Yes, Aaron Rodgers stayed in the loop during the Packers' draft. He talks Davante Adams, no first-round receivers and more with Pat McAfee
When Aaron Rodgers first started his appearance Thursday night on the "Draft Spectacular" edition of the Pat McAfee Show, the Green Bay Packers had yet to make their second pick of the first round, and Rodgers made sure to point out that the franchise had enjoyed success over the years with receivers selected in the second round.
Turns out that wasn't just random prescience when the Packers wound up taking defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt from Georgia with the No. 28 selection, concurrent with Rodgers' appearance.
"I've had a little insight," Rodgers admitted with a smile. "I've been talking with them throughout the night. I know they really liked Wyatt early on and were wondering if he was going to be there at either pick, I believe. When the linebacker (Quay Walker) was there in the 20s and all six of those receivers, I believe it was six, who they had first-round grades on were gone ... I think it was pretty obvious that they wanted to shore up those two spots (on defense) in their mind, which was another inside backer besides Dre (De'Vondre Campbell) and a defensive lineman to be in the rotation with Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry and (TJ) Slaton."
Rodgers also opened up about the other Davante, making his first extended comments since the Packers traded receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, in exchange for the No. 22 pick and a second-round pick (No. 53).
"Obviously when I made my decision (to stay in Green Bay), I was still thinking he was going to come back," Rodgers said. "I was very honest with him about my plans and my future and where I saw my career going as far as how many years I wanted to play. I felt like he was going to be back. It didn't obviously turn out that way, but I have so much love for Tae and appreciate the time we spent together and definitely wish him the best with Derek (Carr) in Vegas, but that's a big hole to fill, for sure.
"It is the business. It's a tough business. It's a wonderful profession. Those of us who have been blessed to play for so long realize that completely. There's a lot of things that happen that surprise you, even still. I thought that based on the number we offered Davante and being able to play with me for a few more years would definitely make a difference, but in the end I think he was ready to move on and wanted my help in making that happen. It was a tough position to be in for sure, because I love him and I care about him and want him to be happy, and he's definitely going to be missed."
Rodgers was asked about his reaction to any rumors that the Packers could be in the mix for a veteran receiver in a trade, such as San Francisco's Deebo Samuel or Seattle's DK Metcalf. Two front-line receivers changed teams during the draft, Baltimore's Hollywood Brown (now to Arizona) and Tennessee's AJ Brown (now to Philadelphia).
"I mean, I think we've been in the mix with some of these guys; that's what it seems like," Rodgers said. "Not a lot of teams probably want to trade receivers to Green Bay, so I think we're probably at the back of the line for a lot of these teams. Our picks (as potential trade chips) are usually late and nobody wants to trade in the (conference) a guy like Deebo probably. But at the same time, I think if you're not going to pay Davante — obviously we traded him and he wanted to move on — but going out to pay another guy, I don't know if that makes a ton of sense.
"Now, there are some veteran guys out there that I think could be possibilities, and also we have two picks in the second round tomorrow, and I'm sure there's some guys on the board that they probably like. I felt like we've been in the mix, but does San Fran want to trade Deebo Samuel to us?"
Rodgers said the one receiver in the draft who looked most NFL ready to him was Alabama's Jameson Williams, who tore his ACL in January and likely won't be ready to start the season immediately, but he still went to the Detroit Lions at No. 12.
Rodgers also said he anticipated being back in Green Bay for minicamp and "a few more days in May." He agreed that this year's draft was a different vibe than last year, the night when Rodgers' dissatisfaction with the organization and his intention to return came to light.
"There was a lot of things from last year that were unexpected for sure, definitely wasn't the smoothest year at times," he said. "But I do feel good with where I'm at with Green Bay, my relationship with Brian (Gutekunst) and Russ (Ball) and Matt (LaFleur) and bringing Tom Clements back in the fold. ... We've got a lot to play for and a lot of exciting things. I'm sure Packer nation will be wondering why we didn't take a receiver or trade up or what not, but at this point, you've just got to have some faith in the organization and faith that whoever we bring in tomorrow and the rest of this draft, I'm going to put in the time to make it work with those guys and we're going to find away in Matt's offense to be successful like we always have, and it's not going to be any different this year, and we're going to be in the mix and obviously our defense is going to be really good."