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Inbox: Randall Cobb is fearless in the middle of the field

The playmakers nobody is talking about usually are those who make the biggest impact

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WR Randall Cobb

Mike from Baraboo, WI

What would it realistically take to trade for Deebo? What a difference-maker he would be in our offense!

I'm not mad. I'm just…defeated.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

OK, now hear me out. Sammy Watkins should wear No. 88 and this is why: He wore "2" for three years in college (2+2+2=6), then you add each of the teams he wore "14" which is three (14x3=42). Now add 12 for the year he wore "12" with the Rams. So right now, we have 6+42+12=60. His present age is 28, so we add that in, and we get 88, of course. I will see myself out, but I hope I can still submit my draft predictions on Wednesday.

I'll allow it, though I'll add Friday questions are always a good indicator of who was productive at work and who was already fully entrenched in weekend mode.

Nathan from Manitowoc, WI

Do the Packers have minimum size requirements for drafting players at certain positions?

I know Ron Wolf's maxim regarding defensive backs (no one shorter than 5-foot-10½) but I don't recall any hard-and-fast rules for other positions. Brian Gutekunst takes it on a case-by-case basis. At receiver, for example, he's drafted both Equanimeous St. Brown (6-5) and Amari Rodgers (5-9).

Ben from Pensacola, FL

If I may also point out when it comes to the slot and Mike's points about the differences, quicker doesn't necessarily refer to "speed" (although that can be a component). I think Randall Cobb reflects it well – he's not slow by any means, or fast, but he's quick and smart with his cuts in the small space. I'm an ultimate frisbee player, and I'm not a fast runner, but that's how fellow players have described me. (Which I attest to watching Cobb and Davante Adams' route running.)

Cobb raised an interesting point Wednesday when discussing what makes a receiver successful in the pros vs. college. In college, a receiver can rely on his speed and athletic superiority over the defender to "win" on his route, even if every "i" isn't dotted. In the pros, there's too much talent on the field to win that way. Receivers must be precise with their timing to succeed. That's where Cobb has excelled throughout his career. The other thing is he's also one of the gutsiest players I've covered. Randall Cobb is fearless in the middle of the field.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

With all the talk of new receiver targets for AR12, let's not forget the pass-catching abilities of the other Aaron on the offense. I remember a great leaping catch down the sidelines by Jones last season. AJ Dillon's receiving abilities are developing nicely as well.

The playmakers nobody is talking about usually are those who make the biggest impact – and I'm obviously referring to Dillon and Aaron Jones. If they're both healthy, Jones and Dillon are going to touch the ball a lot this season. They're the proven commodities in a speculative market.

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

Hey Wes, there is discussion on social media about if the salary cap is "real," even articles with GMs interviewed who say it's not. I think it's a fascinating topic because I wonder if teams who don't embrace the "kick the can down the road" approach will end up at a competitive disadvantage to those who do and get big signings/proven talent. Two schools of thought. Much like having to stay current with new offensive schemes, is it adapt or die? I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Void years formed a wrinkle I never expected. While you still can't get too crazy with that option, the ability to carry over leftover cap room into the next year mitigates some of the long-term risk (a.k.a. you can allow the nature of your cap to heal). The past two years have taught me the salary cap is much more flexible than I assumed when I started covering the NFL 12 years ago. What I thought was a rule now feels more like a suggestion.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

It seems most drafts (like this year) pundits claim the QB class is not terribly strong excepting maybe one or two prospects. Then on draft day, we see more guys than expected fly up the board while other position prospects get pushed down. What do you think the over/under is for number of QBs selected prior to the Packers' first pick? My premise: I'd love for Gutey to have lots of strong choices get pushed down to him.

It won't be a typical draft in that regard. There are probably two quarterbacks (Pitt's Kenny Pickett and Liberty's Malik Willis) who are off the board before Green Bay picks.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes and Mike, it is great entertainment, but the free mock draft simulators have weighted positions based on so-called experts. The trends show WR, OL, edge rushers going fast prior to the Packers' picks at 22 and 28. Because we do not know the Packers' big board, this would not matter if a player fell to them at No. 22 or 28. Could you see the Packers trading a pick or picks from the 2023 draft and a second-round pick to have three picks in the first round?

I don't see that happening. Gutekunst doesn't like to leverage future draft capital like that, especially with 11 picks in this year's draft. The Packers will spend with the cash in their account.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Watching a lot of highlight tape recently and although they can be very deceiving, I can't stop watching Christian Watson of NDSU and I see a lot of similarity with Justin Jefferson. Big jump from SBS football and the SEC so I might be comparing apples to grapefruit. Do you think the comparison is valid?

I'm not sure that's the right comp for Watson, but I like your enthusiasm. His 40 time (4.36) was actually better than Jefferson's 4.43, but the level of competition is vastly different. I like Watson a lot, but I'm torn on whether he's a first-round pick or not. Like Skyy Moore, Watson is someone I'd love to get in the second round. At 22 or 28, I like Treylon Burks or George Pickens a little better just based on the measureables and the larger SEC sample size.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Hey II, do you think they wait until the second round to draft a receiver?

They're not going in with that mindset, but it all depends on what the board looks like and how many receivers the Packers have with a Round 1 grade.

Ryan from Fredericton, NB, Canada

What the outlook is for Krys Barnes in the Packers' defense? In answering Eric from Kenosha on Friday, I was less surprised with BAP conversation around linebackers, but more surprised that a rookie pick outside of the top 10 could potentially leapfrog Barnes. I get that De'Vondre Campbell is firmly the "Mike," and deservedly so, but I see Barnes as the hardest hitter on defense and the clear tone-setter. Barnes was the best defensive player against the 49ers in the playoffs and almost took out Deebo.

Barnes is solid. To me, he's the "Will" to Campbell's "Mike." He is a tackling machine, with 161 tackles on just 948 career defensive snaps. Based on how the board fell in Spoff's mock draft, however, it made sense to pick Dean at No. 28. He and I even talked through it before Spoff made the selection. If given a chance to trade back, I probably would've gone that route and taken a receiver somewhere in the 30s. But Spoff maximized the value of the pick by taking Dean.

Rudy from Cedarburg, WI

What is the current status of Allen Lazard? It would appear he will be an integral part of the offense, but is yet unsigned? The Pack's running game (and probably passing game) hinge on Lazard having a big season. Go Pack.

Lazard is back for 2022. Friday was the last day another NFL team could sign him to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent. I wouldn't be too concerned on him not being signed yet, either. Robert Tonyan didn't sign his restricted tender until May 27 last year.

Marc from Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec

Do you feel that Allen Lazard is ready for a breakout year as at least the No. 2 WR? The opportunity seems to be there.

One, two or three – it doesn't matter. Whatever you want to call it, I think Lazard is set up for a big year. He's in the right offense with the right quarterback and limitless opportunity after the departure of Davante Adams and Marquez-Valdes-Scantling. I think this is his year.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

Guys, what are the differences between Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers that would make Adams want to play for one over the other?

That wasn't the only variable in this equation. Adams has been catching passes from Carr since he was a teenager. That counts for something.

Jeff from Oceanside, CA

Jim of Sheboygan Falls' vote for MacArthur Lane as the best blocking back is a great choice, but the best in Packers history is Paul Hornung. Giants HOFer Sam Huff called him the best blocking back he'd ever seen. Lombardi said his blocking was one of the reasons he was the best all-around back to ever play. Re: Spoff's comment of Walter Payton being the best at both running and blocking, fellow Bear (HOFer) Doug Atkins said in 1997 that Hornung was the best all-around back ever.

We talk a lot about Charles Woodson, and for good reason, but Hornung is one of the most credentialed players in the history of the game. From both an individual and team standpoint, Hornung's accomplishments are unrivaled.

Josh from Adams, WI

Have you seen the combine results for Virginia Tech DE Amare Barno? He's 6-foot-5, 246 pounds and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash which ranked with the top WR and CB prospects and was faster than any RB tested this year! While his status as a "tweener" may make finding a starting role on a defense difficult, it gives me chills thinking about him flying down the field as a gunner on punts and kickoffs. I envision a lot of returners signaling for a fair catch before the ball is even kicked.

Barno will get drafted for that 40 time alone, but it's puzzling to me how his size, speed and athleticism haven't translated to a premier NFL prospect. Again, it's that difference between foot speed vs. game speed.

Richard from Madison, WI

Does Microsoft Surface subsidize "Packers Unscripted"? If not, you guys are giving away a lot of free advertising.

Of course. We have to pay Marvin somehow.

Roger from Rice Lake, WI

I'm wondering how we are going to remember Troy Aikman is a HOF QB without Joe Buck to tell us so every five minutes.

It's in the employee handbook. The play-by-play man will address this color commentator as Hall of Famer or quarterback. I'm quite certain he's earned it.

Jason from Dothan, AL

Insiders, what is your draft-day ritual like?

Although the Packers pick late in the evening, I still like to come in during the late afternoon and get settled. I'll clean my "Draft Day" mug, pour some coffee, eat a little dinner and start watching the draft like all of you when it starts. I meant what I said – I never get too comfortable. You never know what the Packers might do on draft night. After the pick is made, we'll be doing "Instant Reax" videos and bulletin stories on packers.com – in addition to shooting "Three Things" once the night is over.

John from Santa Maria, CA

Wes...loved your thoughts about your grandfather's love of the Cubs through the many lean years. At 93, I remember well attending games at City Stadium at East High School in the 1940s and my feelings about the Packers over the past 87 years through their many tough periods. As I see comments and questions from the younger Packers generation fans, I often wonder if they really know what it is like to be fans as me and your grandfather were/are. Love your work.

Thank you so much, John. Your kind words mean a great deal. All my generation and the one that followed know is winning football. Now, we made up for it with the Brewers and Bucks for a while, but this run the Packers have been on for the past three decades is incredible. While we hope to ride that train forever, we must also never forget what a privilege it is to hold a ticket at all. Because this is not an easy game to win. May God bless you, my friend. Be well.

Iker from Ameca, Jalisco, Mexico

Which player do you think will be the first to wear a three-digit number?

Spoff's great grandson, Emil K. Spofford.

Hap from Graham, WA

Hey Wes, question for Jen Brien: How does it feel, as a "digital intern," to be known as the motor that drives this vehicle six days a week, a vehicle occupied by two digital non-interns who seem to be the focus of fan appreciation and accolades? We love your work at 1265!

Jen: Hey there Hap! There's not a better feeling in the world than waking up and pulling into Lambeau Field for work, truly a special experience. I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Wes, Spoff, Duke and Joidon – they're the real engines that keep this vehicle going, in my opinion! (Editor's note: She's lying about the Wes part).

Paul from Minneapolis, MN

I feel really good with my self-discipline this spring by ignoring mock draft click bait. That said, who will the Packers pick with their No. 1's?

I'll make a prediction on No. 22 and 28 with you guys next Thursday. Have a great weekend, folks. For those of you in Green Bay, I hope you enjoy the warm weather today.

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