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Inbox: It's one more guy who can play in any situation

Allen Lazard has every leadership quality you could want

Packers DL Jarran Reed

Margeaux from Tallahassee , FL

OK, Monday I thought we had Mike and we had Wes. Now it's Saturday, is that you, Wes?

It is me. I am steering this Inbox ship while also flying down to Palm Beach this morning. Quite the hidden talent, right? In the days ahead, we'll have stories, videos and reactions from Matt LaFleur, Brian Gutekunst and Mark Murphy on the Packers' offseason to date. Let's take a few questions before the beverage cart comes down the aisle.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, the clickbait collectors are saying receivers don't want to play with Aaron Rodgers. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are I've grown tired and weary of living in a world where everyone insists on speaking for everyone else.

Levi from St. Paul, MN

Before Davante Adams was traded, I sent in a comment that if DA doesn't want to play for GB, then trade him and use cap space to get depth or starters for O and D linemen. I'm very happy with the way BG has used that money (Rasul Douglas) and recent D-line signing. Like Vic used to say get the big guys when you can. Now the Packers can load up on offense in the draft and possibly use one of the high picks on a WR. I really think that BG is an outstanding GM and will reload this team with talent. Go Packers.

That you did, Levi. I honestly didn't see a scenario unfolding where Davante Adams wasn't in a Packers uniform next season. But football is a business, and the more you take the emotion out of it, the more you realize this trade benefited both the Packers and Raiders. The Jarran Reed signing made a lot of sense given Joe Barry's proclivity for using three-DL packages. Reed is both experienced and durable. He's also versatile enough to play the run or pass. It's one more guy who can play in any situation.

Don from Cedar Rapids, IA

Davante Adams was usually the first "go-to" receiver for Rodgers and was often open for an early throw. Now, Rodgers may have to scan the field, go through more progressions, hold the ball longer and get chased or sacked more often. Do you think this will become an issue?

Adams wasn't the first "go-to" receiver because Rodgers was locked onto him. Adams was the "go-to" receiver because he was schematically the first/hot read. Believe or not, a five-time Pro Bowl receiver tends to win his route and get the football. Without Adams, the offense will change, and Rodgers will change with it.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Since Tae was the leader in the receiver room, who do you see taking over that role? Is he even on the roster at this time? Lots of changes coming in that room!

Even if the Packers sign a veteran, I think that role falls on Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard. Cobb has worn that hat quite a bit during his career and Lazard has every leadership quality you could want.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

There's so much talk of Amari Rodgers making a Year 2 leap, the Packers being interested in veteran receivers, and of course, the draft. In all of that, I think a lot of people are forgetting about Allen Lazard. He's shown up in a few big moments and clearly has the trust of Aaron Rodgers. I'm not expecting him to be Adams, but I don't think we've seen his best football yet.

As the Packers prepare for this era without Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Lazard stands to play a critical role for Aaron Rodgers and this offense. Lazard not only has Rodgers' trust but he's also entering the prime of his career. Matt LaFleur's offense is also tailored perfectly to Lazard's strengths. I'm expecting big things from No. 13 in 2022.

Ned from Laguna Woods, CA

Does anyone have any knowledge of when, or whether, AR knew of Adams' desire to move on to LV? If, as a close friend, he knew and still wanted to return to GB, will he likely have any input into the receiver choices?

I appreciate everyone wants this question answered, but this isn't US Weekly. Rodgers undoubtedly will be asked this the next time he addresses the media. It's his question to answer. Nobody else's. I am confident Rodgers knew what was happening, though. The Packers wouldn't have made a move of that magnitude without looping in the MVP.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Good morning. In this age of unrealistic contracts, can the 'star' receiver on a mediocre team who has 70 catches for 800 yards and nine TDs in the final year of his contract expect or receive an Adams contract?

It's a little more complicated than that. You have to account for the age of the receiver and where the player is coming from. But yes, if you're referring to Christian Kirk, I think every NFL receiver and their agents are paying attention.

Joe from Wausau, WI

In four drafts, Gute has made two fourth-round picks, and by my count, traded away six to move up in the draft. Do you think this is a drafting philosophy that will continue, or might the depth of this draft cause him to want to hang on to those picks? Ted Thompson, by contrast, made great use of fourth-round picks, especially on the offensive line.

That's the price of moving up. Gutekunst also has been more active in free agency, which has resulted in Green Bay receiving fewer comp picks in recent years. One other thing you must consider, too, is teams can now trade comp picks. For all but one year of Thompson's tenure as GM, NFL clubs were locked into those compensatory spots. With those extra selections, the Packers drafted Josh Sitton, Mike Daniels, Dean Lowry and many other pillars.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

If the draft is deep in a position at which GB has a need, would it make them more likely to select that position in the first round, where a guy would have otherwise gone several spots higher in a normal year? Or in later rounds where next tier players will be still available for cheap? Or is the answer still "where need meets value?"

It's never wise to reach for a player in the first two rounds, but I can't stress than enough this year. After so many college players returned last year due to COVID, many draftniks estimate this could be the deepest second round in years. So, if the board holds up and the Packers have several players with the same grade, I'd just move back.

Karen from Kaukauna, WI

Now that MVS is gone, are there any other Packer FAs left who haven't signed yet? Do you remember any other year when the Pack lost so many; and have any one area of the team so decimated all at once?

Our free-agency rundown has you covered!

Mike from New Orleans, LA

I've been seeing questions about "drafting for special teams" and am a little confused. Are there specific categories or stats that a special-teamer needs which isn't useful for other positions or is it more that special teams players need a more limited skillset and therefore candidates who may never see the field as a starter can still be effective?

I think it's more positional than skill set. Inside linebackers, defensive backs, tight ends and running backs tend to be more of your "core four" special-team players. If you draft a defensive end, guard or quarterback (not named Taysom Hill), chances are that player won't contribute much on special teams.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

Before someone says, "The 2015 offense wasn't good," remember Eddie Lacy and James Starks were supposed to be reliable behind an excellent offensive line. Eddie was overweight and Starks' production fell off. The offensive line all took turns on the injury list to the point we experimented with both Sitton and Tretter at LT. Rodgers was the ONLY player on offense who played every game. We can expect better from Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Hopefully the line holds up better than 2015.

I don't know how Rodgers feels about it, but I still think his 2015 season is his most underrated. The success of the offense fell on his shoulders that season more than any other I covered. He was the difference…and the Arizona playoff game was the perfect example of that.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

In yesterday's II, in referring to players returning from injury, a questioner asked, "Do you think it is easier to bring defensive players into the fold midseason or offensive players?" I agree with Spoff's answer to some extent. I would propose that how long it takes to get into game shape and regaining game speed after recovering from the injury are two of the most important factors?

Spoff hit the nail on the knee. It's largely predicated on player, injury and position. It does seem like players in the trenches tend to knock the rust a little sooner. For example, Za'Darius Smith undergoes back surgery, misses almost all the season and records a sack on his first play back in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Bryan Bulaga and Corey Linsley looked like their old selves in their first game back after missing significant time. Again, it's not an exact science.

Ron from Cornell, MI

Wes, I believe Juwann Winfree has what it takes to be a big contributor this year. He needs to clean up the mistakes but seems to have a great attitude, is really athletic and has confidence. What do you think about his chances to get in the lineup?

Winfree had a few drops and plays he'd like to have back, but the talent is there. He had as impressive of an offseason program as anyone on the roster last spring. Some of the catches he made were incredible. If it hadn't been for the camp injury, Winfree would've had a good chance at cracking the 53 at the start of the season. With Adams, MVS and EQ all moving on, this is a golden opportunity for Winfree and all these young receivers on the roster.

Take a look back at photos of Green Bay Packers LB Rashan Gary during the 2021 season.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Hey Wes, what are the IIGM's deciding we do with our first few picks? Is one player being selected more than another? My IIGM pick is Chris Olave. As a huge Buckeye fan, I always want Green Bay to select a Buckeye.

Olave is high on that list. Did you know? Since 1960, the Packers have drafted one Ohio State receiver (Dee Miller, 1999 sixth round). Maybe this is the year?

Bob from Racine, WI

The University of Minnesota football team has a guy who is 6-foot-8 and weighs 380 pounds. Would a man that size be a helpful addition and be of interest to the Pack?

Height isn't the only thing that matters at tackle. It's how quick are your feet, how good is your pad level and what's your center of gravity? That being said, it does sound like Daniel Faalele is gonna be a good one.

Brett from Cincinnati, OH

In response to Steve from Ankeny, IA, about attending the draft in-person – it is absolutely worth it! I, like your son, am a true fanatic (I just turned 24). My dad and I went to the '19 draft in Nashville and the '21 draft in Cleveland and both were a blast. The NFL has done a great job of making the draft a very enjoyable fan experience to attend in-person. I had so much fun standing on Broadway Street in front of the draft stage in the pouring down rain watching the Packers pick Rashan Gary. GPG!

This isn't my grandpa's NFL Draft anymore. These cities have done a tremendous job of turning the draft into a week-long spectacle, not just a two- or three-day TV event.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

Wes, we all would like to know if you and Mike have developed your plan to break into the draft war room yet, and if so, what is it?

Yes. We've been watching "Mission Impossible" on loop in preparation.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

Hey Wes, welcome back again. I was wondering, what was your most difficult job interview? I was in one the other day and they asked if I could perform under pressure. I had to admit that I could not, but I offered to perform Bohemian Rhapsody instead...

Other than the time Gannett made me re-apply for my job, I would say it was my first interview in 2006. That's when an 18-year-old Wes Hod had to convince Mike Vandermause that he'd be a good fit for the Press-Gazette sports department despite not having yet started my freshman year of college.

Brock from West Lafayette, IN

Good morning and happy Saturday, Wes! So Spoff is off again? I was wondering when we would hear news about the Packers getting a veteran wide receiver, and now I know! All joking aside, what topics are you looking forward to covering at the owners' meeting this week?

It'll be good to hear Gutekunst's thoughts on the offseason and LaFleur's comments on how the 2022 roster is shaping up. But more than anything, what I'm most eager for is Mark Murphy's take on the potential overtime changes. It sounds like the league owners fall into the same category I do – they want to improve overtime but also aren't sure what the right course of action is. I'm not sure whether the Philadelphia or Tennessee proposals get passed, but it sounds like there is a growing desire to do something.

Bob from Riverside, CA

Good morning, Wes. I hope you had a great time off. While you're at the owners meeting can you ask them when we will get laser goalposts? Looking forward to your news from the meetings.

I'll be sure to track Jerry down and get his two cents. Have a great weekend, everyone. I'll talk to you in Florida.


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