clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Reviewing Brian Gutekunst’s Packers Drafts: Part 3, 2020

It’s too early to tell on Jordan Love

Green Bay Packers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Earlier this week, we reviewed Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst’s first two draft classes, 2018 and 2019. Now we’re going to take a look at the 2020 class, including the much-debated selection of quarterback Jordan Love that started all of this drama between the front office and Aaron Rodgers in the first place.

26: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Jordan Love has made a total of one start at the NFL level. Sincerely, how am I supposed to grade this pick at this point?

The selection of Love has been talked about constantly since the Packers turned in that card back in 2020. It’s part of why Aaron Rodgers’ relationship with the team and general manager Brian Gutekunst seemingly deteriorated. The Packers organization also seems confident that Love has developed into a starting-caliber quarterback, based on both how they’ve spoken about Love and their actions in 2022.

This is a firmly “wait and see” situation, but I’m hopeful it trends positively. As a gift for not giving this one a grade, here’s a coaches’ film cutup of all of Love’s throws during last regular season:

Grade: TBD

62: AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College

On one hand, AJ Dillon is the best “RB2” in the league, statistically, over the last two years. He’s the exact compliment that a slasher like Aaron Jones needs to be paired with to keep the running game as efficient as possible.

The question is, though, is if spending a second-round pick on a key piece of a running back by committee approach an above-average way to use resources. I love the player that is AJ Dillon. He’s generated 121 first downs over the last two years. Positional value and the fact that Dillon’s only started five games over three years are the factors that are keeping this pick from being an A grade to me.

Grade: B-

94: Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati

I think that tight end Josiah Deguara is a perfectly good role player who deserves to stick around in the league, but that’s not high enough praise for a top-100 selection to be considered average. Deguara is an off-ball tight end who is best suited to play in the wing or in the backfield, meaning that the Packers still have a hole at the tight end position in 2023, despite investing in Deguara three years ago.

Over three seasons, Deguara has played in 35 games with six starts and has recorded 39 receptions for 371 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Assuming that Green Bay picks up a starting tight end in the draft, I don’t think that Deguara will ever play more than 35 percent of the offense’s total snaps in a season during his rookie contract.

Grade: D+

175: Kamal Martin, LB, Minnesota

As a rookie fifth-round pick, Kamal Martin recorded six starts for the Packers, despite the fact that he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee in September of that year. That is a great start for a Day 3 draft choice. Unfortunately, Green Bay released Martin the very next season, putting an end to his run with the Packers.

If Martin could have stayed healthy, who knows how that would have changed his career. Martin being released after one year on his rookie deal made this a below-average selection, though. After his release, Martin signed with the Carolina Panthers on their practice squad in 2021 and was waived with an injury designation in 2022. The 24-year-old hasn’t been on an NFL roster since August.

Grade: D-

192: Jon Runyan Jr., OL, Michigan

The selection of Jon Runyan Jr. is easily the most plus value pick that Gutekunst made in the 2020 draft. Not only has JRJ started in 33 of a possible 34 games over the last two seasons, but he’s done it well. From a national perspective, there are few guards who are more underrated than Runyan.

He’s been able to hold down the fort with injuries to Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari reshaping the offensive line on a week-to-week basis over the last two years. While initially filling in as the team’s left guard, he’s made the transition to right guard since Jenkins’ transition back to left guard following an experiment at right tackle.

Grade: A+

208: Jake Hanson, OL, Oregon

I don’t think that Jake Hanson has played particularly well when he’s been on the field, but there’s something worth saying about a sixth-round pick still being on the roster going into his fourth year. Hanson has played in 11 regular season games during his career, including one start, and figures to be the third-string center on the depth chart heading into 2023 — behind starter Josh Myers and swing lineman Zach Tom.

Grade: C

209: Simon Stepaniak, OL, Indiana

Another sixth-round pick offensive lineman, Simon Stepaniak was placed on the non-football injury list from July until December of his rookie season. During the playoff run in 2020, he was later placed on injured reserve. He never ended up playing in a single game for the Packers, as he eventually retired the next offseason following a pair of missed training camp practices. According to reports, his retirement was mental health related.

236: Vernon Scott, SAF, TCU

Vernon Scott peaked with 15 games played as a rookie in 2020 before suiting up for just three games in 2021. In 2022, Scott was waived with an injury designation and was later released from injured reserve with an injury settlement. At the moment, he has yet to find work with another squad. Scott at least made the Packers roster and played in a few games, which is more than you can say about some late-round draft choices, but only getting on the field three times after your rookie season and being released halfway through your rookie contract is less than ideal.

Grade: D-

242: Jonathan Garvin, EDGE, Miami

Jonathan Garvin is another player who I’d bucket with Jake Hanson. The seventh-round pick is going into his fourth year with the Packers, for whom he’s played 38 games over his NFL career. I don’t think he’s been particularly impactful, though, as he’s turned his 673 total defensive snaps into just 1.5 sacks and one tackle for loss.

Kingsley Enagbare clearly passed him on the depth chart last year and Justin Hollins was taking up his snaps once he was picked up off of waivers mid-season in 2022. If Green Bay picks an outside linebacker in the upcoming draft, I wouldn’t be surprised if Garvin ends up being the sixth player on the depth chart once Rashan Gary is healthy.

Grade: C

Join the conversation by scrolling to the comments and let us know if there’s a grade you disagree with.