Presented by

Inbox: Each pick matters over those three days

Rich Bisaccia is one of the best in the business at setting the standard

220407-insider-inbox-2560
RB Aaron Jones

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Will Wes be returning from his Inbox Detox this week? Although still effective, Batman without Robin just isn't the same.

I'm back…and finally on a (relatively) normal schedule.

Dwight from Brooklyn, NY

Not a question, just a comment – specifically a thank you. Thanks, guys, for having the chops to keep II above the level of bar talk.

You can't play in the sandbox without expecting to get a little dirt on ya.

Bill from Menominee, MI

Having a lot of swings at the plate in the draft is great, but the roster still only allows 53 and one offseason program for a rookie isn't always a great sample size. Just a friendly reminder: Allen Lazard didn't make the roster after his first training camp in GB.

That's how the game is played and I am sure the Packers would rather make tough calls with their 53-man roster than sit there with more than enough spots available for players who might not be NFL-caliber. I'm a true believer in more swings means more hits, which leads to more production and more wins.

Bob from Emmaus, PA

What makes a special teams coach special? How does he get the right players in the right place in this dynamic phase of the game?

Creativity is part of the job description, but it's also what happens behind the scenes. Do your players know their assignments? Are your units disciplined? Do you have leaders who empower the young players on the roster and let them know just how important they are to the teams' success? It's about setting a standard and Rich Bisaccia is one of the best in the business at doing that.

Robert from Verona, WI

The clamoring for the Packers to do something at the wide receiver position reminds me of one of my favorite lines in an article written by Jonah Goldberg. I'll spare the context, because it was political, but in my opinion the line sure fits here. He said, "Sure, if your house is burning down, you can't afford not to take action. But that doesn't mean any action is better than no action. Grabbing a fire hose is good. Grabbing a jerrycan of gasoline and dancing the macarena, not so much."

Without question. And this house is not on fire. The receiver faucet is leaking, and the Packers will fix it. They're just gonna finish watching the game (free agency) first.

Page from Pittsburgh, PA

During the draft process, we hear a lot of talk about the sixth and seventh rounds being used to draft developmental prospects, or highly athletic players who need refining. Do any players come to mind that were true late-round developmental pieces that turned into impact players? Excluding Tom Brady and Donald Driver.

There have been so many – Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Antonio Brown, Marques Colston, Julian Edelman, Adam Timmerman, Marco Rivera and the list goes on and on. The reasons players fall are numerous, but those types of success stories are what keep NFL teams scratching at the dirt. It doesn't have to be a Hall of Famer, either. There's great value in finding a Jeff Janis, Johnny Jolly or Desmond Bishop in those later rounds, too. Each pick matters over those three days.

Joe from Dells, WI

Just an observation. In your answer to Mike from Las Vegas, and if my math is correct, there were 19 players taken before Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. All but six are the kind of receivers you pick up in the last round of your fantasy football draft to fill out your roster even though you never heard of them. Five of the six were taken where the Packers would have never been able to draft them. Thanks for the perspective. It makes me happy. I'll trust our GM and scouts.

The NFL Draft is still a crapshoot, but the Packers have a knack for not rolling sevens when investing high draft picks into the receiver position. I guess maybe that's why I'm calmer than you are, dude…Calmer than you are.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

I looked at the late first-round talent of the last five drafts. With the exception of 2017 (White, Watt, and Ramczyk), the talent after pick 20 really drops off in recent history. I'm normally not a "trade-up-guy" but if history holds true, and we have two firsts we could parlay into a potential top 10 pick, I'm now interested. Imagine getting a top 10 edge rusher to pair with our current LBs and a DC who knows LBs, a top DT, or RT. Atlanta is rebuilding and might want more picks.

This isn't a normal draft, though. This is almost like a "super" draft because of the number of players who stayed in school after the pandemic year. If Gutekunst wants to trade up, I say go for it. The proof is in the pudding. But if the Packers choose to stand pat, there's no reason for panic.

Gary from Bear Valley, WI

Thank you for the knowledge the two of you give us about football and life. I'm disappointed about the Davante Adams trade but looking forward to seeing how the Packers resolve the WR issue. If Julio Jones is available at a good price, I would like to see a one-year deal for him and draft receivers in the first two rounds of the draft. What say you? If the Packers and Raiders meet in the Super Bowl, would it be acceptable for No. 12 to throw a pass to No. 17 during warmups?

I'm not the type of writer who often stumps for the Packers to sign a veteran receiver, but I still think one would make a lot of sense, especially during the first half of the season when the rookies are getting caught up to speed on the offense. Whether that player would be Jones, Sammy Watkins or Don Hutson, your guess is as good as mine.

Joe from Swansea, IL

II, have you ever seen as many staggering contracts as happened this offseason? Aaron Rodgers, Adams, Hill, Howard, Watson, Diggs, on and on and on. Where's the Monopoly money coming from? Can it all be the prospect of more cap space next year? How are teams going to build rosters around these monster deals? Serenity now.

Adams, Hill and Diggs are three of the top five receivers in the game. It only makes sense they get paid like it. The difference I've noticed this year is how much money that next tier of receivers is getting. I don't blame them. You take what the market is paying you, but the cap hasn't risen so much that those numbers are comfortable fits. I'll be curious to see what happens in Year 2 and 3 of those deals.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

When players are invited to pre-draft interviews, are we genuine or in some cases winding up other teams to trade up?

I can't think of any examples where that's happened. In fact, I think Jaire Alexander and Darnell Savage previously talked about not having many conversations with the Packers heading into the draft. While Green Bay brings in more highly touted prospects these days, it still uses those allocations to learn more about overlooked prospects who might be drafted in the middle-to-late rounds.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

In regards extending players before free agency, I get why the team wants to do it. Lock the player up as soon as you can, as affordably as you can. From the player perspective, I get waiting until free agency, and then look for the most money. But on the flip side, the great players are also only one significant injury from getting no contract at all. How much does that factor into it for the players? Are they trying to get injury wording into contracts?

Some prefer the bird in the hand and leave some money on the table in favor of long-term security. Others roll the dice and bet on themselves to have a career year and cash in. Players have to do what's best for them and their families. Leaguewide, there is a growing push for more guaranteed money in contracts. In the wake of Deshaun Watson's deal with Cleveland, I can't see any franchise quarterback not asking for a fully guaranteed contract moving forward.

Ingrid from Superior, WI

Teams are able to extend a fifth-year option on first-round draft picks. For the teams that have multiple first-round draft picks, is it limited to only one of those draft picks?

Any first-round selection still on his rookie deal is eligible for the fifth-year option. So, the Packers can exercise the option on both Savage and Rashan Gary if they so choose.

Michael from Fort Wayne, IN

There seems to be a degree of panic from some Packer faithful about Rodgers having several new players in the receiving room this year. I wonder, though, if having new toys to play with and a new challenge may even invigorate him?

That's what I would expect. We don't know what's going to happen a few weeks from now. The next Davante Adams might be in this year's draft and could become an All-Pro receiver that Rodgers finishes his career throwing to.

Erik from Madison, WI

That list of WRs in the 2014 draft with Adams is a real eye opener. Paul Richardson was the one that made me chuckle though. Add in Jarvis Landry and Allen Robinson taken right after Davante as well.

Spoff's comment brought back a lot of memories of that draft class. The receiver picks were all over the map. Fortunately, the Packers got the best of the bunch in 2014.

Tom from Mountain Top, PA

In reading all of the draft prognosticators' opinions on where the Packers' greatest needs are, I can't help but keep coming back to a position that I think is still not settled … tight end. Do you have the confidence that the tight end corps is adequate? Not sure I have confidence in Josiah Deguara after his crossing-route muff against the Niners in the playoffs … and Robert Tonyan is more of a downfield receiver kind of tight end and we have him for one year. Yet, there is no chatter about the TE position.

It goes back to my fish broil/boil answer. Sure, the Packers could draft another tight end, but there appears to be a more pressing need at receiver and offensive line. Green Bay still has Marcedes Lewis, Deguara and Dominique Dafney to help stem the tide until Tonyan is back. Once Tonyan is in the lineup, I don't have the same concerns you have about that room. I think it's a solid group.

Kevin from Jacksonville, NC

Whitney Mercilus just announced his retirement. That was not foreseen, but regardless I would say thank you for your hard work and tough play. Stay gold…

I wondered when Mercilus made that improbable return last January if that was his swan song. A biceps injury typically requires surgery and a lengthy recovery. But if Mercilus was thinking that was going to be it, then it makes sense he threw the harness on and got back on the field in the playoffs. I wish we had more time with Whitney. It sounds like he's a real gentleman from the folks I know in Houston.

Matthias from San Antonio, TX

Marcedes Lewis is the only true Y tight end the Packers have had in the locker room since Bubba Franks. How rare is it to find a true blocking master at tight end these days?

Dang-near impossible. When Lewis says he's the last of a dying breed of tight end, it's not to sell T-shirts and bumper stickers. It's the truth.

Bruce from Appleton, WI

Why did the Packers try not to re-sign the punter they had last year?

The Packers wanted more consistency on both punts and holding on field goals.

Joe from Des Moines, IA

Does Marty from New Orleans genuinely believe the front office is scouring the fan Q&A every day to evaluate its own performance? And can we stop with the "You didn't answer this question the way I like so you're a corporate stooge" submissions? Spring is a time of optimism and opportunity in both football and life. Enjoy the ride, let the front office do their jobs, and look forward to seeing it all come together.

If I've said it once, I've said it 62 times. I cannot imagine what the Inbox would've looked like the day after Ron Wolf traded a first-round pick for Brett Favre and his two interceptions against zero NFL completions. But sometimes you have to let the professionals do the job.

Larry from Rotonda West, FL

What happens when the defense scores first in OT?

Did both teams possess the football?

Bryce from Lorain, OH

What's it like working for the Green Bay Packers and having your office at Lambeau Field? It's gotta be one of the greatest experiences one can have!

It's cool, except for the fact I gotta sit next to Matt Arvin.

Jerry from Luck, WI

I appreciate Murphy's respectful and informative response to an individual whose argument didn't even deserve the respect given. That displays leadership and a willingness to embrace public accountability. On the other hand, I am also appreciative that the Inbox is not filled with those kinds of questions and answers. I read MT5 occasionally, but I read II almost every day. I'm here because Packers football is entertaining, and thanks to Mike and Wes for helping to make it even more enjoyable.

Mark has my respect for how he handles himself in those interactions with our fans and readers. He doesn't shy away from that part of the gig. He tackles those questions head-on.

Bob from Bella Vista, AR

Not to judge you guys, but have you ever thought about having someone (not on the payroll) look through the mailbag and say, "I'd like to see you answer this (these) question(s)"?

The great thing about Inbox is the amazing people Mike and I have been introduced to over the past six years. On the rough days, I keep those thoughts at the top of my mind.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

Mike, some of us appreciate the chuckle an appropriate snarky response elicits!

Welcome to the sandbox. We've got fun and chortles.

Advertising