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The Super Bowl is always the goal

Posted Apr 19, 2017

A.J. Hawk will be remembered for being a true pro


Ana from Brasilia, Brazil

If you think there's one guy who can be the final piece to complete your puzzle, shouldn't you go for it? Or should you settle for a good-enough guy, who will be a decent contributor and add depth, and would be a reasonable mid-round pick? I realize you never really know how a player will impact a team until he does, and several factors can influence a player's performance, but this seems to be a good year to take chances with a RB, and the Packers are in place of need for this position, right?

I’ve been pretty steadfast in my assertion you should draft the guy who will make the biggest impact on your football team. If that’s in the first round, go for it. If you feel there’s overwhelming parity at the position, then trade back and see what’s available later on. I’d rather take the player and possibly miss than passing on a perennial All-Pro for a ham-and-egger. That’s me, though. Every NFL team values positions differently.

Evan from Fort Wayne, IN

How about Geronimo Allison? I've followed him closely from when we picked him up after the draft. Talk about a talented wide receiver who I feel will make a huge impact for years to come.

Allison had a brilliant rookie season, but he’ll be the first to tell you he needs to build on it now. He plays to his size and length, which is something not all 6-foot-4 receivers do naturally. I was impressed by how the moment wasn’t too big for him, too. He didn’t play in many playoff-type atmospheres in college, but he looked at home in the postseason.

Matty from Durango, CO

I think Packer fans have fallen in love with a last name. T.J. Watt is ranked 50 and 60 by NFL.com and Sporting News.com, respectively, in their list of top 100 NFL prospects. He might be a great steal in Round 2 but why use the 29th pick on the 50th best college player?

Like every prospect, there are different opinions on Watt. One site may say he’s the 50th player and another might have him at No. 25. Personally, I like him. I love how he tested athletically and believe he has plenty of untapped potential in his 6-foot-4 frame. Is “Watt” an easy name to fall in love with? Obviously, but T.J. Watt is more than a name – he’s a football player.

Jeff from Oxnard, CA

Is it possible that the Packers with Kyler Fackrell and Dean Lowry coming off some impressive playing time in 2016 could actually improve their pass rush despite the losses of an aging Peppers and an underachieving Jones?

Fackrell, Lowry and Jayrone Elliott are three guys who could help the consistency of the pass rush. You knew what you were getting with Peppers and Jones. What intrigues me about the young rushers on the roster is their potential. I’m interested to see how Fackrell, Lowry and Elliott respond to possibly more playing time. They’ll need to earn it this summer, but there are plenty of vacated snaps to go around.

Tyler from Chicago, IL

Do rival teams submit higher offers to restricted free agents in hopes the current team matches, in turn lowering their cap space?

I’ve heard stories about teams extending tenders to former undrafted free agents who received the right-of-first-refusal tender. There’s little risk since the team executing the offer sheet wouldn’t need to give anything up to acquire the player. You still better like the player because he’s yours if the other team declines to match. It works both ways.

Matt from Verona, WI

How do GMs assign value to players with enough specificity to say that a guy is worth picking at 29 but not at 20, or worth it in the fourth round but not the third?

By grinding away at film, getting out on college campuses and talking to as many people as humanly possible. The wide range of opinions is the best part of the draft for me. One team’s gem could be another’s bust. Only time will tell who is right. 

Brit from Midland, TX

Will Green Bay take a running back? And if so how soon? Who are some candidates?

I think the Packers will take a running back in this draft, but your guess is as good as mine who that individual will be. There will be several good second- and third-day options. If they want to wait until the start of the third day, Samaje Perine, D’Onta Foreman and James Conner all could be available if they’re looking for another power rusher like Eddie Lacy.

Connor from Waukesha, WI

What do you think of Samaje Perine? He seems like a bowling ball of a running back. He can run over you, pass block, and catch the ball.

I’m a big fan. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t received more attention in the pre-draft process. His running style is pretty straightforward, but I like his mentality. NFL.com compares his upside to Michael Turner, who was one of my all-time favorite players.

David from Stockholm, Sweden

I would like to see healthier teams at crunch time in December. Why not consider two bye weekends? The first Week 6-9 and the second Week 10-13. This would also lengthen the season with another week. Sounds like a win-win situation!

I’ve always liked this idea. I’m not sure how much of a butterfly effect it would have on the schedule, but it made sense to me when I used to cover indoor football.

Jeff from Champlin, MN

The Packers also spent a draft pick (second round if I remember correctly) to get Mike Holmgren from S.F.

It’s kind of funny how it worked out. The Packers traded Tim Harris to San Francisco for second-round picks in 1992 and 1993. They ended up trading that 1992 second-rounder back to the 49ers for Holmgren.

John from Green Bay, WI

Insiders, the question about a potential Thanksgiving matchup with the Cowboys has me thinking. Am I in the minority in despising Thanksgiving Packer games? For me, it screws up the flow of the season and adds extra hassle of planning for holiday celebration and a game. Also, I just plain don't like it when the Pack plays in Dallas. It's a combo of mid-’90s flashbacks and not liking all the hoopla and carnival-like Jerry World showmanship. Give me a Sunday noon game all 16 weeks and I'd be in heaven.

My wife agrees with you. The Thanksgiving games are tough, though I was pleased to have the game at Lambeau in 2015 rather than eating my turkey roll on the road. Sure, there are bad memories in Dallas, but the Packers actually have been fairly successful at AT&T Stadium recently.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

In what situations would TT trade up in the draft? Does it happen only because there is one player he especially likes or are there other potential scenarios?

It’s all about value. The reason the Packers traded up to draft Brett Hundley in 2015 and Jason Spriggs a year ago is because they had high grades on both relative to where they were picked. The Packers were blown away Hundley was still around to be taken in the fifth.

Atanas from Chicago, IL

Can you guys pass it on to TT to trade into the early third round with a 2018 second round? I know it is not his thing but I think this is the year. They won’t lose many spots if they make the playoffs. Next year they have a third-round compensatory.

You may have an idea of where your compensatory picks might be, but you never can be too certain until they’re officially announced. Would Thompson be willing to wager a pick down the line for an extra pick today? Recent history would suggest no, but that could always change.

Subhadeep from Cincinnati, OH

A.J. Hawk's retirement brings an interesting perspective. When a player's long-term team releases him, there is a reason to do that. A.J. played for the Bengals for one season and one game for the Falcons. So when the fan base goes crazy to sign a FA like Sherman, point them to the fact that other teams also have a reason why they released the player in the first place.

Every team that’s ever cut a player has decided the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefit. It could be based on performance, salary or any number of factors. Hawk had a great career in Green Bay. He was durable, accountable and well-respected in the locker room, but Father Time is undefeated. I’m just glad Hawk gets the send-off he deserves. He had to answer a lot of tough questions in 2014 and not once did he raise his voice or get defensive. Hawk will be remembered for being a true pro.

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

Will the Packers get the biggest return on investment for Brett Hundley by keeping him on the roster until his rookie contract expires after next season and letting him walk in free agency for a likely third-round compensatory pick, or do you expect him to net a higher pick in a trade before then?

Let’s see how this summer plays out before we start fast-forwarding to 2019. The Packers didn’t draft Hundley strictly to parlay him into more draft picks. They took him because of his potential and the security he provides as a capable backup to QB1.

Brandon from River Falls, WI

I think people are really underestimating our corners. With the addition of Davon House, I think we have a solid set of players. Randall and Rollins were injured most of the year. Them being healthy again gives us a massive boost I think people are overlooking.

Yes.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

How many Packers do you expect to be in the Top 100 players of 2017?

I don’t know, but David Bakhtiari better be in it this year. Offensive linemen not named Joe Thomas don’t get enough credit in those rankings in my humble opinion.

JJ from Cape Coral, FL

Doesn't make sense cap-wise to trade out of the first round? Keep up the good work.

Probably not as much as pre-CBA in 2010. For the most part, rookie contracts no longer are the headache they used to be.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

Someone asked, "Do you think Ted Thompson feels any sense of urgency to do whatever it takes to win another Super Bowl while Aaron is in his prime?" to which Vic responded "Yes." Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you think TT feels a sense of urgency to win another Super Bowl whether A-Rod is in his prime or not? As in, no matter what?

The Super Bowl is always the goal.

Margaret from Reno, NV

When will the Packer home schedule with dates be out?

Thursday at 7 p.m. CT. Stay tuned to packers.com for wall-to-wall coverage of the release.

Chris from Ontario, CA

What happens to the players cut each year in the NFL?

Some players get claimed by other teams and some end up on practice squads. Others will never lace up their cleats again.

Theodore from St Louis, MO

Forget about mock drafts for a minute. Did you fill out a NHL bracket? Who are you liking in each conference?

Tampa Bay didn’t make it, so I haven’t paid attention.

Jason from Stafford, VA

Speaking of par-6s, the Meadows Farms Golf Course in Locust Grove, VA, has the longest hole in the country. Hole 12 in the longest nine-hole set (there are three sets at that course) is 841 yards from the back tees. Haven't played from those back tees yet, but one day.

I’d need overnight shipping to get my ball to the green.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, my old golf coach used to tell me, "You practice before the match. Once it begins, you trust your swing." That's how I think of the Packer brain trust right now; they are preparing. Come draft day, they will trust their swing.

Well said.

 
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