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Inbox: That only adds to the intrigue

Jayden Reed has a shot at being the crown jewel of a prodigious draft class

GM Brian Gutekunst and Head Coach Matt LaFleur
GM Brian Gutekunst and Head Coach Matt LaFleur

Dennis from Parrish, FL

When the Inbox gets published on Monday, it will only be 418 hours roughly before Roger Goodell walks onto a stage, and says, "The Chicago Bears are on the clock!" I can't wait!

When you put it that way, I better submit some more PTO.

Lane from Hurricane, UT

Which Packers player do you think had the biggest Year 1 impact?

Year 1? Jordan Love. Rookie? Jayden Reed. The Packers received so much immediate production from their 2023 draft class, but Reed has a shot at being the crown jewel of a prodigious draft class. The former Michigan State standout was not only productive but also consistent. For 35 years, Sterling Sharpe held that rookie single-season receptions mark for the Packers and then Reed came along.  You don't break a record like that by accident.

Steve from Palm Springs, FL

Hi Wes, first things first, I work at a hotel and had the pleasure to assist Lukas Van Ness in my work priorities. That's a big dude and also very cool. The question is would you take Cooper DeJean or Graham Barton if both are available? Both of you are great writers and very insightful. Thanks.

Oh boy, here we go. These are always no-win situations for me because it creates a Player A or Player B narrative. There's also the possibility the Packers take the player I don't pick over the player I do. But since you were the first to ask, I'll give you an answer – I'd take DeJean. He's a proven playmaker whose versatility would deepen any secondary.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Most years it seems that Packers Nation develops a "favorite" in advance of the draft. Going all the way back to 2006, it was A.J. Hawk. In 2014, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was the guy. Both of these players landed in green and gold. And we'll not soon forget 2017 when T.J. Watt was the in-state fan favorite, available when GB was on the clock. It seems that this year's guy is Cooper DeJean from Iowa. Are there others in your memory bank that stand out?

I definitely feel like DeJean is "that guy" this year. The two others who come to mind are Brandon Aiyuk in 2020 and Treylon Burks in 2022. It felt like fans, and quite a few draftniks, had those two receivers mocked to Green Bay in their respective draft years.

Don from Torrington, CT

Loved Mr. McKinstry's Prospect Primer because now we know what flavor that Kool-Aid is: PUNCH! Dang, that young man has hand strength and punches the ball out that's crazy good! Who does he remind you of? He reminds me of Peanut Tillman, always in the right place to close fast and gets his hands on the ball.'s Lance Zierlein went with Atlanta cornerback A.J. Terrell as McKinstry's comp, but McKinstry does seem to play physical like Tillman did. He's a heady player with strong hands who also breaks quickly to the ball.

Ken from Boynton Beach, FL

Hi Insiders, with the departure of David Bakhtiari, Jon Runyan, and Yosh Nijman, we lost depth on the offensive line. I really like Amarius Mims, the tackle out of UGA for our first pick in the draft. Do you think Guety will bring him in for an evaluation/interview or is he staying mums about Mims?

All is quiet there, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Under Brian Gutekunst, in the first round, the Packers have drafted players they've brought in for visits and some they concealed their cards on. Mims has two traits the Packers seem to like, though – he's a 6-foot-8 tackle and attended the University of Georgia. Mims didn't start many games for the Bulldogs, but the traits are undeniable.

Rudy from Rhinelander, WI

Right now, who is the second-most valuable player on defense? Jaire Alexander is No. 1 easily – but I think Keisean Nixon is second-most important. Obviously, a lot would pick Kenny Clark, but if versatility counts, Nixon has to be right there. If the D steps up with all the first-round picks, hello Super Bowl!

There's a reason the nickel cornerback is often referred to as the "star" position, right? Nixon's presence will be key next year. However, I'm still a big proponent that football is often won and lost on the edge, so Rashan Gary stands near the top of any list for me. If Gary takes that next step towards becoming a dominant pass rusher, the Packers' defense has a real chance to soar with No. 52 chasing the quarterback and No. 23 picking him off.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Given their free-agent signings, I don't necessarily view the defensive backfield as a pressing need. Unless they view Eric Stokes' injury as being debilitating, to me he is still of starting caliber and has had some early injuries but can recover. I hope that among their first three picks they go with at least one offensive lineman and one defensive lineman in order to add depth and even add more impact plays in 2024. I would be thrilled to see that approach. Perhaps an inside linebacker as well.

In my opinion, the Packers don't have many pressing needs in this year's draft but that only adds to the intrigue as to how they'll approach those five picks in the top 100.

Patrick from McFarland, WI

Hello! Excited about draft! I'm wondering how much value a late first-round pick has vs. an early second-round pick in terms of the extra year of team control over a first-rounder? How much extra value does the 25th pick have over the 33rd pick aside from being eight spots higher? Thanks, love II!

Five years ago, I would have said it's significantly more valuable, but the fact fifth-year options are now fully guaranteed for skill makes me back off that stance somewhat. It's still probably worth trading up to take a quarterback late in the first round rather than waiting till the second, but I don't feel as strongly about that as when Minnesota traded back in to draft Teddy Bridgewater at No. 32 in 2014.

Brian from Milwaukee, WI

I see Lucas Patrick is still a free agent. Would he be someone the Packers might be interested in after the draft? Seemed like he was pretty solid when he was here.

I would love nothing more than for Patrick to return to Green Bay, but I also don't cut the checks. Patrick is still a free agent at the moment, and I felt like he played well for the Bears last season. Chicago certainly missed his presence at center when Patrick was forced out of the regular-season finale against Green Bay due to the calf injury. We'll see where the chips fall, but I hope to see No. 62 out there for somebody next season.

Sue from Tomah, WI

Serious side of this question: Since the Packers do not have just one owner, how are they represented at owners' meetings? On the humorous side of that, I vote that each GBP shareholder gets a vote at the meetings! Oh, look! There's the door! Gotta run now! GPG!

Mark Murphy is the organization's representative and proxy vote, though Mark will be the first to tell you he also leans on the expertise of COO Ed Policy and the Packers' other VPs.

Dan from Richmond, VA

Regarding Mike's list of offensive playmakers who have most consistently torched the Packers over the years, the name Barry Sanders was no surprise. However, according to my memory (which runs hot and cold), I believe we once held him to negative yardage during the course of an entire game. Are we the only team to ever pull off that remarkable feat?

That 1994 playoff game against Green Bay was the only time in Sanders' illustrious career he failed to gain a yard on the ground. The only other time Sanders was even in the single digits came during a five-carry, 1-yard performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a 23-3 loss during his rookie season in 1989.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

One thing I've always wondered: During the draft, do teams get instant updates from the league on who's been picked, or do they have to wait for the Commish (or whomever) to announce the pick like those of us sitting at home?

NFL teams have their own internal communication system. It's not like Brian Gutekunst and the 31 other GMs are watching NFL Network to hear Roger Goodell say which player has been selected.

Johnny from Salt Lake City, UT

Guys, has Mark Murphy thought about having the NFL hook up the Packers' Dreamliner with a U.S. military aerial refueling aircraft for a mid-flight top off? ATMR (WCBW), our military currently has 568 refueling aircraft…maybe they could free one up for the flight down to Brazil?

Folks, we'll see what happens. If the Packers get sent to Brazil, we'll discuss it.

Mike from Lake Villa, IL

Good afternoon, Mike and Wes! Mike stated that Thursday games and artificial turf are not collectively bargained issues. My question is why not? I believe that wages, hours and working conditions are all mandatory subjects of collective bargaining and both of those subjects, along with an 18th game, would seem to fall under working conditions. Any insight is appreciated.

This is out of my purview, and I don't want to speak on a matter I'm not fully educated on. I would think that's something the NFLPA could bring up in the next round of CBA negotiations, but I'm sure it's something players would like to see league ownership address before then.


2024 Prospect Primers

Joe from Dartford, UK

Hi Wes – your comment around thinking "J.R. Sweezy is way too tall to play center" when he was drafted got me thinking: Which single player do you think has had the biggest impact on their position in terms of their size/shape/style becoming the prototype body for that position group once that player has proved it can be done? I guess my question is which player has been the most transformative for their position group? Or broken conventional/widely accepted assumptions around a position?

Aaron Donald changed the game, and the way NFL scouts view the blueprint for elite defensive tackles. Donald was part of a revolution at the position that also included Geno Atkins, Jurrell Casey and Mike Daniels in the 2010s. It's why he'll be a unanimous first-ballot Hall of Famer whose discussion shouldn't last any longer than the Rams' presenting voter uttering his name.

Tom from Fort Myers, FL

Under the new kickoff rules, what happens if the kicker slips on a muddy or snowy field and squibs the kick?

The ball goes to the 40-yard line…and the kicker needs to check his cleats.

Randy from Grand Junction, CO

With the draft this month, do either of you go to Detroit or stay in Green Bay?

No, we'll always be in Green Bay. There's only two of us, so we have to stay close to the headquarters. So, next year will probably be the closest we'll get to attending an NFL Draft in-person.

Dave from Howard, WI

Having worked in Antarctica for 10 seasons I can attest to the number of Packer and Badger fans there. UW is well represented in Antarctica, both among the support workers and the science community. People from the cold are attracted to cold places? UW sends a number of scientists and engineers every year. In fact, a UW engineering team designs and drills all of the ice cores for the USAP. To get your chest thumping proud for UW, read "Telescope in the Ice" about the neutrino telescope at South Pole!

From Antarctica all the way back to my backyard in Howard! I'll be sure to check it out.

Josh from Playa Majagual, Nicaragua

With all of the recent chatter about submissions to the Inbox from abroad, I thought I better add a new one...Josh from Adams, WI, is now Josh from Playa Majagual, Nicaragua, permanently. Does my new location increase my odds of making the cut or should I change my name to Jeff, too?

It could only help. Have a good Monday.

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