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Inbox: Solid choice, too

Anything reasonable seems feasible

Former Packers CB Sam Shields
Former Packers CB Sam Shields

Scott from Salem, OR

Great. Spoff's not mean. We're back down to one crate of hard tack.


Dale from Prescott, WI

Mike, loving the Prospect Primers. Tyree Wilson looks like a stud with a 100 mph motor like Gary and Quay. Would love to see him drop to the Packers' pick, wherever that ends up being.

Since I did the mock draft research on players frequently chosen between pick 10 and 20 to put together our Primer list, all I've seen is Wilson keep climbing in the projections. At this point I'll be shocked if he's there at 15.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Which prospect from Prospect Primers since II started doing them has had the best career so far?

Definitely Davante Adams in 2014, and we did one on Jaire Alexander in '18, too.

Stephen from Menomonee Falls, WI

2018 NFL re-draft. Jaire's gotta be a top 10 pick, right? Top five?

Interesting question. There are currently 17 players from that draft who've been chosen for multiple Pro Bowls, including Alexander, and three of them were third-round picks, actually. Strong arguments can be made for Alexander being top 10 in that group, but the top five would be tough to crack. Looking objectively, after Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson at the head of the QB class, four players from that draft have been first-team All-Pro multiple times – Quenton Nelson, Shaq Leonard, Minkah Fitzpatrick (three each) and Fred Warner (twice). Someone in that group, aside from Alexander, is getting left out of the top five.

Richard from Madison, WI

When a team is good for a long time, it's because it has really good players. That means that less fortunate teams are often happy to take Packer castoffs, so a lot of Packer stars end their careers playing for someone else. Who are the Packer Hall of Famers who managed to spend their ENTIRE careers in the Green and Gold?

According to my research (which could be wrong), of the Packers' 28 individuals enshrined in Canton, 10 of them played for nobody but the Packers – Hutson, Hinkle, Canadeo, Starr, Nitschke, Hornung, Wood, Kramer, Dillon and Butler.

Wilb from Mount Hope, WI

In the clip about Clay Matthews from the Senior Bowl, I am so surprised his ripping the ball out of Adrian Petersons hands wasn't included, and it was right after the announcers were talking about how vice-like AP's grip is. That was a jump-out-of-your-seat moment.

That was during his rookie year and in just his fourth NFL game, too.

Kevin from Indianapolis, IN

I know the scouts speak with college coaches about prospective players, but do they also speak with the current Packers players who have been teammates in college with prospects? For instance, could Stokes have been one of many voices in the decision to pick Walker and Wyatt (not taking anything away from their obvious talent)?


Hank from Centennial, CO

Back in the day the Broncos famously whiffed on a first-round draft choice when they picked nose tackle Ted Gregory of Syracuse, who turned out to be much smaller than advertised. Teams still whiff on draft picks, but is that kind of mistake a thing of the past with the amount of information available online today? In other words, picking a player to fill a role that he is manifestly physically unable to perform?

Gregory was a first-round pick in 1988, when the combine was in its infancy and almost exclusively for medical checks. Still, the Broncos' lack of knowledge of Gregory's size, even then, was personnel malpractice at best. These days, it's practically impossible for such an oversight to occur.

Michael from Winfield, IL

Can we put the BAP vs. need debate to rest, please? GB's big board doesn't have players ranked 1-500. Most likely they have players ranked Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, etc. There may be four players in a tier or there may be 50 players in a tier. When it's their time to pick, they look at who's still available in their top tier and then pick based on need. It's never strictly BAP or strictly need.

Did you and Troy from Westminster, CO, bump into each other at the airport or something? He sent in almost the exact same submission within two hours of yours. Anyway, yes, the concept you describe is a meaningful way to understand it. If there's one player left in the top tier when you're on the clock, the decision makes itself. If there are a handful or more available and you'd be happy with any of them, trading down can maximize value. Teams also target certain players they really like, figure out where on the board getting that player would provide good value, and then try to move there when the time is right.

Josh from Vancouver, WA

It's great to see Eddie Lacy back in Packers colors. What is your all-time favorite play of his?

Several folks brought up the long screen pass for a TD vs. the Bears in 2014, one of Rodgers' six first-half TD passes that game. That's certainly memorable. The one I'll probably never forget was his 60-yard run on the first snap of the second half of the Matt Flynn comeback game in Dallas. The Packers were dead in the water and then suddenly coming up for air thanks to him. Three plays later, Flynn hit Jordy Nelson for a TD, and the rest is history.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

So Eddie Lacy as the most important rookie for the Packers in the last 20 years? Not a bad choice but my vote goes for Sam Shields. As an undrafted signee, he contributed a lot in the run to the Super Bowl. I may be wrong but didn't he also see some time as a kick or punt returner? I think Shields may be one of the best Packer undrafted players we have ever had. He niched out a decent career in GB and maybe done more if not for concussions.

Solid choice, too, and yes, Shields as a rookie in 2010 did share kickoff return duties with Nelson.

George from Edinburg, VA

Mike, please clarify this, regarding Wes's response to Rick from Bluffton, SC. Maybe I'm confused, but I thought I asked you last year about increasing a practice-squad player's salary to keep him and you wrote salaries are now fixed by CBA.

My understanding is PS salaries are fixed for players with less than two accrued seasons, though they can earn more via game-day elevations to the active roster. PS salaries for players with two or more accrued seasons have a minimum and maximum, and can be negotiated within that range.

Walter from Rome, NY

I understand getting jars on the shelf, but I believe that what we have on our current OL roster is worth staying with. We always want new additions, but if we're gonna add to the line, it should be defensively. We lost big D and JR, and while TJ and D-wat have huge upside, we should keep that train rolling. Again, just an offseason question to think on. Like Bartles & James said, thank you for your support.

I expect the Packers to add to both lines during this draft. The defensive line is clearly the more acute need, but if one of those top offensive tackles is there at 15 and the D-linemen available are graded more as late firsts, I'm not hesitating.

Gene from Anderson, IN

Further question on the top Packers picks in the last 20-25 years. What were the issues that caused those picks to not succeed or were overrated and hence overdrafted?

The short versions are that Reynolds (260 at DE) and Carroll (5-9½ at CB) were too small to play their positions effectively at this level, and Harrell was damaged goods, injury-wise. In retrospect, it probably isn't fair to lump Edwards in with those other three.

Craig from Appleton, WI

When evaluating players for the draft in the later rounds, are teams more interested in what players can do or what they can't do well?

Late-round picks are usually targeted because of one or two key attributes, with the hope the rest can be developed along the way.

Barry from Green Bay, WI

This may have been addressed recently so pardon my not knowing. What is the status of Eric Stokes' recovery from ankle and knee injuries and is there a projected return date for him? Also, is Rashan Gary on track for a November return (one-year rehab)?

There's been no timetable given for either player.

Kevin from Savage, MN

If you could pick any team other than GB to win next year's SB, who and why?

The Buffalo Bills. Watching them lose four in a row during my college years, I honestly felt for those fans. Of the 12 franchises that have never hoisted the Lombardi, that's one I'd truly enjoy seeing win it all.

The Tailgate Tour began Day 3 with a breakfast visit with local veterans at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center along with two surprise assembly appearances at both Superior Middle School & High School.

Ed from Windsor, CO

I feel relief when Christmas Day is over. This year it seems the draft is taking too long to get here. Which significant NFL day, such as the draft, first minicamp, first game, brings you the most relief? For you, does the Super Bowl feel like the last day of middle school or something else?

The draft is an exhausting three days of work, so there's always relief when it's over and our coverage is complete. The other one for me is the first preseason game, because that signals the end of the true grind of training camp and the daily work schedule starts to become more routine.

Chris from Savage, MN

I broke my rule of not reading Aaron Rodgers trade speculation click-bait for just one article and it had an interesting premise. The idea was that everyone involved is so confident the deal will get done because the two sides have already agreed to a number of contingent trade packages. Basically if the Jets' guy is off the board at 13 then GB gets package X for AR12 including pick 13, otherwise they'll execute package Y, or Z or 88 or whichever, later on. Does that seem feasible to you?

Anything reasonable seems feasible to me at this point.

Juan from Miami, FL

I understand how Rod from Chugiak, AK, feels; however, even though my statement or question is not in II, I many times see the same question just written a little differently from another II reader which tells me there are a lot of duplicate questions submitted and you guys just pick one out of many. I still get satisfaction from that. And I do read II every day no matter what. You all do a great job keeping us informed.

I'm going to break the first rule of II here, but regarding common, topic-of-the-day questions that flood the Inbox, trust me, we don't have time to read them all to pick the most well-written or cleverly phrased one. There are times the meritocracy (such as it is) gives way to the lottery.

Arthur from Eau Claire, WI

It seems that in MLB that the scoring is up and home runs are leaving ballparks at an amazing rate. Do you think (as I do) that the pitch clock is a contributing factor and apparently the time-consuming rituals of batters were for many decades nothing but a waste of time?

I think the long games of years past were on both the hitters and pitchers, but while hitters used delay tactics as a short mental reset, pitchers used them as a brief physical reprieve. I think we're seeing the reduction in physical reprieves for pitchers being the bigger factor.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

I don't think we need more football. I don't think the popularity of football has much to do with football at all. The NFL especially is community. It brings people together. Fantasy leagues, betting, schedule, day of the week, time of day. College and high school football do that too at a more local level. The XFL and USFL can't just make community appear out of thin air. I also doubt there is a market for football to build MORE community. People have their hobbies and religions as well.

Several valid points there.

Jeff from Janesville, WI

Almost draft day.

T-minus 13 days and counting. Happy Friday.

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