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Inbox: It’s impossible to predict everything, but you can prepare for it all

GM Brian Gutekunst
GM Brian Gutekunst

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Sorry you had a rough Monday, Spoff, but Caesar non supra grammaticos. What do your draft day schedules look like?

This will be NFL Draft No. 10 for me. I’m going to wake up, pat my son on the head, drive into the office, get a quick run in, eventually do our pre-draft Periscope/Facebook Live, grab some coffee and then get to work. There are picks to be made. Good morning!

Nathan from Maplewood, MN

Hello, sorry another draft question. Wouldn't it be better to take two players at 12 and 30 rather than trading up to only get one player? I would rather take my chances on two great guys in the top 30 than one player.

That’s the chicken-and-egg question NFL GMs have been asking themselves for the past 83 years. Ron Wolf’s school of scouting favors getting more swings at the plate over going all-in on one player. Over the years, I think that ideology has been proven correct for the most part.

Bruce from Bloomington, IL

Yesterday, you responded, “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..." I say, trade down a spot or two for a team desperate to snag "that one guy" that they think has value that exceeds cost. Think of how the Bears got played to move up one spot. I anticipate we trade down two or three then proclaim "we still got the guy we wanted all along" and an extra pick.

Possibly, but it all depends on how the board falls. You can run a million draft simulations, but the butterfly effect of those first 11 selections can alter the landscape of an entire draft. As Brian Gutekunst said Monday, last year’s trade with New Orleans was in the works for a week, while the Seattle one came together in mere minutes. It’s impossible to predict everything, but you can prepare for it all.

Joe from Dundee, IL

Wes, may I submit "subterfuge" as the best word interjected into Gutey’s press conference? As much as I appreciated TT's dry humor when avoiding giving away info, Gutey did a great job of honest answers without giving away strategy. Loved his honesty about how the trade back up from 27 to 18 worked last year.

Gutekunst did a terrific job of walking reporters through draft-day trades – from everything that went into the trade with New Orleans to working the quick deal with Seattle.

Tom from Fond du Lac, WI

I'd like to see GB go TE/TE in the first round. Taking Hockenson at No. 12 and Fant at 30. Together with Tonyan, we should not need a TE until 2035. Your thoughts.

Take a cold shower.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

Who is the best fit for the Packers if Rashan Gary, Ed Oliver, Devin White, or Montez Sweat are available at 12? I love what all these guys bring, but say pairing a White with a Martinez would be amazing. I also wouldn't mind seeing a Gary or an Oliver in case Mike Daniels is not around next year when his contract is up. White is who I would favor since the Packers addressed a few pass rush needs already with the addition of the Smiths.

Sweat will be the most intriguing prospect to track Thursday night after the reports that have surfaced about his medicals. Every player is different. Sometimes there’s a legit cause for concern, but often it’s just a blip on the radar of an NFL career. I really like Devin White, though I can’t see him being on the board at 12. There’s a better chance at a good offensive or defensive line prospect being available.

Chris from St. Cloud, MN

The Packers should be in the market for an upgrade at backup QB. If there is a QB in this draft that they think is an upgrade, but not a surefire NFL starting-caliber QB, how early should they draft that player? Do you have to use 30 or 44 to get that player because QB values are going to be inflated?

The Packers finished last season without their top three defensive linemen, top pass rusher, two cornerbacks, two safeties, slot receiver and had a tight end playing with a broken hand, but please keep telling me how the Packers need to take a backup quarterback in the first three rounds.

Thomas from Evansville, IN

So I've heard a lot of noise about the Packers drafting a QB. What do you think? Should we go after Drew Lock or Daniel Jones in the draft?

It’s “subterfuge” until the Packers turn a draft card in with a quarterback on it. That’s how I’m looking at it from this point forward.

Carroll from Madison, WI

Lots of speed and moxie in the group of top safety prospects. Any chance BG uses two picks there to double the odds of finding someone to pair with Amos?

It’s not as ridiculous as it would have been 20 years ago. Teams aren’t just using two Cover-2 safeties anymore. Now, they’re being used as hybrid linebackers and slot cornerbacks. Plus, they’re often good fits on special teams.

Scott from Woodland Hills, CA

Quick question about Cole Madison. Great to see him back. Do the Packers have him under contract for three more years or four since he opted to sit out last season? Is there some sort of NFL waiver to grant the full contract length to teams where players opt to do this? Thanks.

I consulted the NFLPA site Monday and confirmed his contract tolled. Madison remains under the Packers’ control for four more seasons, like any other incoming rookie in this year’s draft class.

Scott from Palos Park, IL

I have now seen more than one mock draft that lists DL as Green Bay’s most pressing need. Big guys are always good but have I missed something about the D-line’s deficiencies? Mock? More like mockery.

It’s not a knock on the Packers’ defensive line. I think it speaks more to the depth in the draft. Defensive line isn’t like cornerback, safety or inside linebacker, where the very best play every down. You need a rotation. Green Bay has drafted at least one defensive lineman in each of the last 22 drafts.

Jake from Athens, GA

When pick 12 comes up and Gute is figuring out what he wants to do, will he try to project what the board will look like at 30 and factor that into his decision? Like if he thinks a top-tier DL will still be available at 30, is he more likely to draft OL at 12, or is pick 12 so important that it’s more of a bird-in-the-hand kind of situation?

I asked Gutekunst a version of this question on Monday. His reply was nothing really changes when you’re picking twice in the first round as opposed to one selection. If a guy is good enough to be picked 12th and helps improve the team, then the Packers are going to take that player.

Matt from Wauconda, IL

My prediction for the Packers’ draft: Two first-round picks that play for the Pack for 10-plus years at a Hall of Fame level. Too much to hope for?

Hope? No. Expect? Yes. How about a Pro Bowl or two first?

Pedro from Porto Alegre, Brazil

When was the last time the Packers had the No. 1 pick in the draft?

1959. The Packers took a quarterback named Randy Duncan, out of Iowa. He never played a down for them. Instead, Duncan went to the CFL and played two years for the B.C. Lions before washing out. He passed away in 2016.

Dan from Toledo, OH

Back to the QB discussion, Brian Gutekunst knows at some point he will have to take a QB. If he spends four drafts not calling in top QB prospects and one draft calling in top QB prospects, in which draft do you think he will be taking a top QB prospect? The ultimate smokescreen is building a smokescreen years in advance.

Say what you want about Ted Thompson’s approach to the draft, but he hit it on the head in keeping everybody guessing. The less teams know, the better it is for your team on draft night. Otherwise, there’s no way the Packers ever land Clay Matthews back in 2009.

David from Coeur d Alene, ID

I had read somewhere that TT tended to rank his prospects in blocks of equal value rather than individually, sort of like a series of drawers ranked from top to bottom. When his turn was up, he went to the highest drawer with any names remaining and, since all names in that drawer were considered of equal value, he could sort through and pick the one of greatest need. Therefore, claiming to be drafting BAP, but in reality, drafting for need. Think there’s any truth to this line of reasoning?

I don’t know if that was exactly the approach Thompson took, but he was pretty open about how need could be the tiebreaker when assessing value to players. At the end of the day, however, the objective was to take the best player for the best value at the best time. He wasn’t about to reach for a player simply out of positional need.

Joe from Green Bay, WI

I was hoping to see a Prospect Primer on local talent Max Scharping.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

Regarding the timing of calculating potential compensatory picks, is there a calendar year-end date that determines which year is affected by a particular free-agent transaction? So do the four free-agent acquisitions by the Packers and the loss of Cobb, Matthews, Ryan, etc., affect different years or are they all in the same year for these purposes?

May 7 is the day NFL teams relinquish their rights to any unsigned unrestricted free agents so long as they don’t offer a tender to retain them (New England went that route with LeGarrette Blount a few years ago). After that day, unrestricted free agents can sign elsewhere without it counting towards the compensatory equation.

Tom from Douglassville, PA

When are the draft picks allowed to report to Green Bay? Are they allowed to come in early and start going over the playbook and working out, or do they have to wait for training camp to begin?

They’re a part of the team as soon as the Packers draft them. Assuming the rookie orientation camp is next weekend, most will report to Green Bay on Thursday. The following week, they get worked in with the rest of the veterans.

Chris from Philadelphia, PA

If Josh Allen is still on the board this Thursday, how likely do you think it is the Bills trade up two spots and grab him?

Just think of all the reversible jersey possibilities.

Tyler from Kaukauna, WI

Who would be the biggest surprise to drop to us at No. 12?

Quinnen Williams.

Dan from Allen, TX

"Northwestern products." I see Wes is in on it now. I'm putting the over/under on "Northwestern product(s)" in the Inbox at 20 for the rest of the year. Shameless promotion of Nerdwestern. That said, you have to love what Pat Fitzgerald has put together there.

Northwestern product. Northwestern product. Northwestern product. Northwestern product. Northwestern product. Danny Vitale. Danny Vitale. Danny Vitale. Danny Vitale. Danny Vitale. Superback. Superback. Superback. Superback. Superback.

Craig from Temperance, MI

I watched the Tony Mandarich story yesterday. I know it didn’t turn out like it should, but it sounds like he’s doing well these days. It’s good to see he sobered up and has stayed that way. There’s more to life than football and now he values life more than ever, it appears.

I haven’t had a chance to watch the “30 for 30” yet. I’ll share my thoughts after I get a chance to in the next week or so.

Bryan from Jupiter, FL

When you receive multiple submissions asking relatively the same question, how do you all decide whose to post? BAP or need? The person who has more potential or who's more athletic? Well-known or unsung hero? Does Wes's strategy differ from Spoff’s?

First come, first served…unless someone else asks it better.

Marty from Rexford, MT

Since Gutekunst's draft board is dependent on the accuracy of the scouting reports, it seems good scouts would be treasured more than gold doubloons from sunken Spanish galleons. Are good scouts treasured more than gold doubloons from sunken Spanish galleons?

Yes?

Mike from Superior, WI

Have you taken a good look over your shoulder lately? His name is John Kuhn! Could be your replacement. His great football sense, knowledge and non-foolish attitude about football is going to push you out the door! Let’s stick to football and leave the foolish remarks and childlike comments at home with your wife and baby! It’s getting old! Grow up!

As the great Chael Sonnen once told Michael Landsberg, “You might want to take the bass out of your tone. I’m not sure you know who you’re talking to here.” But because I’m a good guy, I took your advice and snuck a quick – but good – look over my shoulder. It’s a wall. Enjoy Inbox oblivion.

Derek from Maple Grove, MN

I'm not sure how to follow that up. That's a lot of pressure. While I try to figure that out, where does the line for the free steaks start?

There’s a line forming, as we speak, outside the Associated Bank gate. You’ll see a guy in a yellow poncho. His name is Hank. He’ll take you to the steak Lair. That’s where you go. You got 10 minutes to get there or we take your steak! Hopefully, someone out there gets this.

Ryan from Plymouth, MN

Speaking of uniforms, what is your opinion of the Jets’ new getups?

I wasn’t a huge fan. While I like the black alternate uniform, I’m going to miss the white-and-green helmets. I thought that was a sharp look.

Nathan from Denver, CO

Wes has a real death grip on that microphone.

You would too if they were always trying to take it away from you.

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