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Inbox: He makes this Packers offense better

It takes a village of scouts to draft a player

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WR Allen Lazard

Brandon from Pleasant Prairie, WI

Is there something going on with "Jeopardy!" this week…?

That's what I've been hearing. I, for one, am looking forward to Aaron Rodgers standing behind the "Jeopardy!" lectern over the next two weeks. If Monday was any indication, this should be a lot of fun.

Eric from York, PA

Category: Game Show Guest Hosts.

Answer: To date this is the most comfortable and polished guest host of the hit show "Jeopardy!"

Question: Who is Aaron Rodgers?

What a polished performance. I would expect nothing less from an amazing athlete and person. He easily has a second career if he wants/needs one! Outstanding.

I thought Rodgers did an outstanding job in his maiden voyage as "Jeopardy!" guest host. You could see him get more and more comfortable as the game progressed, showing his personality with how he acted out the clue for Larry David. It was a very enjoyable half hour of television.

Todd from Loja, Ecuador

The ol' pigskin slinger acquitted himself quite well. Did you get the final "Jeopardy!" question?

I did! I was quite surprised at how well I did.

Tristan from Durham, NC

As a regular "Jeopardy!" watcher, I've rarely laughed so hard at a final answer. Kudos to Rodgers for taking it with a sense of humor.

You could tell Rodgers wasn't expecting that but thought quickly on his feet and took it all in stride. Rodgers was allegedly a little nervous before the show, but he's a natural. I'm excited to watch him make the role his own over these next nine episodes.

Matthias from San Antonio, TX

Gentlemen, Marcedes Lewis is the lone blocking tight end in the roster we have, while Big Bob and Jace Sternberger are both natural move tight ends and Josiah Deguara is an H-Back and fullback more than in-line Y tight end. I saw the Packers projected to pick Jordan, another physically talented move tight end from Miami. Would I be off base to think that Tommy Tremble from Notre Dame, Hunter Long from BC and the 6-7 kid from Virginia would be more in line in seeking out a dual-purpose Y End?

Not at all…and I think the Packers do have their eye to the future in that regard. They tried James Looney at tight end last year and already signed Bronson Kaufusi this offseason. That Y position is so critical in Matt LaFleur's offense that it wouldn't surprise me at all if Green Bay went that direction in this year's draft. You want these young guys to soak up as much information as possible while Lewis is here.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins from his Pro Bowl season.

Jake from Athens, GA

Wes, do you share Mike's interest in a shifty slot receiver? He has a point – without a Randall Cobb-type player, some concepts just aren't available to this offense. On the other hand, as Curt was saying yesterday, LaFleur loves receivers who block, and true slot/gadget guys like Cobb and Tyler Ervin just don't have as much beef to block with.

To Cobb's credit, he was a better blocker than people gave him credit for being. Spoff and I went back and forth on this last week and ultimately he changed my mind. While it's been the Packers' wont to draft receivers 6-3 and above in height, there is something to be said for finding and developing a smaller, shifter receiver who not only can play the slot, but also help on jet-motion sweeps.

TK from Grafton, WI

What aspect of the NFL is most widely misunderstood by the fans? My guess is the amount of time the coaches spend developing weekly game plans.

That's it – the meticulous detail that goes into developing game plans. Coaches don't roll the ball out there and tell their guys to play. Hours of planning go into every call.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

I agree with Mike that positions of need in this year's draft are OL, DL, CB followed by ILB and WR. The Packers have drafted one ILB in the top 125 (Oren Burks at No. 88) since A.J. Hawk in the first round in 2006? Although quality players can be found in any round, truly dominant superstars are found in the top rounds. My question is if they could land a true superstar at ILB, what effect do you think that would have on their defense in today's NFL? Are dominant ILBs overrated in today's game? Thanks Wes.

Dominant inside linebackers are not overrated. However, this idea your team can draft any inside linebacker with a fast 40 time and he's instantly an All-Pro is highly overrated. Take Lavonte David and Devin White, for example. They're both exceptional players but it's not easy for a team to find one, let alone two, ILBs of that caliber. That's especially true in White's case. It's like what Mike Tomlin told Chase Young last year – some coach had to lose a lot of games at some point to get a linebacker like Devin White on your team. Why haven't the Packers drafted more inside linebackers? Because it gets increasingly more difficult to find one late in the first round.

Barb from Marengo, IL

How many staff members do the Packers have to wade through all the college players? It seems like a bigger job than in the past.

The Packers have 20 individuals listed in their personnel department, including Brian Gutekunst, but the coaching staff also lends a hand in studying prospects. It takes a village to draft a player – not just a GM. It's a culture Ron Wolf built, Ted Thompson sustained and now Gutekunst has carried on.

Brian from Mazzochetti, NY

Allen Lazard has shown consistency and an all-around game. He blocks well, reliable hands, a large frame, has deceptive speed, and most importantly has AR's trust. Although it seems like his ceiling has been reached, I think there's more to see. He was really coming on in the Saints game last year, then battled an injury that really affected his season. I look forward to seeing him continue to show how good a player he is.

I get what you're saying but got tripped on "it seems like his ceiling has been reached." I beg to differ. Lazard turned 25 in December. He's entering just his third season in Green Bay. In my estimation, there's still plenty of room to grow with his game. Throw whatever qualifiers you want on Lazard and his game, but he makes this Packers' offense better. You can win with that guy on the field.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers WR Allen Lazard from the 2020 season.

Wags from Marinette, WI

Who was your favorite Packers draft pick before they played a down?

I loved this question and Spoff's response. I just wanted to add in Aaron Rodgers. I know, I know, I'm not exactly going out of the box there, but I've told the story before about being at UW-Whitewater when I heard about Rodgers' draft-day fall in 2005. When Rodgers was still there at No. 24, I thought it was a no-brainer for the Packers to draft him. The rest was history. I've been wrong on plenty of players (e.g. Jake Locker), but Green Bay taking Rodgers will forever be a meaningful memory for me. Because I don't think the draft would play out like that in 2021 – not after a QB was discussed initially as a potential No. 1 overall pick.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

In all three of the drafts he's run, Gute has traded up within the first round. How does our draft capital measure up this year?

It's the most draft capital Gutekunst has had to work with since trading back in 2018 with the Saints. With 10 picks, the Packers have more than enough picks to play the draft board as they see fit.

Sawyer from Simpsonville, SC

I've got a thought and a question. In regard to Joel, could the Packers not being committal to Aaron Rodgers, and additionally, only be making moves as needed, to make space with an eye on the cap next year? If you restructure Rodgers this year, it's gonna be harder to restructure that hit next year in a tight cap. Also, could you imagine a Jaguars-Packers game in London?! They're basically the UK Jaguars, so they've got that going for them, which is nice, I guess.

Correct. The Packers and Rodgers would need to agree on an extension to lower his cap number for 2021 without inflating the cap number in '22 and '23. To your question, Jacksonville blocked the Packers game from going overseas in 2016, so I don't see why 2024 would be any different. My guess is the NFL will send the Packers to London in 2022 in that "extra" ninth home game spot.

Mike from Ames, IA

Being a Packers fan, I haven't paid too much attention to how international games have worked over the past while, but seeing all the talk about London in II confused me. Is the game guaranteed for there or are other places that have hosted like Mexico City also an option?

I said this last week to a buddy of mine – the NFL hasn't waited this long to send the Packers anywhere other than London to play. Green Bay is the only team that has yet to play in England. That's the first domino that needs to fall for the Packers when it comes to the international series. The sooner Green Bay plays an international regular-season game, the quicker the league can schedule the next one.

Guy from Telford, UK

I have been lucky enough to go to Lambeau to see the Packers. Green Bay has to be the biggest attraction for an international game. I think the next time I see them it will involve a lot less traveling. Is there a bigger and better venue than Wembley for them to grace?

It's gotta be at Wembley, right? I mean, Anthony Joshua didn't come to the United States to box Andy Ruiz in any old arena. They wanted that fight at Madison Square Garden.

Bryce from Kenosha, WI

Regarding the suggestion of Fariborz from Flower Mount, TX, that the 17th game pit teams against each other 1-16 based on the previous year's record, wouldn't the concern be that, not only could you end up playing the same interconference team twice in one year (OK, I suppose), but also that both games could be at the same location? Imagine being LA and having to travel to NY twice in one year.

I get having teams face an opponent from the other conference that finished in the same place in standings the previous year is the fairest way to do it. I just find it very coincidental the league added a 17th game and immediately squeezed in a Rodgers-Mahomes matchup out of thin air.

George from Manchester, NJ

With the Packers having the top offense in football last year, why is the story still "they need to draft a receiver to complement Davante Adams"? The defense is where more help is needed with their first pick! Granted with the losses on the O-line it needs to be attended to, but that can be done in later rounds.

I'm openly rooting for the Packers to draft a receiver – the earlier, the better. Not even because I think the offense needs one – mostly so Spoff and I can stop answering the question.

Jeremiah from Columbia Falls, MT

Wes and Mike: What are your thoughts about all the low 40 times at the pro days? Would it be advisable to take them with some suspicion? Seems like they have some homer measuring devices.

It makes for good fodder in the media, but the reality is the Packers have boots on the ground at all these college pro days and are clocking prospects like they would in a normal year. They're gathering all the information they need to get to make informed decisions later this month.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

How many QBs do you think will be taken in the first five picks of the draft?

Three, especially after Carolina traded for Sam Darnold on Monday. I just don't think there's going to be much urgency for teams to trade up to No. 4-5 with Atlanta and Cincinnati on the board and Miami sitting at No. 6 (all teams that don't need to draft a QB).

Dan from Edgerton, WI

Which NFC rival has done the most to improve in the offseason?

Minnesota. The Vikings already took care of Dalvin Cook's contract last year, and signed Dalvin Tomlinson and Xavier Woods this past month. Minnesota will again be formidable.

Craig from Brookfield, WI

Daily Double: Which NFL team would you say most desperately needs to find a decent starting QB? And which NFL team would you say is most settled at the position with a top-notch starter and a good, reliable backup?

San Fran is the biggest contender with questions at quarterback entering the 2021 season, whereas the Packers and the Bills are the most settled in my mind. Say what you want about Mitchell Trubisky but that's a good system for him in Buffalo. He's the ideal backup to Josh Allen.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

Can you please explain the concept of voidable years in contracts and is this a new salary cap trick that's primarily been utilized this offseason due to the drop in the salary cap because of the pandemic? Have the Packers used voidable years in prior years on contacts? What are the long-term implications caused by adding voidable years? Seems like it would provide immediate short-term cap relief but create a salary cap burden down in later years. Thank you.

All it means is the bonus derived from the simple restructure is spread out past the expiration of the contract. I don't recall the Packers previously using voidable years in contracts, but these are unprecedented times. And they're not the only team doing it.

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