Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: 'If Sam says the kid can play, you better pay attention'

They were drafted for what they’re projected to do

Sam Seale
Sam Seale

Joe from Ormond Beach, FL

Gentlemen now that the draft is over, when can we expect a complete analysis of each player? Please include the number of Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections and the year they will enter the Hall of Fame. Thank you!

I'm too tired to pinpoint exactly what type of humor this is, but thanks for the laugh after a long, exhausting weekend.

Tim from Milwaukee, WI

Love reading your column and appreciate the humor both of you bring. It gets weary reading all the comments from those who know so little and think they know so much. How do you so calmly handle all the questions from backseat GMs who think they know more than the pros? Is there something in that root beer?

Maybe for Wes. My beverage of choice has no root.

Joel from Tulsa, OK

Alright, after all the picks, the final burning question to answer is what was going on during BG's live presser with what sounded like a TV broadcast?

Ha, somehow a TV in the media auditorium that was on mute magically resumed making sound, and all of the remote buttons apparently stopped working. So Jason Wahlers, VP of communications, calmly strolled across the room and unplugged the TV. Never a dull moment.

David from Hilliard, OH

Good Morning II, it seems every player that Gute drafted was a "position of need" for the roster. Did he abandon the BAP format this year or do you see this as a hybrid of both?

A common query. Need gets baked into the evaluation/ranking/board on some level. Gutey has admitted that. It's going to separate otherwise relatively equal players. Addressing a need with one pick doesn't mean it's taken care of, either, because you never know. We saw his penchant for doubling/tripling up on display.

Warren from Mount Holly, NC

So I guess there's numbers in safety?

Something like that.

Ross from Hudson, WI

If your spine is weak or out of alignment it affects your arms, your legs, your balance, your stride, your very stature. The Packers have invested in the spine of their defense with linebacker and safety reinforcements and restocking. Do you remember a draft where three safeties were taken along with two linebackers?

Can't say I do, but your analogy is like the baseball one about being strong up the middle – catcher, 2B, SS, CF. The new defensive scheme and play style Hafley is emphasizing factored heavily into those selections, too.

Jeff from Des Moines, IA

It makes sense BG was drafting with the defensive scheme change in mind, but do you also sense a bit of a shift toward more physical, aggressive prospects? It seems like the Packers brought in some "hair on fire" guys.

Matt LaFleur: "The physicality these guys showed on tape, their ability to run and hit, leaves us very optimistic." Jon-Eric Sullivan: "The thing that we liked about all of them is they have a very, very aggressive play style. They'll get off the spot and come get it. That's something that was attractive to us."

Michael from Baraboo, WI

Which draft pick do you feel will make the biggest impact this year?

Right now, my best guess is that's a coin flip between Edgerrin Cooper and Javon Bullard. Both are odds-on-favorites to be in the new-look defense's starting lineup Week 1.

Charlie from Morgan Hill, CA

This draft class looks like the expectation is three starters at key needs with the rest as depth and development. Is that a fair assessment?

If your third starter is Jordan Morgan, I could see that. But I also don't see Rasheed Walker or Sean Rhyan giving up their spots without a heck of a fight.

Brandon from Imperial, MO

Good morning, I know you are both slammed with questions and comments about all the picks, but my question is about the guys not picked. When will we start to hear about any undrafted players the Packers may have signed? Thanks for all your hard work this weekend!

We may have some news on that front later today. Stay tuned.

George from Edinburg, VA

Not a question, guys, but I just hope to point out how technically informative I found the interview with Jon-Eric Sullivan. He described in greater detail many of the fundamental movement skills and body features, as well as attitude, he looks for in selecting players.

Jon-Eric's press conference was my favorite of the entire weekend (no offense to anybody else), especially when he got into the attitude and mental make-up comments. I eagerly used them in my wrap-up piece to highlight that part of the process and analysis by the scouting staff.

Jim from St. Pete Beach, FL

Have prior Gutekunst drafts brought in such a high percentage of Senior Bowl participants?

I don't have any lists in front of me, but it seemed awfully high this year, making it another item I focused on in the wrap-up linked above.

Ben from Milwaukee, WI

How many of the draft picks were team captains at their college program? It seemed every ESPN highlight after the pick was announced the player had a C on their jersey. Locker room and quality character players seemed to be a factor.

I believe the number of college team captains was five. Gutekunst mentioned several times over the past week how strong consideration is given to putting the right kind of guys into a professional locker room looking to accomplish big things.

Judi from Racine, WI

Sam Seale. That is all!

One of my absolute, all-time favorite people I've gotten to know in my 18 seasons here. I loved this line from Jon-Eric about him: "He's not the loudest one, but when you ask him, if Sam says the kid can play, you better pay attention." Perfect.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Wondering: Does the Penix/Cousins situation in Atlanta, and the Vikes saying they won't rush McCarthy, reflect the wisdom of the Packers' development of Love behind Rodgers? So many kid QBs flame out when thrust into the fire too early, and I wonder if the copycat league isn't adopting – at least in part – the Packer model.

The Falcons certainly are. The Vikings can say they won't rush McCarthy all they want, but the QB in front of him is Sam Darnold with a 21-35 career record as a starter. Good luck quieting the howling wolves if Darnold isn't winning games.

David from Winona, MN

I will admit, I was a little miffed when Cooper DeJean and Kool-Aid McKinstry came off the board, especially since the Packers traded the pick used for McKinstry. In hindsight, we picked up players in the argument for best at their position at linebacker, safety, and running back. Not too shabby.

I said in Friday morning's column that night was this team's best opportunity to improve the roster. Having four Day 2 picks is a rarity, and I thought the Packers' draft haul Friday night was outstanding.

Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

The timing of the second-round trade, making the swap after DeJean was taken, makes me think the Packers were going to take DeJean until he was snagged just before they were to pick. Do you think that was probably the case?

Gutekunst was asked about this specifically and said no. He explained the trade had been worked out a few picks earlier, meaning it hinged on McKinstry being there for the Saints at 41, not the Packers losing out on DeJean.

Jake from Marina Del Rey, CA

The Packers selected a RB with pick 88!? Did a portal to another dimension just open?

Some form of this question was asked an innumerable amount. All I can say is the universe proved, once again, it contains no such thing as coincidence.

Richard from Caledonia, WI

One analyst suggested that the running back drafted by the Packers may be the best running back in the draft! Averaged 7 yards per carry? How do you now envision the Packers running back positions going into the new season minus Aaron Jones?

The size-speed combo with MarShawn Lloyd is really enticing. I could see him pushing Dillon for the No. 2 spot. Dillon's knowledge of the offense and abilities in pass protection and two-minute are solidly in his corner, but that competition could get interesting.

Dan from Calbayog City, Philippines

Were you surprised that a corner wasn't selected 'til round 7? Kalen King appears to be a project. That would indicate to me that they are confident that Eric Stokes is getting healthy and ready to return to form. Also, they still think highly of Carrington Valentine.

Those messages came through loud and clear from the podium Saturday night. Stokes is full-go, and nobody's looking at Valentine's seventh-round rookie play last year as some kind of fluke. They believe in what they have, and they appreciate a veteran like Ballentine for depth, too. That said, with a premium position, I'm sure they were looking at corners throughout the draft, but the right value opportunity just didn't present itself until King. A project? That young man is on a self-reclamation mission.

Damien from Perth, Australia

Kalen King as our last pick? Wowee, I saw some mocks with him going on Day 2. People are talking about his down, by his standards, 2023 season, but saw a lot of players came out of the woodwork to congratulate the pick. Seems he has support to bounce back, and I really think that Gutey and the team have a real bargain pick here.

Way-too-early mock drafts are way too early for a reason, but last year at this time, King was considered a first-round talent. I don't know his whole story, but I'm really intrigued by the next chapter.

Frogger from Marinette, WI

Looks like Gutey did well. I expected at least one edge guy with the injury to Kingsley Enagbare. Do you think the pack is thin on the edge? Do they expect Kenneth Odumegwu to provide some depth?

I thought they'd draft an edge rusher, too, but sometimes drafts don't fall quite right. Another piece of news we learned late Saturday night might've played into that, though. Apparently Enagbare hasn't had knee surgery and hopes to avoid it. The ACL was injured but not torn, according to LaFleur and Gutekunst. Fingers remain crossed he'll be back much sooner than originally feared.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

I'm a bit surprised the Packers didn't draft a defensive lineman. I know there's really no such thing, but would you consider that position group to be "set"?

I'd never say that, because there's still a lot to sort out with the scheme transition. But the Packers feel they have options and depth after drafting a pair of Day 3 D-linemen last year who show plenty of promise. As far as big guys go, offensive line was the focus after not drafting any last year and losing three veterans from the unit in March.

Joe from Lake Mills, WI

Year after year the rest of the NFC North gets better grades on the draft from all of the experts. How are we ever going to compete when the rest of the division is bringing home report cards loaded with A's and high B's and many of our selections barely earn a C+. It's enough to make a fan feel inadequate. But then I remember that the Packers have as many division titles since the turn of the century than all the rest of the division foes combined. I never did like report cards.

Immediate post-draft grades aren't worth the pixels with which they're, uh, printed (?).

Chuck from Waterloo, WI

So, with regard to this year's draft, what have we learned about Brian Gutekunst?

I learned not just how much the Packers like positional versatility in their draft picks, but how much they truly value it. It pushes players higher on their draft board, which in part explains why the Packers' board can look so different from the analysts' on TV. To a lesser extent, same with the leadership/captaincy factor. That's not just a fringe benefit, but a quality that gives players greater value in the Packers' evaluation process.

Craig from Laramie, WY

Draft picks (and free agency for that matter) are like getting a book on a player. You may have heard some stuff about the book but you don't really know until you read the book. That's what's in front of us. Color me intrigued.

They weren't drafted for what they've done. They were drafted for what they're projected to do.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Well, the picks are in and it looks like a successful draft! But, as a wise writer once said, we will know more once the pads go on. GPG!

Which is … (checks calendar) … still three months away. Let's all remember that.

Doug from Roberts, WI

With Xavier McKinney leading a group of ascending safeties, maybe we should call them X-men. They're going to be a marvel!

Please see yourself out.

Robert from Brookeville, MD

Seems like pundits giving draft grades is an exercise in circular reasoning. First the pundits create the expectations for where they see the players getting drafted, then they describe how teams did versus their expectations. Much hubris involved in that futile exercise. I'd love to see more grading of the prior drafts with actual data applied and could also see how the pundits grade out. Is that a job for II?

Sorry, not my problem to solve.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

The size of the crowds in Detroit must have had the GB contingent there to observe the draft gasping for air. The massive area needed, the size of the security force needed, the logistics for safe movement in and out and even adequate sanitation – where and how? Any ideas?

Also not my problem to solve, thankfully.

Randy from Oshkosh, WI

Any information on when tickets will be available for next year's draft? Different pricing structures for day and seat locations? Could season ticket holders get first opportunity?

Seats? Did you see any seats in that sea of humanity in Detroit?

John from Freesoil, MI

The 2024 draft in Detroit is over. Green Bay is on the clock!

Can't wait. Well, actually I can. You know what I mean.

Bill from Grandville, MI

Reading this column since flip and flop. The Packer website has the best coverage of the draft. No question just a big thanks.

Really appreciate that, and this is as good a time as any to remind everyone that while Wes and I get the bylines and appear in videos with Larry, the entire digital-video-social media team that works tirelessly for three days on our draft coverage encompasses at least 15 individuals who are excellent at what they do. It's as big a team effort as a gameday, if not bigger.

Terry from Green Bay, WI

OK Mike, you set yourself up so here it is. How many good football players are the Packers going to have to cut at the end of August?

Happy Monday.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox