Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst explained this weekend why the team traded up to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick.
The pick drew intrigue and criticism because the team already has eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Gutekunst explained the pick to the MMQB's Albert Breer:
“We looked at it like we really do every year,” Gutekunst said Sunday afternoon. “We evaluate all the players and certainly quarterback is of the highest priority for an NFL franchise. We evaluate those guys very closely. And you set your boards. Again, you don't know what’ll happen. But I've never in my time in Green Bay, we've never been in a spot where it was like, ‘Hey, we have to go get a quarterback this year.’ This was no different. Long story short, eventually, Love was the top guy left, and the gap was widening. As those players got picked, it was kind of like, with the way our board was, there really wasn't anyone else at that level that we felt comfortable taking."
The Packers traded the No. 30 pick and a fourth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for the 26th spot. Love is the first offensive player drafted by Green Bay in the first round since 2005.
The move was compared to when the Packers drafted Rodgers before the season in which Brett Favre was set to turn 36 years old.
Rodgers, 36, is coming off a season in which he threw for 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and four interceptions. He led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers.