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Inbox: He’ll accept that challenge

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine

Jason from Aurora, WI

I have five words that explain the mystery that is the NFL Draft. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. You’re welcome.

I didn’t ask, nor did I say thanks, but here we go anyway.

Ross from Hudson, WI

I think given all with which he has been presented, the person we should hope has the biggest second-year jump is Mike Pettine.

I suspect he’ll accept that challenge.

Tim from Reno, NV

Well, shows what we know.

Anyone who professes to know what’s going to happen in the draft is delusional.

Tony from Southington, CT

Once again we refuse to give Rodgers first-round talent. Why the refusal? Continue to strike out on defense and leave the cupboard bare on offense.

Interesting you know already Gary and Savage won’t make it. I’m guessing you felt the same way about Alexander last year and Clark in ’16.

Carl from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

See a lot of concern about Gary's lack of college production, but guess who had only 5.5 college sacks in four years? Clay Matthews, and I think that might have been a good pick for us. (Gary had 9.5 in 3 years.)

Joe Hueber’s comment about the film showing Gary getting double-teamed a lot stood out to me. He played on a darn good defense and was one of the top two players on the unit. There’s no disputing that.

Jeremiah from South Bend, IN

Hey Spoff, I'm curious if anything you've said recently has caused some havoc?

Just goes to show I’m not a scout, only an observer. Big difference between the two.

Bill from Iowa City, IA

Gary has injury and limited production. Then to give up both fourth-rounders to pick Savage seems a high price. Gutekunst is living risky on Day 1. Do you see it that way too?

There’s projection to these picks, no doubt. The Wolf-Thompson-Gutekunst way is to pick players not for what they are, but for what they believe they’re going to be. The two fourth-rounders to go from 30 to 21 isn’t that steep, really, but it ratchets up the pressure to get it right Friday night, for sure.

Jenn from Peoria, IL

Rashan Gary – excellent athleticism and measurables. Critics point to his inconsistency and lack of production. My question is did we get a plug-and-play starter or a bit of a project where we are betting on potential to translate into the pros?

He shouldn’t have to start right away, but he’ll certainly play. He’s another piece to a varied defensive front being built that might not require any individual to play more than 50 snaps per game.

Kathy from Wilmington, NC

Dear II, longtime reader, first-time questioner. Which of the first-round picks surprised you the most and why?

I’ll admit I didn’t see the Gary pick coming. Had no idea the Packers were interested or thought he was a fit for Pettine’s system. I thought their pick was going to be Gary’s teammate, Devin Bush, until Pittsburgh jumped up.

Max from Troy, MO

My feelings about our two first-round selections remind me of how I felt when Kenny Clark was picked: surprised but trusting our front office. After double-dipping on defense, I'd love to see us grab an offensive weapon tonight. Do you think D.K. Metcalf or Irv Smith will be available when we're on the clock again?

Hard to say with 11 picks to wait out, but Lock is still there at QB and a couple of top corners remain available, too. That gives those guys a chance to get to 44.

Austin from Caledonia, WI

I actually expected an edge rusher and a safety in the first round although I didn't expect it to be Gary and Savage. I predicted OT at 44 but my favorite available offensive lineman is Dalton Risner. Do you think he will make it to 44?

Mid-second is where I saw him projected most often, so I think it’s a distinct possibility. I came back from the combine feeling there’s a lot about Risner’s game, personality, everything that just says Packers lineman.

Amy from Bayport, MN

In the trade with the Seahawks, the Packers moved up nine spots and gave up two fourth-round picks (114 and 118). This seems like a great deal compared to the Steelers giving Denver a second-round pick (52nd overall) and third-round pick (2020) to move up 10 spots. Is the difference because it is earlier in the round? Did Brian Gutekunst get a friends and family discount from John Schneider? What does the draft chart say?

It’s not so much the number of spots you move up but the pick you’re moving up to. Pittsburgh traded up to 10, a pick worth 500 more points (according to the “Jimmy Johnson” chart) than 21, which Green Bay acquired. I think the Packers got a good deal from the Seahawks, but Schneider, who came into the draft with only four picks, was clearly in the market to add picks. He turned around and traded 30, which he got from Gutekunst, for more picks yet.

Mitch from Caledonia, WI

I feel like Savage would have been there at 30. Given what we have done with fourth-round picks (Bakhtiari, Daniels, etc.) did we overspend/reach?

Clearly Gutekunst didn’t feel he’d make it to 30, so he showed the courage of his convictions, just like he did last year when he traded up nine spots for Alexander at 18 and many thought he’d be there in the 20s. He felt this was a draft where the premium picks were worth it, and this time he didn’t have to give up a Day 2 pick to get what he wanted. I doubt he’ll enjoy sitting out the fourth round on Saturday, but he wasn’t going to sit and hope and worry about regrets.

Jerry from Grantsburg, WI

Is Gary a big enough "big guy"? Also, gotta love the speed being added to this defense.

The Packers have Clark, Daniels, Lowry and Lancaster. They didn’t draft Gary to add to that mix, they drafted him to add to the Smiths and Fackrell, and to give Pettine more choices for his third-down fronts. The speed element with both picks is undeniable.

Trevor from Seattle, WA

Pettine has to be licking his chops. How does a coach get the most out of a player like Gary?

A popular choice of phrase for Pettine in the Inbox today. I see Gary and the Smiths as edge or inside rushers on third downs. Find out what he does best and let him settle into that role to make an impact first. Then work on expanding his duties.

Matt from Albany, NY

Enlighten me on our two new additions to our team. What are some things we should know about each player and how do they fit into what we want to do on the field?

See above on Gary. Savage is a Day 1 starter to me. His speed is something the Packers haven’t had in a full-time deep safety since Nick Collins. He’s a go-get-the-ball guy, and he should be free to play that way if Amos’ smarts and assignment-soundness come as advertised.

Derrick from Rockaway, NJ

The defense can no longer be the excuse after all this investment between the past few drafts and FA. Everyone always wondered what Rodgers could do with a formidable defense. Hopefully, we find out soon.

That’s the plan, Stan. I mean, Derrick.

Dave from Catonsville, MD

If Tyreek Hill isn’t out of the league I won’t watch a single down until the NFL changes its policies. For years, I’ve sat by watching good men be penalized harshly for using a harmless drug while wife beaters and child abusers (looking at you A.P.) get slaps on the wrist. Women and children are more important than this game. I hope more people start to feel this way. Do you believe there is any chance the NFL will push for a zero-tolerance policy for domestic abuse in the next CBA?

The personal conduct policy is not subject to collective bargaining, and the commissioner has some latitude with regard to discipline, though a league ban is only on the table for a second offense, not a first, as far as I know. I’m not sure the league can go much further, but individual teams obviously can make their own decisions. I’d be stunned if the Chiefs don’t release Hill, as they did earlier with Kareem Hunt.

Mike from Lake Villa, IL

The Packers playing in London seems to have an easy solution. Any team hosting a Super Bowl has to play as a home team in London that year. The Packers can be the road team for any team that hosts a SB.

Teams hosting future Super Bowls have been subject to the league moving one of their home games overseas for several years now, but that leverage still hasn’t produced a road Packers game in London.

Scott from Little Rock, AR

Wes, you should've banned Ryan from Watertown, WI. Spoff, please step in here.

Banning is at the fingertips of the beholder, or something like that.

Adam from Sussex, WI

While scouts aren’t allowed at joint practices, are the teams allowed to tape the practice for review purposes, and if so do the two teams sign confidentiality agreements not to share that tape with the rest of the league?

I would think such an agreement is understood without the necessity of legal papers, but I guess you never know.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

I gotta hear that John Kuhn pro day story!

I know, right? We’ll get it out of him soon enough.

Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

I know by the time the next Inbox is out, everyone will want to talk about the draft. As someone who recently lost his grandson to suicide, I want to thank Cole Madison for doing what he had to do to take care of himself first, and then for having the courage to talk about it publicly. He's won my admiration. Thanks.

I cannot begin to comprehend your pain, nor that of anyone similarly affected. We’ve become such a judgmental society, on all levels and in all areas of life, and it affects us more than we know. If that can change, the rest can follow. Sorry for the mini-soapbox.

Craig from Brookfield, WI

Since draft results aren't truly known until 2-3 years down the road, I find it a little silly that media and fans (myself included) assess the quality of their draft on the day after. Thirty-one teams will say that they're happy with how it went, that they think they helped their team, that they believe they took a step in the right direction (excepting the Bears in 2019). Have you ever been on the inside when the Packers weren't too happy with how things fell?

Every team outside of maybe the top three picks has a player (or two or five or 10) it wishes would have been there. They just never tell us who.

Take a look inside Green Bay's Draft Room as Packers GM Brian Gutekunst prepares for another NFL Draft.

Eric from Mequon, WI

I looked and looked but never found a Prospect Primer on our two picks. Who’s responsible for this lack of professionalism? I hope they have their desk cleaned out and have been escorted out of the building.

We were severely limited on available video footage of Big Ten players this year to produce quality Primers, and lo and behold we pick two from that league right out of the gate. So it goes.

Luke from Verona, WI

What are your thoughts on making the draft a two-night affair again vs. the current format?

From a work standpoint, three days makes for better overall coverage, and it’s less hectic, so I wouldn’t want to go back.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Mike, for all the draft questions you get, how many draft beers would they number? Both of you deserve a pint or two on us after the draft.

Two more days to go, and I’ll take you up on that. Happy Friday.

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