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Don't worry about the roster now

Rookie expectations should be kept in check


Braden from Platteville, WI

Hey guys, do you think with the drafting of DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre that Jeff Janis and/or Geronimo Allison are being put on notice? Or is a guy like Janis too valuable on special teams to leave off the final 53?

Why is everyone so worried about the 53-man roster in May? I realize it's natural to think about it, but my best advice is don't. There are a ton of OTAs, training camp practices and preseason games to sort all this out. In a quick perusal of the roster, I counted around 20 guys I see as absolute locks right now. Everyone else is on notice to some degree or another. That's how this league works.

Dan from Sugar Land, TX

Guys, let's face it, the only true thing we (the fans and media) learn from rookie camp is putting a personality to the face and name. Whose personality stood out when you got to meet the rookies?

I got around to a few of the draft picks on Friday, and Josh Jones is a very confident, personable young man. On the field, he certainly passes the eye test, as Vic would say. He looks the part.

Brad from Lakewood, WI

Mason Crosby is, of course, the all-time leading scorer in Packers history. Unbelievable that he is not even halfway to Morten Andersen's record.

The guy made 25-of-28 field goals in his 25th year in the league. Mostly indoors, yes, but still.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

When the current CBA deal expires in a couple years, what do you expect would be some big topics in line for change when negotiations start for the next CBA?

The league already has made some changes to the disciplinary process and the commissioner's powers in that regard, but I wonder if the union will still want to go after that issue. Other than that, I think it depends on whether the owners want to re-start the push for an 18-2 rather than 16-4 regular/preseason split, which has slid off the radar the last few years, or how strongly the players want to object to Thursday night games.

Packers rookies and tryout players had their first on-field work in Green Bay on Friday in the Don Hutson Center. Photos by Evan Siegle,

Jeremy from Elkhart Lake, WI

With the growing amount of injuries across the NFL every year, do you anticipate the league considering changing the amount of players allowed on the active roster, or at least allowing more than 46 players to suit up on game day?

Roster size would be an additional issue in CBA negotiations. Owners take on more medical expense the larger the rosters are, while players see their individual piece of the pie shrink with more contracts handed out under the same salary cap, so I haven't heard any noise from either side. As for game day, I think the competition committee would have to take that up, and I'm not aware of any proposal put forward by any clubs along those lines.

Justin from Centerville, UT

Kyler Fackrell, Marwin Evans, Jamaal Williams, Devante Mays, Taysom Hill? We must really like our scout in Utah.

Editor: Utah?

Reporter: Yeah, Utah. It's wedged between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures.

Editor: You go to Utah, you stay in Utah.

Reporter: The story is Utah.

Jay from Woodstock, GA

How much of the rookie/new player orientation involves a lesson on things such as the Packers history, unique ownership structure, or traditions such as the training camp bikes?

It's a pretty cool deal, actually. They show the rookies a movie about the franchise's storied history, and at the end they take some of the rookies' faces and incorporate them into the pictures. It's become**a tradition all its own**under McCarthy.

Daniel from Appleton, WI

When it comes to compensatory picks, you said the Packers are possibly in line to receive four picks in next year's draft. Although unlikely, if all of the players signed by other teams are very productive in the upcoming season, could we end up with a combination of multiple third- and fourth-round picks? Or does the formula usually spread the awarded picks out a certain way so teams don't get the benefit of drafting heavier in the early rounds?

Size of the contract is the bigger factor, and how those free-agent deals stack up comparatively around the league. I'm never good at predicting it, but I'll be curious how it shakes out.

Bill from Roseville, MN

Guys, does a team's draft class typically develop a special camaraderie within the group, similar to a high school or college class? Or, because of the way players frequently get cut, signed, traded, etc., in the NFL, does that not really happen at the pro level?

I can't speak for other places, but it happens here, and I think this rookie orientation weekend and how it's structured is a big reason.

Kevin from Baraboo, WI

I am going to make a prediction that this is the year with no new undrafted free agents kept on the team after final cutdowns. There was so much talent on the roster at last year's end and the Packers have added value in free agency and the draft. It may be due to my lack of knowledge of those undrafted; however, I feel like their best shot is the practice squad. Anyone else getting that feeling?

When I was young and foolish, I'd think that and be wrong every time, too.

Barb from Wilmington, IL

Why are some of the draft picks still unsigned?

Just minor details and logistics. Not to worry. The Packers, like most teams, have had zero trouble with rookie contracts since the 2011 CBA.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

I hope Kevin King gets the chance to cover Julio, A.J. and Dez when the Packers play them early in the season. Facing some of the top receivers within the first handful of games of the season should be a fun "Welcome to the NFL" moment for him.

He'll get thrown into the fire, I'm sure, but I don't see matching up a rookie for four quarters one-on-one with the opponent's top weapon from the get-go, if that's what you're suggesting.

Brian from Milwaukee, WI

Might we see an innovation in next year's offense that could be defined as a power passing game?

I don't know what you mean by that. I see an offense that is going to use the additions of veteran tight ends Bennett and Kendricks, and a re-load at running back, to force defenses to play honestly. Then it's up to Rodgers and what he thinks is best, based on what he sees.

Peter from Outer Boso, Japan

Any of you puddin' heads have a story of a top draft pick that had a wake-up call in his early practices in the NFL? I have this image of King against Nelson on Day 1. Or, the other way, where vets were shocked at a rookie? Love the column.

I've mentioned Jennings before, and I remember wondering if his superb OTAs as a rookie would translate to camp when the pads went on. No concerns there. He just kept making plays, and not only against the young guys, but against corners like Woodson and Harris, too. Most recently, Montgomery came on the scene like that in 2015, showed he belonged right away, and it didn't matter whether Shields, Hayward or Hyde was lined up across from him. And now he's not even a receiver anymore. Go figure.

Bradley from Stephenson, MI

Michael Clark is a very interesting prospect. From the description of him there is little not to like. The only thing I am curious about that is not mentioned is speed. Does he have a 40 time? Do you think the Packers would consider playing him at TE? He sounds big enough.

I'm seeing a lot of questions about Clark. At 215, he's not big enough to play tight end. At first glance, he's no speedburner but he's not slow, either. He's just learning to play football. Raw is an overused word to describe a prospect like Clark, but it fits here. I think expectations need to be kept in check, but he'll be fun to watch grow into the game.

Jeriah from Las Cruces, NM

Last year I was excited about a few of the UDFAs we brought in (mainly Dorleant and Brice). This year I am going to keep a close eye on CB Lenzy Pipkins out of Oklahoma State. Have you guys got to watch tape on the new guys? Are there any UDFAs the Insiders and the Inbox will be following?

I watched Pipkins on a few one-on-one cover reps in Friday's practice, and he struck me as a guy willing to mix it up with anybody.

Dave from Hustisford, WI

Which position groups do you think the UDFAs have the best chance of making the team and/or finding a place on the practice squad?

There are definitely opportunities at linebacker, inside and outside, because Biegel was the only draft addition at either spot. But often it's less about the shape of the roster than the player. If he's truly good enough, they'll keep him.

Paul from Georgetown, KY

No "Star Wars" reference in Thursday's chat? Come on guys.

No one called May the fourth "Star Wars day" when I was growing up, at least not that I recall. Tough to each this old dog new tricks, sorry.

Malte from Odense, Denmark

Would you be surprised if Kofi Amichia outplays Jahri Evans in camp, and starts at RG in Week 1?


Michael from Wausau, WI

Injuries are unpredictable. Name one player, outside of Rodgers, whose injury seriously puts a Super Bowl season in jeopardy.

Based on the current state of the roster, Matthews and Perry would be at the top of that list for me.

Nick from Lima, OH

Off your BAQ board this is a brown question. Why make the highest achievement with the color of the worst football team? HOF here I come!

The HOF for modesty, no doubt.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Insiders. How do coaches evaluate tryout players during these early minicamps? It must be a challenge to evaluate football players in non-contact, non-padded situations.

Scouts and coaches have eyes that see things we don't. They have a way of telling fairly quickly whether or not the pro game is too big for a player. I can see it sometimes with the obvious ones, the guys on either end of the spectrum. They can tell with pretty much everybody.

Kristian from Aarhus, Denmark

Hi Insiders, with Vic, unfortunately, having been reduced to a Monday morning wizard, and with the community in an uproar about the lack of quality lawn-mowing quality (which are essentially guidelines to living true), I feel we need to develop another metaphor, allegory or euphemism (or whatever we should call it) for life. What area of expertise outside of football do the two younger writers, Biff and Spoff, have that might serve as a way to really talk about life? All the best to you!

I enjoy a good beer.

Michael from Dover, PA

In answering Matt from Bloomington, probably the best example of a great, not just "good," player to come out of an unimpressive offense would be David Bakhtiari. Value exceeded in that later-round pick.

Exceedingly good value that some would prefer to squander, apparently.

Steve from Las Vegas, NV

I was reading a pre-draft article from a Packer-themed website and the author had an interesting take on the open guard position. While it was also pre-Evans signing, it still may have some merit. It suggested that the starting left tackle this year could be Jason Spriggs and that David Bakhtiari was better suited as a guard and would move over and play right guard, further predicting Bakhtiari would make the Pro Bowl. Interesting don't you think? McCarthy has always said he wanted his five best players playing on the line.

Bakhtiari will move to guard when I win the lottery, and I don't play the lottery.

Ethan from Holly Springs, NC

How much of football is mental and how much is physical?

The mental doesn't matter if you can't handle the physical.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

How do the Packers get "two wins better"? Health, improvement in the secondary, stronger pass rush, be luckier?


Nathan from Oconomowoc, WI

I like to skip over the picture of the writer at the top and try to guess who's writing. I think you guys go back and forth but I really don't know your schedule. I love that by the end, I can tell who's writing. You all have your own voice and they're all great. I was upset when I heard Ask Vic was gone and didn't like the idea of an Insiders Inbox. But I love it now, thanks guys!

Thanks for giving us a chance to grow on you. Y'all have grown on me, too.

Jon from Tallahassee, FL

When considering BAQ, a questioner's past history has to be taken into account. Just look at the tape: I have been called out by Vic for being a Madden player and I earned what must have been one of Spoff s first LOLs on the site. Around Christmas when they you were still doing the in-game chat, I asked if Vic was going to get Spoff a membership to the jelly of the month club – the gift that keeps on giving. And that wasn't slow-motion stuff. That was in the speed of an in-game chat, at the NFL level. Also, questioners have a much longer career than most NFL players, so I think at 42 years old I still have my best questions ahead of me. I'm not looking to be a questioner in any specific position. I'm just looking to contribute wherever I am asked. I'm just going to show up every day and give 110 percent and be ready when my number is called. Right now I'm just trying to execute, ask questions with good fundamentals and take it one question at a time.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

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