With the Green Bay Packers offseason devolving into a referendum on their first-round draft pick, head coach Matt LaFleur took to the radio on Thursday to explain the decision.
Speaking with ESPN Wisconsin Radio, LaFleur spun a new take on why the Packers selected a backup quarterback instead of addressing a glaring wide receiver need while Aaron Rodgers is still in position to win championships.
His explanation? Utah State quarterback Jordan Love was the best player on the board.
“It was just one of those situations where there were a couple guys targeted that had just previously been picked, and Jordan was the next guy on the board,” LaFleur said, per Pro Football Talk. “And so we went with the best player at the time.”
Did Packers target WRs in first round?
Three wide receivers went in the five picks before the Packers selected Love. TCU’s Jalen Reagor, LSU’s Justin Jefferson and Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk went off the board with the 21st, 22nd and 25th pick in April’s draft.
Were the Packers legitimately targeting one of those players? If so they didn’t value them enough to trade up like they did to take Love at No. 26. Green Bay parted with a fourth-round pick for the right to move up from its initial draft position at No. 30.
Highly-touted receiving prospects like Clemson’s Tee Higgins and USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. dropped to the first two picks of the second round.
Weakness remains unadressed
Meanwhile, receiver remains a weakness in Green Bay as it has for much of Rodgers’ tenure with the team. Davante Adams is still the only difference-maker at the position on the roster. No other Packers receiver broached the 500-yard mark or found the end zone more than three times last season.
LaFleur: Things are good with Rodgers
In addition to inarguably failing as a win-now move with a win-now roster, the selection also threatened to sour LaFleur’s relationship with his All-Pro quarterback. Rodgers has already said that he doesn’t expect to finish his career in Green Bay.
LaFleur said that he thinks things are fine with Rodgers.
“We talk four times a week whenever we get those opportunities to meet in those individual meetings, and I feel really good about where we’re at,” LaFleur said. “We both understand that this is a business.”
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