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Everything is on the table draft night

Posted Apr 19, 2018

The annual schedule release signals the start of a new season


Dave from Comer, GA

Looking at the photos of 100 years of the Packers I noticed a former player named "Wes Leaper." How appropriate!

And I officially have a new gamer tag. Good morning!

Brandon from Cavalier, ND

Spoff, I don’t think Rodgers was calling out your article. I think he was using it to call out others. I think he was being sarcastic and was pointing out that you weren’t trying to be click bait but actually did some real reporting. Just a thought.

Rodgers isn’t the only one who can be sarcastic.

Steve from Wichita, KS

With the signing of House do you think that eliminates CB in Round 1? I kind of feel like they may go offense and take a receiver. Someone like D.J. Moore maybe? He seems like an Adams 2.0....Thoughts.

I don’t think the signing of both Tramon Williams and Davon House disqualifies the Packers from taking a cornerback in the first round. I’d be apprehensive taking one in the first round for the third time in four years, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Regarding receiver, the general consensus is the best bang for a team’s buck may come in the middle rounds. You never know what’s going to happen, though. Everything is on the table draft night.

Kurt from Frisco, TX

Disappointed in myself for not remembering how entertaining and insightful Tramon Williams can be. Glad he’s back.

One of the best. He’s such a laid-back guy with a thoughtful personality. Williams took the long road to stardom, but enjoyed every moment along the way.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Looking at "how the team was built” to see what the breakdown was in the recent five years of drafts (12 D, 14 O). What surprised me was 34 drafted versus 36 free agents.

That’s not too surprising this time of year. Teams only have so many draft picks. There’s no limit to the undrafted and street free agents you can sign.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

Mike and Wes: Do you make your own GB pick predictions for draft day? If so, who has been right more (higher hit rate)?

So far I’ve gotten one first-round pick correct in five tries: Datone Jones (2013). It didn’t surprise me the Packers took Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in 2014, but I predicted Clinton-Dix going to the Jets and Ryan Shazier still being on the board at No. 21. My other picks have been Eddie Goldman (2015), A’Shawn Robinson (2016) and an outside linebacker whose name escapes me in 2017.

Rob from Meriden, CT

I for one am looking forward to the release of the schedule. That will determine if I will be able to attend my first Packers game (@NE or @NYJ). If so, I hope to see you guys there!

You’re not alone. Every year, you can feel the excitement as the schedule release draws near. It means the draft is only a week away and signals the start of a new season. There are great matchups on this year’s slate with traveling to New England, hosting Atlanta and the likely home kickoff to the 100th season.  

Brady from Lodi, WI

Spofford with the Twain reference regarding Jimmy Graham, I love it. Or maybe you meant Star Trek? Mike Hughes, worth trading back into late first round for if he's still there and we don't take him the first time around?

The Marshon Lattimore effect should help Denzel Ward get drafted inside the top 10, but it’s hard to make any definitive predictions other than that because of all the questions surrounding the other top corners. There’s depth in the draft, but varying opinions about first-round potential. Hughes’ stock is heavily based on projection since he made stops at North Carolina and Garden City Community College before resurfacing at UCF, but he brings a lot to the party as both a corner and returner.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

Best Available Player. Period. When two players are tied at the top of your board of players left, position need becomes the tiebreaker. Easy enough. My question, when do the Packers sit down and rate their positional needs? I doubt they are wingin' it during the draft. Who's leading that discussion or has the biggest amount of input aside from the GM?

Ted Thompson counted on his inner circle of Gutekunst, Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith when making critical decisions on the clock. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will drive those conversations in Gutekunst’s draft room, but I’d imagine the voices of Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowski will be louder this year.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

So with Spoff saying he's never even been in the draft room, I got curious: What's the actual security around it? Keypads? Guards? Biometric retina scanners? Or is it just the good ol' honor system?

It’s a room full of scouts who spent the past year building their board. You don’t need any more security than that.

Jim from Mazeppa, MN

Can’t wait for the draft and see the Gutey era begin. I always thought Ted was able to draft offensive bargains better than defensive bargains. What I mean by “bargain” is the person played at a higher level than their draft position would dictate. Given you've forgot more than I'll ever know, what are your thoughts on this?

I think Mike Daniels, Desmond Bishop, Blake Martinez and Micah Hyde would beg to differ with you on that one. Honestly, I feel like there have been a fair share on both sides of the ball. It’s all based on your perspective.

Jordan from Dallas, TX

You guys have been piling on those that want an every-down back instead of a committee approach but to my recollection, this last year played like we only had one running back on the roster until that guy got injured. It was Montgomery that got 95 percent of the runs, then it was Aaron Jones, then Jamaal Williams. Am I missing something here or are the people just responding to how McCarthy likes to play his running backs?

If someone runs away with the job, they’ll get as many opportunities as they can handle. That’s the way McCarthy has always run the Packers’ offense. He’ll feed the hot hand. He did with Ryan Grant, Eddie Lacy, Ty Montgomery and the young backs on the current roster last year. The only point I’m trying to make is teams need backfield options to navigate a season.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

I think we’d all say ’11 was Rodgers’ best season. Between ’14 and ’16, with awards aside and without solely focusing on stats, which do you think was his second-best season and why?

2014 and not just because Rodgers won his second MVP award. He turned in such a complete performance coming off the broken collarbone. His passer rating was again through the roof and he threw only five picks on 520 attempts. Rodgers set the tone for a Super Bowl-caliber team that year.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, which receiver has the skill set to challenge 12 in the pregame, end-zone football spin?

We were asking the same question around the office on Wednesday. Those battles between Jordy Nelson and Rodgers were pretty legendary. I don’t know if anyone is up for the challenge. Maybe Randall Cobb?

Jeff from Elk Grove, CA

With Jordy Nelson gone, is there any way the Packers don't draft Courtland Sutton WR from SMU if available? He has all the makings of a great WR that Rodgers needs.

Sutton might be the best boundary target in this draft. He looks the part of a star receiver at 6-4, 218, and plays physical. He was productive despite less-than-ideal circumstances and could really benefit from a top-level NFL QB. Sutton may not have the explosiveness of a Julio Jones or A.J. Green, but he’s going to make a team’s receiving corps significantly better on draft night. Sutton and Anthony Miller are two completely different receivers, but my two favorites in this year’s class.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, I believe the Pack needs some Nittany Lions. How about Mike Gesicki in Round 2?

Again, I’ll believe the Packers drafting a tight end in the first or second round when I see it, especially now with Jimmy Graham in the fold.

Stephen from Michigan

What is the status of Jahri Evans?

Unrestricted free agent. He didn’t sign with the Packers last year until April 26, so I wouldn’t be alarmed he’s still on the market. He’s still on the Packers’ radar.

Guilherme from Lins, Brazil

My bold prediction for the draft is that Barkley, Darnold, Allen, Mayfield and Rosen go in the top five (not necessarily in this order), then the Packers trade picks 14 (draft value 1100), 45 (450) and 76 (210) for the Colts' 6 (1600) and 67 (255), and select Chubb.

I just cannot see Chubb falling far enough for the Packers to get a realistic shot, but never say never. There’s no way the Browns take two quarterbacks. I’ll shave Spoff’s head if that happens.

Keith from Coon Rapids, MN

Living in enemy territory it pays to keep a supply of counter-attack facts in your head. An oldie but a goodie immediately occurred to me when reading your response to Bill from MI. Didn’t only 22 teams pass on drafting Aaron Rodgers?

Correct. The Cowboys picked twice inside the top 24. Boy, that sure came back to bite them. Fortunately, Tony Romo became Tony Romo and they started winning games again.

Ryan from Irvine, CA

Reading the Rodgers article you guys put up and it reminded me of the sack Peppers got on Aaron and how careful he was to not hurt the best QB in football. Do you have any other good examples/stories of extreme respect between players on opposite sides? I think Jordy not getting blown up when he went down a couple years ago was a great sportsmanship play.

The first game the Packers played against T.J. Lang in November stands out. There were so many players who went to midfield to chop it up with Lang before the game, and the immense respect players, specifically on defense, showed to him after the game was great to watch.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

Don't get me wrong, I think Shaquem Griffin is a wonderful story and a real talent. But knowing how conservative NFL teams can be, I'd be shocked if he heard his name called before Day 3. Am I missing something, though? The NFL has invited Griffin to Dallas for the draft. Does that mean he's expected to be a first-rounder?

Traditionally. Griffin may very well not get taken until Day 3, but this story is bigger than football.

Patrick from Folly Beach, SC

Do players have to participate in "conditioning" if they have medical issues that are being treated outside the facilities?

Many do since they have bonuses worked into their contract for participation in the offseason program. I know Bryan Bulaga was rehabbing down in Florida the past few months, but reported on Tuesday. It’s a good opportunity to get a feel for where players are in their rehab and recovery.

Mike from Merton, WI

Other than Nick Collins and Jermichael Finley, who are other high draft picks of Ted Thompson’s that had their careers cut short by injury?

Terrence Murphy (second round, 2005), Johnathan Franklin (fourth round, 2013), Jeremy Thompson (fourth, 2008) and you could make a case for Derek Sherrod (first round, 2011). It’s also conceivable Johnny Jolly might have very well been back in 2014 if it hadn’t been for the neck injury.

Jim from Arkdale, WI

During training camp, the team stays at St. Norbert. Where does the team stay for OTAs?

Returning veterans stay at their houses. Most rookies and first-year veterans stay at the team hotel.

Chris from Marshfield, WI

What do you think of Vikings fans who now wear Barr jerseys since the hit on Rodgers? It doesn't seem right. I don't think I'd wear it if I were a Vikings fan, and I don't recall seeing Bears fans wearing Shea McClellin's when he broke Rodgers’ other collarbone.

To be fair, I don’t recall seeing anyone wearing a Shea McClellin jersey.

Scott from Everett, WA

Wes, one of my uncles jumped ship to be a Bears fan when the Packers fired Mike Sherman. What are your thoughts on bringing him back to the light side?

How does that meme go? If you don’t love me at my (insert old photo here), then you don’t deserve me at my (insert new photo here).

Paul from Purvis, MS

Jermaine Whitehead's position is listed as "SAF" WHAT POSITION IS SAF?

Second base.

Phil from Boise, ID

If you all need some click bait for your articles I have a few ideas for you: "25 things Rodgers DIDN'T say in his press conference" or "Rodgers read an article on packers.com, you'll never believe what he did next."

These are my favorite: “Ten reasons why the Packers should move on from Aaron Rodgers (and six reasons they should keep him).” Come on aggregators, which is it?

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN                                            

I’m guessing that shirt Tramon Williams was wearing with the skull and cross weights is not available. I dig it.

We get this question every year. Unless there has been a change in policy, the team’s strength and conditioning shirts aren’t made available for sale.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

Just an old disabled veteran talking, but I think it would be mega cool to see the Green Bay Packers pull off the old GB sweep against our oldest rival in our 100th season, Da Bears. Best of all if it would work!

That would be one unique way to christen the 100th season. Thank you for your service.

Christopher from Echo Park, CA

Hoddy, if you were to describe the meal the NFL is making out of the schedule release, how would you do it, and what dishes would be included?

Ten courses tossed in your lap at 7 p.m. CT. Eat up.

Zak from Muskego, WI

Dear Wes, I didn't imagine I'd find Lone Watie in the Inbox. Nice work.

I was trying to get an edge.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Insiders, I'm sensing some "reader fatigue" around the speculation over who will be drafted by the Packers. Understandable. What topic gives you "writer fatigue"?

Here are six players. Which one would you pick?

Nick from Madison, WI

Why did the Packers pick up Mathew Kizer? I heard he is good, but why did they pick him up even though he went 0-16 last season?

I’m not sure. Maybe ask DeShone Spofford in tomorrow’s Inbox.


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