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Inbox: It’s one of the true turn-the-page moments

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Brian from Fanwood, NJ

Spoff, can we get one of the seven facts about your hair?

This is how we’re starting March? Yikes.

Roger from West Bend, WI

I would imagine the luncheon with Matt and Gute is a highlight for you guys. They both seem easy to like and both speak in that capturing tone. I’m also impressed with our head coach’s infectious personality as it appears to me, and I’m an old guy. It’s just downright exciting times. Glad you are all a part of it, which in turn shares it with me. Well done.

It’s a great way to kick off a long week of work, and it’s one of the true turn-the-page moments of the offseason. Everything is about looking ahead, not behind.

Brandon from Fairfield, CA

Hey II, I was listening to an interview with Keim (AZ GM) and he mentioned that his draft board only had about 120 names on it. The draft is well over that in terms of players drafted plus UDFA. Do teams have a number threshold for their big board? Obviously they have a grade for every player, but is the board itself limited and everyone else is just on a digital spreadsheet?

They have grades and reports on pretty much every player, but the ones on the board are the players they’re truly interested in, and that board might not include all their potential undrafted signings. But every team has its own system and structure.

Mark from Thiensville, WI

Will the Packers draft any offensive linemen in the upcoming draft?

I would be stunned beyond belief if they didn’t.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Recently read where the Jets are shopping the third pick (2200 pts.) and they're looking for a “draft haul” in return. Assuming the Packers were interested it would probably take 12, 30, and 44 (2400 pts.) to get there. Hopefully those three picks will yield three starters with a couple able to make an impact the first year. The third pick might yield a Bosa or Josh Allen. Mike, if you were the GM and believed Bosa or Allen was a generational (Kahlil Mack) talent do you make the trade?

I doubt it. There’s too much work to do with this roster and the Packers aren’t one player away. You could probably get back the Jets’ pick near the top of the third round to balance out the trade, but even then, I’d have a hard time waiting from the third pick until the high 60s to make another pick. But that’s me.

Karl from Bruce, WI

Wondering about your thoughts. The Dolphins have pick No. 13 and Washington is at No. 15 and both want a QB. It would seem like a good move for Washington to trade up with the Packers and not be very risky for us. Do you think we could pick up another late-round pick if we agreed?

It has nothing to do with risk, really. It has to do with how the board looks at the moment. If Gutekunst has a few players he likes equally, I could see him entertaining an offer for an extra third- or fourth-round pick to slide back a couple of slots. But if he has one player graded significantly higher when he’s on the clock at 12, he’s going to get his guy. He’s not going to make the trade and simply “hope” his guy falls a few more places.

Dave from Coloma, MI

The NFL is going to add four teams. They've already decided to award St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland teams because they recently lost theirs. Which U.S. city would you award the fourth team to and why?

My first instinct would be San Antonio because Texas is such a football-mad state. Another strong option might be Portland, to put another team in the northwest. But I can’t imagine the league ever going to 36 teams.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Regarding Wayne from Green Bay's comment about the draft eval on Aaron Donald, the transformation of the game to a spread attack has also changed the type of athlete that can succeed at DT. Vikes had both Henry Thomas and John Randle for years in the ’90s and their sacks came in bunches through October. It never lasted through December as Dorsey Levens and Edgar Bennett ran over them come the final quarter of the season. Different game means different players.

I’m not so sure Randle didn’t get late-season sacks, but your overall point on how the game has changed is valid.

Collin from Kirkwood, MO

Spoff, great piece on the Packers’ approach heading into free agency this year. It sounds like there’s a heightened sense of urgency within the organization. As a fan I’m really excited for the Packers to combine draft-and-development with a more aggressive approach to acquisitions.

No one is ever going to bat 1.000 in free agency, nor the draft. What struck me about Gutekunst is he presented the same thoughts and tones about free agency as he had here last year, and he was a highly active participant. It wasn’t just words and posturing, so I don’t think it is this time, either.

David from Appleton, WI

Spoff, how does it feel providing commentary on a coach who is of the age where he could be your younger brother?

I guess it’s different, but I hadn’t really thought about it. Anytime I’m in the presence of a pro football coach, no matter his age, I’m keenly aware of how little I know about this game.

Cody from Paris, France

Hi guys, do you have any memory of a player that didn't dominate at the collegiate level and actually did better in the next level?

James White immediately comes to mind. He was never really the No. 1 back at Wisconsin, but he’s the more accomplished pro, to this point, than all the former Badgers who were in front of him. We’ll see how the comparison ultimately shakes out as Melvin Gordon’s career progresses.

Eliot from Denver, CO

What’s a healthy way for a fan to consume the combine? GMs and coaches should be on fire for it, and even as media you all have plenty to gain from tuning in, but God help me if I can’t get excited to see whether some edge rusher who will probably end up in Cincinnati pushes the 225-pound metal bar off his chest 19 times or 20 times. The interesting stuff (interviews, etc.) is all private. What is there to watch for this week?

You could pick two scribes who are here for the duration and just follow their work. Up to you.

Craig from Appleton, WI

The Packers were not awarded any compensatory picks this year. Mike Daniels and Blake Martinez were both drafted with compensatory picks. Who do you feel is the best player drafted by the Packers with a compensatory pick?

Too hard for me to choose from the list of Marco Rivera, Matt Hasselbeck, Scott Wells and Josh Sitton, in addition to Daniels and Martinez.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

Hey Mike, I hope you are enjoying your time in Indianapolis. Do teams normally have a good idea where the threshold is of top talent in the first round and also the rest of the draft? Would you say that roughly every year there are about 120 top prospects and the rest are below that?

It varies every year, both in the first round and for the draft as a whole. Gutekunst said on Wednesday he wasn’t far enough along in his process to pinpoint it, but he’s hoping the overall dropoff comes after the fourth round, because he’s got six picks in the first four rounds.

Take a look at photos of Packers players during their NFL Scouting Combine appearances.

John from Crivitz, WI

Is the code of conduct standard for the owners the same as for the players? Is this covered under the CBA, or does the commissioner have latitude to deal with this on a case by case basis?

The code of conduct certainly applies, but discipline for non-players is not collectively bargained. It’s at the commissioner’s discretion.

Scott from Green Bay, WI

At this moment in time, who got the better deal, the Packers (extra first-rounder) or the Saints (Davenport)? Who's better off?

Well, both Alexander and Davenport made the PFWA All-Rookie team, and the Saints won’t pick until the 62nd selection in this draft. New Orleans has been on the verge of a Super Bowl each of the last two years, much closer than Green Bay has been. You can rank that however you like.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Could a case be made for Ahman Green to be on the 2000s All-Decade second team? I think his numbers are comparable to Jamal Lewis and Shaun Alexander from 2000 to 2009.

Alexander won an MVP, while Lewis won an Offensive Player of the Year award and had a 2,000-yard season. Those are really the difference.

Jason from Greenwood, IN

If the Packers focused on drafting and having a dominant offense line, the rest would take care of itself. Running lanes would be bigger, QB1 would reduce the risk of injury a ton, and the receivers would get open because DBs can only cover for so long. Isn't it really that simple?

Well, then you’d think the Cowboys with the best offensive line in football all these years would have won more than two playoff games and never had a QB get hurt. So no, it really isn’t that simple.

Mike from Algoma, WI

Loved Wes’s response explaining his most ridiculous byline. Reminds me of my initial reaction to the Woodson signing (I assumed he was a selfish player!). So how ’bout it, Mike? What was your “this guy isn’t who I thought he was” (good or bad) moment?

It wasn’t a byline, because I never said anything publicly, but I’ll confess – as I have on “Unscripted” in the past – that I thought the Blake Martinez tackling machine stuff was all hype. After his rookie year, I wondered whether he’d be anything more than a special-teams player. Um, wrong.

Tony from Colorado Springs, CO

Wait, so if LaFleur has access to any of the practice footage from last year, does that mean he'll be able to watch the Rodgers-to-Allison no-look TD pass? You know, the one we heard about last year but haven't been able to see.

Uh-oh.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

Wisconsin has long been solidly devoted to the Packers as being Wisconsin's premier sports team. How (if at all) do you think the resurgence of both Brewer baseball and Bucks basketball will affect people's regard toward the Packers, particularly since there has been a leveling off of success in recent years along with questions regarding coaching changes and player capabilities?

Not much, frankly, and I’m as big a Brewers fan as anyone. Green Bay games are both family and cultural events state-wide and beyond. With a Hall of Fame QB continuing to take the snaps, I don’t see interest waning.

Bryce from Billings, MT

What part of the combine do you think prospects are the most nervous about?

I would imagine the interviews, just like anyone gets nervous for a job interview. Coaches will have players diagram plays on a board and test their knowledge of a lot of specifics. I’m sure that’s not easy for everyone.

Andrew from Canton, OH

Mark Murphy's comments on AR embracing change is spot on. I have coached high school lacrosse for nine years and last year inherited a very talented, well-established senior class on the offense. I was a first-time offensive coordinator and they did not buy in to what I was trying to change, and we suffered for it. The blame goes both ways, I hate to admit. Matt LaFleur has to make his players believe, but his players need to embrace some difficult adjustments as well.

On “Three Things” the other day, Larry poignantly highlighted LaFleur’s comment about “getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.” It’ll be necessary for the transition to produce the right results.

Nick from Benton, MO

Are active NFL players invited to attend the combine? Are they even allowed to be there? It just seems like I have never heard of an active player attending the combine to see what the next generation holds.

Would you want to attend a job fair your company was holding whose premise was to replace you?

John from Evans, GA

I'm trying to figure out how LaFleur is going to revolutionize our offense. Aaron Jones said GB has been running zone-blocking concepts the last two years. Not sure how zone blocking can be different from zone blocking. We are going from a West Coast offense to a West Coast offense. Aside from different route combinations, verbiage, and dedication to the run, what am I missing?

There are different concepts within the labels, and then other variations those concepts lead to. The names mean little. This isn’t some revolution, but go watch Kyle Shanahan’s offense for Atlanta in the 2016 NFC title game against Green Bay. It doesn’t look the same.

Lane from Kihei, HI

With a new head coach and staff will there be any change to having preseason practices open to the public?

Not to my knowledge.

Randy from Ooltewah, TN

If you could get only one of these defensive players in this year’s draft, which do you think would have greater impact on the Packers’ defense: 1) A shutdown corner. 2) A double-digit sack edge rusher. 3) A ball-hawking safety.

Give me the edge rusher. Pressure helps create turnovers.

Luke from Inglewood, CA

One man...one laptop...one vehicle...29 questions and seven hours on the frigid highways of middle America. Can Mike Spofford overcome Wes Hodkiewicz's driving ability and musical selections, meet the Insider Inbox deadline and discover once and for all if a hot dog is really a sandwich? Buckle up and dust off that DVD player...Mike Spofford is...Writer Rider. And now, our feature presentation.

Y’all crack me up. Happy Friday.

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