Highlights from Packers GM Brian Gutekunst’s post-draft press conference
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst addressed the media and answered questions for 17 minutes after picking 13 players during the 2023 NFL draft.
Here are some highlights:
— On the draft overall: “Great three days, felt really good about it.”
— On taking 13 players “I loved it, for a number of reasons.” Said the Packers didn’t have to wait long to make picks. “It’s going to create great competition.” He always likes more picks.
— On Jordan Love’s fifth-year option: “We’re still working through it.”
— Why wouldn’t he picked it up? “It’s a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t played, but at the same time we’re moving forward with him, so we’ll figure it out.” Deadline is end of day Tuesday.
— Gutekunst said the Packers like the depth along the offensive line. Have 13 players under contract and was worried about the ability of a rookie to make the roster.
— Gutekunst: “One of our goals was to add pass-catchers and skill players.” Packers took three receivers and two tight ends.
— On Anders Carlson: Rich Bisaccia has experience with Daniel Carlson. Had injuries in 2021 and 2022. “We felt really good about where he’s headed.” Bisaccia spent time with him at Auburn. Familarity was a big part of taking Carlson. “He has to stay healthy, too.” Packers gained confidence from Bisaccia’s confidence in Carlson.
— On Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks: Pass-rushing skill sets with versatility to play along the defensive line. “Pass rushers, right? Both of those guys have extensive skill sets to rush the passer…I think they can go up and down the defensive line and rush the passer.”
— On speed: “Sam Saele likes to say, speed kills.” Athleticism/speed/quickness. “Guys on defense we took in this draft have that.”
— On Jayden Reed: Plays bigger, wins “contested balls.”
— On versatility: Long season. “Guys need to do multiple things.” Idea built into franchise by Ted Thompson, having versatile guys who can fill in at different spots if injuries happen.
— On Sean Clifford: “Started a lot of games in the Big Ten. A lot of experience. Really good athlete. Liked his arm talent. Brought him in for a pre-draft visit and really liked the make up of the person.” Says he likes the quarterback room. Will see the young guys work before making a decision on adding a veteran quarterback.
— On pre-draft visits: Part of it is non-combine invites, some for medical evals (physicals). Need to answer questions on certain things on prospects during visits.
— On Anthony Johnson Jr.: Versatility. “One thing that really sold us on him was, top of the football character. The way they talk about him there.”
— On overcoming adversity: Important, makes the team feel better about a player when they’ve overcome adversity because adversity will happen at the NFL level.
— On safety: Signed some veteran guys before draft (Rudy Ford, Dallin Leavitt, Tarvarius Moore), knowing safety class wasn’t strong.
— On Adrian Amos: “We’re not going to close the door on that.” Packers have been “in communication” with Amos during the process. Amos remains unsigned.
— On taking Clifford: Quarterbacks went right before him and the Packers didn’t have another quarterback they really liked on the board. “That made it easy.” All about listening to the board.
— On UDFAs: Says it’s a chaotic but fun time. Just as much excitement for scouts on signing undrafted guys as making draft picks.
— On trades: Discussed making trades for future picks but right deals never materialized. He thinks Packers are likely to have 11 picks going into next year, considering likely comp picks.