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Brian Gutekunst reacts to the selections of Christian Watson and Sean Rhyan

“Obviously, he’s a big, fast, physical receiver. We think his best football is ahead of him.”

2022 NCAA Division I Football Championship Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers started Day 2 of the draft off with a bang. After skipping the receiver position, their glaring need, with their two first-round picks on Thursday, the Packers traded up to 34th overall by sending the in-division Minnesota Vikings two second-round picks. With that trade up, Green Bay finally brought in a wideout who could help solve their speed problems: Christian Watson of North Dakota State.

Yesterday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers stated that the team only had six first-round grades on wide receivers and that all of them were selected before the Packers were on the clock with the 22nd pick in the draft. If the Packers didn’t have a first-round pick on Watson, he must have come very close. Reports on Friday stated that Green Bay had attempted to trade up to the 32nd overall pick with the Vikings, the team they eventually traded up with two picks later, in an attempt to secure Watson. Following Day 2 of the draft, general manager Brian Gutekunst said the team does not grade players by rounds. So much for that.

When asked what the team saw in the Bison product, Gutekunst stated, “Obviously, he’s a big, fast, physical receiver. We think his best football is ahead of him. We got a chance to bring him in on one of our 30 visits and got to spend a lot of time with him. Really felt that he was a smart kid that we feel will fit our culture.” Later on in the press conference, he pushed back on saying that the position is settled, meaning there’s potential for the team to add at least one more wideout to the roster via the draft or veteran free agency.

For nearly 60 picks, the Packers had to sit back and watch players come off the board following the selection of Watson. At 92nd overall, the team turned in the card for UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan, an athletic 21-year-old who started 31 games at left tackle for the Bruins. At 6’5” and 320 pounds, Gutekunst said that Rhyan has the size and strength to play inside, but that the team “certainly thinks he can play tackle.” When pressed on how the offensive line will shake out by position, with injured offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins mentioned, Gutekunst simply replied, “Elgton will play wherever he wants. He’s that good.”

Near the end of the presser, Gutekunst also reaffirmed a position he and team president Mark Murphy have made all week: That the last two rounds of the draft are going to be “richer” than most years because of the extra year of eligibility awarded to players by the NCAA due to the 2020 season. When asked about the lack of an addition to the edge-rushing room, he also replied, “I kind of like that group as it is,” and spoke on the merits of Randy Ramsey, a hybrid inside-outside linebacker who was injured in August and missed the entire 2021 season.