The 2020 edition of the NFL Draft is set to kick off on Thursday, and with the Draft being held in the virtual world, people are expecting it to be very different than years past.
When I say it's going to be different, I don't just mean the visual for the fans, everything is going to be different.
Team personnel will be in different locations communicating with each other through Zoom, and some people believe that we may not see as many trades during the Draft than perhaps we thought we'd see.
Skyler Carlin from ClutchPoints captures this perfectly in a piece he wrote about Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, and how Elway believes we will see less trades in this year's draft.
“Elway believes the absence of having everyone from the organization in the same room could lead to fewer trades. Despite the NFL’s attempt to salvage the draft, there’s guaranteed to be some noticeable difference in this year’s draft.”
The NFL is going to do everything they can to normalize the draft for the fans, and do what they can to ensure that the teams are able to execute as normal as possible in a very abnormal time.
But, as much as we might dwell on the unknown and the strangeness of this whole COVID-19 pandemic and how it's not just affecting our households, but also our sports. Some GM's aren't going to let this stop them from doing what they need to do, to ensure they have the best draft possible, and Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst says that the Packers will be as aggressive as they have to be.
Maximo Gonzales covered this story for ClutchPoints on Monday. Gonzales points out that not only will the Packers have holes to fill, and that they can't let the uniqueness of this draft stop them from doing their job, and making the moves that need to be made.
“We’ll be as aggressive as we need to be,” Gutekunst said. “I’d like to move around and get to the areas of the draft I think are strong We’ve got enough ammunition to move around a little bit and do what we need to do,”
I take some comfort seeing that team's still plan on making moves, despite the barriers of this year's draft. We said before, Green Bay has some noticeable holes that they have fill, this Draft will be very important to fill a lot of those positions.
Zach Kruse of Packers Wire recently identified Green Bay's most pressing draft needs as: wide receiver, offensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback, and defensive line.
I think it's fair to say that every team in the league probably has five to seven positions that they need to either fill or significantly improve, so the Packers list of five isn't that bad.
But the Packers also have to start thinking about the future. We are watching the New England Patriots go through losing Tom Brady right now, and I don't think Green Bay wants to ever find themselves in the same position. Aaron Rodgers isn't getting any younger, and drafting a quarterback of the future this season may not be a bad move by the Packers.
Green Bay drafting a quarterback has been a very popular conversation amongst fans, and I fully admit I'm not a fan of the Green Bay Packers, so when I started doing my research for this piece, I found that the people who cover the team regularly, don't think the Packers should was a draft pick on a quarterback.
Tom Oates of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel wrote that the is no reason for the Packers to take a quarterback in this year's draft.
“Can he afford to spend that much draft capital on a quarterback of the future when he has pressing needs at several other positions and a still-elite quarterback on a team that finished one victory short of the Super Bowl? The answer is, no, he can’t. Gutekunst doesn’t have the luxury of using a first-round pick on a quarterback who won’t play for several years when his contending team has holes to fill at wide receiver, offensive tackle, defensive end and inside linebacker in a draft that should offer immediate-impact players at most or all of those positions.”
This is the predicament that successful teams find themselves in a lot. It's very difficult to plan for the future, when your immediate needs are starring your right in the face.
As Gonzales points out in his piece, the Packers won't, and haven't shied away from taking an aggressive approach in the draft. Guteknust has no issues trading up or trading down in order to get the guy that he needs.
The Draft is a couple days away and by now plans are made, discussions are being had, and general managers are hoping to not to get caught up in the moment, and make a poor decision that's going to hurt their team.
Luckily for the Green Bay faithful, they have a seasoned GM who's not afraid to make calculated moves at the Draft, and he doesn't seem thrown off by the circumstances surrounding this year's draft.