The Green Bay Packers could be looking to move up from the No. 29 overall pick in the first round, general manager Brian Gutekunst said on Monday, potentially impacting the Steelers five picks earlier.
“It’s always tempting for me,” Gutekunst said. “I think when you’re sitting at [No.] 29 and watching those kind of players come off the board that you’ve spent so much time studying and kind of thinking about how they could affect your football team, it’s always tempting. You gotta be careful and you gotta be careful not to fall in love with any individual player. We’ll look at each opportunity we have to move up. We’ve done that in the past, we’ve moved down in the past, as well. But, we’ll look at each opportunity and, if it makes sense, we certainly won’t be afraid to do that.”
The Packers traded up last year to take quarterback Jordan Love. Green Bay has needs this season at cornerback, offensive line and wide receiver, all of which could be available in the picks ahead of them. They also have few overall starting needs when compared to some other teams in that area, so trading up could be an attractive option.
“We have a very good football team coming back,” Gutekunst said. “Which gives me a little more freedom, I think, as we attack the board to go with the best player. But I think at the same time, I think for me, the one thing, if we have a chance to move up to take a specific player that we feel is special, I think you have to always consider that.”
While the Packers moving ahead of the Steelers to take an offensive lineman or cornerback could impact the way Pittsburgh is able to pick at No. 24, there’s also a possibility that Green Bay could trade with the Steelers.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert outlined that exact scenario when he talked about trading back in his Monday presser.
“We’re always going to value quality over quantity, but if we’re not comfortable with what we’re looking at at the 24th pick, we’ll trade back,” Colbert said. “We’ve got to look at what we’re walking away from. I never like to walk away from a pick without having — say if we’re trading back five spots, I want five players that we would be comfortable in taking so we can’t lose. That’s the way we’ve always approached that.”
Colbert also said he would be slightly hesitant to trade back within the AFC North. After the Steelers pick at No. 24, Cleveland holds pick No. 26 and the Baltimore Ravens have No. 27 and 31, making Green Bay at No. 29 an ideal trade parter.
“Do we want to do it with a division team? That wouldn’t be our preference,” Colbert said. “But we won’t discount that completely because we have to weigh what the potential trade-back will do for us and not worry about where those picks may go. It wouldn’t be our preference, but it won’t disqualify us from trading back with a division team.”
Colbert also said that if the team were to trade down five spots — he used it as a hypothetical — they would want to make sure that at least five players they were comfortable drafting remained on the board at that time, so any trade at this spot will likely wait until the Steelers get on the clock on Thursday night.