The Green Bay Packers engineered a first-round shocker in the NFL Draft last Thursday, trading up to take Utah State quarterback prospect Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick. While Aaron Rodgers couldn’t have been happy about the selection, he nevertheless reached out to Love to congratulate him.
“I’m sure he’ll say all of the right things publicly. He’s very good at that,” Bleacher Report NFL writer Tyler Dunne said of Rodgers on The DA Show. “But make no mistake: he’s ticked off – and we’ve seen Aaron Rodgers at his best when he is ticked off, so I don’t know if the Packers are really that worried about it.”
The Packers went 13-3 last season and reached the NFC Championship. They did this with limited weapons in the passing game, outside of Davante Adams. While many analysts assumed the Packers would draft a wide receiver early and often, they took a quarterback in the first round and shunned wideouts altogether.
“They won 13 games last year, I get it,” Dunne said. “But you watch those games, they won a lot of games with a great defense, a great running game, maybe not that tough of a schedule – and maybe they’re looking at this team and thinking, ‘We’re not as close as we thought we were last year. If we’re going to catch San Francisco, we’ve almost got to kind of copy them.’ That’s kind of the offense they’re building here.”
Rodgers was solid statistically last season. He threw for over 4,000 yards, 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions in his first year in Matt LaFleur’s offense. He has 51 touchdowns and just six interceptions over the last two seasons combined. But perhaps LaFleur – and general manager Brian Gutekunst – didn’t like what they saw from No. 12.
“They might see signs of decline,” Dunne said. “He doesn’t play quarterback like Tom Brady and Drew Brees and maybe they don’t think he’s going to age like fine wine. Heck, they don’t. They took a quarterback in the first round this year.”
Rodgers, 36, said he wants to play beyond his current contract. For the record, he would be 40 when his current deal expires.
“Maybe Aaron Rodgers has more run in him,” Dunne said. “This is definitely going to motivate him. We all know about that grudge that he holds. But it’s clear that the Packers are thinking long-term. And heck, I love it. I think it takes a lot of guts to do what Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur did. They’ve gotten a lot of scrutiny, but they’re trying to build a team, and they’re the ones running the show – not the quarterback.”