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There's no shortage of intrigue in the draft

Posted Apr 14, 2017

What picks would the Packers net by trading back?

Shawn from Fort Collins, CO

It wouldn't surprise me to see Ted trade out of the first round especially with the talent of this year’s draft. If the Packers decide to move out of the first round, what kinds of picks could they get moving back around 5-10 selections?

According to most trade charts, moving back 10 spots from where the Packers are could net a late third-rounder, or fourth- and sixth-rounders, something like that. Going back only 5-6 spots is worth a mid-fourth or so.

Tim from Windsor, CO

Regarding the disadvantage to drafting later in rounds, as asked by Paul from Milwaukee, he referenced Titans, Jaguars, Texans, and Raiders. Outside of the Raiders, what "advantage" do those teams have from drafting early?

They have an advantage. It’s whether or not they capitalize on it. If Mariota is the real deal, the Titans will get there. The Texans have just about everything a playoff team needs except a QB. The Jags appear to have missed on a QB they took at No. 3 overall. When you’re in that position, you have to make it count.

Tim from Woodbury, MN

Does the city of St. Louis have a legitimate case against the NFL?

I doubt it. I don’t know all the ins and outs of the St. Louis stadium proposal, but the case probably comes down to whether that proposal was viable and satisfied the language of the NFL’s relocation rules, or if the Rams and the league’s owners were justified in rejecting it. Happy litigating.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

In a draft-and-develop program, the GM is only as good at the draft as the coaches are in developing. Is that accurate?

To an extent, but the talent to develop has to be there when the player is picked. Even the best coaches can’t make chicken salad out of … the wrong ingredients.

Ted from Boston, MA

Living in Boston, I constantly get into Rodgers-Brady debates. What do you see as the pros and cons of their different leadership styles (Brady's fire vs. Rodgers' calm)?

I’m not sure I agree with your premise. I see a mixture of fire and calm in both guys at different times. The best leaders know when each is required and react accordingly, and I think both are in tune with those moments. I also believe there’s a lot about their leadership styles we don’t know, as far as how they lead behind closed doors.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

In hindsight, and all things considered, do you think one of the considerations in drafting Jason Spriggs so high last year was to both put pressure on David Bakhtiari to sign a reasonable extension as well as to provide, hopefully, a tackle if it didn't work out with Bakhtiari? Now that it worked out, perhaps this gamble was a bit overplayed in hindsight.

A GM can never be sure a re-signing will come together in a way that’s agreeable to both sides, so he has to hedge his bets. More to the point, though, the trade up for Spriggs wasn’t about putting pressure on Bakhtiari, it had everything to do with Week 16 of 2015 in Arizona. Watch that game again and tell me you wouldn’t make sure you had better depth at offensive tackle on your roster for the next season.

Braden from Brookfield, WI

How about those Milwaukee Bucks?! Playoff-bound. Is there as much excitement up north as there is down here for the team? Bucks in six!

It’s great to see the Bucks back in the postseason. They deserve a ton of credit for making the run they did in March without Jabari Parker. Fear the deer. Go Bango.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Lining up on the computer screen and going question-to-answer with a fan could be compared to a defender going one-on-one with a receiver. Have you ever viewed it that way? You do a great job responding (especially to the offensive questions) by mixing up your responses with brevity, levity, sagacious insight, sarcasm, and movie quotes. Since there is no score at the end of the Inbox to determine how you fared in the day's matchups, what constitutes a successful day?

If the Inbox remains full of engaging emails and my badge still gets me in the building each day, I figure I’m doing OK.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Greg from Ann Arbor made some valid points actually praising Ted Thompson, which is unusual in its own right so, 1) Why did it have no place in the Inbox? 2) Why would he have been banned if it wasn't Holy Week?

Then again, some of my attempts at brevity, levity, sagacious insight, and sarcasm apparently don’t work.

Derek from Ramsey, NJ

Insiders, please make me feel better about the Packers' secondary this year. Lie to me if you must.

I wouldn’t lie to you. I don’t do that. The Packers are in great shape at safety with a Pro Bowler in Clinton-Dix, a savvy veteran in Burnett, and a potential rising star in Brice. The corners have a lot to prove, and the proof will be in the pudding with Randall, Rollins, and Gunter, and with House for the matter, too, as far as his scheme explanation for falling out of favor in Jacksonville. I expect additional young corners to be brought in as well, at least one with a high draft pick. For all the angst about the position, I don’t expect one player there to be considered on the “downside” of his career, and I never underestimate a motivated professional athlete.

Paul from Middleton, WI

Dan Rooney has passed. A great ambassador to football. Any great stories? We're losing too many greats.

I’ll leave the Rooney stories to Vic. Rest in peace, Mr. Rooney.

Courtney from Butte, MT

If you go back five years and look at all of the “Prospect Primers” that this column has looked at, let me know how many per year actually went on to be Packers and what the percentage was. You will see why I can’t wait for Aug. 15 or so to arrive! Not a fan of this time of the year.

That’s too bad, because the three days in late April are the lifeblood of this franchise. As for the Primers, I believe we had one on Datone Jones in 2013, Clinton-Dix, Adams and Abbrederis in 2014, Hundley in 2015, and Fackrell, Martinez and Murphy last year. That’s eight hits out of, I don’t know for sure, 200 or so that we’ve done? Not impressive, I realize, but it’s fun to see what happens. More fun than pining for the preseason, if you ask me.

Daryl from Springfield, MO

Could the new Titletown District support the draft, and do you think it was ever part of the planning process?

It wasn’t part of the planning process to my knowledge. For the draft, it would provide a new, high-end hotel for league officials, players, etc., to stay in, but that’s about it. You still need the right venue for the draft itself, and it seems questionable whether the league would be interested in the Resch Center. There really isn’t another option.

Morgan from Fort Collins, CO

Probably too detailed a question, but who pays for visits? I can't imagine it's cap money, and in all, it probably doesn't amount to much; however, between flights, meals, hotels, etc., it's gotta be no small feat to get the hopeful candidates in and out.

All part of the scouting budget, and the cost of doing business. It’s not capped, because the players themselves aren’t being paid anything.

Andy from Stevens Point, WI

Which of the preseason games is green package and which is gold package? Never too early to start planning.

That’ll be clarified when the full regular-season schedule is announced.

Dan from Golden Valley, MN

What are your thoughts on how many more years the Packers will extend their eight-season playoff streak? Seems simplistic to say "as long as they have Rodgers as QB." What do you think?

All signs were pointing to the streak ending in both 2013 and 2016, but the Packers kept it alive. I don’t have a prediction. I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts because when it does end, I know it’ll be a major bummer to not have January football around here. The end of the 2008 season was more depressing than any of the heartbreaking playoff losses I’ve witnessed.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Could you look into your crystal ball and tell us how many more years you think Mason Crosby can still be our kicker? Aside from his graying hair, he doesn't show signs of slowing down.

No, he doesn’t. He might only be at the halfway point of his career, though kicking 20 years solely for a northern, outdoor team would be almost unheard of.

Anton from Green Bay, WI

A prospect that really caught my eye is Pat Elflein. He would fill the hole at right guard and could also serve as the backup center in case of injuries. Not to mention he is a four-year wrestler. He fits in.

I was intrigued by him, too, when I worked on his “Prospect Primer.” It’s coming next week.

David from Nashville, TN

There was an ambidextrous quarterback in the 1980s. They did a story on him in the April 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated that chronicled Sidd Finch.

Loved that story.

Rick from San Francisco, CA

A lot of draft reviews discuss how "NFL ready" a player is based on their college team's style. Does a team like the Packers, seemingly without a major need at positions like WR and the defensive line, get an advantage picking a player with huge potential but a longer time of transition to the NFL later? They won't need them to contribute a lot in Year 1.

The further away a player is from reaching his potential, the bigger the risk, but potentially the bigger reward. It’s only an advantage if your crystal ball is better than the other teams’. All part of the intrigue to me, and there’s no shortage of it in the draft.

Vernon from Holcombe, WI

Do you know when “Family Night” is going to be? When will the tickets be available?

Last year, the date for “Family Night” was announced in late May.

Ben from Earth, WI

Hey Insiders, Vince Biegel is my guy and I'd love to hear what you think about the kid. Great dude and a great outside linebacker. Really think he'll be an awesome pro. I know there's a lot of shine on T.J. but Vince deserves a look from every 3-4 team in my opinion.

I’m curious to see what Biegel can do in the NFL. He’s got a lot going for him. I took a minute at the combine to tell him about covering a high school game coached by his grandfather that ended up 70-63, in regulation. I was somewhat stunned he wasn’t even aware of it, given his football family and all the stories they must share. Or maybe he thought I was just a media wingnut.

Ryan from Atlanta, GA

Does the Packers’ secondary typically practice against Rodgers and the starters, or do they go against the scout team? It seems to me practicing against Aaron would be invaluable.

In OTAs and training camp, the No. 1 offense and defense often go head-to-head. In the regular season, both units work more against the scout teams, who are running plays/schemes they’re preparing to see from the opponent that week. The No. 1 units still square off in the regular season in the two-minute drill, though.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Unique batting stance? Cecil Cooper.

Julio Franco.

Chris from Ontario, Canada

Insiders, how does a winning team transition to a championship team?

Win the right games at the right times.


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