Presented by

Inbox: He's one of the finest to ever put on a Packers uniform

Historically, offensive and defensive line has been the play in the first round

200416-insider-inbox-2560
Hall of Famer Willie Davis

Jerry from Las Vegas, NV

So sorry to hear about Willie Davis. I have a very vivid memory of him in the early '60s. The Pack was having a tremendous amount of trouble corralling Fran Tarkenton from the Vikings. During this play, he was all over the place, dodging, squatting, and eluding all the rushers. Then, all of a sudden, he got ready to throw the ball to the left side of the field. Willie, from behind, threw both his arms over the shoulders of Tarkenton. Fumble. Pack recovers. No more scrambling!

He's one of the finest men to ever put on a Packers uniform. As I said in the video with Spoff, the impact Davis made both on and off the field will live on forever. He personified character, conviction and toughness. He'll be remembered as a pioneer, a natural leader and for his dominating Super Bowl performances. May he rest in peace. Good morning!

Robert from Coupeville, WA

As a kid I idolized Bart, Jim, Jerry, Paul, Willie and many others of the Packers' '60s teams. I got to meet Bart, Willie Davis and some others when I was about 10. I remember Willie and Bart the most – they treated me like they would have an adult and looked me right in the eyes. I waited too long to write Bart Starr and Jim Taylor about what they meant to me, but did write Willie Davis two months ago, through the Packers' offices. What a complete man! God rest his soul.

What makes Davis' story so inspiring is how many lives he touched once his football career was over – as a color commentator, a businessman and an ambassador for everything that's good about the game of football.

Edward from Appleton, WI

While a grad student at Marquette, Willie Davis was giving a presentation, and the college invited me to a private dinner with him. Very, very sharp guy, and a great entrepreneur. He had a thousand stories about his playing days and his business. Willie Davis was so gracious with his time and I remember him asking me what I hoped to do after graduation, encouraging me and in general giving me great advice. He made a lasting impression I will never forget. We lost a great one today!

We received quite a few personal stories like Edward's and Robert's on Wednesday. Those memories say so much more about Willie Davis, the man, than any words I could ever write. We are who we are when nobody's watching and Davis was a true gentleman.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

First, rest in heaven to football legend, Willie Davis. Second, I read an awesome article about Willie Davis posted on the site this morning and saw that he possibly recorded somewhere between 100 and 140 sacks. I understand that some statistics weren't recorded during his playing days, but isn't film available to officially capture all the statistics of the former greats? Is it too time consuming and costly to gather the "missing" information?

We don't have full game footage from Super Bowl I, let alone the time the Packers beat the Steelers 33-14 at Milwaukee County Stadium on Nov. 3, 1963. What's baffling is the NFL didn't start counting sacks until 1982. You'd think in those first 60 years someone would've said, "You know, those plays where the defender tackles the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage" are kind of important.

Timmy from Chicago, IL

Let's play a game. You are creating an offensive weapon, using traits of current Packers. Match up players to each trait. No repeat players! Route running, explosiveness, size, hands, blocking, toughness and vision.

Will from Oakland, CA

Jordy's catch at Chicago in 2016, mentioned as a best AR throw candidate, is my hands-down best catch in Rodgers' career. In that cold and wind, stone-hard leather dropping out of the sky, bare hands extended out from his body, landing on a frozen Soldier Field. The mental and physical toughness that catch must have taken boggles my mind. Has Jordy ever ranked his toughest catches?

Nelson's awareness and sideline catches were mesmerizing. He was a magician. It was like watching the Matrix when you slowed it all down. Rob Demovsky did a nice story on the sports science that went into those plays a number of years ago.

Joseph from Ellsworth, WI

One of Rodgers' best throws was the season opener against the Bears, Khalil Mack's debut. Rodgers looked like he went down with a season-ending injury, returns in the second half with a bum wheel, and drops a dime to Geronimo Allison in the back corner of the end zone…from midfield, without leg power.

A collage of moments from that game hangs outside the Packers' locker room with Rodgers in the middle. It's only one of only about 12 Lambeau Field games in franchise history that have been immortalized that way.

Aaron from Dallas, TX

Have you done a top five of Rodgers' throws that were called back? I have this memory of one in Jacksonville a few years back, diving receiver, corner of the end zone, amazing throw and catch, then called back for a ticky-tack hold. Does that ring a bell? Can you think of five nullified throws that stick out in Rodgers' career?

No. I'm not that bored...yet.

Doug from Duluth, MN

I've read there could be as many as 30 WRs worthy of a first- or second-round grade. If every fourth pick was a WR, they could last well into the fourth round. Could this have the effect of teams not picking WR in the first couple of rounds, pushing highly talented WRs into the fifth or sixth round, as there is less urgency to get one?

Or it could have the opposite effect and lead to a run on receivers, where teams are drafting one after another. You just never know. However, I think Spoff made a salient point on "Unscripted" recently, when he mentioned how the likes of K.J. Hamler and Chase Claypool probably would be drafted higher in a year with less receiver depth.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, how about a contest? If anyone in Inbox gets the Packers' first- and second-round picks correct they get a Spoff-Hod T-shirt. I'll go first: Ross Blacklock and Hamler.

I don't know about a Spoff-Hod T-shirt that literally does not exist (sans the one Bob Becker made of me five years ago), but you may be onto something, Bill, as far as your overall idea. Let's circle back to this next week.

Marli from Denver, CO

Hello gentlemen, thank you so much for helping fill up our time! I've seen Brandon Aiyuk showing up on Manny Wilkins' Instagram-lives and both players promoting Aiyuk as a possibility for the Pack at 30. Would any of our scouts think to ask Manny or any other player about their experience playing with a same-school prospect? Plenty of crossover for the first round potentials: Aiyuk and Wilkins from ASU? Ty Summers and Jalen Reagor from TCU? Curtis Bolton and Kenneth Murray from OU?

I would think so. Maybe not at this minute – teams can't have contact with players until the offseason program starts – but I could see them asking about certain guys in the past. It's not like Murray, Aiyuk and Reagor just now popped up on draft radars. The Packers' personnel department spends years studying players and doing background checks.

Eric from Honolulu, HI

How will players get paid for offseason workouts? Can working out at home count?

From what I've read on the matter, players who choose to participate in the virtual offseason program will be eligible for any workout bonuses in their contracts (this is a staple in Green Bay) in addition to the collectively bargained $235 per diem.

Robert from Bear, DE

Wes: For years, since Ray, I've been hoping for that dominant inside LB, only to see recently Pittsburgh or Baltimore draft that player before the Packers pick (e.g. Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley). It seems if Pitt or Balt draft them they will be stars. So not being entirely serious (as I would rather save the draft capital), I hope the Pack moves up in front of Pitt and Balt, and drafts Murray. With all the potential WR, OT, DL talent that may be available at 30, do you think Zack Baun at 30 is the same value?

I still like Baun a lot, despite these recent reports of a diluted sample at the NFL Scouting Combine. I don't think you could go wrong with Murray, Patrick Queen or Baun – but will they be there and would the Packers take them? We've talked about how they haven't drafted a receiver in the first round since 2002. Well, it's now been 14 years since they drafted an inside linebacker (A.J. Hawk), too.

John from Dousman, WI

With both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in contract years and Jones will probably command a high price in free agency, do you think that the Packers will/should draft a running back in the second or third round?

We're talking about a position the Packers have kept stocked for the last three years thanks to a pair of Day 3 draft picks. Unless we're talking about a bona-fide top-five pick, I stop short of saying the Packers need to take a running back in the first three rounds as long as Jones and/or Williams are on the roster.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

When I read the Packers had switched James Looney from defensive line to tight end last year, I had a hard time comprehending the switch. It sounds like something that would have happened back in the '40s or '50s. There must be a story behind that. Have you talked to Looney or the Packers on how/why it happened? I'm rooting for him.

It's as simple as Looney was playing tight end with the scout team and the Packers liked what they saw. Practice-squad players are not available to the media, so I haven't had the opportunity to ask Looney about the switch. He only has one more year of eligibility on the practice squad, so time is of the essence. This is his best shot at making it in the NFL.

Jack from Chicago, IL

My friends are going Round 1 "brackets" or guesses this year to see who can guess the most first-round picks correctly. If anyone is over seven hits, I will be very surprised. How many could Spoff or Wes get?

What I've learned over the last eight years is predicting the first round is like a game of telephone. Once the message starts to get mangled, everything falls apart pretty quickly. The integrity of your predictions is reliant on those first 10 picks – if you hit there, you might just get seven out of the 32 right.

Dennis from Orono, MN

Hey guys, why are all the pundits and draft experts forecasting that our first-round pick be a receiver when all of the top-tier receivers will be gone before the Packers turn to draft? There will be no receivers available that offer any special talents that are not on our current roster. Besides that, the Packers will have three "new" players to compete for playing time at receiver with Equanimeous St. Brown, Reggie Begelton, and Devin Funchess. My first-round choices would be to draft an offensive or defensive lineman.

You may get your wish. Historically, offensive and defensive line has been the play for Green Bay in the first round. The three signings Brian Gutekunst made gave him breathing room. With Funchess, Rick Wagner and Christian Kirksey on the roster, Gutekunst can see how the board falls on April 23 and make the best decision possible at No. 30.

Alyssa from Kenosha, WI

Good morning Wes! On Tuesday you mentioned you would take the generational talent at receiver over the linebacker but it was really close. I agree that the receiver is the way to go but I'm curious as to how you ruled out the tackle so easily. I truly can't decide if I would rather have a decade of Ray Lewis or Joe Thomas. What was your thought process?

The Packers have the best left tackle in the league. That's why I narrowed it down to receiver and linebacker.

Jeff from Wausau, WI

In the spirit of the wardrobe malfunction, what are the chances of a draft board malfunction during this all-online draft?

If scouts can't all be in the same room together, I'm imagining them carrying a physical "cheat sheet" with the draft board on it – kind of like the ones your teacher would occasionally let you use for quizzes.

Mike from Cascade, ID

I hope you guys realize that many of us will NEVER forget how you've helped during our quarantine (all caps for emphasis, I'm not angry). Did you see that Japanese baseball is planning on playing games with robots in the stands? Freaky! But I'd love to see the first time a line drive foul ball took one out! Danger Will Robinson! I think I owe Wes and apology. I didn't mean to shame him with my joke about his "wall art," and make him move to another room for his videos. Stay healthy!

What I wanna know is will there be a robot in the stands telling everyone to sit down? As far as the wall art, that actually was my parents' house. With a 2-year-old and a dog, you can't always guarantee getting a half hour of continuous quiet. However, my wife and I devised a plan to have my son and the dog in the backyard while I'm recording. So I'm back in my home office.

Joe from Wauwatosa, WI

My question is in relation to Steve from AZ a few days ago around the Bucks but pertains to all sports really. Why is there a belief that if this quarantine goes too long that we need to just wash the previous season and start again? If it goes till next year or whenever it is safe, why can't we just start where it was left off with an augmented schedule to allow the next season to start on time or even not start on time? Makes no sense to me to HAVE to start a new season and forget the rest.

I think we're all following the model of the 1994 MLB work stoppage. If the NBA can't get back on the court until after the draft and free agency, then I think you have to wipe the slate clean and move on to 2020-21. It pains me to say that but it's true.

Michael from Chicago, IL

Hi II. My mother enjoyed words and numbers. There were several posts pointing out patterns like 222 wins for Coach Reid. Recently, my mother passed on Easter Sunday. This column provided some solace. Not only was Easter a fitting tribute to her faith, but it was also Favre, Rodgers, and Reggie White. She reached 92 years of life. As each of you have written about the success the coaches, the players, and this organization have compiled, it is indeed the little things that matter. Grateful.

Thank you Michael. We're so very sorry for your loss but I am glad to know we brought a little joy to her 92 remarkable years of life. May that bring you and your family peace during this difficult time.

Ricia from Meriden, CT

Wow! Another of Lombardi's guys has left us. I didn't need this news as we are inundated with Covid news. The world is changing in ways we don't know yet. Keep up your great work of keeping us all together and hopeful for a return to Packer football this fall.

I say this with a measured and full-throated voice – 2020 sucks.

Tom from Two Rivers, WI

Wes is starting to look like Alfred E. Neumann. I'm working on my mullet (not a good look). Yesterday, I vacuumed under the furniture using a high intensity LED flashlight to make sure I sucked up all the dog hair. The day before that, I cut fabric all afternoon so my wife could keep sewing on a quilt. "Safer at Home" is making me question my manhood. Note to Hank Williams Jr.: I am definitely ready for some football!

Your manhood is just fine. You're doing what you need to do. Your last point reminds me of a conversation I had with a former coworker when I was picking up an order last Saturday at Maplewood Meats, my old employer. She asked me if the Packers are going to play this year because "we need something to look forward to." Those words have stayed with me. In this town, life revolves around football and this franchise. I can't imagine a September without football. I don't know when and I don't know how, but the Packers will run out of that tunnel again. And I look forward to that day when I can retake my seat in the Lambeau Field press box to cover it all.

Advertising