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Inbox: He appears to have no peer or comparable

The combine is considered just one piece of the puzzle


Jake from Yorkville, IL

Mike, a toss-up between Sweat and Greedy Williams? A CB with a name like Greedy! Great work at the combine! What's next for you?

Get crankin' on some Prospect Primers here pretty soon and find another window to take some time off before the players come back for offseason workouts.

Doug from Green Bay, WI

A slightly different take on Jeff's point. While the media is paying a lot of attention to ML's hiring, that's only a solution if coaching is our biggest issue. I think the problems are more related to how the team was built. A rigid approach to free agency combined with low draft position and some draft misses have left us with a talent gap. If MM's new org structure and the new GM don't solve that issue then a new head coach won't turn things around any more than the coaches Jeff mentioned did.

Perfectly fair and cogent argument. I don't think I've ever said all is peachy keen with this roster.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

Wes, if memory serves me correctly you tend to fall in love with an offensive lineman or two in each draft class you feel would be a good fit for the Packers. Any big fella catch your eye at the combine?

I'm doing a second day in a row this week, and I'm sure Wes will chime in at some point as well, but I have to say there's a lot about Kansas State's Dalton Risner that says Packers prospect to me. Versatility, demeanor, personality fit. Just seems to have done everything right in the pre-draft process so far. But this guy is getting attention from a lot of teams, I'm sure.

Brian from Sussex, WI

Why don't teams sign the undrafted rookie FAs to four-year contracts? The player may not be worth the first- or second-round designation amount as an RFA, but not someone you want to lose without compensation. The team could have just signed them for the longer contract to start with to avoid RFA status, even if it means ramping up salary in the last couple years of the contract as at least then they would be under contract.

Undrafted players are not eligible for four-year contracts, only three-year deals, per the CBA.

Andy from Deerfield, WI

OK, in your opinion, was the 11th pick the end of the blue-chippers last year? BTW, where does the term "blue chip" come from, besides a sad cow?

I'm not a scout or evaluator, so I don't draw those lines in a draft. I just try to listen to knowledgeable people. I assume football stole the term "blue chip" from the stock market, referring to stock in a corporation that performs reliably well at all times. It originally derives from poker, where blue chips are worth the most.

Take a look at photos of Packers CB Kevin King from the 2018 season.

Zak from Muskego, WI

Dear Insider, if there were somehow a "GM takes five" column, would the closing line be, "And stop calling me Gute"?


Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas "the reports" are in as to what the Packers will do in free agency. In my mind successful free agency means signing a starting-caliber safety, pass rusher and re-signing Breeland. My question is, can they realistically do all three?

It's a tall order if you're aiming for the top of the market at either of the two positions you mentioned. It's also hard to say what Breeland is going to ask for. He unfortunately lost a lot of money last year and presumably will want to make up for lost time as best he can.

Andy from Verona, WI

Is there a round in the draft where special-teams ability begins to factor into a player getting chosen over another player with a similar grade?

I could see that coming into play as early as the second or third round.

Jeff from Athens, WI

When I read that Dee Ford might be available for a second-round pick it got me thinking two things: 1. He could be a significant addition to the defense. 2. If a team were to acquire him as a franchise-tagged player, would they have to negotiate a long-term contract or could he play out his tag and be a free agent at the end of the season? Either way, I think he would be at least worth a conversation between Gute and Kansas City.

I can't say for sure how this would work, but here's hopefully an educated guess. The tag would go with the traded player, so technically he could sign the franchise tender with his new team and play the one year to try to hit the market again (though he could also get tagged again by his new team). But I would imagine a team would conduct initial negotiations to have some assurance working out a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline is realistic. You couldn't have him officially sign an offer sheet, because the franchise compensation of two first-round picks would kick in, but you get some parameters in place, make the trade for something significantly less than two first-rounders, and then hopefully finalize the new long-term deal in short order.

Paula from De Pere, WI

If you could pick one free agent to sign this season, who would you pick and why?

I don't know much about him, but the Landon Collins news sure got my attention yesterday. That was not a name I expected to be available.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Regarding the John from Twin Peaks comment on two-strapping, it evens the pressure on your shoulders and prevents injury. So has Spoff always been a one-strapper? You see that is the kind of analysis you get at the combine. I might not hire him now to report given that he is injury-prone.

I've always switched the strap from one side to the other when needed. Does that help?

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

The comment on Starr in the 17th round brought up a question. Is Russell Wilson the highest-round QB currently starting in the NFL?

Tom Brady, sixth; Dak Prescott, fourth.

Thomas from Mesa, AZ

I think next year after the combine, you should come to AZ for spring training, and talk to the Brewers/Packers fans. Get some insight and some sun. 77 degrees today.

One of these days/years, I will.

Collin from Omaha, NE

If we draft an edge rusher at 12, and the Iowa TEs are both off the board at 30, who becomes the next best TE for us to look at?

The names I've seen mentioned next most often are Alabama's Irv Smith, Stanford's Kaden Smith and Texas A&M's Jace Sternberger, but I doubt any of them would be graded high enough to take at 30.

Mike from Granite City, IL

In response to Nate from Naples, FL, I propose that the "Sky Judge" be called the "Overhead Judge." That way it sounds like he gets paid too much to ever make a decision of any consequence.

Not bad.

Jason from Austin, TX

A lot of positive praise coming out from the combine. I'm curious though, do you think the players are really that much better than an average year, or do you think players have gotten better at training for the specific combine drills? Why not put the players in pads and see how they perform? That would be more realistic and probably more useful.

I've wondered about the training aspect as well. I guess we'll see how the top of this rookie class translates its apparent superior athleticism to the field. NFL teams get to see the players practice in pads at the Senior Bowl and the other college all-star games. That's why the combine is considered just one piece of the puzzle.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

Back in 2010, the Lions made a draft-pick trade with the Vikings, moving up a few spots, a spectacle more rare than a solar eclipse. When was the last time the Packers were involved in an inter-divisional draft trade and what was the outcome of that trade? I don't think the Lions fared too well from theirs.

You have to go back to 2008. The Packers traded with the Vikings, moving back 13 spots in the fifth round and picking up an extra seventh-rounder. Minnesota took USC QB John David Booty with the Packers' original fifth-rounder. Green Bay then chose Louisville offensive lineman Breno Giacomini in the fifth and LSU QB Matt Flynn with the additional seventh-round pick.

Michael from Los Angeles, CA

True or false – the NFL's franchise tag is the biggest scam in all of professional sports. Beside the price (which to a billionaire isn't a risk), all risk is deferred to the player who doesn't get a choice. They risk being villainized like Le'Veon if you don't sign, and injury if you do. Which as we all know could affect the money you make in the future. I would be insulted if I was a player who got tagged.

No player wants to get tagged. They despise it. But it's a provision the players' union agreed to a quarter century ago in order to gain free agency for the first time. The union was willing to sacrifice, in a manner of speaking, one veteran player's freedom per team to secure everyone else's. Getting rid of it in the next CBA would require a major concession of some kind by the players.

Craig from Appleton, WI

I often times see position coaches switch the position they coach. Luke Getsy from wide receivers to quarterbacks, Edgar Bennett from running backs to wide receivers, etc. My question is how often do they switch sides of the ball? It seems if an assistant wants to become a head coach it would help them to have experience from both sides.

It's incredibly rare. In fact, I only found one assistant coach in team history who switched sides of the ball (not including special-teams assignments), and it was in an entry-level quality-control role. That's it. The game is so specialized, if you're going to move up, you have to continue building on your knowledge on one side of the ball, not switch and start over.

Amy from Bayport, MN

I was disappointed to not see any Prospect Primers today. What, are you guys like busy or something? Seriously though, I always enjoy them and look forward to seeing who is featured this year. Remind me again, which players from past Prospect Primers were actually drafted by the Packers? Are the Primers archived somewhere for our viewing pleasure or do we need to sift through old Inboxes?

There's no official archive due to the transition to our new site last spring, but as the league continues to transfer old content over, you might be able to find some. For the record, Primers on drafted players include Datone Jones, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, Brett Hundley, Blake Martinez, Kyle Murphy, Josh Jones, Jaire Alexander and EQ St. Brown.

Owen from Oakland, CA

In regards to Brian Burns, not only do I think he will definitely not be available at 30, I think there is a very good chance he won't be available at 12. Do you think Gute would consider trading up for a player like him if he believed he couldn't get him at 12?

If he believes the player is that much better than the other potential options, sure he'll consider it. But falling in love with a particular player can be different than actually having him rated that much higher than others. That's where a GM has to show discipline. Gutekunst told us at the combine: "I pray for patience."

Harry from De Pere, WI

D.K. Metcalf was obviously amazing. Comparisons to Julio Jones and combine stats like Megatron. He should certainly move up on some draft boards, which may be good for the Packers if he happens to jump to top 11 and bumps "their guy" back (mocks had D.K. as a mid-first rounder?). But if available at 12, do the Packers take him over guys like Sweat, Polite, Hockenson assuming they are also available, or go with the need position? Also great combine performers in their own right.

I know Metcalf's stock keeps rising, but the only way I think the Packers take Metcalf at 12 is if they think he could be the next Julio while also believing, for example, none of the available edge guys could be the next Khalil, if you get my drift. It's tough for me to see it playing out that way.

Jesse from Akaska, SD

I was a little surprised if not disappointed to not hear Devin White's name mentioned in the "Curtain Call" video on Monday. With how guys like Sweat, Hoch and Gary are moving up on boards this guy may fall to 12. Let's not rule out that there are options if we don't take an edge rusher with that first pick. Not trying to be rude, but you mentioned one name I don't even have in my first round anymore.

That last combine episode of "Unscripted" was taped before the news on Polite's departure had broken, so bad timing there. But you'll have to forgive me on White, because you're absolutely right. Not naming him amongst the top defensive group was an oversight on my part. I actually had him written down on the clipboard you see there but then just missed it during the taping. At inside linebacker, he appears to have no peer or comparable in this draft.

John from Peoria, IL

What's the best hotel you guys stay at on the road in the NFL?

For me, it's the one in August or September within walking distance of a baseball stadium that's hosting a game the night I'm in town. Happy Wednesday.


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