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The quarterback market will rule this first round

Posted Apr 13, 2018

Players have to go where they can get on the field


Eric from Green Bay, WI

Insiders, can we please get to the draft ASAP?! I want to stop over-analyzing the pre-draft possibilities and start over analyzing the post-draft world!

T-minus 13 days and counting …

David from Athens, AL

Which preseason game are you looking forward to the most? Why?

The one with the earliest kickoff time, so it’ll be easier to get Inbox written for the next morning.

Joshua from Houston, TX

The problem with the offending player being out for as long as the injured player is that teams could put in their third-string RB/receiver and then have him "go down" when tackled by a star defender and then stay out the rest of the game, which would force the other player to stay out, too. It also doesn't help that some people get hurt on legal plays at no fault of the tackling/blocking offender.

Thank you, Joshua. If I had a dime for every one of the ridiculous eye-for-an-eye suggestions I’ve read in the Inbox, I wouldn’t have to steal Wes’s lunch every day. As I said repeatedly last year, it would be a system ripe for abuse and a nightmare to enforce. Let this be the end of that discussion, please.

Zachery from Clarkfield, MN

Did either of you see the article on the sports memorabilia shop in Rosedale, Minn., selling framed pictures of Barr walking away from Rodgers lying on the ground after being hit? They were selling them for $129 and they sold out of them. I'm all for a friendly rivalry, but celebrating an injured player?

I’m sure the price would have doubled had the Vikings reached the Super Bowl.

Rocco from Green Bay, WI

Good morning Spoff! In your opinion – that is, as someone more knowledgeable than me about football (even though I played all the Maddens), while decidedly less knowledgeable than the coaches – who is your top player in the draft right now, regardless of position?

I’ve been trying to decide between Saquon Barkley and Bradley Chubb. It’s a close call for me.

Mark from Sturgeon Bay, WI

I'm getting paranoid with people calling me fictional. Am I real? Now I'm questioning myself.

Hang in there, Mark.

Kyle from Albany, NY

So with the team bringing House back, does it all but assure they will be taking an edge rusher in the first round?

Not at all.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

To Vinny from Arlington, VA. Personally, I think it's even more difficult to evaluate talent in this league. I think that the best players are those who can quickly process football information both mentally and physically under duress or "human confrontation." It's difficult to calculate for college football players when there are only a few games in a season when the "good" players are truly challenged.

Which is why scouting will always remain a crystal-ball business. Did Venny just answer Vinny? What’s our vector, Victor?

Donny from Green Bay, WI

I'm really intrigued by the opportunity the Packers may find themselves in on draft day at 14 with Arizona and Baltimore picking directly behind them. Both teams are rumored to want Lamar Jackson. I'd love to see Gutekunst play some phone games with them and move back one or two spots and still get the guy you want at 15 or 16. What are the odds of pulling off a San Fran/Bears trade from last year?

Could happen. The quarterback market will rule this first round, as it often does.

Tristan from Aurora, CO

I heard that the Patriots have a lot of interest in Lamar Jackson. Green Bay, one pick ahead of Arizona (another team who could take Jackson), would seem like a prime trading partner with New England if he’s available. Are the Pats’ two first-rounders worth pick 14, especially given the CB depth in this draft?

The value chart says 23 and 31 are worth more than 14. Those two could get the Patriots into the top 10. New England’s 31 and 43 are a closer match to 14. I’ll entertain one more trade speculation, then we’re moving on.

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

With four or five QBs likely being selected before the Packers pick at 14, they will have several options that provide value and need. That being said, I see Miami as a viable option should Gutey want to move up three spots to acquire a player such as Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds if they slip that far. Miami has only one pick in each of the first four rounds and none in round 5. What would it take to move up to 11 in the first round?

Miami has two fourth-rounders, I believe. Anyway, the Packers would probably have to give up their third-rounder and then recoup one of those fourth-rounders from Miami for that to work out.

Matt from De Pere, WI

Do you know what's more compelling than opening against the Vikings? Closing against the Vikings.

Don’t rule out both.

Cody from Madison, WI

How can Week 1 not be against the Bears? Longest rivalry in football, plus we can do it all again next year when the Bears have their 100th season in Chicago.

Another interesting thought.

Dan from Catonsville, MD

If a team misses completely with their first-round pick (the player they pick is a huge bust), I feel that mistake affects that team for at least the next three years. Is that correct thinking?

For the most part, unless another player from the same draft plays like a first-rounder from the get-go.

Jackson from Colorado Springs, CO

For quite some time, I was super excited for the 2019 season because my math told me that would be the Packers’ 100th season. How does this math add up referring to the 2018 season as the 100th season? If the Packers were founded on Aug. 7, 1919, then basic math would make this their 99th season, wouldn’t it?

If the Packers had been founded in 1901, would their 100th season have been in 2000 or 2001?

Brooks from Moore, OK

Can you give an example of a Wonderlic question?

I think I just did.

Keith from Sparta, NJ

Hello there. The NFC seems to have a pretty level playing field with many teams likely to hit nine wins. Layer over that the very competitive NFC North and I think a fast start is crucial (not just for GB) for teams to get momentum. Two or three losses in the first five games compounded by the inevitable slew of injuries will make the season tough. They must get coaching/playbook wrinkles sorted before the first game...off to the races at that first whistle is the imperative, don't you think?

You get to 10 wins how you get to 10 wins, and if you have to choose one or the other, it’s always better to finish strong. That said, a fast start is what puts you in the best position for a 12-win season and possible first-round bye, home field, etc. That’s how I view it.

Andrew from Superior, WI

Can you please help me and some friends with a discussion we are having? Do you think teams and coaches view a sack with equal value to a tackle for loss? For example, would a 1-yard sack be seen the same as a WR getting tackled a yard behind the line of scrimmage? Offseason debates! Thanks.

It depends on how good a hit was put on the quarterback. I’m only half-joking.

Brett from Brisbane, Australia

Hi guys, I was happy to read you saying that the fans want the first pick to be edge or CB. Could you give us your top five in both positions?

Chubb, Davenport, Landry, Hubbard and either Key or Carter for top five on the edge. Ward, Hughes, Oliver, Alexander and Jackson at corner, though Fitzpatrick and James as the top safeties bring a ton of coverage skills as well.

Les from Las Vegas, NV

Pardon us here while we take a break from mock drafts to enjoy the Vegas Golden Knigjts in the playoffs. From a very emotional start after the Oct. 1 shootings, to guys who bonded quickly with the community and with each other, it’s been an extraordinary season. Football will come soon enough but spring in the desert is about hockey.

Who would have thought anyone would say that? Enjoy it.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

No televised preseason games for the Packers? How will I get my prefix? Uncool.

When I saw the trip to Oakland, I was hoping for national TV. Not for the Nelson storyline, which will be overdone, but because it would move up the kickoff from 9 or 9:30 p.m. CT. I can’t sleep on planes, so that’s going to be a very long night for me.

Paul from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Is anyone going to comment on Trevor Davis’s moronic bomb joke at an airport?

What is there to say?

Neil from Kaukauna, WI

Do you think Matt Patricia's pencil has Jon Voight's teeth marks in it? That's why he keeps it behind his ear.

Wow, we’ve hit on Lt. Kaffee and George Costanza so far with Patricia’s pencil. Any others?

Wayne from Green Bay, WI

"I don’t believe coaches, teammates, systems or environments make or break players." I strongly disagree with this statement and I think you can simply look at Brett Favre's career as an example. We all know Favre's story from Atlanta. He was talented but an absolute mess who didn't even know what a nickel defense was after a year in the league. He goes to GB and works with one of the best offensive coaching staffs of all-time with Holmgren, Mariucci, Reid, Gruden and becomes the best player in the league after three years. Then Holmgren leaves and he goes through the Rhodes and Sherman years and clearly regresses. McCarthy, another QB guru, comes in and within two years, he got back to an MVP level and took us within a play of the SB. He then goes to the Jets and has a mediocre year, then comes back to Minnesota with a West Coast offense and has a Pro Bowl year. Just looking at his Holmgren/McCarthy years vs. the rest, it is the difference between a first ballot HOFer and maybe a Jeff George/Jay Cutler type of career. I'd definitely qualify that as "make or break."

I hear what you’re saying. I was answering the question from the perspective of whether a player simply makes it in the league or not, period.

Kris from Kronenwetter, WI

Vic always used to say he would like to find “the next (insert star NFL player fans want to trade for)” instead of trading the farm for a veteran player. Take OBJ for example. The scouting reports on Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley look like he is a plug-and-play WR from Day 1. Ridley could be the next OBJ. Plus the defense actually played well down the stretch last year. What have you heard so far about Calvin Ridley?

Only that he’s going to be the first receiver off the board, hands down. It’s just a question of how high he’ll go.

Mark from Canton, GA

Most the mocks and pundits seem to have the Pack going defense with their first pick, and I personally would agree with that. But is there any particular offensive player you feel the Pack can't or at least shouldn't resist if he is available with the 14th pick?

Other than Barkley, who’ll be long gone, maybe Quenton Nelson, with everything being said about him and Green Bay’s wide-open guard spot. But he won’t be there, either.

John from Onalaska, WI

So, no cheering in the press box. But fighting in the press box?

Deadlines can be stressful.

Bubba from Pocatello, ID

In response to Kyle from Osceola, wouldn't John Elway also be someone who has won a Super Bowl ring as a player and team president?

For that Super Bowl win, Elway was Denver’s GM and executive VP of football operations, a title similar to the one Ted Thompson had.

Ron from Stamping Ground, KY

Not a question, just letting you know that Gil Brandt walked back that comment…“I'm getting killed on Twitter. I didn't realize you were asking me a prediction for the top 10. I thought you asked what would surprise me most in top 10. I would be shocked if McGlinchey went in top 10. I wouldn't be shocked if he slid out of Round 1.”

Fair enough.

Paul from Black Mountain, NC

My 84-year-old football fanatic mom’s two favorite players in the upcoming draft are Bradley Chubb and Tremaine Edmunds. I love that she’s a freak for defense like her son, and think it’s a hoot that she wants to do a mock draft with me when I’m home visiting next week. She thinks the Giants are taking Chubb at No. 2 (“They won’t feel confident enough about picking Eli’s replacement this year”) and sees the Bears taking Edmunds at No. 8 (“The Bears have always loved linebackers”). She can’t stand the thought of the Bears taking her guy Edmunds, but she’s a stone-cold mocker who doesn’t operate based on wishful thinking. In your years of work, have either of you guys published a mock draft? Is there an Insider mom who is a football fanatic?

My mom would never do a mock draft, but she earned a ton of street cred several years ago when she chose Raji as her gameday jersey.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Everyone seems to agree that playing in a pro-style offense in college gives players a leg up on adjusting to the NFL. If it's so beneficial, why don't more of the best high school prospects choose programs that will introduce them to pro-style concepts, instead of committing to air raid/spread systems? Especially for positions like OL, TE, or QB.

Players have to go where they can get on the field. A system won’t prepare anyone if he’s not playing.

Jeff from Kenosha, WI

Isn't this the time of year when all the Packers scouts congregate in Green Bay and spend all day every day watching film? I've heard in can get pretty heated. I'd love to be a fly on that wall.

No doubt. The last two weeks before the draft are intensive daily meetings during which the draft board is finalized. You must have the debates and discussions now, because there isn’t time once you’re on the clock.

Steve from Middletown, KY

Accidents do happen, but you're in control. When you complete the Inbox, do you ever get a cup of coffee, prop your legs up on your desk, put your hands behind your head, then lean back and say, “Today was a good day”?

I’d say that often if I’d get to call it a day as soon as Inbox is posted. But alas, it doesn’t work that way. Happy Friday, everybody.


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