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Do Packers fans know how good they have it?

Every team has a graduating class


Ted from Oshkosh, WI

Love reading your column, Vic. OLBs seem to be faster and more athletic generally than ILBs. Why not draft one and move him to ILB?

Outside linebackers, especially in a 3-4 scheme, tend to be taller, thinner athletes. That body type doesn't often fit the task of dropping anchor and taking on blocks. You worry about blockers getting to the legs of tall guys. Inside guys tend to be fireplugs. They're good at getting under blockers' pads and they usually have a big anchor that helps them hold the point of attack.

Christian from Copenhagen, Denmark

Vic, how many of the current NFL QBs do you see being entitled to going to the Hall of Fame? Is this an historic level of elite QBs playing at the same time?

You're looking at the stats. Forget the stats. You shouldn't elect players to the Hall of Fame based on their stats being better than the stats of players from years ago that are in the Hall of Fame. As I've written, Kyle Brady has more catches than Lynn Swann. Look at Kerry Collins' stats. Was he a better quarterback than Bart Starr? Players must be judged for the Hall of Fame according to how they compare to the other players in the era in which they played. That means they must've been a dominant player in their era. How many dominant quarterbacks are there in today's game? Answer that question and those are your Hall of Fame candidates.

Michael from Redding, CA

Vic, I just watched your interview with Tony Pauline and was wondering what criteria he uses to predict the round a player will be drafted. Is it from talking to GMs, from watching tape, or from their measurables at the combine?

It's from all of that, which helps Tony do a value board. Where a player falls on that value board determines where Tony believes the player will be selected. This is not a science. If it was, everybody would have the same board. In the final analysis, it's one man's opinion vs. another's. That's why it's so much fun. We all get to be right, and we all get to be wrong.

Harry from Houston, TX

Feb. 24th is the day teams must inform the NFL in writing how much of 2014's cap room they want to carry over into 2015. It sounds very formal. Why isn't it just an automatic transfer of last year's unused cap?

Actually, teams had to inform the NFL in writing of the room they were carrying over by 4 p.m. on Saturday of the final weekend of the regular season (Dec. 27, 2014). The CBA allows for effective use of cap space; that's why careful planning is important. Good salary cap teams have a long-term plan for using their cap space effectively and preventing imbalances from one year to the next.

Tarra from Green Bay, WI

Vic, I had to stop and fill my car with gas. I nearly had to yell for help. I hope your winter this year is not filled with such harrowing experiences.

Oh, no. One near-death experience at a Green Bay gas station was enough for me. It's gonna be a little cool down here today, but I've got a good book to read. Hey, I got all the winter I needed last week in Indianapolis. It was brutally cold all week and, on the way to the airport on Saturday, a car spun out on the snow and rammed into our cab, so I had that going for me, which was nice.

Pete from Prescott, WI

Vic, I envision the Packers taking a DT in the first round of the draft. Which of the likely candidates do you feel would be the best fit for the Packers' defensive scheme?

Don't we all agree Carl Davis would be a great fit? He comes out of a two-gapping scheme at Iowa, which is what a 3-4 defensive linemen does, and Davis is thought to be capable of playing end or nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme. He is said to fit late in the first round, but don't count on that. Big guys have a way of shooting up the board as the draft nears. That's what Aaron Donald did last year.

Logan from Memphis, TN

Ted Thompson hit a home run in last year's draft, with some players still left to show what they can do. What draft by a team you've covered goes down as the best draft in your books?

Steelers, 1974: Swann, Lambert, Stallworth, Webster.

Frank from New Berlin, WI

Vic, what does Tony Pauline think of Vic Ketchman?

Good on deadline. Gets to the edge of his verbs. Seldom dangles prepositions. Needs work on his pronouns. Types like Tarzan, writes like Jane. Outstanding value in the late rounds.

Dan from New York, NY

When using a BAP drafting style, would GM Vic pick a player that is definitely not what the team really needs?

GM Vic would attempt to move to a place where he might select a player of need where the player fits, thus recouping the value of GM Vic's original pick. If GM Vic was unable to move, he would definitely select the highest-rated player, even if that player was definitely not what the team really needs. The Jaguars had Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy, so they didn't need Jonathan Ogden. Who doesn't need Jonathan Ogden?

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, how does the cornerback class look this year?

It's not thought to be strong at the top or deep at the back, but there does seem to be some strength in the middle.

Matt from Riverside, CA

What have you seen from Eric Kendricks? He is coming off winning the Dick Butkus Award and seems like he could fit in the end of the first round.

The best thing about the combine for fans is that it really helps define where players fit, and that helps focus fans on prospects for the fans' favorite teams. Kendricks would seem to be a prospect for the Packers.

Dan from Ludington, MI

Vic, I think part of the genius that makes Ted Thompson is the players he signs in free agency do not factor into us receiving compensatory picks. More swings at the plate means more hits. Are any other GMs known for this strategy?

That's what a team that's committed to the draft does. The Packers didn't invent it, they've just disciplined themselves to execute it. Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion were home run, free-agent acquisitions, but neither player will count against the Packers in compensatory picks consideration because they had been released prior to the start of free agency. I often wonder if Packers fans fully understand how good they have it. The people who run this franchise are caretakers, and they are taking very good care of this team's future. Take care of the future, and the future will take care of the present.

William from Cedar Rapids, IA

With regards to teams digging deep into players' off-the-field infractions, how can a team know they're telling the truth rather than speaking highly of the player so he gets drafted higher?

Every team has a security division, and those security divisions know how to get the truth.

Gregg from Durham, NC

Vic, as a longtime reader of almost everything on, I often feel I know a lot more about the Packers than the so-called analysts on other major sports sites. Do you think I'm justified in feeling this way?

Sure, but never close your mind. Read everything, but believe nothing. That's the mindset that works best in gathering information about draft prospects. Chuck Noll liked to say, "Never fall in love with a guy." In other words, don't become a fan of a prospect. Regard them with equal interest and affection. If you fall in love with a prospect, two bad things could happen: 1) He could be selected one pick ahead of you; it happened to Bill Belichick in 1995 and Belichick had a meltdown. 2) You could overlook things you don't want to know.

Ron from Skokie, IL

Vic, does it bother you as it does me that we seem to be a player or two away every year? How can we be so close but so far?

You have perfectly described the plight of every team in the league in the salary cap era. Free agency has turned pro football into college football; every team has a graduating class that must be replaced.

Brandon from Morris, IL

Are you saying it could cost the Bucs GM his job if he passes on Winston, or drafts him?

If you don't have a quarterback, you're going to lose your job. Draft a bust, and you're going to lose your job. Don't draft one, and you're going to lose your job. You have to draft one and hit on him to keep your job. In today's game, it's that simple.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

How hard of a transition would it be for a wide receiver to switch to a defensive back position? Wouldn't it make sense to take a receiver who is really fast, but can't necessarily catch that well, and switch him to a defensive back position?

If a wide receiver can back pedal and flip his hips, he can play defensive back. It would be nice if he could also tackle.

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