The Green Bay Packers made the most surprising move of the 2020 NFL Draft when they selected former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the No. 26 overall pick. Not only did they draft a backup quarterback in the first round, but they also traded up to do so. Naturally, the decision to draft a new signal-caller drew the ire of fans in Green Bay, even though it brought back some memories of exactly what the Packers did when they selected Aaron Rodgers with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Late Thursday night, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst sat down on a conference call with reporters to explain how he thought the first round went and why he was interested in drafting Love.
“Had a good opportunity to take Jordan Love, the quarterback from Utah State,” Gutekunst said. “Excited about a player we take and develop at the most important position in football.”
Immediately, Gutekunst was asked if he had spoken to Rodgers about this decision to take a quarterback in the first round. He responded by saying that he had not.
“I haven’t connected with Aaron yet,” Gutekunst said. “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.”
Gutekunst said selecting Love had a lot to do with how the board fell — even though Green Bay traded up to get him. He said Love does have a lot to learn but he truly believes that the Packers are a good fit for him as he develops. Gutekunst said Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the league and they plan on having him for several more years while they continue to compete for championships.
Rodgers, who turned 36 in December, is coming off of a season in which he threw for 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The Packers won the NFC North with a 13-3 record and came just one game away from Super Bowl LIV in Matt LaFleur’s first year as coach.
Even if Love is the future under center for the Packers whenever Rodgers decides to retire, the decision to take a backup quarterback in the first round instead of another player who could come in and make an immediate impact when a team is so close to acquiring a Lombardi trophy is a questionable one.