Highlights from Brian Gutekunst’s pre-draft press conference

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst answered questions for 30 minutes ahead of the 2024 NFL draft on Monday.

Here are some highlights from Gutekunst’s pre-draft presser:

— On top 30 visits: Admits some subterfuge. “It’s about answering a question we don’t have an answer to.” Can be medical info. Football questions, off-field questions, getting to know a player. Calls the visits “really valuable.”

— Draft board is mostly set. Might have a final meeting Monday night.

— Stressful during the draft? Maybe not. Most of the work has been done, so decisions aren’t super difficult when they get on the clock. “Pretty boring” in the draft room, he says.

— More draft picks are always better. “More at-bats, more chances at hits.” Wants as much competition in every room to create growth for the team. “We have 11 now, but I’d love to have 13-14 or more.”

— A lot of the work on trades, especially in the first round, are done pre-draft. Conversations with other teams on-going throughout Friday and Saturday.

— On having five picks in the top 100: “I think we’re in a pretty good space to move or just sit and pick.”

— On Andre Dillard: Likes the first-round pedigree, talent, starting experience. Packers lost depth along the offensive line, he’s hoping Dillard can compete for a spot.

— On Day 3 offensive line: Says Ted Thompson was “really good” at finding great linemen on Day 3. Points to athletic traits, mentality, play style as characteristics they look for.

— On raw athleticism in the draft: “Certain athletic traits, you have to have.” Says prospects with better athleticism have “higher ceilings” and improvement potential, lacking athleticism in some areas creates a lower ceiling, in general.

— On versatility: “We’re looking for well-rounded guys who can fit in any scheme and play multiple positions.”

— On Greg Joseph: “Competition.” Packers wanted competition at kicker, a “critical” position for the Packers in 2024 and beyond.

— Gutekunst on Cooper DeJean playing corner or safety: “He can do both. He’s very versatile that way.”

— Gutekunst notes that only 1.6 players per draft class re-sign with their teams across the NFL.

— Do the Packers have an edge in scouting? Gutekunst says the team has a long-standing process and a lot of people who have grown up within the process.

— Gutekunst: “The draft is the lifeblood of the organization…this is extremely important.”

— Gutekunst said he never feels like his team is a “couple of pieces away.”

— Gutekunst reiterated how important versatility is along the offensive line. Packers have had great success with guys who can play tackle and guard.

— Huge importance in making sure the board is valued right. “You have to be careful of falling in love with individual players.”

— Notes that during the 2023 draft, the Packers were comfortable taking Tucker Kraft in the second round after trading down (ended up getting Jayden Reed) and were surprised he was still available in the third round.

— On Jaire Alexander at the offseason workout program: “Everybody was eager to get back…he seems to be in a great space right now.”

— “At the end of the day, you have to be able to play the game.” Said the tape is always the best predictor of future success. Big part of the process is trying to project a college player into the pro game.

— Gutekunst said he wants to find an “interchangeable” safety to pair with Xavier McKinney. Play nickel, deep. Must be able to do it all.

— Gutekunst said he got to five or six pro days this year. Used to do 30 or more as an area scout. Valuable to him to see a prospect in their own comfortable environment. “I wish I could do more.”

— Would he give up a top 100 pick to move up in the first round? Only for a player that they wouldn’t normally have a chance to get most years in the draft.

— Gutekunst said analytics are “growing” inside the draft process. Helps support decision-making process. More data to use on the draft.

— On Brazil: Going to be some challenges, but he’s excited. Away game on a neutral field. Expecting home game in Week 2 for more recovery coming back. “Our players are excited.” Better than playing in Philadelphia.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire