“Aaron’s been around a long time and knows what we’re playing for right now,” Gutekunst said late Thursday night on a media conference call. “We have the best quarterback in the National Football League and we plan to have him for a while competing for championships.
“I think he’ll be a pro’s pro. He’s playing for legacy-type things, historic-type stuff. I know he’s very, very motivated.”
Calling the move to draft Love “a long-term decision,” Gutekunst understands the angst of fans who would wonder “why now?”, and how they’d rather have seen him address more of an immediate need, such as wide receiver or inside linebacker.
Several top receivers were certainly available, as was LSU linebacker Patrick Queen at the 26th spot after Gutekunst traded up from 30.
But given all that, the clearest way to read Gutekunst here is Love was far and away the highest-rated player on the Packers’ board once the first round reached the mid-20s. He didn’t think he’d be there.
Gutekunst had offers to trade back as well, but only having to surrender a late fourth-round pick (No. 136) to get Love was too good a value to pass up, even if the plan is for Love to not have to play for at least a few years.
“This was not something we set out to do,” Gutekunst said. “He just happened to be a guy we liked who fell to us, and this was the best decision.”