Green Bay Packers: 5 things to be thankful for in 2018-19

Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images
Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images /
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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

4. GM Brian Gutekunst’s early success

After years under the draft-and-develop philosophy of Ted Thompson, the Packers finally made a change this offseason to Brian Gutekunst. So far, the early returns have been quite promising with the additions that Gutekunst has made. If it weren’t for the injury to Muhammad Wilkerson early in the season, this defensive line could feature three legitimate Pro Bowl talents. He also added Jimmy Graham to give quarterback Aaron Rodgers another weapon.

In addition to his free agent additions, his draft decisions have continued to look better and better as the season has gone on. After trading down in the first round, he added cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson that look like great future pieces. There is also the rookie wide receivers that are showing the big-play ability that the Packers haven’t had in recent years.

Gutekunst isn’t completely straying from the draft-and-develop strategy, but he is also wisely using free agency as a tool to expand the roster. Thompson showed an unwillingness to dabble in free agency after early success in that area. Heading into the end of Rodgers’ prime, it will be important for the Packers to maximize their title window with him similar to how the New England Patriots have handled Tom Brady, and Gutekunst looks prepared to do that.