GREEN BAY, Wis. – With the Packers currently holding two first-round picks and two second-round picks in the NFL Draft, there’s a lot to talk about. Packers digital reporter Wes Hodkiewicz joins Dennis to talk about the NFL Draft later this month.
Dennis: Wes, it’s been 20 years since the Packers made a first-round pick on a receiver. It was Javon Walker in 2002. With the losses to Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, do you expect the Packers to use a first-round pick on a receiver this year?
We s: Yeah Dennis, I think this would be the perfect year to do it. They have the two first-round picks, and it’s a really deep draft. I think at receiver you can find guys who are really not ready to play in the first round. Guys who have real Pro Bowl-type potential. A number of different types of body types, a number of different types of skill positions. I thought a very interesting thing that Matt LaFleur said in the owners’ meetings was that we all look at the Davante Adams, the type of all-pro player that the Packers are losing. But also losing Marquez Valdes Scantling. It takes away the deepest threat, the threat of speed in this offense. The Packers need to find a way to get this player back in a first-round pick, picking a guy with measurable ideals could be a great way to go.
Dennis: Wes, you often hear about project capital. The Packers have, as of now, the 22nd, 28th, 53rd and 59th picks. With that in mind, do you expect Brian Gutekunst to pack some of these in to progress?
We s: Personally, I think it would be a great year to stay put. You look at the value you get. They say there are guys going to the second round this year who would have been obvious first rounders in previous years. Just based on the number of kids who went back to school last year. That being said, you get out of the story, Brian Gutekunst likes to move. In three out of four repechages, he made it in the first round. My thought would be to hang back, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if you see the Packers trying to wrap up some of those picks, or maybe some of those fourth rounds and be able to progress and getting a player they really feel is one they can’t miss.
Dennis: Each team is allowed to bring 30 potential draft picks for interviews and tours. Do you expect the Packers to use their lot?
We s: They changed format under Brian Gutekunst. In the past, Ted Thompson liked to use these pre-draft visits to bring in guys you don’t know much about. Which you’re not going to see in an NFL combine, but might have a certain feature you really want to look into, or a player you want to sit down with. The Packers are starting to use them a bit more on high-level players. It’s a resource, and it’s an opportunity not only to learn more about the player, but also to introduce them to the organization and what this place is. I really think it’s a tool the Packers have maximized over the years.
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28-30.