OK, so the headline pun was too easy. But the situation with quarterback Aaron Rodgers is dire, with the league’s reigning MVP reportedly disgruntled to the point of not wanting to play for the team anymore.
After the bombshell report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter yesterday afternoon that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay high-jacked the much-anticipated first round of the NFL Draft, the Packers selected cornerback Eric Stokes from Georgia with the 20th overall pick.
Stokes fills an obvious need at cornerback opposite Pro Bowler Jaire Alexander and will compete with incumbent Kevin King for a starting position. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback’s greatest assets are his 4.25 speed and athleticism, and he played in the SCC against elite college receivers.
General manager Brian Gutekunst said the team entertained offers to move up and move down, but ultimately said Stokes stuck out at No. 29.
“As we went through the process today, he was just kind of sticking out like a sore thumb up on our board, Gutekunst said. “Didn’t really think he’d have a chance to get there. Thought when we started there might be an outside chance. As the board fell, and some of the corners went off early, we weren’t really sure he was going to get to us. We were really excited that he did.
“His explosiveness is off the charts. He’s a strong, strong athlete. They do a great job down there at Georgia, training those guys. I think as he continued to play in the SEC, you saw his confidence grow and grow and grow. . . As we got to know him throughout this process, he just fit our profile, not only as a player but as a person. I think he’s going to be a great fit, not only on the field but in our locker room.”
While it remains to be seen if Rodgers will be in the Packers locker room this season, Gutekunst said the team is “working through” the situation but was adamant with the media in a zoom press conference Thursday night about swirling trade rumors with Denver and San Francisco.
“No, we are not going to trade Aaron Rodgers,” he said.
“As were stated since the season ended, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond,” Gutekunst said. “Aaron has been a vital part of our success and we look forward to competing for another championship with him leading our team.”
With nine more picks in rounds 2-7, the Packers are well positioned to bolster its roster at offensive and defensive lines, wide receiver, and linebacker.
Packers 2021 Draft Picks
1st – No. 29 – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
2nd – No. 62
3rd – No. 92
4th – Nos. 135 and 142*
5th – Nos. 173 and 178*
6th – Nos. 214 and 220*
7th – No. 256