Brian Gutekunst has already departed from his predecessor in one key aspect: he’s going to give fans something to be excited about with pre-draft visits. Florida State star safety Derwin James will reportedly come to Green Bay for a visit with the Packers in a stark departure from the Ted Thompson era.
The old regime preferred to use their allotted visits to recruit priority free agents who are likely to go undrafted. Gutekunst wants to vet top picks.
James joins Mike Hughes and Vita Vea as potential first-round options to meet with the Packers. After lighting up the combine, the former Seminole might be a long shot to be available when the Packers select, but Green Bay clearly has interest in him.
The two sides met in Indianapolis during the 2018 NFL Combine as well, and that was even before the team let Morgan Burnett walk, signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Given how Mike Pettine likes to use safeties and prioritizes versatile defenders, James fits this new defense to the letter. He would provide an ultra-athletic playmaker this safety group hasn’t had since Nick Collins.