Would Gutenkunst draft a QB?

Due diligence or just "subtrafuge?"

Mike Clemens
April 22, 2019 - 7:11 pm

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subterfuge (noun)   /ˈsəbtərˌfyo͞oj/

Deceit. Used in order to achieve one’s goal. Trickery. Deception.

“He had to use subterfuge and bluff on many occasions.”  

 

Green Bay, WI - When the Green Bay Packers brought in Missouri quarterback Drew Lock for a formal visit to Green Bay, a week before the 2019 NFL Draft, panic seem to set in with some fans.

Why would they just sign Aaron Rodgers to a long term contract, then use a first round pick on a quarterback, instead of filling an immediate need?

On top of that, the NFL Network reported the Packers were also interested in flying Duke quarterback Daniel Jones to Green Bay for an interview, but a conflict in schedules prevented it.

During the NFL Combine, Packers GM Brian Gutenkunst was asked if the team would be as secretive about such visits by college or free agent prospects as they had been in years past? Or would they decline to bring in players in an effort to avoid speculation in the media?

Gutenkunst revealed that under Ted Thompson as general manager, the team often chose not to schedule some of those visits for that very reason. Why stir up the pot or tip your hand so close to the draft? He said Thompson also joked that other teams were blatantly leaking information to the press about their potential player visits was “subterfuge.”

Aaron Rodgers is 35. He’s missed two seasons with a broken collar bone. He played through last year with a fractured shin bone.  He’s taken a lot of hits, yet still wants to scramble out of the pocket.  Do the Packers have a quarterback succession plan in place?

“I think the whole succession-plan thing is a little bit overhyped,” Gutekunst said Monday at a pre-draft press conference.

Under Ted Thompson, Gutenkunst said even though the team had Brett Favre, the scouting department placed a higher value on the search for quality quarterbacks.

“We value that position extremely highly. And I think every year we spent a lot of time on quarterbacks and try to figure out what kind of players those guys are going to be in the NFL. I think it’s really, really important to us because if you don’t have one it’s really tough to win in this league.”

And there is no better way to build a file on a possible opposing quarterback than when he is available to the world before the draft for a team visit to Green Bay.

“For us it’s just about each and every year trying to decide which of the guys that could potentially be starters in this league and difference-maker-type players,” said Gutenkunst. “And then if you ever have an opportunity to take them sometime in the draft and it’s the best thing for your team I don’t think you can hesitate with that, you know?”

Gutenkunst says despite having Aaron Rodgers, he always needs to think about the team first.

“Again, we’re lucky to have the best player in the NFL playing that position right now. But at the same time, just like I was talking about before, your needs can change just like that.”

Think of the Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater. Think of the Redskins and Alex Smith.

“So, I think it was just doing due diligence. There’s always questions, specifically with those guys, maybe that are a little more thorough and more in depth that you’ve got to get to the bottom of and so we were trying to do that.”

And then, with a wink and a nod to Ted Thompson’s joke around the office regarding pre-draft NFL shenanigans, Gutenkunst made reference to the story he told at the Combine.

“And then sometimes there's just some subterfuge thrown in there as well."

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