 at 05:59 pm

As I understand it, Leatherhead, Rodgers changed his throwing mechanics significantly after he came to Green Bay.
If that's true, it's even more reason to be patient with Love. Even if he is awkward in one way or another at this point, players can progress significantly in the NFL.
Apparently, Love is physically gifted. If he is dedicated, and gets good coaching, there's a good chance he becomes at least an above-average quarterback who is plenty good enough to win a Super Bowl.
Then there are quarterbacks like Steve Young, Vinny Testaverde, Doug Flutie, and Rich Gannon who took years to develop into stars. Young is a hall-of-famer, Gannon won an MVP leading the Raiders to the Super Bowl, and I think the other two made at least one pro bowl.
We're all hoping Love makes it happen much faster if needed.
I hope he has a great career with the Packers, or on some other team in a trade for at least a top draft pick.

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:19 pm

Leatherhead....

"I’m wondering....what did Rodgers do his first two years that made anybody think he was a player? - Leatherhead

Leather....I have a sneaky idea that the players and coaches in Green Bay had a pretty good idea what Rodgers was about in his first two years.
I kind of think they had to, if they planned on replacing Favre with him.

In Rodgers first two seasons starting he passed for 8,472 yards, threw 58 TD's against 20 picks. I THINK....they had an idea what they had before those seasons

Someone talked about Rodgers having to fix his mechanics.
Rodgers held the ball too high on his drop backs.
Everyone and their Grandma knew that when he was drafted.

Most, if not all QB's coming into the NFL have to change their footwork, mechanics in some way.

I know for a fact the Packers are working on Love's footwork and mechanics. Nobody is knocking him or harps on it, because it's expected.

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:45 pm

Hank, i remember a guy named Tony Mandarich. When he suffered in his first year or two.
Milwaukee sports writers THEN came out saying it takes 3-4 years to learn the position.
(apologetic)
I laughed about that then, and i was just a kid whose life revolved around sports, especially the Packers. By the end of year 2 everyone knew Mandarich was off the juice. The players use to joke that in the locker room, you could literally see his body shrinking.

I've never heard any of that 3-4 year development concerning Bakhtiari, or Elgton Jenkins, Alexander and i'm pretty damn sure no one said that about Justin Herbert, Justin Jefferson, Metcalf, Higgins, Lamb, etc.
.
I agree players develop at different rates to an extent.

But it's not the 80's anymore.
Todays NFL is a different world, teams want to know what you are in year 2.

We hear things like "2nd year leap" in the NFL.
That's what teams look for.
Example: Darnell Savage took a 2nd year leap.

If you aren't showing it in your 2nd year, chances are you don't have it to show.

Unless of course your a Packer draft pick, they look for 3rd year and 4th year leap, sometimes 5th year. See Kevin King. Nick Perry, etc

Example....they are waiting for ESB's, Josh Jackson's, Oren Burks 4th year leap,
You get the picture.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 29, 2021 at 09:11 pm

It's definitely true that most will never develop. What is the average NFL career? Something like 4 years? Btu grading a draft class means you should know the difference between a guy like Blake Martinez and Josh Sittion. Both showed early on that they were good 4th round picks. One turned into an All Pro (and it wasn't in yr 2) and the other turned into a guy they let walk without much of a fight.

After two years, you might have graded those two as similar. Heck, maybe even after 3 years. But their career development after that time sort of made it obvious which pick was better.

Imagine grading the 2005 draft after even the 2007 season. Nobody knew the bench warming 1st rounder was the Packers greatest pick of the 21st century to date, and likely to retain that title for quite some time. And Nick Collins was still a guy that was mostly starting by default, not one of the top Safeties in the game.

Wanna go the other way? Evalutate Eddie Lacy after yr 2. Then after yr 4.

Yes, I get the picture. Mine has more detail, not finger painted stick figures

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Oppy's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:54 pm

I'm not particularly an MVS fan, but even I have to take pause with MVS's catch percentage.

He's not used like most WRs; the majority of his targets seem to be low-percentage deep shot balls. That's going to affect his catch percentage.

Not forgiving his hands, I don't think they're that good, but he's not getting high percentage quick hitter slants thrown at him.

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:32 pm

That is a valid and just point of view Oppy.

At the same time...
I'd still like to see him get to 60% at a minimum.
.
Good post

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BruceIrons's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:18 pm

Runyan, Keke, and Sternberger were all guys I really wanted the Packers to draft. I was thrilled they got them.

I'm not thrilled with their production so far.

They could pan out. I hope they do. But until that happens, I can't give Gutey high grades.

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stockholder's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:46 am

I don't believe Gute listens to his scouts. His last draft was a head scratcher. So before you toast his success. Do his drafts reflect the "All-In" phrase. Are they controversial? Has he got the BPA? How many players have succeeded after his selections. And has he given away to much draft value? Did he find what others couldn't. IMO- No. I guess it's just because he refuses to fix the DL and ILb. I believe he's making the Controversial picks on purpose. That way his successful selections appear superior. And he has nothing to lose as long as he has Rodgers. So Does Gute know how to draft? The Best way to answer that is; has Gute made himself Better?

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Turophile's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:11 pm

The best way to answer that is to wait five years and see what the Packers record is, year on year.

One of the problems with most fans is that on any subject, they are either all-in, or all against., when often the answer is somewhere in between. Average is often seen as awful (unless your team has been awful for a long time, so average actually looks good in comparison).

Maybe the loss over time of TT himself, plus Shneider, McKenzie, Dorsey and their top scout (whose name escapes me), has had a long-term impact on the quality of scouting assessment. Maybe Gute doesn't listen to his area scouts, I don't know. I will not give much criticism yet, because drafting is a numbers game over time. At this moment, after two 13-3 seasons, I'm just treading water and watching.

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:58 pm

"and their top scout (whose name escapes me),"

You're probably thinking of Sam Seale.

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Turophile's picture

March 28, 2021 at 06:07 pm

That was one of them. They lost Walls as well (to Dorsey at the Browns), but the one I was thinking of was Alonzo Highsmith.

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PF4L's picture

March 29, 2021 at 05:17 pm

Correct dobber....Sam Seale is the scout who went with Gute to scout Love when he played against LSU...in the fall of 2019.

Many of you didn't know that i'm guessing. There is even more to that story that would make you believe the decision to pick Love was made in 2019.

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Ahgreen30's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:46 am

Idiot Gutty has 5 starters through 3 drafts!!!! He effing SUCKS!! He is the WORST GM ever! Why? Because his drafts are SO bad that he has to spend big $ in FA’s to make up for his ineptitude thus “doubling down” on stupidity!!

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DTowleJr's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:52 am

Perhaps reading what others have written here should have edged your comment. The common consensus is that you judge a draft after 3 YEARS. SO saying all his drafts sucks is not wise, nor even close to correct.

Aaron Rodgers sat on the bench for 3 years. His preseason showings were not great, not even good. So, did he turn out okay - I think he did.

Some of the players drafted will have a longer shelf life, so they take longer to be adding to a team's production in their particular area of expertise. Some players are starters out of the gate - those are your Day 1 and Day 2 picks. As we all know, the #Packers are a draft and develop team. Take that into consideration when grading out a draft.

So, this is the draft 3 years ago, 2018:
Round 1 (18): Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville (All Pro, #1 CB in NFL)
Round 2 (45): Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (Starter)
Round 3 (88): Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt (Backup)
Round 4 (133): J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri (FA)
Round 5 (138): Cole Madison, T, Washington State (FA)
Round 5 (172): JK Scott, P, Alabama (Starter)
Round 5 (174): Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, South Florida (Starter)
Round 6 (207): Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame (Backup)
Round 7 (232): James Looney, DE, California (FA)
Round 7 (239): Hunter Bradley, LS, Mississippi State (Starter)
Round 7 (248): Kendall Donnerson, EDGE, Southeast Missouri St. (FA)

That's 7 out of 11 picks are starters or backups, 4 are currently Free Agents.

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:04 pm

Well...2 are starters (Alexander and MVS (arguably, depending on how you view Lazard)), and 5 are still on the roster. How you categorize ST guys is a debate I'm not going to enter into since many argue you should never have to draft long-snappers or punters. That leaves you with three guys who are in the, "so you're saying there's a chance?" category.

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:55 am

5 is being kind.

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PhantomII's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:55 pm

I was thinking 1 worth mentioning. LOL

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Skeebz's picture

March 29, 2021 at 03:02 pm

The only time he spent $$$ on FA’s was because of Thompson failures. Gute is solid and I like what he’s down so far. His actions adding players and hiring a good coach kept them competitive and on the brink of the SB.

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Skeebz's picture

March 29, 2021 at 03:02 pm

The only time he spent $$$ on FA’s was because of Thompson failures. Gute is solid and I like what he’s down so far. His actions adding players and hiring a good coach kept them competitive and on the brink of the SB.

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Bear's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:20 am

Correlation between Draft Position and "Starter Status"

Using Pro Football Reference as a resource, Looking at all players who were classified as starters at the beginning of the 2014 season to determine what round they were drafted in upon entering the league.  Of the 595 players designated as such, the results reveal the following:

Nearly 30% of all starters were 1st round draft picks when drafted into the league;
-          Roughly 30% were taken in either the 2nd or 3rd round;
-          Roughly 26% were taken in either rounds 4 through 7;
-          Undrafted players (14%) were the 3rd most likely group to comprise 2014’s starters…only behind 1st round (30%) and 2nd round (18%) picks.

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Jeff Hayes's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:22 am

When Jordan Love finally takes over and shows why Gutey drafted him then fans will stop doubting! Love already had all the right stuff to be another Mahomes but he needed polishing before becoming a starter, Well he's getting the best shine behind one of the best to lace them up so yes Love will be our QB for a decade plus!

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Ahgreen30's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:56 am

"There came into Egypt, a man who did not know".....

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PF4L's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:57 am

Stay Thirsty JDH

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Duneslick's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Your comparing Love to Mahomes. What are you drinking

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BruceIrons's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:19 pm

I'm one of the biggest defenders you'll find of the Love pick, but we don't know if it's gonna work out yet or not. If it does, Gutey's final grade will be a lot higher than this status report.

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PhantomII's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:04 pm

Alexander: has taken a couple years of lumps here and there, but is now an elite shutdown CB. Could not be happier where he is now. Great pick.

Savage: started as a rookie only because we had nobody on the roster to compete, he has shown out well about midway thru this last season and is doing really well now. Hopefully he builds on this success.Great future potential

Gary: I wanted an immediate starter. He has grown a lot the last few years and should have started over P. Smith around week #10 this season. He will improve and be a pro bowler once he's on the field more now that Pettine is gone. He was pretty raw but has learned his new position quickly and is a load for an offense to take on. Better things to come here on out. Great future potential.

Dillon: brought on very slowly by ML. Did well in Titans game...then nothing...puzzling ML coaching. Really could have used him in NFCC game. Still a question mark.

Degura: played in only a couple games and got hurt. I have to say, when I saw his first play, I said damn, this guy is going to be good. I felt he could take the offense up a notch. If he can get healthy and stay it. I think he does just that. He looked like he belonged and excelled as a rookie. looking forward to him this season.

MVS: pretty inconsistent during the year up and down. Showed up big time in NFCC game though. I'm really pulling for this kid to get it all together from here on out. He has a lot of potential w/ his speed and catch radius.

Jenkins: honestly is my favorite OL. No drop off in any position on OL they put him at. Big strong guy, just refuse to get beat and let someone dirty up our QB and has strength in running game also. Humble guy that knows God has gifted him and he uses it at any position. Absolutely love this pick. It took an injury but started immediately and did not disappoint.

Several previous ILB that have not stuck. Several late round WR's that did not improve. Not having a plug and play OT has been a weakness on Gute drafting. WR skillset overall is poor. TE group is solid. RB group needs another player who can go into the rotation. DB group is lacking good #2 CB and rotation players. DL is missing a starting DL and a lot of rotational depth. Love pick, I'll deem unnecessary as of now, needs should have been addressed for SB push. I like the OL xtra picks late last draft, I'm sure we'll need them.
Is Gute good at drafting? Mixed results of course, seems to hit #1 picks so far minus the highly questionable Love pick. Better to question as GM? I'm nobody, but he seems to extend who I monetarily, would not and draft priorities at times that I also would not. Gute was handed a poor overall roster. Mostly through FA on defense and drafting priorities on defense he has made us very competitive, but has not made the needed move to fill obvious needs at trade deadlines nor used draft capital to pull good players off losing teams for a Super Bowl run. That alone loses points for me. He's not bad...but not the guy to get you to the next level either.

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nostradanus's picture

March 28, 2021 at 11:59 am

Gutey has 10 draft choices this year, he has plenty of ammo to move up and get his guys. I’d rather he hits on 5 guys and gives up 5 picks than drafting 10 mediocre guys for depth.

Go get your guys Gutey!

Quality over Quantity!

That is all....

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dobber's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:07 pm

He has 3 picks on days 1 and 2, all late in their respective rounds, and 7 picks on day 3. You can add up the value of all those day 3 picks and they turn into a late 3rd rounder according to the JJ value chart. I don't disagree that he can use them to maneuver a couple picks here and there, but I wouldn't expect a lot.

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BruceIrons's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:21 pm

I think he'll trade up again, too, but that doesn't guarantee anything. Don't forget that he traded up for Oren Burks.

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Bear's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:05 pm

This is a study of 11 years of drafting showing the success rate of 1st round draft picks by when they were picked. Picking 21-32 the success rate is only 47%.

Pick area. Success Rate %
1-5. 77.1
6-10. 51.4
11-15. 57.1
16-20. 51.4
21-32. 47.0

Interestingly, this success rate continues to be low even at the very top of the draft.

While there does appear to be a dropoff at the end of the draft, even in the top 10, the numbers are very poor. What I mean to show from this, however, is not that everything is impossible and that we should all give up, but rather that the conventions and techniques that have been used in most of scouting in recent years are far from perfect, and that maybe, just maybe, it might be worth trying something else.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 29, 2021 at 04:19 am

I really hate the Riot Report article you've copied. I hate CarAV but it is the most readily available stat out there.

GB is 11 of 19 between 2000 and 2018 in the first round: Jaire, Clark, HHCD, Bulaga, Raji, CM3, Hawk, Rodgers, Barnett, AR.

GB is 9 of 20 in the second round.

GB is 1 of 20 in the third round.

GB is 8 of 27 in the fourth round. Let's trade more of them away.

Lacy made it despite a 5 year career with 2 or 3 good years.

James Jones was the sole success story. Jermichael Finley didn't make it: he had 29 CarAV in 6 seasons, including two seasons of 5 and 6 games in which he got 6 CarAV points. Burnett doesn't make it.

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Bear's picture

March 29, 2021 at 10:25 am

I don’t t understand why you don’t like the article when you pretty much verified what it said. You state GB was 11-19 in the first round and only showed 10 of 19 which is 52.6 %. Hawk was a 5 pick which puts him in the 77%, Raji was a 9 pick which puts him in the 51% and Alexander was an 18 pick which puts him in the 51%.

During the 2000-2018 first round picks I only show 9 of 19. Barnett, Rodgers, Hawk, Raji, Mathews, Bulaga, HHCD, Clark, Alexander. You may be able to help me out with the two I’m missing.

I guess I’m surprised by your response when you’re numbers verify this persons results.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 29, 2021 at 07:57 pm

Sorry for not explaining and I understand your confusion. I don't like CarAV, but I've used it myself because it is readily available and I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of the NFL that allows me to compare players from all 32 teams.

Why 5 CarAV? That seems arbitrary though not wholly unreasonable. The numbers change radically if it is 6 or 4. I think a 7 average for first-rounders, 6 for second-rounders, and 5 for third-rounders might be better, but it is just an opinion. I might even throw out rookie years and last year played. Well below average QBs routinely get 10 AV points. Trubisky is averaging almost 9 CarAv per year. That's better than Sitton, Lang and Kenny Clark, who so far averages 7.8. Offensive skill players are greatly over-rewarded.

Javon Walker squeaks in (one has to look him up individually rather than using the packers draft history PFR page) and I included Jaire, thinking 3 years is sufficient to judge him. Savage would qualify but I deem 2 years insufficient. Gary is in range to join the club with a big 2021, but not there now.

Nice talking to you. Love data and I encourage you to continue. We can learn in the comments as well. I thought your comment well worth the time for me to crunch numbers for 30 minutes, after all.

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Qoojo's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:18 pm

"Last year, his draft class was a… uh, let’s just say *it didn’t pay immediate dividends*"

Anyone that writes the above sentence, with emphasis between *s, probably shouldn't be commenting on drafts.

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jhtobias's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Really can't judge last years draft .. Pretty simple If Jordan Love Becomes a top 10 quarterback for us or is flipped for high draft picks well it will equal a home run . just comparing to what I see what teams like San Francisco and others gave up to get the chance to draft a Franchise Quarter Back. Let's give Dillion Degura Runyan Martin this year to see before we go crazy

Except for Jaire and getting the extra first and maybe MVS the rest of the picks well were pop outs

2019 has the chance to be special - Gary Savage Jenkins Keke but to be special Gary or Savage will need to jump to pro bowl all pro levels

All in All good foundation pieces Jaire is a legit stud as is Jenkins in 4 positions .. Savage and Gary lets see this year but if you get 4 all pro's in three drafts plus the mystery of the 2020 not bad at all .

Heck rip on the Love pick all you want which is fair up to this point , but at least it wasn't Isiah Wilson or San Fran giving up the whole future in hopes of getting a franchise QB

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:35 pm

I would give Gute a B at this point on his drafts overall. But looking at his first round picks I would give him an A-. Alexander, Savage, Gary have all been excellent picks. Then along came Love which is why I give Gute an A- for his first round picks instead of an A.

In later rounds he has hit big time on Jenkins and Dillon (I think).

Jury is still out on his 3 OL picks in 2020. His 3 receivers picked in 2018 is about D+. One is gone, ESB has been a non-factor and MVS with a 50% catch rate 3 seasons into his career is not worth a roster spot. But here we are.

Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Show me a GM who has consistently out performed Gute and I will be impressed. Seems to have hit on at least two plus players, Alexander and Jenkins with Savage, Gary and potentially Dillon being others who are candidates for that category. I’d say that is pretty decent.

We have had some busts in Josh Jones, Burks, Moore and maybe EQ and Jackson as well as some average and maybe still developing like MVS, and at least one of last year’s O linemen. Some remain unknown to a greater or lesser extent like Deguara, Martin and Barnes (undrafted but still chosen).

Overall, the more I consider it, that’s better than the Wolfe rule of thumb. I’d say pretty good overall and possibly will get better with more time. I think one has to also take into account that he seems to be drafting within the context of the Murphy/LaFleur vision after a first year of emergency restocking.

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Gman1976's picture

March 28, 2021 at 01:14 pm

I for one am glad that a GM is not just based on his drafting abilities, but a whole body of work (hiring coaches, drafting quality players, using free agency to fill holes that the draft cannot, picking up players on the waiver wire, developing a winning culture/chemistry/environment, wins and losses, retaining players that could go elsewhere for much more money, and more). The record and the accomplishments of the last 2 years speak very highly of Gute; and I suspect that other teams' fans would love to have someone like him.

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Swisch's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:15 pm

After two dismal seasons, the Packers have achieved a stellar record of 13-3 in consecutive years, and in both cases made the final four of the NFL.
For our GM and head coach and players, I would call that an "A+" as in Awesome!
It was a painful loss to the Bucs in the NFC Championship Game, and it's worthwhile to analyze and learn from the missed opportunities on that day; but before we start whining, let's put things in perspective: We are way ahead of schedule.
Let's hope we build on our successes and win a Super Bowl this upcoming season, but already it's an astonishing feat to have the Packers as one of the elite teams in the NFL.

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Monty1954's picture

March 28, 2021 at 01:52 pm

Finally a reporter calls out the Packer GM. Two Names the Packers should replace this guy. John Dorsey or Elliot Wolf. You look at the two franchises Dorsey turned around with his drafting and roster moves. Aaron Rodgers has carried the Packers his whole starting career. Once he retires or moves on this team is in the bottom tier. Gute wasted two draft picks last year that might have helped beat TB. The author of this article has pointed out the terrible draft picks we have made in three drafts. There are not enough hits to field a competitive team. We strike out so much in drafting we have to overpay FA’S. Kevin King? What a joke. Get rid of this guy when Rodgers is gone and get John Dorsey. Dorsey has the balls to be a GM. Our current GM doesn’t he’s as bad as Ryan Pace of the Bears

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 28, 2021 at 03:30 pm

John Dorsey has been fired twice since leaving GB.

Eliot Wolf...seriously? 31 other teams have had opportunities to hire him as a GM since he left GB. None have. I'm guessing there's a reason for that.

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Stroh's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:57 pm

What drugs are you on?! As mentioned Dorsey has been fired 2x in the fairly recent past and is currently a Sr personnel guy for Detroit, who by the way apparently didn't consider him as a GM candidate. Wold , the wunderkind, is currently not in any teams personnel dept, instead he's a "consultant " in NE, and has NEVER, I repeat NEVER, been a GM.

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fastmoving's picture

March 28, 2021 at 02:50 pm

Gute is great and one of the best at his job. Draft included. He is better than John Dorsey and Elliot Wolf together. Let alone one of them, no match at all.
If we hear the the neander gang cry its the safest sign Gute is the best.

Wise that the PACK choose him......paying a lot of dividends.

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GatorJason's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:30 pm

I'd give the BG team solid grades for most positions but an "F" for QB evaluations. They overvalue athleticism and RAS scores for a position that puts a premium on decision making and ball placement. Both Kizer and Love were athletic QBs with strong arms and poor performance under pressure and inaccurate ball placement. There was sufficient college tape on both of these QBs to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Now the Packers have invested a first and fourth pick on Love hoping they can teach him to think faster and throw more accurately. Yeah. I know women who married bad boys thinking they could reform them too. That doesn't always work out either. Maybe I'm selling the GB coaching staff short and they can turn Love into a cool calm cerebral QB who can read defenses and learn how to harness his athletic skills to throw timely, accurate passes. Great examples of that happening are . . . are? I'm sure there are good examples, I just can't think of any right now. IMO, Love = Bortles 2.0

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packer132's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:46 pm

Love has not played in one pre-season or NFL game, and you know he doesn't have it? How did Rodgers do in his first 3 seasons? I'll tell you. Very bad. HIs 4th year he started to get it.

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Dragon5's picture

March 28, 2021 at 03:47 pm

To declare Gute's GM prowess is no different than trying to immediately grade the draft each year...takes time. Having said that, I believe Gute's biggest flaw is his mismanagement of draft capital relative to perceived player value. None of us have the inside story to what calls are fielded in the war room, but there's no way I can believe he hasn't thrown away several 3rd or 4th round picks inclusive of trading up as well as NOT trading down during the first couple rounds.

The expensive Graham signing is the FA pickup that will forever stick out like a sore thumb.

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BruceIrons's picture

March 29, 2021 at 08:06 am

I look at it more of a progress report than a final grade. If the guys don't develop, those 3rd and 4th rounders that he traded away will definitely sting a little more.

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BruceIrons's picture

March 29, 2021 at 08:06 am

I look at it more of a progress report than a final grade. If the guys don't develop, those 3rd and 4th rounders that he traded away will definitely sting a little more.

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Tabin's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:04 pm

The 2018 draft is the one we can evaluate better.
A+
Trading down to get a 1st round pick
Getting Alexander
B+
Lazard undrafted player
C
MVS
Maybe St. Brown after all he is a 6th pick that as shown some flashes
Negative D
The rest of the draft
Scott, that kid second name should be inconsistent
Jackson please give him a chance at safety
Oren Burks great athlete no football IQ
Moore, Madison, Looney, Donnerson out of the league
Hunter Bradley, not even an average LS, and you get those after the draft
2019 (we need to wait one more season) for now:
A+
Jenkins
A or B
Gary and Savage. I would have loved Simmons with the 1st pick. If we look at the second part of the season both players improve their game and looked like good starters. If they upgrade their game a little more this draft could be a very good one.
C
Summers he helps on ST.
C-
Strenberger, has a cool name but other than that between injuries and poor play not very optimistic with the kid.
Keke, Hollman,
D
Williams
2020 draft We need more time
Personally I am very very low in Love, but I hope he proves me wrong for the good of the team
Very high in Runyan, Dillon, Deguara and Stephaniak, on that order.
Moderate optimistic with Scott
I don´t think that Hanson and Garvin are going to turn into NFL caliber players.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:50 pm

"The 2018 draft is the one we can evaluate better.
,,,,
B+
Lazard undrafted player"

He said he was undrafted so how does he rate a B in grading the 2018 draft? Gute made 11 picks. Lazard was not one of them. He wasn't even signed to his first contract by GB either. The Packers added him to their active roster from the Jax PS in December 2018. If they really had him graded highly, they would have done so much sooner, instead of as a "get through the season with 53" addition to cover guys on IR.

It is beyond a stretch to give Gute's draft a B grade for a guy he didn't draft or sign as a UDFA. And has been a serviceable player but hardly a difference maker.

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:02 pm

I’m optimistic Keke will break out this year, especially with better D line personnel usage ... I’m keeping fingers crossed.

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White92's picture

March 29, 2021 at 10:29 am

Good analysis. I agree with most, if not all of it.

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:02 pm

I don't know if you can honestly say the Packers have hit on a third round pick since Morgan Burnett in 2010. Before 2010 you had Jermichael Finley and James Jones, all between 2007-2010. But there was a big string of misses for a while before that run. I guess my point here is that it is really nice when you develop quality starters in rounds 3-4, and, no, we haven't seen that happen for Gute yet, but the sample size is small.

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Oppy's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:20 pm

Not Gute, but Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers were both 3rd rounders.

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:44 pm

I guess I don't consider either of those guys to have been quality starters. More stop-gap/rotational. They both definitely had their moments though Oppy.

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Oppy's picture

March 29, 2021 at 07:55 pm

They're both still in the league and have been productive.

Average NFL career doesn't last 4 years.

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:44 pm

I guess I don't consider either of those guys to have been quality starters. More stop-gap/rotational. They both definitely had their moments though Oppy.

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BruceIrons's picture

March 29, 2021 at 08:08 am

Strange but true, they seem to have done a lot better in the 4th and 5th rounds than they have in the 3rd.

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gkarl's picture

March 28, 2021 at 04:21 pm

Well I don't think much of your article either, does that make you a bad writer? Nobody is perfect, that a pretty high standard.

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LeotisHarris's picture

March 28, 2021 at 09:51 pm

Deleted.

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Swisch's picture

March 29, 2021 at 01:57 pm

Aaron Rodgers should understand more than anyone the pick of Jordan Love. He was Jordan Love.
Also, at the time of the pick of Jordan Love in the first round, it didn't seem as though the Packers were only a couple players away from the Super Bowl -- especially not in the sense of rookies being the difference makers, and at that rookies selected late in each of the rounds.
After the first season under Matt LaFleur resulted in a startling 13-3 record, it didn't seem like we'd match that in his second year -- especially after the trouncing we took in the NFC Championship from the 49ers.
It seems really hard for any team to win as many as 13 games in consecutive years, really hard. How often has it been done lately?
I'm thinking a lot of fans would have been happy with 10-6 this past season.
It was easy for us to get carried away with expectations when the Packers did actually win 13 games once more, then beat the Rams soundly in the playoffs, and took the Bucs to the end of the championship game.
There's way too much second guessing about that Bucs game. For example, it's unlikely that MLF plays Dillon more than either Jones or Williams -- given the excellent track record of the first two, and the latter's lack of experience, with a fumble in the preceding playoff game.
We should try to learn from our experiences, but not at the cost of beating up our managers, coaches, or players in a discouraging way.
In retrospect, last season was an amazing ride of spectacular success.
***
Now let's not get complacent; let's nail this draft; let's prepare diligently this off season all around -- and let's seize this rare opportunity at a Super Bowl with many of our players returning, and lots of good past experiences to build on.
It's always good to be a little wary, and to continue to ask hard questions, but we do well to appreciate recent gains of major proportions, to keep the negatives under control, and to stress the positives for next season.
It seems to me that fans can do a lot to not only hold a team accountable, but also to lift up a team to its highest potential.
P.S. One could argue that the pick of Love motivated Rodgers to his best season since 2012. Also, it may have helped us to get Love's high school teammate, Krys Barnes, who so far seems at least at the level of any fourth-rounder we lost by trading up for Love.

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Dragon5's picture

March 28, 2021 at 06:04 pm

I give Bahk credit for saying Aaron would essentially blaze in 2020 right after Love was drafted. He was spot on. I'll take the under on 13 wins in 2021.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 06:38 pm

Yeah, it was a 180 degree opposite of the previous QBs reaction when we drafted his replacement.

We’re going to be good this year, andRodgers is going to be good. IF he has time to do his job.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 06:36 pm

I’d like to say that this has been one of the better discussions. Even some people who are notorious for crappy logic and personal attacks have made some good points worth considering. Some people who I never read actually made some very good arguments. I wish it was like this more often.

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Nate-1980's picture

March 31, 2021 at 05:10 pm

Yeah crappy logic, like when you said MVS was the best of his class, that kind of crappy logic right ? The arrogance of this one is strong ha..

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Jaqu’eau's picture

March 28, 2021 at 06:46 pm

Below is an article from PFF that shows all nfl teams’ draft success from 2017-20. Packers are in the lower end of the league, according to this analysis, for this period. However, adjusting for draft position, and position chosen, they move up slightly, towards the middle of the league. As this takes into consideration a four year period, the 2020 Packers draft likely caused the deflated numbers as their first three picks either didn’t play or played sparingly. However, four of the top five picks could be major contributors this season, which would likely boost them up the rankings going forward. We won’t know Love’s true value for three more years, but as the article notes, qbs have a greater potential to add value than any other position. An interesting read but note the final analysis towards the end: when they compare GMs over longer periods of time, high levels of success are not consistent. This may suggest a rather significant degree of randomness or luck is at play. To see this play out, look at the redrafts to see where the initial evaluations and draft positions were off. It turns out, it is very often.

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-historical-draft-success-for-all-32-nfl-teams

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Leatherhead's picture

March 28, 2021 at 07:15 pm

Nice.

Applying the bell curve, we’re pretty much average.....like just about everybody else.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 29, 2021 at 04:58 am

Using PFR's CarAv 2017-2020:

Blt: 304 points. 10 starters. (3rd per PFF)
TB: 210 points. 12 starters. (2nd per PFF)
GB: 204 points. 6 starters. (22nd per PFF)
KC: 188 points. 6 starters. (1st per PFF)

54 from Mahomes. PFR credited Vea as the primary starter in just one of his 3 years in the league because he has missed 14 of 48 games. He's the starter in my book. Lamar Jackson with 48 CarAv so far.

PFF really like Mahomes. Duh.

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Atticus's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:01 pm

This is a REALLY hard one. Teds last couple drafts ileft a lot to replenish. If Gutey went 100% bpa due to overwhelming long term issues, it’s possible his picks haven’t organically overtaken the prior guys. But if that’s the case, they’re running out of time to prove Gutey right.

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Coldworld's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:07 pm

Gute inherited a Swiss cheese. The first draft was shaped by that out of necessity as were the subsequent FAs we are paying. After that it’s building LaFleur’s team

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Oppy's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:11 pm

The draft is and always has been a crap shoot.

The reason is because you're not simply evaluating a players current talent level. You're trying to predict a player's ability to grow and mature- their ceiling and their ability to reach it. That's 100% projection- it's a crap shoot.

The sooner fans learn not to grade players based on a sliding scale dependent on what round they were drafted in, the sooner fans start to see the bigger picture. Every team in the NFL is concerned with one thing; putting together the best 53 man roster that they can within the confines of a salary cap floor and the salary cap ceiling. It really doesn't matter what round a player was drafted in.

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canadapacker's picture

March 28, 2021 at 08:53 pm

Gute has filled some holes. He hasnt missed a whole bunch. The biggest question that always needs to be asked - what has happened over the past decade of success that has caused a great many of our inner circle to be poached by other teams. From Reggie Mackenzie to John Schneider to John Dorsey Highsmith. Eventually if they are not replaced by as qualified staff - the GM is buying a pig in a poke. TT used to work non-stop but later in his career he had more misses than hits. The draft is always 20-20 after the fact but when you look back at our drafts in the final few years of TT's years - you will find some big time misses on guys we passed on and became Pro-bowlers for the same position that we selected or when we selected a guy who didnt play much for the team. Just look at the 2015 draft.

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CoachDino's picture

March 28, 2021 at 10:54 pm

Your Logic doesn't stand up.
1) Weak to make a 4 starter point, when including rookies, as a bad thing sign of draft production. Why:
-Rookies starting on NFCCG Teams has a lower frequency than the rest of the league
-You never stated what is considered a good amount of rookie starters or when draft picks should start so there's zero context. Are we to assume that 4 starters is good or bad? Why - compared to what? there's no bar set (quantitatively)
-This is a league of sub packages like never before.
-JD could of been considered a starter
-RG should be considered a starter
ST players are starters though I can see why they wouldn't be included but they do make an immediate impact and are starters (very low positional Value)

Also I see no calculation other than "Starter" to the value the Draft pick. Performance and positional value are key to any evaluation. JK Scott Started at punter vs JA Starter at CB same Starter value- even substitute Martin for Scott
Considering where the Packers drafted and the trade (which I commend you for including - most don't) will impact starter probability and GM draft acumen.
Examples
JA is a grand slam at a Top Positional Value position
Savage is a triple - At a Mid positional Value Position
Jenkins is a Triple - At a Mid but if he does end up playing OT it will go up
Gary is a double with HR potential - At a Top Positional Value

Thats two drats with Two Studs at Top Positional Value positions and Two at Mid. That in itself is an A plus over 2 years plus an additional 1st

Way too early to evaluate last years draft and any football Gm would tell you that you sign FA for immediate needs and draft for the future (even more so when drafting practically last in every rd) So very little value should be assigned to rookie impact
-If Love starts and is avg for the Packers at anytime it's a good pick due to positional value. let alone the value it has already brought in giving the Packers Leverage/Options at QB
-AJ Dillon will be like a starter and kept the packers from making desperate moves - Just compare AJones signing to KK - Though I'm not a big fan of that pick - I understand it for what ML wants to do and AJ/JM FA situation but Lack of positional Value
Ditto for JD - like a starter/pick made due to scheme fit/lack of positional value
IMO Gute gave ML the pieces he advocated for.

Gute if graded should get an A- with an incomplete for 2020 draft
TGR made a very interesting comment about how few hits Gute has had with an abnormally high amount of draft picks in the 3-7 range. gute has not nearly had the success of TT, or as much as one would expect from a good drafter. It's a good point, yet one that when grading his first two drafts is mute when it comes to production. When he hit so well early, you don't need to hit on the later picks , which statistically are longshots to be of much impact. TT survived on those to a certain extent. In the end it doesn't matter how he does it, the GM just has to produce and Gute has.

Being a Good GM is not just about drafting but (Noted your articles scope is the draft)
UDFA
FA
Keeping Your FA
Cap management
Coach

When including the above having hit on:
UDFA
Barnes
Lazard
Lancaster - Another case when just using starter doesn't work for eval
Patrick

And he has been Good with FA both big Ines
Z (Big Win both performance positional value)
Amos (Big Win)
turner Win (Flexibility really paid off)
Preston (one good / one bad year)
Tonyan (was he still TT?)

Bridge FA (with very shrewd contract)
Kirsey - Avg
Wagner - Good
Tramon - Good

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 29, 2021 at 05:38 am

I think I consistently mentioned that Gute has been good drafting plus players in the draft.

I agree on the FA, especially the big 4 signings in 2019. Lewis and Wagner have been a pleasant players for their salaries to date. Kirksey was a below average signing, though. Despite that and Graham, Gute's FA record is good, imo. Veldheer certainly worked out well.

Tonyan was TT (signed to the PS for the last 4 games of 2017). Lancaster, Sullivan (waiver wire - signed by Pittsburgh in 2018 as a UDFA), Lazard and Barnes are Gute's finds. I think the jury is out on Barnes. But while Lucas Patrick was TT's find, or on his watch, Gute is the one to sign him cheap for 3 years in 2019. Redmond and Greene are also Gute's finds. Both have talent despite what posters write. Very useful guys.

14 picks in rounds 3 - 7 for 2018 and 2019 with MVS and Keke to show for it. Scott has talent but he's too inconsistent for me to give him anything but a below average grade.

Gute took 6 more in 2020. Deguara looks promising. Martin, Runyan showed a bit. I still like the Stepaniak pick. Gute's average could easily improve with this draft.

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canadapacker's picture

March 29, 2021 at 10:01 am

I think that Gute seems to have a pretty good handle on the types of players that he wants to bring into GB. I think that TT mostly had that same type of mentality and scouting set up. Unlike Pittsburgh and Cinci and a few other teams that seemed to gravitate towards problem children types of players and the resulting suspensions and bad press. We have a few transgressors - mostly with DUI and maybe minor mj possession. But back to an earlier post - I wonder what has happened to the scouting system over the years. GB used to be pretty good at unearthing those players who are better than average and not following the general consensus. Especially unearthing FA players. Although the one thing that TT especially didnt have a good handle on was picking potential QB's - Brohm? Tolzein etc.

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CoachDino's picture

March 30, 2021 at 02:57 pm

TGR, I apologize if i worded my comment about your point in a way that states your opinion. I I just wanted to included what I thought was an interesting point and give credit to the person who came up with it.

I do think having all those picks and only hitting on a few is not a sustainable performance. statistically, 1st and 2nd rd draft picks, and certainly ones chosen as late as the packers do, are not going to be strong contributors. So you need to be able to supplement those misses with 3-7 finds.

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BJP's picture

April 27, 2021 at 07:17 am

Embarrassingly unprofessional analysis for someone supposedly authoring books. I won’t be reading them.

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