Welcome back! In this article we will be decoding the “Packers way” and what that means. As I stated in my previous article the Packers have a certain way of doing things. Whether anyone thinks it’s right or wrong can be debated, and everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. That is not what this article is about. We will be laying out, in simple terms and data, how the Green Bay Packers approach drafting players.
I previously wrote about this back in April of 2021. In that article, I based most of my findings off of Ted Thompson’s draft picks. Now that Brian Gutekunst has had two more drafts, we can more clearly see his trends. I will still refer back to Thompson sparingly since Gutekunst did learn under Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson; the architects of the “Packers Way”. Some of that is connected to RAS. We will break it down by position.
Here the thresholds haven’t changed from Wolf to Thompson to Gutekunst. They don’t care too much about a QBs RAS score. They like guys who have some athleticism, guys who can move around the pocket and not be a statue. Guys who can get a 1st down when needed. They like their QBs about 6’2 or taller and 215+
When it comes to running backs, the Packers do have a type. Of the three running backs Gutekust has drafted, they have RAS scores of: 8.15, 9.16, and 7.31. So that gives us the idea that they like their running backs to be good athletes. Even if you go back to Thompson they averaged an RAS score of 7.37.
The majority of the backs they have drafted have run a 4.55 or better, but the threshold seems to be 4.6. For explosive testing, look more at broad jumps. Under Gutekunst all three have jumped more than 10′, even going back to Thompson most jumped 9’11” or more.
Only one running back stands out as far as weight; AJ Dillion. The average weight of all the running backs drafted is 220. The threshold seems to be 205. Any backs under 200 should not be considered as well. Aaron Jones is also the shortest at 5’9 1/2 so anyone under 5’9 is probably off their board.
Now this position is where there is the most hand wringing by fans over their thresholds. The Packers like bigger receivers with long arms. Gutekunst tried to make an exception with Amari Rodgers, and that didn’t work out. Outside of Rodgers, Gutey hasn’t drafted anyone with arms under 32 1/4″. If you go back to Ted it goes down to 31″. I would say 31″ is the bare minimum, but really hone in on guys with 32″ or longer.
While they have not said they have a minimum height, you have to think its 5’9, just due to the fact of how many 5’9 wide receivers weigh 190+? What Gutekust has shown is he likes his receivers taller. Toure was the shortest one he drafted, and he was a hair under 6’1. As to the weight issue, yes, the Packers do have a threshold. It has been confirmed by Gutey. He didn’t specify it, but looking at it historically you have to say its around 195.
Now to everyone’s favorite: RAS scores. Of the seven receivers drafted by Gutekunst, they have averaged a score of 8.19. If you go back to Thompson it is still a 7.9. For early-round receivers (1st-5th), look for guys that score 8.0 or better. As to 40-yard dashes, since Thompson they have only drafted two receivers who ran a 4.6, everyone else ran a 4.56 or faster. So unless someone has a high RAS, score I would eliminate anyone over 4.56.
The broad jump seems to be more important to them than the vertical. They have verticals from 30″all the way to 39 1/2″. Every receiver Gutey has drafted had a broad jump of at least 10′, so I would start there with any potential picks. 3-cone drill, though, is a big one for GB. Under Gutekust, their receivers have averaged a 6.84. Anyone running under 7 should meet their threshold. Any short shuttle around 4.25 or faster should be good.
Now here is where things get interesting. The Packers are pretty loose on their thresholds at tight end. For example, the average RAS score of all the tight ends drafted since Ted is a meager 6.08. They do seem to have some size thresholds: 6’3 or taller and 245 or heavier. The Packers also like to draft guys who can contribute in the pass game and as a blocker, but its not a requirement.
When it comes to offensive line, the Packers very much have a type. Regardless as to what offensive scheme they have run the last 15 years; athleticism has always been a priority. Since Ted Thompson they have an average RAS score of 8.2, and under Gutey he has maintained it with an average of 8.16. The front office really values agility drills with their offensive linemen.
When it comes to players who will be playing primarily offensive tackle, the Packers tend to be even more specific. For example: arm length. Every player they have drafted who was slated to primarily play tackle has had 33 ¼” or longer. Also, none of them have been below 6’4. Any offensive tackle under those would be off their board, or they would see them more as a guard.
In regards to explosive testing, 25” seems to be the cut off for vertical. The lowest broad jump was 8’1”, so they don’t require highly explosive offensive linemen. The slowest 40 time we have is Jake Hanson with a 5.5, but the next one was a 5.33, under Gutekunst. That seems to be the cut off.
In regards to agility drills, the slowest short shuttle has been a 4.88 from Cole Madison. After that, it was a 4.81 from Sean Rhyan. The 4.88 seems like a little bit of an outlier, but let’s go with that for the baseline. Just be wary of anyone higher than a 4.8. The 3-cone drill, though, is a test the Packers value very highly. The slowest 3-cone has been a 7.91 from Royce Newman. Under Thompson, the slowest was an 8.01 by Jamon Meredith. So, there probably is a little bit of maneuvering you can do with that 7.91, but not much.
When it comes to interior guys, they like them with tackle experience. The Packers have only drafted three interior offensive linemen who did not have any tackle experience since Ted Thompson. They also have not drafted one under 6’3. The shortest arm length we have seen on interior guys has been 32”, so anyone with arms shorter than that, I would take off the board. The Packers also tend to be a little more forgiving on the testing with interior guys. Most of the slower times on the testing have been interior guys.
In my next article I will cover the defense.