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GM hasn't 'connected' with Aaron Rodgers post Love

Amid all the usual wildness and hullabaloo of trades and surprises and falls that came to fruition on Thursday night in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, perhaps there was no more stunning selection than the Packers taking Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.

Armed with future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers and coming off a trip to the NFC title game, the Packers picked for the future and selected their hopeful heir apparent to the face of the franchise.

Just how did Rodgers feel about the pick?

"I haven't connected with Aaron yet," Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said Thursday, via the Journal Sentinel's Olivia Reiner.

Any disconnect comes with the perception of the pick, Gutekunst stressed. Instead, he proclaimed, this is not the beginning of the end of anything. Rodgers is still very much the guy and the Packers are very much still competing for titles.

"Aaron's been around a long time and knows what we're playing for right now," Gutekunst said, via the team website. "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."

Love is a blend of physical talent and inconsistent production that had many prognosticators differing on where he'd land. For his part, Gutekunst said there was no initial plan, but Love's fall -- perhaps a little reminiscent of Rodgers' in 2005 -- put things into motion and the Pack sent its 30th overall selection and a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins to move up to No. 26. It was compounded by the Packers feeling urgency to stop the Colts from getting Love, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

"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."

Rodgers -- still mobile at 36 -- possesses phenomenal arm talent still and is coming off an efficient campaign with 26 touchdowns to just four interceptions. Meanwhile, Love, whose 4.7 speed and arm talent makes him appealing, had 20 touchdowns last year -- after throwing 32 the season prior -- and 17 interceptions.

Hence, Love being a projected project might well find him best suited for Green Bay. It makes sense and it's the party line for Gutekunst after such an impactful and highly questionable first-round trade and pick.

"We think a lot of him. Down the road he certainly has all the ability to be a difference-maker," Gutekunst said. "But these things take time, especially at that position. He has a lot of work ahead of him."

A win away from the Super Bowl last season, the Packers' picking of Love was surprising not just because of what it says of a future changing of the guard at QB1, but also about seizing the day in the ever-changing NFL world.

"I never believe you're one player away," Gutekunst said. "I don't believe in that. You can make mistakes believing you're one player away from anything.

"The balance of immediate and long term is something I have to consider."

Many a Cheesehead is most certainly considering it after a startling Thursday night.

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