GREEN BAY, Wi Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst talked to the media via teleconference on Monday ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The draft will be different and mostly virtual this year due to the spread of COVID-19. The Packers staff is gearing up for the draft from the comfort of their own homes. Gutekunst discussed how the IT department has setup his house so he can have communication with all parties involved.
In addition, the NFL held a mock draft on Monday morning to run through the operation. ESPN reported multiple GM’s thought it was “brutal” or “awful” after there was a glitch with the Bengal's first pick.
However, Gutekunst thought it wasn't so bad following the issue.
“I thought it went pretty smooth,” Gutekunst explained. “We kind of went through that and got a lot of answers. That was the big thing, kind of getting through this and finding out the answers of really how we want to do this.”
Since there will be no draft room, Gutekunst will be allowed a security person and an IT person. He will then be connected to his personnel staff remotely which could have a big impact on trades. It could become an area of concern given Gutekunst has pulled off four draft-day deals in his first two years. Of those four deals, three involved first round picks. The Packers are set in the first round with the 30th overall pick.
“We have 4 or 5 guys that work the phone during the draft and they are usually sitting to my right,” Gutekunst added. “For me, sometimes just hearing their phones ring and picking it up knowing that ‘hey, there is something there’ is helpful.”
Near the end of the teleconference, the general manager was asked if there is a concern that the 2020 NFL season may be canceled.
“I won’t let myself go there,” Gutekunst said. “I certainly hope not. I don’t think that would be good for anybody.”
The 2020 NFL Draft is set for Thursday at 7 p.m.