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Hope is all you can ask for in the offseason

Ted Thompson’s draft board is the only one that matters


Ryan from Madison, WI

Wes, were you a reader of Ask Vic before joining With all the questions about "the thing," I'm wondering if you thought the Inbox had gone full crazy when the Inbox started talking about "the thing"? Did Mike and Vic have to catch you up, or were you prepared to handle the insanity of "the thing"?

I thought I was ready, but my first day actually writing the column last summer taught me how much I had to learn.

Justin from Shannon, IL

In your opinion, who was the best draft steal ever? I'm torn between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

The Packers getting Aaron Rodgers at No. 24 will go down as one of the best draft picks in NFL history. The Patriots getting Tom Brady at No. 199 isn't too shabby, either. However, I say Green Bay drafting Bart Starr in the 17th round in 1956 is the best steal by far.

Johnny from Grand Chute, WI

"Packers' offense could be 'nightmare for defenses.'" We've been hearing that for years, and by and large our offense does quite well. But will this be the year when it all comes together and, barring injuries, the Pack push the boundaries of offensive prowess?

Hope and potential are all you can ask for this time of the year. How will it all translate on the field? That's for the summer to decide, but the moves the Packers made this offseason reflect how serious they're taking things at tight end. This has the potential to be one of the most talent-rich offenses the Packers have had under Mike McCarthy, especially at the skill positions.

Jorge from Guadalajara, Mexico

I keep looking how the Packers free agents go most of the time to our rivals in the NFC North (Sitton, Lang, D. Jones). Is it easier for them to play for the rivals or is it a payback mentality?

I think it has to do with familiarity. The NFC North is scouting one another constantly. That gives teams a good idea of what a player could potentially do in their system. I don't think it was a payback mentality, especially in Lang's case. He got a good deal to sign with his hometown team. Sitton wanted to stay in the Midwest and Jones liked the opportunity in Mike Zimmer's defense.

Derk from Chippewa Falls, WI

Out of all of the events you have covered as a reporter, which one would make the best book/movie?

I'd say the Packers/Bears finale in 2013. The second half of that season was insane. Plus, it was the first game back for both Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb, and you couldn't script a more dramatic finish.

Joe from Milwaukee, WI

Hello, O-line question. Knowing that left tackle is a premium position and valued over the right tackle, is left guard valued over the right guard, or are they the same?

Based on my experience, I think they're viewed as one in the same. The only reason the Packers flipped Sitton and Lang in 2013 was to keep Sitton next to Bulaga, who was moving to left tackle at the time. Traditionally, defenses line up their best rusher on the quarterback's blind side, but even that logic has evolved over time.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

I know these mock drafts are nonsense and only for entertainment but a five-round mock draft had the Packers selecting in this order: T.J. Watt (LB, Wisconsin), Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama), Danny Isidora (G, Miami), Joe Williams (RB, Utah), Richie Brown (LB, Mississippi St.), and DeAngelo Yancey (WR, Purdue). I could live with that. I can't wait for the draft to get here so we can see who Double T really chooses.

It's fun to talk about scenarios and possible fits, but it's all on Thompson. His draft board is the only one that matters.

Alexander from Tucson, AZ

Can you explain to me why a 500-pound world champion sumo wrestler would not make a good DT or guard in the NFL? They're decent on their feet, huge, stand their ground, and can push pretty well.

But does he have quick twitch? Can he glide down the line or is he a sitting duck if the ball carrier gets an edge on him? The league is getting faster and lighter. If you're 500 pounds, you better be able to move.

Sean from Johnston, IA

After the Joey Bosa situation last year, do you guys foresee more draft contract holdouts going forward? Is all that can be accomplished more signing bonus money up front for the player?

It's really the first time we've seen a major impasse in rookie negotiations since the new CBA was put into place in 2011. Bosa's conflict had to do with either getting no offset language written in the contract or receiving the entire bonus in the 2016 calendar year. My best guess is top five picks will continue to seek both.

Erwin from Dallas, TX

As a Packers fan for 40-plus years I've seen the 4-12 seasons and for 25 years the 12-4 seasons. Since Brett among others started our 25 years of prosperity, do you think he may ever come back in some role within the organization? If so, what could you envision?

He has a lot of irons in the fire at the moment, both personally and professionally. I think he could be a brilliant quarterbacks coach, but he'd probably have to separate himself from all of his projects to do so. He's also really involved with his daughter's volleyball career.

Jake from Oswego, IL

I recently saw that the Ravens traded Timmy Jernigan to the Eagles for the 74th pick in the draft. When we are so close to the draft, why would a team do this now, instead of waiting to see how things pan out on draft day?

It wasn't just the 74th overall pick for Timmy Jernigan. The Eagles also received the Ravens' third-round compensatory pick (No. 99 overall). So Philadelphia moved back 25 picks to acquire Jernigan. They still have a pick to play with on draft day.

Yuki from Tokyo, WI

I remember the 2007 draft, watching at a bar during our lacrosse tournament in college. I read so much hype about Brady Quinn going to the Browns that most mock drafts had him going as the third pick, but then when the Browns were up they picked Joe Thomas of Wisconsin. Which threw everyone off. Many mock drafts had Green Bay picking Marshawn Lynch in that draft, too.

The Brady Quinn fiasco is what I'll remember most from the 2007 NFL Draft. Everyone was anticipating the Browns taking Quinn at No. 3. They go with Thomas instead and Quinn falls, so they trade back into the first round and take him at 23. As it turns out, it was all the precursor to the brief, but relatively successful, Derek Anderson Era.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Tony Romo, Wisconsin native, is reportedly leaving football to go into broadcasting. How do you think history will view him as a quarterback? Should he be in the HOF? Do you have a particular memory of him that stands out from the rest?

I loved Tony Romo's story and watching him play all these years. I think his career was underappreciated. What he did as an undrafted free agent is truly extraordinary at the quarterback position in this day and age. What I think many forget is he also sat for three seasons like Aaron Rodgers. He learned at his own pace and grabbed the bull by the horns when given the opportunity.

Ed from Jacksonville, FL

Why don't the Packers go to a four-man defensive line? I think they would become much better stopping the run.

They occasionally use their "hippo" package with four true defensive linemen in goal-line or short-yardage situations. It's tough to use that in the middle of the field, though. It leaves you too vulnerable to play-action.

LJ from Chicago, IL

I have to disagree about Green Bay getting the draft as being a longshot. The league, I'm sure, recognizes the fact that Green Bay will never host a Super Bowl so this would be a nice alternative. Coupled with the fact that the Titletown project will be complete soon, the Draft would fit perfectly in Green Bay. The Packers can definitely sell this idea to the NFL.

The NFL Draft is big business. The two biggest issues facing Green Bay are having a large enough facility to host the draft and available hotel rooms in the surrounding area. I don't know what the NFL's long-term plans are, but if the league wants to go for tradition and nostalgia, Green Bay is where it's at. Murphy said before the Tailgate Tour left on Tuesday that the team has submitted its application to host in 2019, 2020 or 2021.

Andrew from Fort Collins, CO

Jayrone Elliott has been waiting for his chance to really shine for quite some time. What do you see in his future? Who are some other under-the-radar players we should keep an eye on?

The arrow is pointing up for Elliott. It's up to him to grab the brass ring. I'm expecting a big year out of Lane Taylor. I've always loved the way he plays. He has the perfect frame and temperament to succeed in this offense, which I think he proved last season. I think Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry will continue to turn heads on the D-line next year.

Jimmy from New Richmond, WI

Hey Biff! With the draft inching closer (although not close enough), what is your favorite part about the draft? And where will you be during the draft?

The first night of the draft is my favorite, especially when prospects start coming off the board. All these NFL personnel departments have scouted these players for months to ready themselves for that 10-minute window to pick a player who will have a long-term impact on the franchise. It doesn't get any more dramatic than that. I'll be seated at the right hand of the Spoff on draft night…or in media dining.

Bob from Colby, KS

Favorite sports movie(s)? Mine: "Sandlot" and "The Rookie."

Baseball: "Bull Durham" and "The Natural"

Football: "Jerry Maguire"

Basketball: "Glory Road"

Hockey: "Slap Shot"

Bob from Kiel, WI

The Packers like to draft a college D-lineman and try to turn him into an edge rusher. Wouldn't they be better off drafting a player who played linebacker or similar circumstances with other positions? Draft a guy who played that position in college.

There's so much projection involved. For many years, there just weren't a lot of college teams using outside linebackers like Dom Capers does. I remember having this conversation with UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure after the Packers drafted Datone Jones in 2013. It's a plus if a guy has a history in a 3-4 system like Jones did, but the Packers aren't going to take guys off the board if they don't. It's a good thing, too. Nick Perry came from a 4-3 scheme and found his groove eventually.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Returning is win-win for Kuhn. How will you tell if he's getting cheered or booed?

Kuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhnnnnnnnnn chants last longer.

Daniel from Copenhagen, Denmark

Much has been said of the new "Moneyball" football management style in Cleveland. Do you believe that the Browns will succeed following this new path?

What the Browns have done wasn't working. I commend them for trying something different. Will it succeed? It's worth finding out. Their accumulation of draft picks is certainly intriguing.

Josh from New Berlin, WI

In preparation for the NFL Draft, my friends and I are watching a behind-the-scenes football movie each weekend in April. We watched "Draft Day" last weekend and will be watching "Jerry Maguire" this coming Saturday. I need one more movie. Any suggestions?

Re-watch Draft Day. #SalaryCapTroubleshooting

Wayne from Yarmouth, Canada

The odd time you see college players from Canadian universities, do teams in the NFL actually scout at Canadian schools?

You betcha.

Chris from Summerville, SC

If we promise not to boo Commissioner Roger Goodell, don't you think he'll let us have the draft in Green Bay?

My dad always told me kindness is contagious. I suppose it couldn't hurt.

Jim from Oshkosh, WI

I have several friends who never played the game that seem to be very critical of Ted Thompson. He should have done this, shouldn't have done that. How do you rate his general success based on his record?

Mostly by basing his success on his record. I can't think of many GMs who have built the perennial contender Thompson has.

Herb from Albuquerque, NM

Were you sad at the end of the Undertaker match at WrestleMania? He took off his hat and gloves and left them in the middle of the ring

It was definitely an emotional moment for me. I grew up watching him and still have many of his action figures at my parents' house. After they faded to black, I immediately texted my dad and said, 'Well, I guess I'm not a kid anymore.' It was the end of an era.

Mickey from Greenwood, IN

Are you going to try to make it to the Super Bowl this year?

Me or the Packers?

Grant from Rochester, MN

Insiders, a topic to get away from the draft, who is your pick for the Masters?

I'm going with Justin Rose, who moonlights as our digital production intern.

Tutt from San Bernardino, CA

Growing up I had favorite players that often would get overlooked in Packers lore. Dorsey Levens, Bubba Franks, Vonnie Holiday, Tyrone Williams. Do you have any players that just grabbed your attention and never let it go, who flew under the radar?

Giorgio Tavecchio.

Mike from Racine, WI

Can you guys stick to football?

I can't speak for Spofford or Ketchman, but I'm not made of adhesive.

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