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If there's a year to do it...

Two draft questions, one each past and present, to answer


Aaron from Dallas, TX

Mike, did you put that one in the Hall of Fame? Wes's headline from yesterday was truly Yogi Berra-esque. What did you think?

Nothing new with Wes. Like deja vu all over again.

Brian from Springfield, IL

Do teams try to plan for possible trade scenarios that may be proposed by other teams at their pick? Say the Packers are on the clock and four teams are calling wanting to move up. Do they have planned draft value they would have to get to trade picks? It would seem to me the time they get on the clock doesn't leave a lot of negotiation time if there are multiple offers.

Calls about possible trades are being made all the time, well in advance because of the time constraints, with the proviso "if our guy is still there …," that sort of thing. So the negotiating isn't usually under the gun, just the final decision.

Dan from Golden, CO

With the addition of two talented tight ends this offseason, will the team construct new plays specifically designed for their talents and strengths? In general, do teams do this with new added talent?

In a sense, but chances are concepts already exist in the playbook geared toward a particular mix of personnel, and they just need to be refined and practiced. The hierarchy within the playbook may change, if that makes sense, but reinventing the wheel is pretty rare.

Phil from Ashland, WI

Speaking of Larry, he always self-deprecates, but he was actually pretty good back in the day. A more than worthy successor to Ken Bowman, he would have received even more accolades had those teams of the '70s not been so woeful. When Lynn Dickey came along and the Pack could win a few games, then suddenly he was a Pro Bowler. Larry was always the Rock, long before that other guy.

His nickname speaks volumes about him, in so many ways. I feel honored he lets me call him that. Can't wait to do more videos with him this weekend as part of our draft coverage.

Ryan from Madison, WI

OK, Mike, you're shopping for a franchise quarterback, but this year's draft doesn't have any promising prospects. Does a team identify the guy with the highest ceiling and draft him? If they are worried about another team taking him, do they trade up or draft him a round earlier than intended? I feel like there are going to be some quarterbacks taken high in the first round who are not worthy of a first-round pick.

It's bound to happen in a year like this. Back in 2011, between picks 8 and 12 in the first round, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder were all selected. Not having a quarterback is the toughest position to be in, on Sundays and on draft day.

Luke from Forest City, IA

There is typically a run on a certain position during the draft that causes teams to overdraft players. Is there a position group in this year's draft that it would benefit Green Bay if a run of picks was made on that one position group? I'm thinking a run on OT would set GB up to possibly have players at 29 that otherwise might not be available.

I'm not sure this draft sets up that way. There may not be enough legit tackle prospects for a "run" to formulate. Same with QB, while positions like pass-rusher, corner, running back, and tight end seem so deep a run isn't going to hurt your chances of getting a good one.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Hey Mike, you find a bottle of truth serum and have Wes distract TT while you drop it into his drink. You get two questions before the effect wears off. One question on this year's draft and one question on a draft from any previous year. Go.

Where is Joe Mixon on your draft board, if he's there at all? Did Favre's hemming-and-hawing about retirement for over a year before you became Packers GM influence the decision to take Rodgers with your first draft pick, or would you have taken him anyway without a peep about retirement from Favre?

Ryan from Golden, CO

Analysts are acting as if each QB we faced had 500-plus yards and a 158.3 rating. As my late grandfather would say, "Scars make your skin thicker." Wasn't pretty but the young guys are much better players for it. Can't wait to let it unfold!

I say it a lot in this space. Never underestimate a motivated professional athlete, and this draft is going to be another piece of motivation for those young guys, as you call them, because I expect the Packers to add players at their position.

Craig from Union Grove, WI

If you consider signing Bennett and House a wash with losing Cook and Hyde, there will still be many compensatory picks next year to account for losing Lang, Tretter, Lacy, Peppers, Jones, and Pennel. My thought was to use one or two of next year's standard picks (third or fourth round) to get an extra Day 2 draft pick (high third) this year, or package one this year with one next year to move up. There would still be extra total picks next year even after doing so. Thoughts?

Multiple readers have made similar suggestions. It would be very rare for Thompson to sacrifice a future pick, but if there's a year to do it, this would be it, due to the anticipated compensatory haul you reference.

Tom from Columbus, GA

If someone's opinion does a 360, I say his opinion of that topic hasn't changed. If my opinion of the work ethic by the Packers' writers is good and an answer or opinion later makes me change my mind, that is a 180 not a 360. To me 360 implies a full circle or ending going in the same direction, where 180 is opposite.

I'm getting dizzy.

John from Bloomington, MN

It seems like there has been huge change in all of professional sports on player-position/skill-set valuation starting with "Moneyball" and MLB. What positions or skill sets do you see as the biggest risers and fallers in the NFL Draft for the next five years? When did you first start seeing the cap affecting the draft?

The cap doesn't affect the draft as much as it used to, pre-2011 CBA. Before that, a top-five pick had huge cap implications. As for positions, I think we're seeing safety as a big riser in recent years with the increase in hybrid defenders and athletic tight ends in the middle of the field. Running backs are also rising, but I think they'll fall again soon. That one seems rather cyclical. The overall emphasis on the passing game isn't diminishing.

Trent from Milford, IN

If you're a draft prospect, wouldn't you rather get picked in the second round than the first? You have to have confidence you'll play well in the NFL, and if you do, it'll take an extra year to get to your second contract (where the real money is) if you're a first-round pick.

If the numbers I saw from last year are correct, the last pick in the first round got a signing bonus of more than $1 million more than the first pick of the second round. So it matters, and with health so precarious in this game, most players would take the bird in the hand.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

Appreciate your insights. So much hoopla has been placed on the talent each player brings to the table, what about health of players? A talented player who can't make it week in and out is more of a liability. Is there a strategy to pick players who are both talented and durable?

There's plenty of luck, good and bad, in the injury arena, but there's also a reason the scouting combine has its origins in medical staffs getting access to draft prospects. That's how it started, and the medical checks are still, arguably, the most important element of the combine.

Aaron from Tempe, AZ

Vic says, "...I would expect the anticipation of a new contract to be important to him [Rodgers]. It should be. It'll define him." Disagree. Championships define the greats. It will forever be beyond me why athletes at the highest levels of the NFL and NBA don't sacrifice salary and make it up in endorsements to allow the team to be more competitive, win more titles, and increase the value of their endorsement. That's the long game, and it's not guaranteed, but the ultimate competitor makes the ultimate bet on himself.

I hear where you're coming from, but you said it yourself, it's not guaranteed, so I don't begrudge any player getting whatever he can. I don't mix business and sentiment, which helps me understand it all better.

Jake from St. Paul, MN

T.J. Watt, Quincy Wilson, Charles Harris, or trade out of the first round! Don't let me down, Ted!

I believe last week my prediction was pass-rusher, corner, or trade back. I'll stick to that. It's hard to imagine Harris being there at 29. If he is …

Chris from Oskaloosa, IA

What do you think about Iowa cornerback Desmond King? I've watched him play many games for the Hawkeyes and he seems to have that natural athletic ability as well as a knack for finding the ball. He won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2015 and returned for his senior season in 2016. It seems like the biggest thing against him is his size, but as a freshman he was lined up against a senior named Odell Beckham Jr. and held him to only two catches. Our last Iowa DB, Micah Hyde, was a tremendous asset and King could be a good replacement for him in the middle rounds of the draft. What do you think?

I remember King dominating a game against Wisconsin a couple years back. Will the size limit his versatility compared to a guy like Hyde? I think that's the question with King. I was disappointed we didn't have enough good video to do a Prospect Primer on him (to answer another question from Mark from Missoula, MT), and if the Packers pick him, I'll be really bummed we couldn't do one.

Matt from East Lansing, MI

In regards to the Pete Rose controversy, the man never stood on both sides of any given transaction. That is to say he never breached his duty of loyalty in that there is no evidence he was betting against himself. I don't condone his past misrepresentations, but the evidence demonstrates he only bet on himself. I only hope this counts for something one of these days.

I don't want to create a daily Rose debate, but I'm compelled to say this. The argument that he only bet on himself doesn't hold up for me. As Reds manager, what about the days he didn't bet on his team to win? Is he managing the game differently, saving relief pitchers, for instance, for the next day's game when he's going to bet again? His behavior brings the integrity of his actions, and that of the game, into question, which is why the rules against gambling in sports are sacrosanct. There are plenty of arguments for why Rose should be in the Hall anyway, but this has never been one of them for me. Either way, as I suggested last week, I think pro sports' foray into Vegas could make it harder for leagues to take the stance they'll need to against the next Rose.

Matthew from New Berlin, WI

If there is one "thing" left, someone send it to Mark from Indy.

If it isn't shaped like a football with a Packers logo on it, he won't want it.

Evan from Rochester, NY

Here's my hot take for this season. Davante Adams will be the Packers' leading receiver this year.

Wouldn't shock me, but the reason for that result would matter more than the result itself.

Nate from Amherst, WI

We have those same monitors for cows. They also measure chewing activity and head angle and movement to determine through algorithm if the cow is in heat.

Good to know.

Josh from Ozark, MO

Insiders, I was looking at the "How team was built" section, and it was a little surprising to realize that only six players (Rodgers, Crosby, Nelson, Matthews, Bulaga, and Burnett) from the Super Bowl XLV team are still with the club. Given a 90 percent turnover in a little over six years, it really is amazing how consistently competitive the team is. What do you think this says about Thompson & Co.?

That they understand you're replacing players all the time, so they're always prepared to do so.

Nathan from Wausau, WI

What do you expect Kenny Clark's impact to be this year?


Greg from Marion, IN

I am struggling with the negativity of the media right now. In my feed this morning is how mad the coaches and players were about not re-signing T.J. Lang. Of course they were mad about it. They lost a great player and teammate to a division rival. But this is a business and tough decisions need to be made all the time. I can't imagine why this is news for any reason outside of splashy headlines. What has happened to sports journalism?

A lot to digest here. Yes, I would expect them to be mad, too, but the writer clearly did as well, burying that tidbit in the middle of his analysis, which was of a much broader overall viewpoint. The part you reference was not in the headline, nor anywhere near the top of the story, except in the regurgitations from those online and elsewhere who latched onto the obvious, emotional aspect that aligned with the bulk of the fan reaction. So, I think the better question is, what has happened to what media consumers – those who re-package it for readers, and the readers themselves – consider newsworthy?

Aaron from Atlanta, GA

So happy to see AP going to a team outside our division, and more importantly, not to GB. He may still be able to produce, but he requires touches, and I just could not see a situation where he fits anything we want to do, present or future.

It will be strange seeing him in a Saints uniform at Lambeau Field this fall, I'll say that. I suspect the Packers' interest may have been greater had this draft not been so deep at running back, but that could go for the league as a whole as well.

Ernie from Glendale, WI

Barrett's question from Texas hit me like a brick. I'm one of those people who gets annoyed by off-topic questions. Or used too anyways. Never thought about it the way he put it. This is a lifeline to Wisconsin for people who no longer live here. This column has become so much more than what it started out as, it seems. Keep up the good work, guys!

Thanks, and will do.

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