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It's a great story that's hopefully in the early chapters

Posted Mar 5, 2018

Grade them all, assign their values, and see how the draft falls

Adam from Glens Falls, NY

With regards to Frank from Fox Lake, thank you for posting his comment. We are all looking for that connective thread and you guys do an excellent job fostering that spirit. I often initiate conversation with Packers fans for that very reason. We are all here on this earth today and maybe the Green Bay Packers can help us care a little more about each other. (Can’t say I’ll root for the Cowboys, though.)

Nicely put. Happy Monday, everybody.

Jeff from Greenwood, MN

Mike and Wes, thanks for the detailed combine coverage. Do you think the creation of the combine has made drafting more efficient or are there just as many miscalculations today as there were years ago?

Thanks for reading and watching. There are still just as many misses in terms of projecting whether talent will translate, but what doesn’t throw anyone off as much anymore are medical issues and personality fits. Teams may still take chances in those areas, but they know what they’re getting into. They’re not caught off-guard anymore.

Gary from Davenport, IA

It's been a strange start to the year with no Packers playoffs and no NCAA bid for the Badgers basketball team. Do you remember the last time that happened? 1993 was the last calendar year in which neither played a postseason game. We have been spoiled.

Sounds like it’s time for the Brewers to fill the void.

Stewy from Terre Haute, IN

When do you think Gutey will make his decisions on some of the veterans with large salaries? Does he need to do that before free agency starts so they can realistically "be aggressive," or can he sign players that put him over the cap and then release or restructure certain players later?

You can’t get under the cap after the fact, but from everything he said this week, it sounds like the Packers are prepared for a number of different scenarios to do what they want to should the right opportunity come along.

Steve from Granger, IN

Troy Fumagalli reminds me so much of Mark Chmura. I think he will be the best TE and is the most productive as a rookie. Not a speedster but hands of glue and can get open, also can block. I really hope the Packers pick him. Which TE in this draft if available would be your pick?

I think there are several intriguing options – Fumagalli, Gesicki, Hurst, Andrews. The Packers can help themselves with one of many tight ends. You grade them all, assign their values, and then see how the draft falls.

George from North Mankato, MN

Does an offensive lineman’s 40-yard dash time really matter? How often do you find one that far down the field? I would rather watch them push a weighted blocking sled for 10 yards.

The 10-yard split in the 40 is more important for the offensive linemen than the full 40, in my view. It helps measure their explosiveness.

DJ from Bristol, WI

Nick Foles went 5-1 as a starter. His only loss was the season finale against Dallas in which he didn’t even play the whole game and the Eagles had nothing to play for. Against top competition in the postseason he completed 72 percent of his passes, threw eight touchdowns to only one interception, and amassed a whopping 1,166 yards. What about that tells you he couldn’t have taken the Eagles to 13-3 as a full-time starter?

Because it’s a long season, and while Doug Pederson deserves all the credit in the world for making it work, he was able to play dink and dunk with Foles to beat the Falcons before changing course to surprisingly unleash him against the Vikings. Then he had just one game to go and two weeks to prepare against a far less formidable defense. In a 16-game season, before long it’s all on film and there are no more surprises. I’m not saying Foles would have gone 3-13, but 13-3 without Wentz? C’mon.

AJ from Sheboygan Falls, WI

What incentive does Rodgers have to get his deal done before Cousins/Brees? If I were to look into my crystal ball, it would show that Brees will get his first (probably a two-year deal at $24.5M/year) followed by Cousins record-breaking five-year, $149M contract paving the way for Rodgers to get his five-year, $170M deal that will keep him the highest-paid QB until Carson Wentz's rookie contract expires.

I’m not sure about those specific numbers, but generally speaking, I see it playing out that way, too.

Tom from New York, NY

Why Indianapolis every year? Such a simple and complex question. Why doesn't the combine move around now like the NFL Draft?

Because far more NFL personnel must be accommodated for a longer period of time, and Indy’s convenient system of interconnected hotels with the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium all right here, it’s perfect. If they ever move it from Indianapolis, this event would be a nightmare.

Walt from Skandia, MI

Maybe we should be cheering for the Vikings to pick up Cousins. That way their cap space allocation for a quarterback will be in line with what Aaron's will be for us. Then we will be on a level playing field for signing other players.

Trevor from Hartland, WI, and others expressed similar sentiments. If I read Mike Zimmer’s comments the other day correctly, it doesn’t sound like he wants to break the bank for a QB and jeopardize keeping that defense together. I suspect the Vikings are going to leverage their situation – one game away from the Super Bowl, built to win now – to try to convince Cousins to sign for a little less money than he might get from a team further away. We’ll see if he bites.

Rick from San Francisco, CA

I've noticed disclaimers in the Inbox when discussing Foles and to some extent Keenum. Wes replied, "I mean how many times did Case Keenum or Nick Foles falter before becoming the QBs they were last season?" Not "the QBs they are now," but last season. It seems like there's a lot of question about whether they took the next step or were just put into the right position for one year. Is that based on their histories, the fact that other teams didn't have a lot of tape on them with their current teams, or another reason?

I addressed the film aspect with Foles, but anytime a QB’s progression is in fits and starts, and/or takes longer than the norm to get to a certain level, the questions are natural. With guys like that, until they do it consistently, no one really knows.

Max from Milwaukee, WI

Equanimeous St. Brown has to be the best name at the draft. Any other names stick out to you in Indianapolis?

That’s a good one, but if you didn’t see Larry expound on Hercules Mata’afa the other day, check it out.

LeeAnn from Corydon, IN

Wes and Mike, I don't know how much time you normally spend with Larry but when watching “Three Things” and listening to “Unscripted,” Larry seems to make your jobs more enjoyable. Is that true?


Matt from Waunakee, WI

Hey Mike, did you ever have to dig in against a man who threw in the mid-90s with the yips? Sounds like fun.

Can’t say I did, but once in high school an opposing coach called on his hard-throwing (but slightly wild) reliever to face me in a late-game spot, and as I stepped into the box and made eye contact with the catcher, he mumbled, “Be on your toes, bud.”

Eric from Oshkosh, WI

I would just like to point out that with only two challenges per game, challenging a PI won’t drag the pace down any more than challenging any other call.

Indeed, and as much as I’d like to see some structure or mechanism for challenging significant PIs, I still say it’s a can of worms on reviewing judgment penalties the NFL absolutely does not want to open.

Ben from Burlington, VT

Trying to catch lightning in a bottle is a phrase I've heard of. Specifying "Coke bottle" not so much. Are the page views down enough in the offseason that you guys have resorted to integrated product placement in your responses?

Wes is hoping for an extra zero on his next paycheck for that one. I told him not to hold his breath.

David from Groton, CT

Thompson traded Brett Favre. Kraft just traded Jimmy G. Did Thompson trade the correct person whereas Kraft traded the wrong person?

We’ll find out.

Collin from Omaha, NE

Insiders, I’m not in the front office so I’m allowed to make draft picks with my heart, and I would love to see Shaquem Griffin in a Packers jersey. I watched him play like a man possessed against Auburn. He reminds me of Clay Matthews with his energy and love for the game. Whether Green Bay takes him or not, I’ll be watching his career closely.

A lot of people will. It’s a great story that’s hopefully in the early chapters. He clocked a 4.38 in the 40 on Sunday. Wow.

James from Grover Beach, CA

So guys, love the site! Had a question published so I am currently master of my Packers domain! So no question, just a business proposition. After seeing the intro to the combine report, I have been inspired to create a Packers version of Rock-papers-scissors but I can't decide which of you beats rock?

What beats Rock? Nothin’ beats Rock.

Richard from Chicago, IL

Put me on the Trey Burton bandwagon with Matt from Des Moines. Trey Burton was stuck behind Zach Ertz on the depth chart, similar to Delanie Walker’s situation in San Francisco. I believe he has untapped potential and would come at a bargain in FA. Add another player in the draft and I think we would all feel much better about the TE position going into next season. Would you agree?

He might not be the bargain you assume. Free agency can be as unpredictable as the draft.

Mike from Exeter, PA

I've seen a few people ask if there's ever been a PI on a Hail Mary. The 2014 matchup between the Saints and 49ers. Jimmy Graham caught a Hail Mary at the end of regulation but was called for OPI. 49ers won in OT.

There you go.

Adam from Mitchell, SD

Hey guys, when Thompson put all the trust into Rodgers, what were your guys’ thoughts on the move from Favre, and what was the feeling inside the building at that time?

My sense was that McCarthy was fully committed to Rodgers as his quarterback of the future, he knew he was ready, and Thompson trusted his head coach’s judgment. The other factors were Favre’s annual Hamlet routine, which was growing tiresome, and Rodgers’ contract. He was heading into the fourth year of a five-year rookie deal, and if he didn’t become a starter until the final year of that contract, he very well might have played it out and tested free agency. The Packers didn’t want to go down that road on a player in whom they had invested a first-round pick and so much development time. It was a business decision and the right one.

Mike from Somerset, WI

Listening to Brian talk about position groups and players has shown a changing of the guard. Ted would never talk about either. I am trying to imagine Ted's induction speech into the Packers Hall of Fame. Might that be the first time we ever hear Ted reflect on players and positions?

I seriously doubt it. Why would or should he change? As John Schneider affectionately said, “He did it his own way.”

Aaron from Fort Wayne, IN

Insiders, I don't think it's likely that the Packers trade up from 14, but what would it cost them to trade back up into the bottom of the first round? The last time Thompson drafted in a similar spot we got Raji and Matthews after a trade back into the first round.

Most trade charts indicate it would take at least Green Bay’s second- and third-round picks to move back up into the bottom five picks in the first round. When Thompson did it in 2009, he actually gave up more – a second and two thirds (the extra third was from the Favre trade the previous summer) for No. 26 overall and a fifth. That tells you how sure he was about Matthews.

Steve from Wichita, KS

Thompson always seemed to take the “safer” option when it came to players with a high-risk, high-reward tag to them. What are your thoughts with our new GM? Do you sense one way or another if he may gamble more with some of our picks?

No idea, and it could be more circumstantial than philosophical. With 12 picks in his first draft, he might feel it’s worth taking a risk somewhere. We’ll see.

Tim from Menomonie, WI

Whoever wins the coin toss has to say, "I want the back seat, and I'm gonna snore."

Amen. It’s time to hit the road and come back home.


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