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Inbox: No one really knows

Offensive line is always a priority in a draft

Former Packers DE Aaron Kampman
Former Packers DE Aaron Kampman

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

March Madness has been replaced by March sadness. Not to put any pressure on you guys but II has now become a beacon through the darkness.

We'll do our best, and we've long thought 6-9-1 was the definition of darkness. Perspective is everything.

Brett from Boonsboro, MD

Instead of the term "empty nesters," I prefer "free-range adults." It is a beautiful thing.

I will keep that in mind when the time comes.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

How will the postponement/elimination of college pro days and the suspension of free-agent visits affect the scouting process? Will the scouting department tend to rely more on taped performances of the individual players than in past years?

They've always relied on the tape more than anything else. For players who did not work out at the combine, there won't be testing numbers to compare with other prospects, but that's a small piece of the puzzle missing. Same for those who weren't invited. They also haven't done interviews, but teams can do interviews online in lieu of official visits.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

Do you think the draft could be postponed due to the COVID-19 national outbreak or not allow fans to attend?

All signs nationally point to no attendance at the draft if it's conducted as scheduled from April 23-25. It might be done wholly remotely. I'm sure the NFL is working through various contingency plans, but everything's changing day to day right now. It's wait-and-see mode.

Chuck from Horizon, WI

I can't believe this hasn't been asked but I'm guessing even if the NFL stays going with all the virus stipulations that the overseas trips will be eliminated this year? Your thoughts?

I wouldn't want to begin to speculate on something that's at least six months out. All that will be worked out in due time.

Mike from Vadnais Heights, MN

Mike, II is a great release in these uncertain times. Noticed the sarcasm dripping in Sean from Glen Ellyn's question about draft rankings. Somehow it flew past your brain, which is tough to do. Pundits need to start believing that in the NFL "your record is who you are." Thanks for keeping us entertained in the offseason.

Yesterday was full of distractions, but I knew he wasn't being serious. I just thought it was worthwhile to remind people how it worked, because you'd be surprised at the questions we still get on the topic.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Over the years the Packers have seemingly preferred more swings at the plate in relation to draft picks. This year with three picks in the sixth, two in the seventh and 10 overall, they have that. Impact players are close to impossible to find in the last two rounds. Draft value charts show those five picks are worth 29 points total or equal to the seventh pick in the 5th round (29 pts.). In your opinion is it worth sacrificing four picks for a chance at a player you really like in the fifth?

Generally no, because no matter how a scout feels about a player, no one really knows whether that guy available in the fifth round is Aaron Kampman or David Clowney. (And with that, I've managed to use a former player in the Inbox photo five times this week…Crabtree, Raji, Coffman, Driver, Kampman…kicking myself now for Tuesday). Anyway, getting back to the point, if you bat .400 with those five picks in the sixth and seventh, you're doing twice as well as batting 1.000 on one pick in the fifth.

Rusty from Hickory, NC

Kickoff return yards count from within the end zone. With no yard markers in the end zone, who has the final call on exactly how deep in the end zone the returner was? Thanks, and thanks for II. A nice place to be when one is socially distancing.

The statisticians in the press box make that call on where the return started.

Tyler from Stevens Point, WI

Does Demarcus Robinson seem like someone that may fit the mold as a FA acquisition for us? Like the Smiths, he is entering his prime and leaving a team with a somewhat overabundance of talent (and money) at the position. With one of the "most talented WR draft classes in history," he could come at a lower price, and being stuck behind some great talent in KC, could be a good find. Your thoughts?

I've seen his name bandied about, and he doesn't appear to be a first-day, high-priced free agent, so I could see it. But it could also depend on who else the Packers might be pursuing in free agency and their prices. It's all very fluid until the numbers get real.

Richard from Menasha, WI

What is the role of a senior analyst (Butch Barry)?

My best guess is analyzing whatever the head coach or coordinator needs him to analyze.

Take a look at photos of Packers T David Bakhtiari from the 2019 season.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Crazy world gentlemen! Let's hope we have sports again soon to brighten our days and nights. I know you can always use depth in the OL, but do you feel like this is a very small area of need for the Pack or where would you put it on the priority list?

I think offensive line is always a priority in a draft. You need seven or eight active and ready on any given game day, and as the saying goes big guys don't grow on trees. The urgency of the priority this year mostly hinges on what happens with Bryan Bulaga, but as I've said before, even if Bulaga re-signs, I still expect the Packers to be planning for the future.

Mark from West Bend, WI

Mike, there's been a lot of talk about the potential release of Lane Taylor to save cap space. But couldn't a possible scenario be that he play right guard and Billy Turner slide to right tackle in the event the Packers can't come to an agreement with Bryan Bulaga? That would not be that bad a start to the offensive line, and maybe add Jared Veldheer into the mix as well. This would also allow some FA cap space. Thoughts?

I wouldn't rule it out. I have no report on where Taylor is health-wise after his season-ending injury, so that would factor into any possible fallback plan. If Turner is a realistic option at right tackle, Lucas Patrick  could also step in at guard.

Paul from Farnborough, UK

Dear Wes/Spoff, can you still remember clearly attending your first-ever Green Bay game and what were the circumstances? Playoff game, first game of the season, etc.? What stand-out memories still survive to this day?

I've told the story before about my first NFL game being Packers-Bears at Soldier Field in December of 1984. My first game at Lambeau Field was also Packers-Bears, almost exactly 10 years later, December of '94. I remember the Packers' backs were up against it, with the Bears also in the hunt, and Green Bay just annihilated Chicago. The Bears led 3-0 early and the Packers ran away with it, 40-3. I recall Sharpe and Brooks dominating, and Butler with a pick and long runback. Both teams finished 9-7 but you wouldn't have known it that day.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

In the past four years, the Packers MO has been FA for the TE position. The team struck gold with the Cook signing, but Bennett was a bust and Graham was less effective than expected. Can we expect another veteran FA signing like Hooper or Ebron, or does management target a high draft pick like Kmet or Hopkins to fill the No. 2 slot behind a young Jace Sternberger?

Again, I see all options on the table. I don't think it's wise to develop a "this or bust" plan for any given position because there are so many moving parts in free agency and the draft. You do your homework, stay involved, and make decisions as they present themselves.

Mark from West Des Moines, IA

What are your thoughts regarding the sporting world's response to COVID-19?

Pressing the pause button is the right thing to do. There's no doubt about that when the risks are considered. Hopefully the sacrifices being made now will at least reduce the fallout to some extent and shorten the overall timeline for humanity to get through this. That's the only way to look at it.

Kevin from Rockton, IL

It looks like the NFL will luckily be the least affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

As far as the major sports go, yes, at this point. Any potential shifting around regarding free agency, the draft, and offseason workouts is pretty minor compared to what other sports are going through. Heck, nine years ago a six-month offseason lockout ultimately didn't affect the season in any material way.

Gary from Davenport, IA

Is it safe to say all of the time Joe Lunardi spent on the job this season was a complete waste of time?

I honestly feel bad for all the amateur athletes who don't get to finish their seasons in traditional fashion. As much as I'm bummed out as a fan not to get March Madness and the start of the baseball season as usual, it's all the high school and college athletes who might have been competing for a championship for the last time in their lives that I feel for the most.

Josh from Holgate, OH

Vic, it's been awhile since I've visited the site, just wanted to stop in to say hi. Anyhow, what do you think about the QB from Oregon Dustin hurburt? Looks like he may fall right in the green and yellows lap! He looks good in those colors!

I've been floored by a lot of things this week, but this one takes the cake, so I left it in all its original, unedited glory.

Dana from Reno, NV

Please don't let Jalen Reagor slip away. He, in my humble opinion after watching highlight film, is my No. 1 pick and even better than Ruggs.

There's a lot to like, and he would bring a body type and skill set the Packers' receiving corps doesn't currently possess. There are a few guys like him in this draft. I'm very curious to find out how interested the Packers are, but we won't really know until draft day.

Gary from Hope Mills, NC

My son and I love the Packers and II. We read it every day at work. My favorite pastime is watching football with him. A couple of weeks ago my 24-year-old son Sidney and his friend were hit by a drunk driver, killing his friend and leaving him fighting for his life with traumatic brain injuries. They are advising me to terminate life support because of the seriousness and prognosis for recovery is almost zero. Please let the readers know about the dangers of driving drunk. It's not worth it.

I don't have to, Gary. You just did. I can't imagine what you and anyone else connected to this tragedy is going through. I have no words and apologize for the inadequacy. It's not much, but please know this community is thinking about you.

Doug from Wausau, WI

Are the Insiders among those required to work remotely? Is Wes actually going to get to keep his lunch for a couple of weeks? (Or will Hod be stealing it?)

We are working remotely. I'm actually off next week anyway, but the week after we'll still be working from home. Wes has the controls for a while now. Take care, everybody.

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