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Inbox: It's their job to find those future stars

Now it’s time to get down to football business

Packers Co-Directors of Player Personnel John Wojciechowski, Jon-Eric Sullivan, & General Manager Brian Gutekunst
Packers Co-Directors of Player Personnel John Wojciechowski, Jon-Eric Sullivan, & General Manager Brian Gutekunst

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

William from Speedwell, TN: Fill in the blank: Friday's II will be _ if the Packers don't draft a WR Thursday night?

Spoff: Insufferable?

Me: Friday's II will be interesting, informative, and engaging even if the Packers don't draft a WR Thursday night.

…and probably shorter. Good morning!

Kim from Hudson, WI

One word of wisdom for draft week: Trust.

Funny. Mine was "Brownie."

Rusty from Eustace, TX

Are you mentally prepared for the madness of draft week?

Taylor "Big Country" Rogers, acclaimed host of "Packers POV," asked me the same question on Monday. My answer was an enthusiastic "Yes." I'm well-rested and ready to put the bologna away. We've all made our own hypotheses. Now it's time to get down to football business.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

We don't know until we know…You know?

I know nothing, Dean from Leavenworth.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, I assume your "Draft Day" mug is now clean and ready, so let me get your opinion about draft-related trades. This year could be riper than usual for trades; a glut of teams have multiple Day 1 picks and fewer teams than ever have none whatsoever, thereby creating some unique pressures. We've seen several swaps already. Do you think we might see some GM get all "Sonny Weaver Jr." on us and wheel and deal like they're in a Hollywood movie?

This year, more than any other, I haven't the slightest clue what to expect once the Jaguars go on the clock Thursday night. I think most of that has to do with there not being a top QB prospect or consensus No. 1 overall pick. The other thing is it could be six or seven picks before we see a skill-position player selected. And once that run on receivers begins, how long will it last? That could be where the trades start to happen.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, does Brian Gutekunst show any signs of stress, nerves or preoccupation as the draft approaches?

He's cool as a cucumber, like Ted Thompson before him. I think that calmness comes from Gutekunst and his team putting everything into these drafts. They're ready to adjust to whatever curveballs are thrown their way. And there will be curveballs.

Brendan from Warren, MI

Good morning, Wes. Happy draft week! Point blank: If the Packers don't use one of their two first-rounders for a WR, will you be disappointed following the departure of Davante Adams and MVS considering the glaring need for an impact player at that position? Or do you believe there's enough value at the position on Day 2 that we shouldn't worry if the first-round WR drought continues for another year?

I appreciate the question but wouldn't go that far. The Packers' history of drafting receivers in the second round is too good to dismiss the possibility they wait until Day 2. That being said, it has been 20 years since the Packers drafted a receiver in the first round. If not now, when?

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hello II. It's draft week, let the excitement swell. Most can hardly contain themselves. I've seen multiple mocks giving the Packers a first-round WR but personally I think they wait until the second. There's some stud LBs to play with De'Vondre Campbell. Do you think we get one?

We talk so much about how long it's been since the Packers have drafted a receiver in the first round. It's been 17 years since they took an inside linebacker (A.J. Hawk). I don't see that changing this year but never say never, especially if Nakobe Dean finds his way to the end of the first round like Spoff's mock draft.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Last year players credited defensive coordinator Joe Barry with "letting DBs be DBs and LBs be LBs." This seems in significant contrast with prior schemes, where confusing the QB's identification process was the primary objective. It's not like other teams aren't using the position switches at all; both schools seem to have advantages. What are the keys to having a defensive scheme like ours persist into Year 2 as effectively as it did in Year 1? It seems individual skillsets staying consistent would be most important.

Players performing up to their potential is an obvious must. (After all, it is players, not plays, right?) But what impressed me most about Barry's scheme was how accommodating it was to a player like Rasul Douglas who joined the team midseason. You also can't argue with how Rashan Gary, De'Vondre Campbell, Dean Lowry and Douglas all had career years. That's not a coincidence. I feel Barry made the right adjustment in reducing how often the Packers put six defensive backs on the field. Now some of that was Campbell's presence in the middle but it also was Barry trusting his position players to play their positions.

Michelle from Ringgold, GA

What impact will the trades have on the Packers this season?

That'll be determined in the next four days. In my opinion, it doesn't take much talent to trade for established veterans. It's like playing "Yankee Doodle." I don't play piano, but even I can do that. I have more respect for the GMs who bet on themselves as talent evaluators and welcome the challenge of finding the next big thing. That's where Gutekunst and his scouts are right now. The law of averages says there will be All-Pro and Pro Bowl players available should the Packers pick at Nos. 22 and 53. It's their job to find those future stars and get back the value they lost.

Mike from Grovetown, GA

We all know the draft is a busy time for NFL teams, but an important part of the process is what happens once the last pick is announced. Do most teams have tentative deals set up with likely UDFAs or is this a time where players' and agents' phones are blowing up seconds after the last pick? It would seem to be like a college recruiting flashback for many of these guys.

Those conversations happen during the last two rounds. That's why many undrafted signings get done minutes after the NFL Draft concludes. Likewise, many teams will use their seventh-round pick(s) on an undrafted free agent(s) they don't feel they have a good chance at landing – either because another team is going to draft that player or he is likely to sign elsewhere.

Dave from Yeovil, UK

Good morning, Insiders. Looking past the first round, many possible first-round prospects are available early in the second round. If the Packers wanted to trade up in the second round to take one, what are their two second-round picks worth? (my unofficial sponsor) has the Packers' two second-round picks worth a combined 680 points. That's actually enough to jump to No. 27 in the first round. So, in theory, Gutekunst could play around with his Day 2 and Day 3 draft choices to pick wherever he wants in the second round, regardless of what happens on Day 1.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

As a reporter, which draft-night trade story would you prefer to cover? A) The Packers make one pick but trade the other down to the second round, building anxiety for Friday. B) They package both first-round picks to trade up into the top 10, giving you most of Thursday night to write about it. C) They package both their second-round picks to trade for yet another first, making for a wild Thursday and quiet Friday. D) They trade out of the first round, then back into it, just as you're about to head home.

I like B for the same reason I enjoyed when the Packers drafted Rashan Gary in 2019. This is my 13th NFL Draft and I've still not covered a homegrown top 10 pick. To jump up would be a great story, however unlikely it is to happen. Whatever occurs, I just don't want the Packers to move back at all and acquire more picks in this draft. Green Bay drafted 11 times in 2013 and it made for a grueling three days. Any more than 11 picks and I'm likely to cry.

Bob from Rome, NY

Does the signing of Jarran Reed from the Chiefs help the Packers kick the can down the draft road a little for the need of a DT, or do you think Gutey might be looking to replace some of the rotational players as well? I like the lineup of Kenny Clark, Reed, Dean Lowry, T.J. Slaton, and Jack Heflin. Thank you!

Reed's signing creates that possibility. Because now the Packers have a D-line, on paper, that they could play a game with. They'll most certainly draft a defensive lineman at some point, but it's not as easy to forecast as receiver.

Tim from Poplar Grove, IL

Hi from south of the Cheddar Curtain (and nearly the hometown of Dean Lowry). I'm interested to see what Tom Clements can do for Jordan Love's development. You never know when your season may rely on the backup QB. Last year, Love appeared to make a lot of throws without first planting his feet. I suspect Tom will know by the end of the preseason if Love can turn the corner and how much upside he has at the pro level.

Everyone knows what Clements accomplished with Aaron Rodgers and Kyler Murray. I can't wait to see what he does with Love, especially with the extensive playing time the third-year quarterback likely will see in the preseason. Clements has seen the game from all angles and understands the developmental path these elite QBs often take.

Randall from Manasquan, NJ

Morning, II. Without any changes in their draft position, can you tell me what time their picks will be made ET? Keep up the good work.

It's going to be a late night. My best guesstimate would be around 9:30 p.m. CT for No. 22 and maybe 10:15 p.m. or so if the Packers pick at 28. It all depends on how fast teams pick and how many trades go down.

Steve from Stevens Point, WI

Is Kadarius Toney worth a mid-round trade with the New York Giants? Do you think he just needs a change of scenery to change his antics from New York?

I don't know what to make of that one. I get the Giants made sweeping changes to their front office, but you don't see teams cutting bait on their first-round picks this early very often. I'm also not sure what pick(s) it would take to acquire Toney.

Jonathan from Saskatoon, Canada

I stumbled across an article I found extremely interesting. It was a review of Adams' play for the 2015 season. In the article it mentioned the front office not being ready to give up on him. However, he would need to fight to make the roster when Jordy came back from injury. I can't think of a better example of trusting the process and not being knee jerk with reactions. Amari Rodgers can still show this was an absolute home run of a pick.

And that's why you don't give up on your picks. If a team feels strongly enough about a player to draft him, it owes it to that player to see his development through. It doesn't always work out, but I can tell you Adams wouldn't have become a five-time Pro Bowl receiver in a Packers uniform if many media and fans were picking the team in 2015-16.

Joe from Wausau, WI

Weston, Gute comes to you and says you can have a sneak peek at the Packers' final big board. But you have to give up root beer for a month. Do you do it?


Steve from Florence, WI

With Rodgers having defeated Tom Brady both times they played against each other in their paired celebrity golfing gig, doesn't part of you wonder 1) Why Rodgers doesn't want to keep that streak going? and 2) Whether the idea for Rodgers and Brady to pair up together was a result of Brady wanting to continue to play these celebrity matches but not wanting to continue to lose at golf on a national stage to Rodgers?

"The Match" isn't based on two specific players, though. The draw has been how the event pits various individuals against each other. So, I kind of like pitting the vets against the young guys.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Do you look for questions first or contributor names when selecting items to respond to?

It's getting to the point where I can read the first sentence or two and usually know who's asking the question.

Margeaux from Pass-a-Grille, FL

Yes, it's me, on vacation to de-stress before the draft. As luck would have it, I'm standing on a pier jutting into the Gulf shared by only six small cottages when out walks a male and female couple. I noticed the woman's "Field of Dreams" T-shirt having lived for a time in Dubuque, IA. I asked where they are from. The accent was pure Wisconsin, you guessed it, GB. Unreal! GPG!

Enjoy the R&R before it gets real and unrelenting.

Brandon from Pleasant Prairie, WI

Hey guys, just curious, what is the latest you guys look at the emails for the following day's Inbox? 11 p.m., 2 a.m., when you get to work the following day? Notwithstanding the 2 a.m. airport one not long ago, I assume those are rare.

As the great lyricist Shakira once said: "Whenever, wherever."

Samuel from Triangle, VA

The next lines in the employee handbook, probably...We use words like "athleticism, speed, versatility." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent commentating on football. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain the rules of football to a fanbase that watches and snacks under the very blanket of football commentary I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it…

Thank you.

Jacob from West Allis, WI

Words of wisdom are easy to come by. A word of wisdom on the other hand, not so much. Aaron Rodgers has already given us a great one that many of us fans could benefit from right now: "R-E-L-A-X."

Exactly. Just relax. If that doesn't work, Spoff and his new buddy Ron have some brownies to help ease your mind. Just leave some corners for me. Welcome to draft week.