Packers GM Brian Gutekunst: Drafting QB in 1st Round 'Always on the Table'

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IFebruary 22, 2020

Green Bay Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst introduces head coach Matt LaFleur at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Aaron Rodgers could gain an understudy from the 2020 NFL draft.

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst disclosed to reporters Friday that he's not opposed to selecting a quarterback with the franchise's first-round pick come April. 

"Everything I've been taught, that's where you start," Gutekunst said. "You start with the quarterback. So you evaluate them every year, and I think it's always on the table. It's a good crop this year. It's a good group of quarterbacks. I think it's a little deeper than it has been in the past. It will be interesting."

The Packers own the 30th overall pick.      

Rodgers, who turned 36 on Dec. 2, is under contract with the Packers through the 2023 season.

The Athletic's Matt Schneidman evaluated the 2011 and 2014 NFL MVP's future earlier this week:

"I do think this is Rodgers' last contract with the Packers. Four more seasons would put him at age 40 after the 2023 season and while he wants to play slightly past that, I just don't see him taking a team-friendly two-year deal or something like that, especially after how well the Favre-to-Rodgers transition worked and the presumption that the Packers would rather a second- or third-year quarterback instead of a washed-up 41- or 42-year-old Rodgers clinging on for dear life.

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Now, we may see a rejuvenated Rodgers next season if the Packers surround him with better weapons, but I don't think even that would change their plans at quarterback." 

Green Bay could be following the same blueprint it used when Rodgers entered the league behind Brett Favre. The organization took Rodgers 24th overall in the 2005 draft, and he sat behind Favre until becoming the full-time starter in 2008.

The Packers won the Super Bowl two years later.

The 2020 quarterback class is led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, who is presumably headed to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 1 overall. Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason and Jordan Love are emerging as the top prospects at the position behind Burrow prior to next week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Despite Gutekunst's open-ended mindset regarding quarterbacks, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected the Packers to take Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet in his latest mock draft.

Green Bay is heading into its second season under head coach Matt LaFleur, who revitalized the offense and led the team to its first playoff appearance since 2016, so it might make more sense in the immediate future to surround Rodgers with more weapons rather than drafting his predecessor.