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Inbox: Not so fast with that one

There’s a lot of wait and see left to go here

Former Packers general manager Ron Wolf
Former Packers general manager Ron Wolf

Col from Ludlow, UK

Great to see the players returning to Green Bay, but ay, caramba, when are you guys expecting spring?

It's supposed to hit 70 degrees on Saturday. Fingers crossed.

Dan from Allen TX

Thanks to the gentleman from Cedar Rapids for bringing up the John Hadl trade. I'm old enough to remember that. One of the end results of that was that if the Packers wanted to trade a first-round pick again, it had to be approved by the president of the team if my memory serves. Devine did that on his own. I was livid after the trade. I thank the Vikings for the Hershel Walker trade, and making it sting a little less.

I'm sure memories of the Hadl trade played into the fan base's collective hysteria when Wolf traded a first-round pick for Favre within months after taking over as GM. Thank goodness Harlan had made it clear Wolf had full authority over football.

David from Hilliard, OH

Good morning II, if we are truly going down the long road of revising Packers history, can we make a stop in 1989? The No. 2 pick and the Packers are on the clock!

Not so fast with that one. We've discussed previously in this forum how that draft whiff in '89 led to a Hall of Fame GM coming to town less than three years later (see above) and the dominoes that fell from there. Not sure changing that pick would've been for the better in the long run.

Derek from Norton, KS

Outside of Aaron Rodgers and Mason Crosby, are there players on the roster that may consider retirement at the end of the upcoming season?

Marcedes Lewis can't play forever, can he? Or maybe he can.

Dan from Mauston, WI

Again, great forum, read it all the time. But again, your response to J from St. Paul sounded like a long-winded excuse. Any business experiencing a turnover and influx of "new" key positions can benefit greatly from the wisdom and time with the old veterans. I would think that applies even more to the QB and receivers in pro football. If AR12 is really all about winning, he'd be there every chance he has to contribute. Yes, your opinions are valued, just not getting it in this one.

In my initial comment, I never said there wouldn't be plusses. I've just been questioning the apparent assumption of some massive benefit when, prior to training camp, the number of snaps he would take in non-padded, spring practices with new receivers would be limited at best, based on past patterns.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Good morning! …and speaking of Mt. Rushmore and wide receivers, let's have a Mt. Rushmore question. What the heck. It's the offseason. What are your four Mt. Rushmore pass plays from Packers history?

A nearly impossible task, so I'm going to take a sensible framework (also known as an easy way out) and pick one from each of the four Super Bowl victories – Starr to McGee in I (37-yard TD), Starr to Dowler in II (62-yard TD), Favre to Rison in XXXI (54-yard TD), and Rodgers to Jennings on third-and-10 in the fourth quarter in XLV (31 yards).

Ross from Roswell, GA

Gents, is there a position that you feel would be almost completely out of the question for either of the first-round picks, or is it stick to the board and let the picks fall where they may?

Running back, quarterback, specialists. I think anything else is squarely in play.

Jay from Altoona, WI

Knowing that a team is unlikely to hit on every selection, a draft class that produces three starters is considered to be very good. I assume a player to be a starter if they are regularly starting by their third season. With 11 selections overall and with four selections inside the first 60 picks (as it stands now), how many starters should the Packers get out of this draft class to be considered very good?

I'd say four would be solid, allowing for one miss in the first two rounds but requiring at least one hit from the third round on. Five would push it into and beyond the very good range.

Mike from Rosholt, WI

"…drafted a player in the first round while already possessing a sure-fire Hall of Famer at the same position." I think the Chargers may have down it twice, and back-to-back, nonetheless. Brees to Rivers to Herbert.

Nope, sorry. Brees was 10-17 as a starting QB with no Pro Bowls, no awards of any kind, and certainly no Hall of Fame consideration when the Chargers drafted Rivers in 2004. And Rivers had left the Chargers and signed with the Colts before Herbert was drafted.

Bob from Springfield, MA

Dear II, you mentioned how rare it is to draft a future HOF quarterback in Round 1 (Rodgers) while another HOF quarterback is already on the roster (Favre). While he wasn't drafted by San Francisco, Steve Young (Round 1, 1984, Tampa Bay), was traded to San Francisco (1987) and sat behind Joe Montana for three years, with both ending up in the HOF. Not quite identical, but as close as it gets, yes?

Pretty close. The 49ers traded second- and fourth-round picks for Young, who actually sat for four years, not starting regularly until 1991.

Dave from Hanover, MD

Regarding the drafting of a HOF player for a position they already had one, in 1965 the Bears drafted Dick Butkus when they had Hall of Fame MLB Bill George. Just showing my age!

There it is. I figured if it was out there, someone would know. Thanks.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams, two stud wideouts, have earned their huge paydays. Both are going from teams with elite QBs to teams with less explosive offenses and lesser QB talent. Can either of these guys replicate their 2021 numbers? If you had to bet, which one will garner more receptions and yards?

Tough call, and gambling is illegal at Bushwood. But I'd probably lean toward Adams for his catch-in-traffic ability and playing with the more accomplished QB in Carr.

Josh from Adams, WI

I think it's time for the faithful to prepare themselves for the possibility that the Packers only draft one WR this year. With three veterans and a recent top 100 pick already on the roster, I only see one spot available on the 53 unless No. 6 is our PR/KR or gunner. If we truly want to improve in the third phase of the game, our reserves need to be special-teams aces, not developmental picks that don't see the field.

I would expect the Packers to keep six receivers on the 53, and I do believe Amari Rodgers will factor in the return game. But yes, those reserve spots must be able to help on special teams. Also, while at this point I would expect Watkins to make the team, the structure of his contract is such that the Packers haven't locked themselves financially into keeping him. There's a lot of wait and see left to go here.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

Top of the Day to the II. Looking towards 2022 season are there any trends you would like the league scheduling office to not repeat this coming season, like making the Lions the last game of the year? Prime time is inevitable, but what is your true pet peeve?

Back-to-back night games. My postgame duties plus this column for the morning have me working until 4 a.m. or so after night games, which as I get older requires more rebound time. I'm usually not quite myself until Wednesday of the following week. But each of the last two years has featured consecutive night games early in the season, and those have been brutal stretches.

Bill from Whiting, IN

Although these player comparisons are fun but meaningless, it is totally pointless when you leave out the fact that Hutson played in the pre-integrated era of the NFL. What do you think Rice would have achieved if he had played in Hutson's era or vice versa?

I don't answer the question in that sense, but I remember reading a piece Cliff did – not to denigrate Hutson's accomplishments, but to add an important perspective to them – in which he talked about the talent level league-wide taking a significant hit during World War II. Hutson was building a Hall of Fame career regardless, but statistically he went to another stratosphere from 1942-45, the last four years of his career, exacerbating the separation from his peers.

Bill from Nairobi, Kenya

From the photos I've seen it looks like Sammy Watkins' number was 14 with Baltimore and KC, but on the Packers' website he's number 11, and nobody on the roster seems to have 14. I would think he would want to keep his brand. Do you think he will switch to 14?

I'll let you reconsider your question and spare you the II Hall of Fame induction for now.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

This may be difficult to answer without doing a bunch of research, but in your opinion, how many times would you wager the Packers have selected the hands-down best player of the draft? I would say AR12 falls into this category, but I'm having trouble thinking of another. After recovering from last year's injury and a few more years to his resume, do you think Jaire cracks that list, tough to say with Lamar Jackson in the same draft, but I think JA has a HOF future from what I've seen so far.

Rodgers for sure in '05. Way too early to say with the '18 draft, but at this point Jackson and Josh Allen would be the front-runners. There's an argument to be made David Bakhtiari was the best player in the '13 draft. Looking back further at Hall of Famers from each draft class, Tony Canadeo is the only player from the '41 draft in Canton, and of the four from the '58 draft, the Packers had three of them (Taylor, Nitschke, Kramer), so take your pick. Harder to say in '78 with James Lofton, because Earl Campbell and Ozzie Newsome were also in that class. The '56 draft is also tough, with Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg, plus Willie Davis, Sam Huff and Lenny Moore.

Flavio from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Hello, insiders! A draft question: Suppose for a minute that you KNOW your pick will go on to have a HOF career. Excluding QB, which position do you chose?

Offensive tackle or pass rusher.

George from Oxford, MS

What would your realistic dream scenario be with the Packers first four picks in the draft?

A defensive lineman and receiver who can play regularly right away, an offensive tackle who can back up both sides as a rookie, and an edge rusher who can step into the No. 3 role behind Smith and Rashan Gary.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

In terms of the CB market, are you aware of any players other than Jaire Alexander who currently are working on or expecting new deals/extensions? Just wondering whether there are any more dominoes to fall in the CB market that might be affecting negotiations between Alexander and GB.

That's always hard to say, but I think the market for Alexander is pretty well set. A couple of highly paid corners like James Bradberry and Marcus Peters are on the last year of their deals in '22, I believe, but they're 29 years old, not 25 like Alexander and Denzel Ward.

Russ from Henrico, VA

Hypothetical – The first-round picks are a big body and a DB, no WR. Does seniority come into play as to who faces the angst-filled II the next morning?

Friday is my day, so seniority has nothing to do with it. No matter the results, that column will be mine and after a long night I plan to be sleeping while everyone's reading it.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Mike, what have you done? By accepting a question submitted by Brooke from Lorifield, WI, you have moved the laser goalposts; your offensive gameplan has changed. You can now expect the airways to be filled with passing queries by O. Claire from Derek, WI, and Manny from Darsfield, TX. Leaven from Deanworth, IN, and Talla from Margeauxhassee, FL, will be in the pocket patiently waiting to lob their questions in your direction. You only have two receivers in the Inbox! You can do this.

Thanks, I needed that.

Jon from Temecula, CA

With everyone freaking out about the draft, and having to "change the offense," I offer this. Didn't we just do this? The Packers are 39-10 and AR has two MVPs under the dreaded "new LaFleur offense." How about we let the best QB to ever do it, a knowledgeable coaching staff, and a team full of motivated professionals do the heavy lifting? We're spending the whole rollercoaster ride talking about how long the line was. Sit back, have a root beer, and enjoy the ride.

Dreaded doesn't feel like the appropriate word there, but I like the rest. Happy Wednesday.