The Green Bay Packers had to make a decision at No. 62 overall: Take the potential Ohio state plug-and-play center or Clemson’s versatile slot weapon.
The Packers chose Josh Myers, with his size and power in multiple positions for the offensive line that served as a tiebreaker. But even after making the choice, CEO Brian Gutekunst wasn’t ready to give up to get Amari Rodgers. He immediately ordered his staff to call and find ways to move up the board and get Clemson’s playmaker.
The process took a while, but it clicked in the end. The Packers moved up seven places in the third round at the expense of the high price of a fourth round, and Rodgers stuck at number 85 overall.
To say the Packers were eager to get him would probably be an understatement. The team thinks Rodgers could be an immediate impact player for the Packers – in attackers and special teams.
“His origins, his achievements in college at a great stage were things that comforted us and made us feel like he could be a productive player for us early in his career,” said Gutekunst.
Gutekunst and his staff were enamored with Rodgers’ fit in the Matt LaFleur attack. He said the Packers had been looking for this type of player – a dynamic slot playmaker – for at least two years.
“He fills so many gaps for us,” said Gutekunst. That’s one of the reasons we traded for him. Not just as a gamble reset and slot receiver, but as you guys have seen over the years, the creativity that Matt has within his insult, some of the jet sweeps and screens. He’s a 212 pound receiver, he’s not one of these smaller guys. So I think kick return could be part of his arsenal too. It was just built for us here in Green Bay. Very versatile plyer. Very smart player. “
In many ways, Rodgers is a Randall Cobb-type player, although Gutekunst wouldn’t go into comparing the two.
Gutekunst said Rodgers “has been a pro from an early age” and is a “polished route runner.” The Packers also like that he sustained a serious injury (ACL in 2019) and came back stronger, as he noted the value of having players who endured setbacks before entering the NFL.
Rodgers stands 5-9, much shorter than most of the receivers the Packers have lined up in the recent past, but Gutekunst isn’t concerned about his size, and he’s especially excited about the way Rodgers uses his power and elusiveness to hit the ball. in his hands.
“This man is small, but not small. It weighs 212 pounds, ”Gutekunst said. ‘When you see him, he’s not a short man, he’s just not tall. I think it’s a bit different from some of the other slots in the competition. He’s built more like a running back. He gave me a lot of comfort because you can’t run through everyone in this competition. You have to get in touch and break tackles and he sure can. “
Rodgers caught an ACC-high 77 passes in 2020. He first broke out as an impact player at the young age of 19 at Clemson, helping the Tigers as slot receiver and bet returner. Rodgers is only 21 and has 55 collegiate experience to his credit entering the NFL.
Gutekunst had to give up one of his picks in the fourth round to move up seven places in the third round and get him. The Packers have a fourth rounder to use on Saturday, but Gutekunst paid a pretty penny to move up and get hold of Rodgers.
“I thought it was important because of the value of the player I wanted,” said Gutekunst.