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Biggest takeaways from the draft? Read Mike's chat

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered any and all draft questions, and more, from readers


Hi everybody. Long time no chat. I'm sure there are lots of draft things you want to talk about. Fire away.

Comment From KK  

Mike, Do you think the rookie D-linemen will be able to step right in and play immediately?

I would think that's certainly the plan for Kenny Clark as a first-rounder. I don't think that's the expectation for Lowry, except it wouldn't hurt with Pennel suspended the first four games. You never know with rookies, how quickly they're actually ready for this stage. Five preseason games could help them in that regard, too.

Comment From Lonny  

How are you, Mike? What were your biggest takeaways from the draft?

The Packers made linemen the priority, and I wasn't surprised. They also weren't going to overdraft an inside LB just because of a perceived hole there. I think they would have added a RB if not for the cost to trade up for Spriggs, but that trade said all you need to know about what Ted thinks of him.

Comment From Gouda  

What are your thoughts on us skipping over Myles Jack? Do you think the injury plaqued seasons we have endured in the past factored into that decision when it came to his injury risk?

I have to believe the medical risk was a factor. Every team's doctors are going to have different opinions. I don't know where the Packers had him on their board, or if he was even on the board at all.

Comment From Chris

Mike, Green Bay did not draft a RB or TE, any chance we could still see Kuhn come back? He's cheap, a model pro, and if anything he would add great roster competition among the young TE/FB/RB group.

I wouldn't rule out bringing Kuhn back, but the roster is getting close to the 90 limit now. Still, they can see what all these young guys have in OTAs and then maybe there's a roster spot for Kuhn before training camp starts. We'll have to see.

Comment From Wesley

Any news on the UDFA guys we have reportedly signed?

I expect a lot of questions on this, and just to get it out there, we won't be reporting those signings on until the players have arrived and passed their physicals, which is later in the week.

Comment From Ben

Mike! Thanks for doing this. I expect some good thumps in the half line drill with all the new bodies brought to the lines recently.

Might be some welcome to the NFL moments for the young guys there.

Comment From Rob  

Hey Mike, welcome back! Which receiver do you think is in the most danger this training camp? 

No way to say right now, but it's an obvious question with the top 7 candidates. Not room for all of them. Maybe injuries will sort it out. Maybe practice-squad eligibility will factor in at the end of camp if everyone is healthy. We're a long way from that point.

Comment From Willie  

I think the move up in the second round was great. I saw several mock drafts that had Spriggs going much sooner.

Thompson clearly had Spriggs very high on his board, and when he lasted through the first half of the second round, the value was too good to pass up. Having the two compensatories in the fourth round, right after the one he traded, probably helped him pull the trigger there. Comment From Guest  

I met Sam Seale at a bar where I live, he was here for Pro Day. He let me put his Super Bowl Ring on and take some picks with it. He was a great story teller, do you have any stories about Sam?

One of my first years here, we had a bowling event with some staff and the scouts, and Sam threw a wicked curve. I love Sam. Great guy.

Comment From Sean  

Mike, Do you think more consistent punts are what the Packers are looking for (namely undrafted rookie) or keep our current punter (who happens to be Mason's security blanket)?

Have to let training camp sort that out. I suspect Masthay will be difficult to beat out, but they aren't just handing him the job.

Comment From Linda P  

Hey Mike!! So excited that we are back doing this..I am so excited with our draft picks. Were you surprised that we didn't pick a running back? Do you think we will add one as an undrafted free agent?

No RB was the biggest surprise to me. I think spending the two extra picks for Spriggs played into that. I would expect a RB or two to be added through UDFA.

Comment From Mark  

When a team makes a decision not to pick up a player's option, is that a clear signal that the player needs to have a tremendous year to return - or at a minimum earn a new deal? For example, I don't think there is any chance of Cordaralle Patterson returns to the Vikings regardless of what he does this year. However, Nick Perry received a new deal. Does the outcome vary drastically when the Option is not picked up?

Several questions on this topic. Sometimes it's just the cost of that fifth year option. The Packers brought Perry back on a one-year deal for much less than the price of the option had they picked it up. It's not as simple as a thumbs up or down on a player.

Comment From racquetman  

What happened to the goatee? Are you trying to look young like Wes?

That was never supposed to see the light of day (i.e., in a video) but on schedule-release day, I was unexpectedly yanked into the studio to shoot something with Larry. Oh well. One of my offseason secrets, out of the bag.

Comment From Schmiddy  

It seems like Packers selected the majority of their players from strong academic schools. how intentional do you think that was?

I don't know, honestly. I don't think it was a plan, but when the Packers talk to potential players, they get to know them, and I'm sure the smarter ones make an impression, as long as those smarts translate to what they see on film. I remember Montgomery coming in here from Stanford last year ,missed a bunch of OTAs because of school, and still picked up the offense right away and was making plays from the first day of training camp. It can make a difference.

Comment From Bill  

I think I'd feel better with a veteran QB on the roster for training camp, we seem to be counting a lot on Hundley and if anyone goes down, we got nothing. Does bringing somebody like Foles or a lesser name in hurt Hundley's development that much with coaching time. We don't want to go through another 2013 where it really crippled us.

I think the coaching staff has a ton of faith in Hundley. His preseason last year was impressive, and he'll get 5 games this year. If he struggles in preseason, they may rethink, but he's an inexpensive backup with promise who allows them to spend more money on other positions. At this point, you see if that works.

Comment From Dirk  

Do you think GM's place too much emphasis on Ohio St, just because they won the National Championship? I mean are they all going to be good NFL'ers? I highly doubt it.

I don't know about that, but that team losing to Michigan State when the Spartans played a backup QB was about as big a stumble as I've seen in college football in a while.

Comment From Brad  

What do you think of Cobb getting his diploma from Kentucky?

Great for him, and his dedication to completion that task does not surprise me in the slightest.

Comment From Josh  

What's it like in the office with the boss gone?

There are plenty of bosses with their eyes on me. Trust me.

Comment From Tony in Burbank  

Mike, when does McCarthy hold his QB School?

It's underway now, with the start of the offseason workouts, but it's not as extensive as it used to be because of the hours/days restrictions. I remember Matt Flynn going through a lot more, because players returned for workouts in mid-March back then.

Comment From Tanner  

Hi Mike, could you pick a player from each of our NFC North rivals' drafts that will make our games against them more difficult? Thanks

I thought the Vikings adding Treadwell to go with Diggs at WR will make for a tough combo. The Bears got a pass rusher in Floyd to add to other changes on defense that will make that unit look very different. And it seems like the Lions always have a D-line to worry about. Adding Robinson from Alabama doesn't change that.

Comment From Zach  

Let's see what your crystal ball says: starting offensive line to open up 2017 is?

Can't we play 2016 first?

Comment From Ryan  

Why do you think Ted Thompson and the scouting staff value ILB less than other positions?

It's the way the game is. Big men and corners are harder to find. The Packers emphasized corners last year. This year it was big men. Thompson made an interesting comment on Saturday, though, about LBs getting targeted by opposing offenses for certain matchups. That's where teams attack to get certain one-on-ones, but everybody's doing it.

Comment From freddie  

Do you think the OL drafted are potential replacements for Sitton or Lang?

Potentially, yes, but Sitton and Lang will have plenty to say about that, too.

Comment From Tony in Burbank  

Mike, I think Spriggs will be an important player to watch. Ted gave up two picks to get him and seems like a high price to pay for a back-up OT (for now).

Not a high price at all for a backup OT, if you ask me, considering what happened in December last year.

Comment From Greg  

So what does it take to have a "championship caliber" defense? You don't have one on the offensive side without "the man" at you need the defensive equivalent? We have sure invested a lot of draft capital.

I don't know what McCarthy's definition is, but to me, a championship caliber defense changes games with turnovers and gets the stops in crunch time. The defense closed out the Washington playoff game with aplomb. The Packers were an INT on Shields' hands from getting that stop in Arizona. They're close.

Comment From Wesley  

Mike, what can you tell us about your new colleague Wes?

We had the same job in different eras -- covering high school sports at the GB Press-Gazette. A different life for both of us. I've known him for a long time and am really looking forward to working with him.

Comment From dave  

With Clark higher on the Packer's board than Vernon Butler, Jarran Reed and Andrew Billings, what did the Packers like most about Clark?

I think they liked his overall athletic ability and his motor. Being elected captain of your team as a junior in college says something, too.

Comment From Josh  

Tim Masthay is the all-time leader for the Packers in Punt average, and he punts outside in the elements. People need to stop expecting perfection.

I agree, but I also agree with competition for the job.

Comment From Matt  

Doesnt seem like we drafted much speed this year which was a big weakness for us last year. Any thoughts on why?

Big guys were the priority. They got speed in Davis in the 5th round, and as I said before, a RB wasn't taken because of the cost to get Spriggs. McCarthy's message on Saturday was that if the WR corps gets healthy again, they've got plenty of speed.

Comment From Jefferson  

Do you think picking up Trevor Davis in the 5th has anything to do with Montgomery's prolonged recovery? Or is this simply trying to get better at every position and Ted seeing an opportunity?

The latter, as far as I know.

Comment From Fred  

Do you think this could have been Ted Thompsons last draft?


Comment From Kraig  

With all the guys up for free agency after this year, Who do you expect the packers to make a priority to sign before they hit Free Agency. Any chance some of those guys sign before the year begins?

I would think Bakhtiari would be the highest priority because of the pending free agents, he plays a premier position. There's still plenty of time to sort that out.

Comment From Pete  

Hi Mike! What do you think of 3rd round pick Kyler Fracknell? Watched a lot of his tape after the pick and seems very athletic on the field. Good burst off the line and coverage skills. What do you see in him?

Fackrell looks to me like an athlete with length who has room to add some bulk at this level. Intriguing prospect.

Comment From Sezer  

So many players was on the board when packers selected Kenny Clark.Was he best available player?

To the Packers, he obviously was. Nobody's draft boards look alike.

Comment From Chuck  

Hey Mike, I heard Ty Montgomery might not be ready for training camp. Have you heard about his progress at all?

I have not, but McCarthy suggested at the scouting combine in February that his recovery would be lengthy. Comment From Brett  

Are you looking forward to the Packers Color rush Jersey?

Not particularly, but I'm not going to cry sacrilege or anything.

Comment From Nolan  

A lot of the Packers picks in years past and this year as well were knocked for having short arms. Can you comment on how short arms can reduce a player's effectiveness?

It's about separating and shedding in the one-on-one, hand-to-hand combat at the line. Bulaga was criticized for having short arms and it doesn't seem to have been an issue for him, as he predicted when he was drafted. It's just one measurable of many.

Comment From Jeremy  

Of the o-lineman up for contracts after this year who do you see coming back? Tretter has been in the league for 4 years but looked decent when he was playing. I don't know much about Rotheram, besides being a pretty guy, and the other o-linemen. But I really like the idea of all the competition and potential guys ready to step in.

I can't predict what the Packers are going to do, and what those players will want to do contract-wise. But the Packers have stocked the cupboard with the draft picks and practice-squad holdovers. They've done what they can for now.

Comment From Kelly  

What, if any, role do you think Larentee McCray will have for the Packers this year? Is he only a Special Teams guy or do you think he will be in the OLB rotation?

They're going to give him a shot at OLB for sure. We'll just have to see. In my book, the players to watch at that position in camp this summer will be Jayrone Elliott and Fackrell.

Comment From Matt F.

Hey Mike.does Blake Martinez have a legit shot at a starting ILB spot or what may his role be?

Sure, he's got a shot to start. If he can play in the nickel, I can see the Packers using Barrington and Ryan in the base and replacing one in the nickel. Can Martinez play the dime? Might be his spot this year rather than Joe Thomas'. Lots of possibilities.

Comment From Billy 

Hey Mike!! Will the recent draft picks from Stanford have to miss time in OTA's like Montgomery did last year? Thanks!

I would imagine so. It's based on Stanford's school calendar, which is a little unusual.

Comment From Mark 

What do you and/or the coaching staff expect to see from Montgomery this season? He seemed to have a lot of promise before the injury last season.

They'll want him to pick up where he left off before he got hurt, once he's fully healthy. But they will want him fully healthy first. It was really sad to see him keep trying to come back in practice last fall and just not get right again. I thought he was really playing well before he went down.

Comment From Andy 

How much harder do you feel it is to make an impression with less and less contact time in preseason and practice?

It's a factor, no doubt. The Packers will have more time in camp and preseason this year bc of the HOF game, and I expect the young players to get the bulk of that extra exposure.

Comment From Cashton 

How does a guy like Billings, projected 1st rounder fall to the 4th? With the Packers trying to get bigger and needing DL how do they pass on him in round 3? Talent is there, scheme?

There could always be something medical that's not common knowledge. Not saying that's the case with Billings specifically, but it happens.

Comment From Jason 

There was a couple of RB questions already. I think RB is one of the more "Plug and Play" position. Next year is supposed to be a great RB year for drafting. I think that's why the Packers didn't draft one this year. If they get Lacy back on point and sign him then you are set. If you don't sign him next year, you can look at draft options then. Thoughts?

Interesting thought. I don't know if the scouting staff and Ted look that far ahead. They'd never tell us anyway. But regarding another position, I do think the weak crop at TE in this year's draft is what prompted them to sign Cook in FA, so I see your related point.

Comment From Linda P 

Mike, I was bummed when Reggie Ragland went off the board and not to us. Were you?

I don't look at it that way. I was feeling like the Packers were suddenly in a plum spot at 27 on Thursday night with all that defensive front 7 talent still available. That's what I wrote about.

Comment From PackersSlang  

When does rookie orientation start, and what can we expect to learn from it?

The on-field work open to media is on Friday. We won't learn much, though you can always grab a nugget or two. I remember McCarthy saying how natural Micah Hyde looked fielding punts in rookie orientation a few years back. Things like that do jump out.

Comment From Mitch  

Hey Mike, who do you think will have the better year, Richard Rodgers or Jared Cook?

If one of them has a better year than Rodgers had last year, that'll be good for the Packers. That's all that matters.

Comment From Jonny  

Hey Mike! Do have a favorite player from this year's draft class for the Packers? Or, at the very least, is there a player that you're going to keep your eye on?

I'm curious to watch Lowry, mainly because I didn't know much about him, but Saturday night a friend of mine from grad school (I went to NW) with season tickets in Evanston texted me and said Lowry is the real deal.

Comment From Nolan  

Mike, if Randall and Rollins and have big 2nd year jumps do the Packers have the best secondary in the league this year?

They might be in the discussion, yes.

Comment From Andrew  

We know per Janis that pure speed isn't enough to get on the field, what does Davis need to do to get some targets from Rodgers?

Learn the offense. Then learn how Aaron likes the receivers to run the offense. It's a step-by-step process.

Comment From Bill  

How do we get 30 minutes into the chat without someone bringing up anything about Aaron, I guess that's a good thing, have you heard anything about his off-season or focus next year given his slightly not quite superman last season?

I thought it was telling on the first day of offseason workouts that he spoke to the media and talked about the energy and the vibe among the veterans. Personally, Aaron has never had a lack of things to motivate him. I think that's been obvious throughout his career.

Comment From Jon  

OK I gotta ask, you are GM Mike for this: what do you think when you see the Tunsil video?

If I didn't already know about it, or if it actually surprised me, I'd know I didn't do enough homework on the guy. Simple as that.

Comment From Andrew  

What attributes from a wrestling career translate to the pro game?

Leverage and hand placement. Scott Wells was always knocked for being an undersized center, drafted in the seventh round and started out on the practice squad, but he was a wrestler and he put together a heck of a career, if you ask me.

Comment From Rick  

Are all the players back at Lambeau now?

Yes, they returned for offseason workouts starting on April 19. McCarthy suggested on Saturday there's been 100 percent attendance. Everything in the offseason is voluntary except the mid-June minicamp.

Comment From Jeff B  

Hello Mike, Any news on Jordy?

He spoke to the media on the first day of the OSP too. If you missed it, the story would be on the site, dated April 19.

Comment From JD  

How crazy was that move by the Bucs to move up and take a K?

A kicker is never considered a position of need, until you need one. Or something like that.

Comment From Jim  

IS the heat in Florida overhyped? What will Packers do to prepare for it

I remember the game in Miami in '06 in October, and the heat was real. Guys were getting IVs in the locker room and all that. I'm no expert on how to prepare for it, but it's going to be a challenge.

Comment From Garth

Hey Mike, glad to see the chat back. What color would you like to see the rush uniforms be?

I've been assuming all along the Packers would go all gold, because that would create a new jersey to sell. If they go all green, it would still be the same jersey, right?

Comment From Bob  

What is Blake Martinez's vertical? I believe Wolf said 34-1/2 in his press conference, but and other sites indicate 28-1/2. Which is accurate? That's a big difference.

I don't know the specifics, but guys get tested at the combine and at their pro days. Sometimes results can differ greatly if a combine test was bad and he worked harder on that one.

Comment From Jon  

I loved the way they brought Jake Ryan up to speed his first year. I see him as a major contributor this year, he showed some flash late last year. Do you think hes ready?

No reason to think not. I think Ryan would have taken over that job sooner last year if not for the hamstring injury early in the season that sidelined him for a few weeks.

Comment From Conor  

If you were going to sit in the stands at Lambeau, where would you choose to sit?

My wife tells me her seats are pretty good, so as long as she'd give me at ticket, that'd work for me.

Comment From BrettGB  

Mike, when will the 2016 "Packers Family Night" be announced?

The full training camp schedule is usually announced around the time of the mid-June minicamp.

Comment From Linda P  

Mike, as a sports reporter do you have a player that you like and hope the Packers pick or do you just watch and report?

There's not a single prospect I know personally, and I don't pretend to be a scout, so I don't play that game.

Comment From Conor  

Does Vic still wave his terrible towel in the press box or has he finally stopped?

He'll never give that up.

Comment From Will in PA  

Please give me something on Lacy... I think he is a HUGE part in our offensive success. Is he back in shape and ready to plow like he used to?

A lot of questions about Lacy, and understandably so. I cannot comment on something I haven't seen. I don't have access to the offseason workouts. I'll be watching at the first open OTA practice on May 24, just like all the other reporters.

Comment From Robby  

I would assume the war room is off limits to most employees of the packers. How tightly is the war room secured during the build up to the draft.

Well, they don't rig it with explosives or anything, but I've been here 10 years and never set foot in that room. What does that tell you?

Comment From Mike  

Mike- I know Montgomery had an ankle injury but do you know the specific diagnosis and why it is taking so long to heal?

I believe he eventually had surgery, after several attempts to return to the practice field last year without surgery.

Comment From Gouda  

What are your thoughts on how ex Packers front office man ,Reggie McKenzie, has turned around the Raiders teams. He's done a nice job rebuilding that roster after inheriting a salary cap nightmare left over from Al Davis.

He certainly has. Great hire by the Raiders. I miss Reggie. One time I was camping with my family up in Door Co. and he suddenly pulls in the site next to ours with a rented RV. Total coincidence, but funny. Great guy.

Comment From Mark  

Is it tough walking the halls of Lambeau, knowing now that you are being "evaluated"?

You caught that, did you?

Comment From Joe  

What are the opinions of the plavers and coaches about having a longer training camp/preseason?

I'm sure the vets aren't crazy about it. The coaches will get a longer look at the young players, which should be a benefit.

Comment From Casey  

Interesting response to Nolan about our secondary...are they really that good? What makes you think so?

HHCD made a huge jump in his game last year and should be even better in year 3. When Shields is healthy, he's the best cover corner in the division, in my opinion. Randall and Rollins both showed they can play. Burnett is a solid veteran and leader. Hyde can play multiple spots. Young guys like Gunter and Daniel have promise. There's a lot to like.

Comment From Brian  

How much longer are you gonna do this chat? I'm running out of time to think of a question.

I see I've gone a little over an hour. I'll scan for a few more. Thanks for all the questions today, everybody.

Comment From Brian M

Mike, you need a picture with better resolution. It just looks like a blur on my screen.

That's a good thing for me I think.

Comment From The Shield

Mike, multiple Packer execs publicly admitted the defensive press coverage lasted all year, was effective, and never stopped, yet we did not coach or scheme our way out of it. Jared Cook and a rookie WR singlehandedly cannot change that. Is the hope that Jordy and Ty are going to? Devonte sure didn't even before hurt. Thank you.

I think it's everything. Jordy, Ty, Cook, better health overall. Now you add in Davis. Janis another year in the system and more confidence from his playoff outing. Cobb not getting doubled on the inside with better threats on the outside. All of that.

Comment From Jordan

What is your favorite game on the schedule this year?

At Minnesota in Week 2. Opening the new stadium should be a fun time.

Comment From Brad

I'm bringing some friends to Green Bay for their first game. Anything you think we "must do" while we're there?

The day before the game, tour the stadium and HOF. Day of, find a tailgate party. Any one will do.

Comment From Will in PA  

Mike, what do you think of the rapid disintegration of the Republican party? Maybe they should host a draft.

I won't get political here, but since you're from PA, does it not make sense to anyone else that the league is talking about having the draft in Philly next year when the Eagles don't have a first-round pick? And the second choice is supposedly LA, also no first-rounder? What am I missing here?

Comment From Jason  

As a guy though, you must be somewhat happy when a guy you did a prospect primer on gets picked.

I will say that, yeah. Those take a lot of work, and to have something to re-post for fans to click on right away as soon as the pick is made makes it worth it. 3 of 7 this year, our best percentage yet.

Comment From Justin  

Why do they allow cameras in the war room then?

Because the camera can't focus on the names and all the info on the board. That's what's being protected.

Comment From Mark  

Mike, which home game is the most intriguing to you, and why?

Off the top of my head, Indy. Luck vs. Rodgers. Luck had that big comeback against GB as a rookie back in '12.

Comment From Ollie  

Any special plans for the website around Brett's HOF induction?

We'll have plenty of coverage, trust me.

Comment From Will  

What effect do you predict the new touchback rule will have? Will returners become more or less important?

I'm curious to see if teams will now kick high and short to try to make a tackle inside the 25, which will create more kickoff returns, not less as the league would like for safety reasons. We'll see.

Comment From Nan  

Is there really a person at the Packers named Duke? Is that his real name or just a nickname because his real name is Warren or something funny?

No, his name is really Duke, and I've worked side by side with him for nine years.

Comment From Steve  

What's for lunch today Mikey?

I've got some fruit and yogurt, and I'd better get to it. Let's call it a chat for today. Thanks again everyone. Great to hear from y'all. Take care and we'll talk again. --Mike

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