After absolutely demolishing the Green Bay Packers twice last year, the San Francisco 49ers reportedly managed to outdo their NFC rivals once again at the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Athletic’s David Lombardi says general manager John Lynch leapfrogged the Packers to the 25th slot to pick Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
Based on what I’m gathering through several chats, sounds that 49ers were concerned about Packers drafting Brandon Aiyuk at No. 26. Lynch/Shanahan spoke of “intel” that spurred SF trade up to 25; that might’ve been it.— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) April 29, 2020
GB picked Jordan Love at 26; Aiyuk gone by then of course
Green Bay came into the draft with the 30th pick and was likely to miss out on the top-rated receiving trio of Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, who were all gone after the 17th pick.
Lombardi says the Packers were planning on moving the 30th pick and a fourth-rounder to the Miami Dolphins for the 26th pick to take Aiyuk. Apparently, once Lynch caught word of this, he decided to take action and made a deal with the Minnesota Vikings to select the Arizona State receiver.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and Lynch say they had Aiyuk ranked as one of the best receivers in the draft, so moving up to get him makes sense. The bonus of delivering a blow to a team you crushed in the NFC Championship game is playing chess while the Packers were playing checkers.
With Aiyuk off the board, Green Bay picked Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, missing out on the chance to get a much needed weapon for Aaron Rodgers.
To add insult to injury, Rodgers apparently isn’t happy with GM Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt Lafleur’s decision to take Love. Green Bay hadn’t taken a skill-position player in the first round since picking Rodgers in 2005 and didn’t select a receiver at all in the 2020 draft.
This isn’t the first time this century Green Bay has taken a quarterback while it already had a bonafide superstar at the position on its roster. Brett Favre was the Packers’ signal caller when they took Rodgers 15 years ago.
Favre joined the Rich Eisen show and was asked if he thinks Rodgers will finish out his career in Green Bay.
“My gut tells me no, I don’t know this for certain, but I guarantee you, it’s got the wheels turning in Aaron’s mind.” Favre said. “If that’s the case, then that means there’s a chip on his shoulder toward the organization that otherwise was not there. All he needs is a reason other than this reason to expedite that.”
If Lynch saw this coming, it is a genius move. The Packers are projected to be one of the top teams in the NFC again, so by weakening them on the field and possibly disturbing their chemistry off of it, he comes out looking like a winner.
49ers fans have seen a couple of beloved legends finish their careers elsewhere. It still looks weird seeing Joe Montana in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform, or the GOAT Jerry Rice donning a Seattle Seahawks jersey.
Do you think Rodgers will eventually move on and finish his career with a different team?