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Inbox: It’s draft week, people!

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Nick from Portland, OR

I see a vast number of different players being selected by the Packers on all the different mock drafts. Safe to say no one really knows what we’re planning? And isn’t that precisely what the team wants right now?

Indubitably. And with that, it’s draft week, people!

Will from Madison, WI

Hey Insiders, I know the Prospect Primers are typically based on a fit for where the Packers are drafting, but I’m curious what’s the earliest and latest that a player who received a Prospect Primer went in the draft? Thanks for keeping us engaged in the long offseason.

We’ve had Primers before on players that went in the top 10, and on players the Packers have selected as late as the sixth round, including last year (St. Brown). With Green Bay having four picks in the top 75 and six picks in the first four rounds this year, we generally focused on players in the top 125 of most rankings, but you still never know.

David from Cable, WI

By the way what is up with the Raiders sending their scouts home? Now THAT is paranoia!

Sounds to me like a lot of them are expecting to be replaced with a new GM coming on board in January, and to get a jump on looking for a new job, they started calling around, which gets the decision-makers worried about whom they’re talking to and what they’re saying. It’s a difficult spot for all involved.

Duane from Oak Creek, WI

Do you think they will ever hold the NFL Draft in Green Bay?

I hope so, but we have to be patient.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares some of his favorite images of the 2018 season.

James from Chicago, IL

The Jets will spend their entire 2019 season in the Eastern time zone. Now that is the scheduling gods smiling on you.

As someone who needs a couple of days to recover from long flights home in the middle of the night, I was thrilled to see that none of the Packers’ night road games in 2019 is too far away. Chicago, Kansas City and Minnesota will be much easier to handle than the New England and Seattle trips from a year ago.

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

Bringing Drew Lock in for a visit may be no more than a brilliant smoke screen. Several QB-needy teams pick right after 12 and may feel the need to move up if they believe Gutey would draft Lock there. In turn, one more blue-chip option slides to 12.

Another viable theory many readers have put forth. The future prep insight discussed late last week carries more weight with me, but maybe there’s a little 1.5 birds with one stone going on, too.

Jason from Baraboo, WI

Is it reasonable to say that some of the notorious draft busts were not necessarily the fault of the player, but by poor coaching or scheme match? Could some of the Tim Couchs or Akili Smiths of the past have been world-beaters in the hands of another franchise?

Not likely. Couch and Smith got shots with other teams and still failed. Almost any high draft pick does unless his struggles are health-related. I always believe if you’re good enough to make it, you’ll make it.

Cory from Omaha, NE

Gentlemen, here's just another reason to avoid hot takes from many sports media; according to ESPN's predicted win-loss results for 2019, the combined win-loss record for the league is 288-224. The combined win-loss record for the league should be 256-256. Of course, I had to click on the story to get that information, giving ESPN the revenue to make more NFL win-loss predictions in the future...I've made a huge mistake.

That’s really funny, though in its defense, the parent website was taking the individual record predictions from the various beat writers, which were made independently without regard to anyone else’s predictions nor the requirement for the math to work. What it does show, though, is that many of their writers believe the teams they cover are going to be better than they actually will be. As someone who takes a share of grief for being a team website writer, that’s rich.

Doug from Spearfish, SD

Obviously everyone plays eight home and eight road games and I would think that the league sets up the schedule without trying to benefit or harm any particular teams, but this year makes me wonder. The Patriots get three of their last four at home? The Vikings get three of their last four at home and all three are division games, plus their road games against Chicago and Green Bay are in September instead of in late November or December when they might have to play in the elements? Come on.

It’s not whom you play it’s when you play ’em, right? Anything can look favorable or unfavorable now. When the time comes the key factor will be each team’s injury report. That’s the “when” that matters most.

Matthias from Hartford, WI

I don't see the Packers overdrafting a skill position in the first round. If you could pick between a tackle, perhaps Andre Dillard, and a defensive lineman, perhaps Quinnen Williams or the guy from Houston, and a linebacker perhaps in mold of White, Bush or Cashman, where do you see the largest need on the Packers?

If the Packers sit tight at 12, I expect them to have their pick of really good prospects in the defensive front seven or on the offensive line, and I suspect they’ll draw from that well. Who specifically they’ll like best at that spot I don’t know. That will open the doors to other positions at 30, 44 and 75, but I think they’ll hit the front seven or O-line at least once more by the end of Friday night.

Jason from Sioux Center, IA

To follow up the question on draft busts, there always are those who have some success based on pure talent but eventually hit a point where their lack of hard work keeps them from moving on. Do you think that could be a reason some players fail in the NFL? Basically, at what point do you think it’s impossible to get by on talent alone?

Once opposing coaches and players have enough film on you to reveal your weaknesses. Every player has them. If you don’t work on them and hone your craft, you’ve hit your ceiling.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

When other teams call inquiring about the Packers trading up or down, who handles answering the calls?

There are specific scouts or members of the personnel department assigned to those phones, and they work them all weekend. It’s a thankless job. They field or propose countless trade possibilities that never come to fruition, but they’re keeping the GM informed of all his options at all times.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

I've read there are four teams without a first-round pick. Of the teams like the Packers who have more than one, does it look like the first-round talent depth available may dictate the possibility of someone making a heck of a deal for one of their first-rounders?

Teams short on picks are less likely to trade up, in my opinion, because it’ll make them even shorter on picks. They’re more likely to trade down, giving teams like the Packers with an abundance of picks an opportunity to move up if a targeted player is available at good value.

Al from New Franken, WI

I expect to see many articles this week about a prospect falling or rising on teams’ draft boards. Realistically, how much movement is going on at this stage?

Not much. It’s just a matter of when someone in the media finds out about it.

Ryan from Algoma, WI

Good morning II, I know there has been a lot of talk about which safety position (FS or SS) Amos will play. Do you think those positions are interchangeable in our D and what safety prospects do think might pair well to add from this year’s draft?

The positions are interchangeable for the most part, but if a pair of safeties develops a comfort level in a certain alignment, a defensive coordinator is going to play them where they fit best. I’ve been intrigued by Thornhill from Virginia, on whom we did a Primer, and getting him at 44 would be ideal. But the Packers might have to decide on him at 30 if they really want him.

Kory from Minneapolis, MN

How many teams do you think have a "no matter what" guy? Or is the draft too variable for that?

Outside of the top 3-4 picks, every team will have top-rated players they don’t expect to be available when they’re on the clock. If one of them surprisingly is available, he becomes a natural “no matter what” guy.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Excluding QB, I hear that a player's third contract is tricky to negotiate. Is it because when a player goes from a rookie contract to their second, it grows exponentially, so they expect the same trend while a team expects players to start declining around that time, so they'd actually rather pay them less than the second term? Is this a fair assessment, or am I going to get tagged out for being so far off-base?

You’re not way off-base. On a third contract, players don’t necessarily expect the same jump in pay they got in their second. It’s more about the proverbial (age) wall and when a team believes the player is going to hit it. Figuring out the right investment of guaranteed money when the wall is looming is the tricky part, because while a team wants to be cautious, the player is looking to cash in for the last time and get all he can.

Steve from Phoenix, AZ

The comment about Kumerow's laudable attitude in the face of roster competition got me thinking. It seems to me that the coaching turnover will to some extent mitigate the "advantage" that some players have in having worked within the system before, as the system may look very different. It may not be tabula rasa but it should make for some tremendous opportunities for newcomers and therefore even more spirited competition.

True enough, but if too much Latin starts sneaking into the Inbox, it’s going to slow me down.

Mike from West Bend, WI

What an exciting week is coming up. Do teams have to wait till they’re on the clock before they can contact other teams about trades?

Not at all. They’re gauging potential trade interest all the time. But unless it’s for one of the top 2-3 picks in the draft, the trades don’t happen until a team is on the clock because it wants to see what the board looks like in the moment first.

Beto from Gills Rock, WI

Great schedule for the Pack this year. However, if they expect to be playing in January, they'd better stop Matthew Stafford from playing Lambeau like it's his own backyard!

The Packers have been swept by the Lions in back-to-back years for the first time since 1982-83. Green Bay hasn’t lost five straight to Detroit since before Lombardi. That’s not the first bit of history the new head coach wants to make.

Dale from Crook, CO

“He's still one of the most athletic players at his position, takes incredible care of his body and has a competitive edge few in this sport have ever possessed.” I think the latter part of your statement is the KEY to what separates booms from busts in the draft. I used to coach high school soccer, and the guys who made it to the next level weren’t always the best athletes or players: they had the drive, the attitude, and the discipline to make it. How do the scouts and BG evaluate those?

They talk to not only the player, but also anyone they can find who’s known the player and can speak to those innate qualities. The best scouts have the best sources and the best BS detectors.

Brandon from Baldwin, WI

I think the league should consider using defunct teams’ uniforms for throwbacks. For instance, the Packers could wear the Milwaukee Badgers. The Vikings could wear the old Minneapolis Marines or the Red Jackets. There are all kinds of teams all across the country that never made it but wouldn't it be cool to see and a way to celebrate 100 years? You know that whole "the ones who came before us" schtick. Come on, wouldn't you want to see the Jets dress as the Newark Tornadoes?

Is today’s column done yet?

Paul from West Allis, WI

I know we're still a long way away from the beginning of the season, but the mention of a favorable schedule and the path to a Super Bowl got me thinking. What besides team health, draft, and second-year jump would help the Pack throughout this season?

Scoring more points. Allowing fewer points. Sorry, tough morning.

Shane from York, NE

I gave up news and sports for Lent, so I've been without II since March 6. What did I miss?

I can’t help you. Happy Monday.

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