Packers Trade Up For A Quarterback?

Huh. Talk about a record-scratch moment.

Jim Rome
April 24, 2020 - 11:02 am
Brian Gutekunst and Matt Lafleur

USA Today

Categories: 

Joe Burrow to the Bengals was the biggest non-secret ever. And I really like that fit for him and for them. When you look at the talent they have on offense, that team could be sneaky good next year. Not Super Bowl good, but they won’t be picking first again next year.

And it’s hard not to like the fit of Chase Young in Washington. If he lives up to the hype, that defensive front is stacked.

The only mystery in the first five picks was whether Tua would go at number five to Miami. And he did. Which means they got their guy. The Tanking for Tua plan worked. They got the guy they wanted, plus offensive tackle Austin Jackson, and added even more talent in their secondary.

And then there’s Dallas. Jerry Jones looked like was making that pick from a Bond villain’s lair, but he has to be pumped as hell that CeeDee Lamb felt to them at 17. Arguably the best receiver in the draft and you don’t have to do anything to get him? Even Jerry Jones couldn’t screw that up.

Receiver wasn’t even a position of need, but you can’t pass up CeeDee Lamb when he’s there. And you can’t pass up the chance to pair him with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. You think that receiving corps will be any good this year?

Defense is still an issue, but that offense is loaded. Mike McCarthy was practically ready to head-butt the camera after that pick. And before it.

And then there is Green Bay. The Packers went to the NFC Championship game this year. They have a Hall of Fame quarterback. You could make the case that they are close to getting back to the Super Bowl. So what do you do with your first round pick? That was a big question going into the draft.

And when Green Bay traded up in the first round, you thought something big was about to happen. Were they going to break from tradition and actually get Aaron Rodgers a first round receiver or running back, something the team hasn’t done for 15 years? Maybe you go with a tight end to give Rodgers another target.

Nope. Instead, you do this, they selected quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State. Wow.

Huh?!? What? Talk about a record-scratch moment. They were in the middle of the deepest wide receiver draft in memory and they took a quarterback.  

Again, what? They just went to the NFC Championship game and now you draft a backup quarterback? Not only do you draft a quarterback, but you traded up to get him. I’m not sure what is the biggest bleep you to Rodgers – not taking someone who can help him or taking someone you’re going to groom to replace him. Or trading up to do that.

GM Brian Gutekunst explained it like this "Had a good opportunity to take Jordan Love, the quarterback from Utah State. Excited about a player we take and develop at the most important position in football."

Okay, yes, it’s an important position, but you already have one of the best guys in history at that position. Why are you looking for a successor now? And what kind of a message does that send to Rodgers?

Naturally, he was asked if he’d spoken to Rodgers about it: "I haven't connected with Aaron yet. He's obviously been through this and he's a pro and I think it's something that's a long-term decision. I think that when you go through kind of the way things went tonight, you weigh the short-term and the long-term and the way the board went, this was just the best decision for the Packers. Obviously Aaron has been around a long time and he knows what we're playing for right now, so that's what's most important right now."

Drafting a guy who will be at best a backup for a few years is not “playing for right now.” That is the definition of building for the future.

And no, this isn’t like the Packers drafting Rodgers when they still had Brett Favre back in 2005. The Slinger was slipping at that point. He was throwing interceptions by the truckload. He’d won a total of two playoff games since going to the Super Bowl in 1998. He had been awful in the playoff game before the 2005 draft, throwing four picks. He followed up the 2005 draft by throwing 29 picks and 20 touchdowns. 

Rodgers just dragged them to the NFC Championship game. He’s thrown six picks…in the last two seasons combined. He is your best player and he needs help. Learn from The Last Dance – when you have greatness, revel in that greatness and benefit from it. Do not start to blow it up before it’s over.

Taking a guy who will hold a clipboard for a couple of years did not bring you closer to the Super Bowl, it moved you further away from it.

Rodgers is not done. Far from it. He is already a huge fuel guy and he just got a whole truckload of super premium. That tank is overflowing and running down the street right now. And as hard as he has worked and as much as he has competed ever since he arrived in the league, he’s going to find a new level now.

But a good team shouldn’t be using its first round pick to light a fire under an already incredibly motivated player. It should be using it to help him and get him support. Get him more weapons. Not a guy who’ll be wearing a baseball hat for a couple years.

If they win a Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, it will be in spite of this draft pick, not because of it.