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Who's the best available playmaker?

Posted Apr 24, 2018

All of those pressing questions finally will be answered


Vinny from Arlington, VA

Ted Thompson's first pick as GM was a future Hall of Famer. No pressure for Brian Gutekunst. Hoping someone would have reminded him of this during his news conference to lighten the mood.

I don’t think Gutekunst needs a reminder of how big those shoes are that he’s filling. He needs to only look at the Lombardi Trophy sitting by the entrance to realize the impact of Ted’s first pick. Good morning!

Rick from Oswego, IL

Sit back and relax. Edge rusher or DB with No. 14? Personally it doesn’t matter, as both are a need for the Packers. As long as the Packers get a Day 1 starter. With four picks in the first 101 picks and six picks in the first 138, Brian Gutekunst can add some real quality players. I can’t wait to see who he picks.

Who’s the best available playmaker? That’s what I want to know. Gutekunst had an interesting comment Tuesday about how it’s more difficult to find athletic big men in the later rounds than early on, but Denzel Ward, Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick appear to be on another level. That’s the right thing about draft week – all of those pressing questions finally will be answered this week.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

This morning, I was reading a mock and Doug Ferrar had Ward going sixth, James seventh, Davenport eighth, Jackson ninth, Fitzpatrick 10th and Edmunds 11th. At this point, I couldn't help but notice there was a pretty big name missing on defense so I scrolled back to the top and checked again. Vita Vea went 13th and with the 14th pick....Bradley Chubb. Mike said Gute and his staff would have been through every possible scenario. How about this one and how long do you think it would take to get the card to the stage if it happened?

Cue the GIF of Forrest Gump running out of his yard and down the street.

Michael from Brokaw, WI

I'm thinking Denzel Ward is going to fall out of the top 10. Would a third-rounder be enough to move three spots to select the best corner of the draft? It would be much easier to recoup the third-round pick. If I was GM, this would be an easy decision to make.

The traditional draft-value chart says a team would need 150 points to move up from No. 14 to 11. Green Bay’s third-round pick (No. 76 overall) is worth 210 by most standards, so it’s conceivable the Packers could move as high as nine or 10 if either Oakland or San Francisco wants to polka. 

Bill from Savannah, GA

Spoff says that the new GM will be able to make a measured, calm decision no matter what happens on draft day. I get it, the entire personnel staff has had months to go over all the possibilities. But was Thompson really anticipating that the Bears would bet the farm on a move up one spot to pick Trubisky? Are you really saying they were ready for that?

It’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Chasing quarterbacks can do crazy things to NFL GMs.

Brad from Edmonton, Canada

Maybe I'm missing something but there seems to be about 20 players brought up in this forum who are "likely" to be gone by the time Packers pick at 14. I'm excited.

That’s the best part of picking at No. 14. You’re going to get a good prospect with a “first-round grade” from virtually every NFL team. Nothing is guaranteed, but the projections become a bit easier picking inside the top 15.

Dave from Coloma, MI

What will be worse: All the "what if" pre-draft questions or the "why did" questions post-draft?

 

I’d definitely say the pre-draft questions. It’s always better to explain why something happened rather than lending credence to endless hypotheticals.

Dan from Madison, WI

With the limited amount of time allotted for making a pick, how do draft-day trades get done in time? With many GMs working remotely, how do they manage all the paperwork?

Thompson leaned on his inner circle to help work the phones and I imagine Gutekunst will do the same. It’s rare to do deals involving players on draft day due to physicals. Dealing picks for picks is a relatively painless process. It’s just looping the NFL into the matter.  

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Our last three GMs had the following as their first picks in the "hot seat" of the draft room: T. Buckley, J. Reynolds and A. Rodgers. Two were top-10 busts, the third a HOF picked at the back end of Round 1. Ron Wolf overcame T-Buck, so let's cut Gut some slack no matter who he chooses. As usual, the immediate post-draft analysis will just as valuable as the pre-draft analysis. Which is to say not very useful.

The key is getting the most value out of your draft choices. Thompson hit on his first pick in a historic way, but Nick Collins and Brady Poppinga also provided value. One player often doesn’t make-or-break a draft class. Yes, Wolf missed on Buckley in 1992, but Robert Brooks, Edgar Bennett and Mark Chmura made it a fruitful effort.

Bryce from Ames, IA

How much work is put in to see if there are personality issues or troubling secrets from a draft prospect's past that could negatively affect his NFL career?

A ton. It’s no different than if you were vetting potential new employees. As Thompson often said, GMs have to figure out if it’s just a young man stubbing his toe or a deeper issue.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Why don't you put all of the Prospect Primers under a single tab on the website so the fans can easily access them and look for the alternatives at various positions or follow along as the draft develops?

Try clicking the “More from Prospect Primer” tab underneath the text embedded in any of our Primers.

JD from Evansville, IN

How much of Aaron’s new investment is about his desire to get into basketball, and how much is a message to Packer Nation that he his committed to Wisconsin for the long haul?

It’s a little of both. The man absolutely loves basketball, and more specifically, the mid-range jumper. It’s an investment opportunity that makes sense on so many levels. Rodgers has been extremely visible on the Wisconsin sports scene over the last decade and built relationships throughout the state. This move further strengthens those in-state ties.

Al from Green Bay, WI

In his March 2005 mock draft, Mel Kiper projected Aaron Rodgers going to Cleveland No. 3 overall. Obviously, the Browns would have been better off to follow Kiper's board rather than their own that year, hindsight being 20/20. Do you think GMs are in tune with some of the ratings of the prognosticators? Can it help them in any way?

I doubt any NFL team is taking its directives from what the pundits on ESPN are saying, but everyone is fishing from the same lake, too, if you know what I mean. It’s inevitable at least some of the underground conversation among NFL personnel will make its way into the public domain. The GM’s job is to decode what’s legitimate and what’s noise.

Drew from Hampton, MN

Why don't the Packers sign one of the wide receivers on the board: Jeremy Maclin, Dez Bryant or Brandon Marshall?

Let’s say you want to impress your significant other with a fancy dinner and it just so happens you make an out-of-this-world risotto. Do you take your chances at an Italian restaurant where you’ve never eaten or trust your cookery? Those receivers you mentioned were all great at one point in their careers, but the Packers have drafted better than anyone at receiver over the last decade. If Brian Gutekunst feels like he needs to add a receiver, I’d argue to trust a process that’s yielded Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings.

Matthias from Hartford, WI

Who was the last Hall of Fame player the Green Bay Packers have drafted?

Aaron Rodgers will be, LeRoy Butler should be and Nick Collins might have been, but James Lofton is the answer to your question.

Mike from Algoma, WI

Can we please all agree to stop giving the phrase “strength of schedule” merit? It’s meaningless. Every team in our division has the same schedule except for two games. Basing the difficulty of this year’s schedule on last year’s results? The Packers aren’t exactly the same team – no other team is either.

I could live with that…

Bill from Menominee, MI

Remember when the Packers had the easiest schedule when it was announced last year? How'd that work out? The current format of NFL roster turnover allows nothing to be calculated and that's what makes it so great.

…for this reason.

Jesse from Bellingham, WA

Do you think teams look to draft prospects that have similar measurables/skills to players that have found success with the team (or coaches) in the past? Do you think Gut will be out to get the next Revis based on his success with Mike Pettine?

I think everyone is out to get the next Revis regardless of the scheme. I’m sure Pettine and Mike McCarthy have communicated to Gutekunst about the type of cornerbacks who fit well with his system, though. To the first part of your question, Gutekunst said Tuesday the Packers’ personnel department goes back and re-scouts players from three years prior to determine why some players worked out better than others.

Emmett from Monahans, TX

For me, I would like Edmunds, Ward and Davenport in Round 1. But I'm pretty sure the Packers would have to move up for the first two.

You may be right.

Phil from Madison, WI

Mike referred to being curious what Gute's first Week 1 roster will look like. I know he has final say on signing and drafting players, but I guess I thought the coaches made the calls on training camp cuts and thus the final roster. How common is it that the GM would overrule the coaches on a player cut decision?

GMs will weigh the opinions of their coaches, but don’t get it twisted – the final 53 belongs to Gutekunst. I can’t give you specific examples, but I’m sure there are instances on every team of GMs overruling coaches on cut-down day.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

I am always confused at draft time. Part of me says to move up and grab a top prospect, and part says no way to get rid of picks to do this as so many great players come later in the draft as well. Would it make more sense to trade picks for a veteran player instead of rolling the dice on a prospect or is it based on finances, as well? Meaning a rookie contract is more cap-friendly?

My preference is to trade picks for picks during the three days of the draft. It’s a young man’s game. I’d rather roll the dice with a prospect I feel good about than bringing in a veteran who may be past his prime.

Mark from Vincennes, IN

If a team knows the player they will pick when they "go on the clock,” does the NFL dictate when the team announces its pick?

Announcing the pick? Yes. The NFL controls when the announcement at the podium is made, but the pick is the pick. It’s over once the card gets turned in.

Sawyer from Colby, WI

Have you ever seen the movie “Draft Day”? If so, would you say it's an accurate depiction of what goes on during the NFL Draft?

I have seen “Draft Day.” I absolutely love it. I even have a coffee mug at my house. It’s also in no way an accurate depiction of what goes on during the NFL Draft. I can assure you John Dorsey isn’t “sitting here, eating my pancakes, thinking about moving No. 1.”

Robert from Seattle, WA

Watched the first-round picks of the past six years. What other business gets it so wrong so often? These coaches and scouts would be constantly sued or in jail if they were in the construction business, or just about any other business.

This isn’t construction, though. This is the lottery.

Paul from Oak Bluffs, MA

I am retiring in the coming weeks and would like plan a trip around the Packers shareholder annual meeting. Has the date been set for this summer’s event? Thank you.

It’s scheduled for July 25 at 7 p.m. CT. Happy retirement and safe travels.

Malcolm from Edmonton, Alberta

I had a hard choice when offered free tickets to the new Avengers movie this Thursday during the draft. Since I will not watch it live, can I count on packers.com to provide enough coverage to catch me up after Round 1?

Absolutely. We’ll be pumping out articles, videos and Periscopes like crazy all three days.

Eric from Middleton, WI

Now that we can't say "In Ted We Trust" on draft days, have there been any slogan submissions for the new guy? Personally, I'm going to "Root for Gute" on Thursday. Happy draft week!

“I ‘Gute’ A Feeling?” I’ll show myself out…again.

Mike from Glen Allen, VA

Mike, I am guessing that your use of obtuse as an adjective corresponds to Andy Dufresne's use of the word when describing Warden Norton?

Obtuse. Is it deliberate?

Matt from Roanoke, VA

Hate to break up the draft talk, but I'll be in Wisconsin in July for a fishing trip and would like to tour Lambeau. How do I go about doing that?

Order online or walk into the Lambeau Field Atrium and go to the service desk at the Packers Hall of Fame. Tell them Spoff sent ya.

KJ from Cheyenne, WY

Can we get a Prospect Primer on Tony Mandarich?

I’m too busy working on Larry’s.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

If GB was smart, it would adopt my draft strategy. First, simulate all the scouting up to the draft. Then, save the franchise. Then, simulate the draft, write down all the players rankings, and shut off the game without saving.

Back in my day, “Madden” just handed out the ratings. I never had a bad pick in 10 years. Undefeated, never lost. Unfortunately, the NFL never called for my services.

Kyle from Smyrna, WI

In response to Tim from Charlotte, NC. Don't be a grill elitist. I don't care if you use gas, charcoal, or chopped wood in an open pit. As long as the sun is out, beer is cold, meat is plentiful, and you're not a Bears fan then life is good. Go Pack!

And the propane is full.


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