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Inbox: It all depends on how the board falls tonight

The trades that led to the Packers selecting Jaire Alexander set the tone for the Gutekunst era

Detroit, MI
Detroit, MI

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Zero more sleeps until the draft!

The ship is in port. Ready or not, the 2024 NFL Draft is here (the Packers are ready).

Kurt from Sartell, MN

Since I read this column, and other NFL draft sites, there's a new word in my vocabulary – subterfuge, and I'm now working on how to pronounce it. Also, I'm using it in a sentence at least once a day. My wife just told me to "please stop," but what does she know?

The word has been tossed around for years. Two months ago, I even used "Welcome to subterfuge season" in an Insider Inbox. Maybe I should've made it the headline to make it more memorable.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Last week I asked Wes which "top 15" prospect he would like to see fall to 25 (assuming GB doesn't trade up or back). He asked me to re-ask the question this week. Maybe I can get perspectives from both captains of the Spoff and Wes Show in the last couple II before the draft? Thanks! I appreciate you guys!

I don't like speaking for Spoff but I'm 99.8% sure his answer to this would be Quinyon Mitchell. Personally, I don't have a Ryan Shazier/Brandon Aiyuk-type with whom I'm obsessed this year, which allows me to prognosticate with a clearer mind. Maybe Cooper DeJean is there at No. 25. Maybe DeJean isn't, but Amarius Mims feels like the pick to me. Green Bay needs offensive linemen but not necessarily someone who will be asked to step in the first day of training camp and be "the man." Mims is an elite developmental prospect with a ceiling as high as any O-lineman in the draft. I'd use that to my advantage and take the 6-foot-8, 340-pound tackle.

Jeff from Parkville, MO

As a former Hawkeye, may I suggest for the first round "Cooper DeJean. No matter what." Actually, I would be good with Gutey selecting CB, S, OT, Edge, or maybe LB. Anything other than P, K, QB, and probably WR. Does that sound about right?

Oh, I've seen the DeJean memes. There are plenty of Packers fans already writing Post-it notes. Green Bay has 11 picks and I have just four requests – cornerback, safety, tackle, and linebacker. The rest to me is a pick 'em, even doubling up at the forementioned spots.

Craig from Cross Plains, WI

It`s a COOPER draft...Cooper DeJean in the first, Edgerrin Cooper in the second and Cooper Beebe in the third. Three multi-year starters and just think of the jersey sales. I have already seen myself OUT!

Listen, I have no problem with that scenario whatsoever. DeJean is going to be fun to track whether he ends up in Green Bay or not. Edgerrin Cooper is one of my favorite players in this year's draft. I just have no idea when he's gonna come off the board. Also, Cooper Beebe is a Packers offensive lineman if I've ever seen one.

Ummy from Two Rivers, WI

So ya say that Gutey is talking about Cooper DeJean so much that it makes you believe they're not interested in taking him. Is II partaking in draft subterfuge? I guess all's fair in love, war, and drafts, huh.

Subterfuge covered in subterfuge cloaked as subterfuge. Are we sure Mike's name is even Spoff?

Kevin from Bettendorf, IA

It's my mindset as I prepare to watch the draft, to wait until Day 2 is done and see a more complete picture of Gutekunst's plan for improving the Packers this season. Obviously the first-round pick is important. But this year especially, our second- and third-round picks are almost equally significant.

Short of trading back, the Packers will have lingering questions on Day 2 regardless of the player they take tonight. As I was quoted saying on "Unscripted" Tuesday, I feel like the Packers could find a plug-and-start safety on Day 2, but it all depends on how the board falls tonight.

Mark from Westminster, CO

The Packers are on track for their third straight long-term franchise QB. I'm sure luck and skill are both components regarding this feat. Nevertheless, the secret sauce in my opinion is the front office's ability to consistently build an offensive line around its chosen QB in order to protect their investment. Without a great offensive line, even the best QBs would become banged up or injured leading to a shortened career. Selecting an OL in the draft isn't glamorous but it's necessary.

Before answering, I want touch on the idea of "luck" as it pertains to identifying a franchise QB. Someone made a similar remark to me on social media Tuesday and it set me off (I'm not saying you set me off). But they called Ron Wolf finding Brett Favre and Ted Thompson drafting Aaron Rodgers as "luck." I refuse to categorize such a move as simply chance – not when you're putting your career on the line. Is it a calculated risk? Maybe, it's not a thoughtless gamble. It's not like rivering Stadler in a poker game at Darryl's house on a random Saturday night. But yes, offensive lines are an important part of the equation. You need horses to carry the wagon.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Happy Draft Day, Wes! After watching "Unscripted" and the conversation on Mims I wonder if there are certain characteristics in prospects that coaches feel are too hard to correct based on the coaches' lengthy experience with other linemen? This being the case despite said lineman being a great prospect in every other way.

That's why teams set their own draft boards. Certain prospects, for one reason or another, won't fit a team's blueprint. Now, I wouldn't loop Mims in that conversation. The only real knock on him is experience. Mims' all-around tools are intriguing, especially given Green Bay's track record for developing O-linemen.

Douglas from Parker, CO

Thanks to several teams' desperate need for a QB, I feel like our first-round selection is actually a late teen choice this year. For the first time in a long time, I feel like GB not only has capital but that we are actually driving the car. We are in a spot where we don't need to reach to fill any position. That being said, looking at the total draft pool, what position do you think is weakest this year (depth-wise) that we should keep an eye on?

I don't know if there was a method to Brian Gutekunst's free-agent madness, but it is interesting the Packers' two big-name signings (running back Josh Jacobs and safety Xavier McKinney) came at what I consider two of the weaker positions in this year's draft. Off-ball linebacker is tricky, too. It feels like Cooper, Payton Wilson, Junior Colson and then everybody else.

Larry from Chubbuck, ID

I hope everyone is excited for draft weekend. We all appreciate the coverage you provide. Is it possible to go back and read all the Prospect Primer articles? I think many would enjoy doing that while watching the draft. Also, not sure which of you mentioned this, but I tried adding macaroni to my chili. It is fantastic.

Here you go! We'll also pull any videos into our draft bulletin stories should the Packers select any players who were profiled.

Pete from Fort Wayne, IN

There is no room for 11 picks much less 13-14 picks on a good team's roster. Shouldn't the better teams trade and move up, and the poorer teams trade and move down and get more picks?

They cut the roster in September, Pete. Not April. A GM's job is to build the best team possible. That means getting the most value out of your draft picks regardless of whether that means trading or picking, drafting 11 players or 18.

Tyler from Mobile, AL

Are you guys glued to your seat starting with Pick 1, or do you all wander around a bit to pass some time? If BG were to trade up 10-15 spots, are you all of a sudden in scramble mode or have you all run your own mock scenarios and have a portion of material on standby for any possible outcome?

I'll probably be in catering. For all the pre-draft pomp and circumstance, Day 1 is the most boring for writers – especially when your team is picking at the end of the round.


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Scott from Sussex, WI

There are 17 receivers with contracts $20 million or more APY, and only a dozen in the $10-$20 million range. No other position is so top heavy. From a team-building perspective, does the NFL treat elite WR1 like a different position than dime-a-dozen WR? And is such a position considered a premier position, given the number of huge contracts given to them?

A rising contract lifts all paychecks. I had to laugh a little that on the same day Cincinnati picked up the fifth-year option on Ja'Marr Chase (fifth overall, 2021) the Detroit Lions backed the Brink's truck up for Amon-Ra St. Brown, selected 107 picks later that same year. But I don't think what you outline is specific only to receivers. Detroit also paid Penei Sewell on Wednesday, furthering the discrepancy between the dozen tackles commanding $20 million-plus per season and those in the $10-million range. At the end of the day, the elite get paid. That's just the way it's been since 1993.

Scott from Green Bay, WI

OK, there's no such thing as a sure thing. But which Packers' first-rounders in recent years felt to you like sure things when drafted?

I don't know if this qualifies as "recent" anymore, but Bryan Bulaga felt like the surest first-round pick Green Bay has selected in all the drafts I've covered. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would probably be a close second.

William from Dallas, TX

Big THANK YOU for all the incredible work leading up to this draft, MS and WH! What time will Roger Goodell announce the GB pick? While prognosticating, who will it be? I'm predicting a big, fast, smart dude from a Power 5 school. GPG!

My guess is around 9:30 p.m. CT, if the Packers stick and pick.

Roger from McGrath, AK

Is there an avenue for Red Batty to be inducted into the Packers HOF? Who wouldn't want his jersey?

If there isn't, I'll help lay the concrete. People like Red Batty are the reason teams have halls of fame in the first place.

Matt from Madison, WI

While I understand why, I always find it amusing when a team trades up one spot. Do you have any favorite quirks of the draft?

It's not so much a "quirk," but I love the yearly narrative built around a certain guy "falling" during Day 1 of the draft.

Jeff from Littlefork, MN

In response to Gary from Sheboygan, Spoff noted only 13 players opted to attend the draft in Detroit this year. Surely the league won't need to lure draftees to next year's draft. I hear it is a much more desirable locale! (Good luck tonight; in Gute we Trust!)

To each their own. Honestly, I'd probably be on a boat fishing like Joe Thomas. Walking across the draft stage is the game's ultimate honor, but every camera lens is also turned in your direction. Still, next year's draft in Green Bay will be special for any player who attends. Knowing the fine people of Green Bay like I do, I promise draft picks will be treated like football royalty.

Tyler from Cross Plains, WI

Hey guys, just watched a video of Arizona's draft room last year trading back, and wow, what a team effort! Multiple guys on the phones with clubs to potentially trade with, another guy on the whiteboard writing down the proposed team and picks involved in the trade, and the GM making the final calls and finalizing trades. Amazing how fast all that happens, not much time to hem and haw about, need to be decisive and confident with the decisions! Would love to get a similar look at BG in GB!

It's a really cool video and shows exactly what it's like to "be in the arena" on draft night. There's no video of it, but I'm still fascinated by how Gutekunst traded back from No. 14 in 2018 only to move back up to No. 18 while pocketing a first-round pick for the following year. The trades that led to the Packers selecting Jaire Alexander set the tone for the Gutekunst era.

Lee from Sullivan, IN

With so much secrecy around draft boards, is the room it's in (assuming it's a physical thing) highly secure? Is it a room off the GM's office? Keypad, retina scanner, laser fingerprint scanner? Armed guard? Offensive line in front of the door?

Wouldn't know. I've never had the guts to walk over and grab the doorhandle.

Mark from Plano, TX

Hello Spoff/Hod and fellow readers. In Mike's reply to Sean from Palatine, IL, about best QB in Chargers history, I agree Dan Fouts is No. 1. I also believe he is a very good announcer.

The waterboy just needed some water.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

I would posit even if you are trying to find difference-makers, so is someone else.

Every front office is searching for NFL gold, only the maps are different.

Nikhil from Highland Park, IL

As he got older, Tramon Williams took exceptional care of himself so he could keep up in a young man's game. Wes, what does an "aging scribe" like Mike need to do that a young scribe like you might take for granted throughout the season? Spoff, would be great to hear your POV on this, too!

A wise man once said, "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone." Reading the work of others is like cardio for a writer.

Marty from Plymouth, WI

Finally, tonight (Thursday) all the pre-draft baloney ends. Then of course we will hear how everyone in the first two rounds is a can't-miss pro. The NFL sure knows the marketing game extremely well. I wish the two of you well in deciphering everything. The II will be fun to read for days (like it is every day)!

The pre-draft hype is what makes this sport so much fun to cover. It is a spectacle in and of itself. Other professional sports try but nothing compares to the NFL.

Bob from Green Bay, WI

For me, the draft signals the start of a new season. Let's get after it!

Let's. Tonight marks NFL Draft No. 15 for this guy. Time flies when you're stressed out and irritable. Stay locked into over the next three days for all your Packers stories, videos, and updates.

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