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Inbox: Green Bay's biggest potential improvement comes tonight

It actually made a boatload of sense


Dan from Herriman, UT

Mike, what's the consensus concerning our first-round pick? I can't believe the number of people already complaining.

Are you new to this?

Anne from San Jose, CA

Wow, that seems like a pick that no one saw coming (no Prospect Primer either!) Also ranked lower than many players at positions of need who were still on the board, and with a concerning history of injuries. What do you make of Jordan Morgan as our first-round pick?

I'm not picking on you specifically here, but several submissions mention "rankings" and "boards" and are befuddled at this selection. The only rankings and boards that matter are the ones in the Packers' draft room, and nobody, not a single one of the analysts, knows what any team's board looks like. As for the ACL injury, he came back from it and was first-team All-Pac-12 last season. The Packers do a TON of medical work on prospects, so if their docs checked out the knee and gave a thumbs up medically, they're not viewing that as a risk. And last but not least, Prospect Primer, the Pac-12 is one of the leagues we struggle to get good video highlights on players, so we often don't have as many Primers from that conference as others. Just the way it goes.

Dana from Green Bay, WI

Where do you rank Jordan Morgan as an impact and a starter?

I suspect he'll compete with Walker at LT and/or Rhyan at RG for a starting spot as a rookie, and go from there.

Jeff from Littlefork, MN

Apologies for all the DeJean questions you'll get. What can you tell us to help feel good about Morgan?

He's a three-year starter at left tackle who overcame a whopper of an injury and returned better than ever. He appears to have the body to play tackle or guard, and we all know how much the Packers value versatility up front. This may not be a sexy pick, but it feels like a solid, sensible one to me, as I wrote last night.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Draft gurus, were the Lions afraid the Packers were going to take Arnold at 25 that they jumped ahead of the Pack at 24?

Perhaps. Entirely possible. If the Packers were also considering corners on their board, I would not have been surprised in the slightest.

Alan from Fresno, CA

I can't say I'm upset with our first-round pick because I believe in BG, but seeing how the top half of the draft played out I can't be the only one surprised the pick wasn't on the defensive side of the ball can I?

No, count me in that camp as well. The defensive players just kept getting pushed down, but when the two corners – Mitchell and Arnold – went within the three picks before the Packers were on the clock, it felt like anything goes at that point. Given how deep this draft supposedly is on the offensive line, and with Morgan being the seventh tackle taken on the night, I have to believe Gutey felt there was a gap between Morgan and any tackle who might still be there at 41. So he got what he felt was the best value at 25.

Kevin from Indianapolis, IN

If I wake up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am right now! Gutey clearly didn't have a "DeJean no matter what" note in his pocket.

Clearly, and neither did any other GM.


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Anthony from Southington, CT

Mark my words, Cooper DeJean is the next T.J. Watt.

I guess we'll see, but it wasn't just the Packers who didn't draft DeJean in the first round. Nobody did.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

The selection of a quality tackle really shouldn't be a surprise. The Packers are on the verge of investing a lot of capital in Jordan Love and protecting him should be our top priority. As I've offered without success the past few weeks, it won't surprise me if we now trade up our pick at No. 58 to early in the second round. Cooper may still be available or will grab a top linebacker and safety. Love the pick!

Which Cooper are you talking about? Sorry, couldn't resist. Two years ago, Gutey packaged two second-rounders to get up to the top of the round for Christian Watson. We'll see what happens tonight with two seconds and two thirds.

Ken from Oceanport, NJ

Was Gutey in the bathroom when Detroit moved up ahead of them by trading with Dallas to take Arnold? Best drafts tonight were the Bears, Vikings and Lions. Plus, our pick has an injury history. Great.

Well, the Bears had two picks in the top 10. The Vikings wound up with two in the top 20 and mortgaged most of the rest of this draft and the next. The Lions spent two picks for one player. So given all that, I would expect the division rivals to have had a better first night than the Packers. Now Gutey has four picks in the next 60. The rest of the division has two – total. Green Bay's biggest potential improvement comes tonight.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

Pre-draft question for Fri. What or who was your biggest surprise in early pick that should have been later, draft slide, or trade? I'm sure there will some chaos.

I didn't expect the Falcons to take a QB at No. 8, but after thinking about it for a bit, it actually made a boatload of sense.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

Who was angrier, Aaron Rodgers in 2020 or Kirk Cousins in 2024?

Cousins just got $100M guaranteed from Atlanta, so health permitting, he's their QB for at least the next two seasons, if not three, with that investment. They're going into this knowing Penix will watch and learn for a while.

Michael from Winfield, IL

I don't get MN trading up one spot with NJ to take McCarthy. NJ had to know who MN was going to take. If NJ is willing to trade, MN should have known they could have stayed pat and still got McCarthy, so why trade?

Because the Vikings had to make sure the Broncos or Raiders weren't going to trade up into that spot and take their QB out from under them.

Dan from Columbus, OH

Sending this in before the Packers round 1 pick. Major major kudos to Gute to picking a QB before we needed one. Crazy to see the quarterback desperation in the NFL. Six in the first 12 picks? Insane.

And history says at least two or three of them will wash out.

Shannon from Ovilla, TX

Looks like the Vikings got two good players. They need them to be studs based on all the draft picks they gave up in all of their trades.

I think all Minnesota has left in this draft is a fourth, two sixths and two sevenths. They're taking tonight off. Then next year, not including possible compensatory selections, all they have are a first and two fifths. Yikes.

Mark from Westminster, CO

Wow! Feeding frenzy for QBs and WRs. This draft couldn't have developed any better for the Packers. Holding four picks in RD 2 and RD 3, Coach Hafley should be grinning from ear to ear at this point. I can't wait for Day 2 of this draft.

Me neither. And with that, the rest of this column will be questions I answered in advance of the draft to try to manage my workload and allow for a little more sleep.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

To be fair, Wes, it was lucky that Aaron Rodgers fell as far as he did, in order to give Ted Thompson the opportunity to draft the next HOF quarterback. That's the only "luck" involved, from this chair. Ron Wolf going with Brett Favre? No luck involved there.

Nor with Gutey's trade up for Love, clearly. I've always wondered, if Thompson had been offered enough in return, whether he would've traded the No. 24 pick in 2005. He had to have pondered trading out of the spot, all things considered.

Shane from Philadelphia, PA

To touch on the Packers being "lucky" with their string of QBs, I think if anything the Patriots are the luckiest franchise with QBs as they never knew Brady would be what he is or they would have drafted him in the first round. That's what makes the Favre trade, Rodgers pick and Love pick so impressive to be willing to give up real draft capital for the guy you believe in.

Interesting perspective.

Josh from Newhall, CA

Wes's response about the narrative surrounding a player "falling" on draft day actually made me respond, "Thank you!" out loud. Did he fall? Or were the analysts just wrong about how teams actually viewed the player? Just like how when they talk about a player "flying up draft boards" as the draft nears. Is he really? Or are analysts just catching on to where teams' actual evaluations on the player have been all along?

Ding ding ding!

John from Crivitz, WI

It looks like after the Bears build their new stadium, we'll be the only ones in the NFC North playing football the way it was meant to be played, outdoors in the elements.

That just feels outrageous on so many levels, as does the $4.6 billion (with a B!) price tag on that lakefront stadium in Chicago. Mercy.

Taylor from Hull, IA

I rewatched the '96 divisional game against the 49ers. As a kid I had recorded this game and labeled the VHS tape "Mudbowl." At what point did NFL fields stop breaking down like they did in that game? I feel like it has been a very long time since I have witnessed a really muddy NFL game.

Field technology has improved drainage considerably since 25-30 years ago, often with several inches of sand as a base underneath the grass, and the artificial stitching that many fields have holds that surface together on top of that sand base. Our fields manager here, Allen Johnson, once told me Lambeau could get an inch of rain per hour and it would hold up just fine.

Yotam from Atlit, Israel

Trying to sneak in a non-draft related question: It seems to me every week I find out about another position coach. How many coaches are there? What is the size of the entire coaching staff? Is it the same for all teams or are there some positions unique to GB?

There are no restrictions/regulations with regard to coaching staffs. Green Bay's current one (visible by clicking here) is the biggest I've ever seen in my time.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

How soon in May is Jordan Love eligible for an extension? I would imagine that the negotiation between Love's agent and the Packers is complete, they're just waiting to make it official.

He can be extended as soon as May 4, I believe, but I wouldn't assume all the negotiations are complete. These are complex contracts that take time, and there's no rush. I could see it getting done anytime between mid-May and the start of training camp.

Drew from Eagan, MN

Competition has been brought up several times in both II and "Unscripted." I for one hope the competition brought in at kicker pushes Anders Carlson to take the next step and reward BG and ML with sticking with him during an up-and-down rookie year. You don't have to look very far to see how giving up on a kicker too early can come back to bite you. The Vikings are still kicking (pun intended) themselves for giving up on Daniel Carlson too early.

I think the scenario you describe is exactly what the Packers are hoping for, but this team returned to contender status ahead of schedule, so to speak, and can't mess around. Gutey was pressed after the season on Carlson's struggles, and he said there wasn't another option out there they felt good about bringing in so late. He didn't say they never looked. A contender needs reliability at that position, period.

Troy from Westminster, CO

In regards to third-day picks, last year the Packers acquired Colby Wooden, Dontayvion Wicks, Karl Brooks and Carrington Valentine in rounds 4-7. Considering this group, and dismissing the Packers' first four selections (Lukas Van Ness, Luke Musgrave, Jayden Reed and Tucker Kraft), would this still be considered a successful draft?

If those four late-round players continue on their current trajectory, then probably. But no draft can be fully evaluated just one year later.

Bill from Clive, IA

I'm curious about how different skills are valued when ranking OL prospects on the Big Board. Let's pretend we are midway through Saturday and there are two OL prospects available when the Packers are about to pick. One of them has premier run-blocking skills and the other has top-tier pass-blocking skills. Which gets the nod, and why?

The lineman deemed more coachable by those who have coached him, because the one most able to improve on his weaknesses is worth the late-round pick.

Eric from DeMotte, IN

Good morning Mike/Wes. With the Packers hosting the 2025 draft, will they be sending personnel to observe the draft beginning tomorrow in Detroit?

There is a contingent of Packers personnel in Detroit all weekend, yes.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

What one question do you most want to answer Monday morning?

How many good football players are the Packers going to have to cut at the end of August?

DT from Bozeman, MT

I was reflecting on Vic's wise admonition on each new season – "Embrace the drama" – and found myself wondering if you have any phrase that keeps you on track through the ups and downs of II.

This too shall pass. Happy Friday.

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