Wilcots: Packers Drafting ​Love Was "Personal" For Rodgers

The Packers can draft whoever they want, Solomon Wilcots says, but given the circumstances, they clearly sent a message to Aaron Rodgers

The DA Show
April 30, 2020 - 11:37 am

Time will tell whether the Green Bay Packers made the right decision in trading up to draft Jordan Love, but for now, the move will be dissected from every angle, including what it means for Aaron Rodgers.

Were the Packers, in drafting Love, being disrespectful to No. 12? 

In a word, yes.

“I think Aaron Rodgers has earned a certain amount of modicum of respect within that franchise,” PFF analyst Solomon Wilcots said on The DA Show. “The team has a right to draft whatever player they want to improve the franchise. If Jordan Love is as successful as Aaron Rodgers has been over his career, this will all be forgotten. However, to try to have the false equivalency to say this is like when they drafted Aaron Rodgers when Brett Favre was there – no, they moved up to go get Jordan Love.”

Wide receiver was – and is – a clear need for Green Bay. Nevertheless, the Packers traded up to draft a quarterback who is far from a sure thing.

“Jordan Love had the highest percentage of negative throws of any of the top 10 quarterbacks in this year’s draft class,” Wilcots said. “He was a turnover machine, yet they moved up to go get him. They have such a great need for a receiver – 54 percent of their wide receiver snaps last year were taken by a receiver that was undrafted – they needed to get a receiver. Even if you do that and go up and get Jordan Love, they had seven picks and use none of them on a wide receiver – and this draft class is loaded with talented receivers. They didn’t get one in the second round, not in the third – not at all. So in some way, shape or form, this was kind of personal. They can’t sell it to me any other way.”

But why would the Packers want to make it personal with a quarterback who has meant so much to their franchise?

“I just believe that in the fraternity of coaches that coaches all respect one another,” Wilcots said. “This is sort of an understanding for all the quarterbacks who are making so much money where they are sort of – in their minds or maybe the fans’ minds – deemed to be untouchable, particularly after they’ve won a Super Bowl and they get a $30- or $40 million contract. You’ve got to learn to work with people, and the coach is someone you’ve got to work with. You and I both know coaches are going to be around much longer after players.

“I think what transpired there between Aaron and Mike McCarthy, whether the perception is true or not, the perception is that [Rodgers] won that power struggle or that battle and Mike McCarthy was out,” Wilcots continued. “In comes Matt LaFleur – and Matt LaFleur is a very young coach. Matt LaFleur and the general manager – listen, they’re paying Aaron, but they’ve got to have some sense of control, don’t they? I know it sounds petty, but you and I know how it works in these organizations and how it works in the highest level in every industry. So to say that that’s not on the table here, I think we would all be disingenuous.”