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Inbox: That's asking a heck of a lot

The cream eventually rises

Former Packers WR Robert Brooks
Former Packers WR Robert Brooks

Bil from Stateline, NV

"Scoffed-at opinion"? Shouldn't that be SPOFFED-at opinion?


Scott from Seattle, WA

Who is Matt Arvin? Did he steal Wes's lunches while Mike was on his Inbox Detox from our sandbox?

He's our "Packers Unscripted" producer, also known as Marvin, whose cube is right next to Wes's. I nicknamed him when we had three Matts all within shouting distance of one another on the floor. He has several other non-website duties that take up his time, so we forgive him. He's also a Michigan State alum, and we forgive him for that, too.

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Who are your NFC playoff teams for 2022? And I will ask the same question after the draft.

I think all the 2021 division champs – Cowboys, Packers, Buccaneers, Rams – remain clear favorites in '22, but after that I have no idea. I don't see anything happening in the draft that would change the division favorites.

Craig from Appleton, WI

When the team gets around to shaking the WR tree to see what falls out, what type of receiver are you hoping to get?

I'm hoping the Packers add at least two, one with some size and another with serious speed. If they can find two guys with both of those, all the better.

James from Appleton, WI

In between the Packers' two first-round picks are Arizona, Dallas, Buffalo, Tennessee and Tampa Bay each making their first picks. Is it too much 3-D chess to consider how to land two players thinking one is likelier to slip past those five teams? What pick would you have to pair with No. 28 to move up to 23rd and make getting both players a sure thing?

The trade chart says the Packers would have to give up their third-round pick (and maybe get a fifth or sixth in return) or both of their fourth-rounders. Something along those lines. If the board shows, say, three or four players rated pretty equally and Gutey would be happy with any of them, he'll probably wait out the five picks in between and see how it falls. If at 22, there are two players at the top of his board and a significant drop-off after that, I could see him going with the bigger roster need at 22 and then considering your trade idea.

Mark from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Do GMs contact other teams prior to or before the draft to ask, if their player is available, if the team is open to a trade, or is that too open-ended? I could see BG calling Miami (or whoever is ahead of New Orleans) if his player is still available in order to get him before the Saints pick, assuming he feels NO would draft said player.

Teams explore trade possibilities in advance all the time. They get a gauge on what it would take to make a deal. But in the moment, it always depends on whether one team's guy is "there," and the other team's guy is "gone."

Jared from Rochester, MN

I was really hoping that we would resign Mercilus, as he would have been an excellent rotational player. I do however wish him the best as he moves on from the NFL. With this in mind, do you think that it will be a necessity to draft another edge guy? Or do you think that spot can still be filled through free agency?

I had edge rusher pretty high on the draft priority list before Mercilus announced his retirement.

Dave from Germantown, TN

How much weight do the Packers place on how well the draft prospect or free agent will fit into the current locker room?

Quite a bit. It matters. I think even more so in the Gutekunst-LaFleur era than previously, and it wasn't ignored back then, either.

Ronald from Panabo, Philippines

Insiders, in the early rounds of the draft, when it's their turn on the clock, do you think Gutey just looks at the board and has his mind made up? The rest of the time is just spent seeing if another team is seeking a trade? Or is there still lobbying going on by scouts for different players?

There isn't much lobbying in the early rounds, because those discussions took place when the board was built. If they're fielding inquiries about trades, teams might use all their time just to see, but if they have their guy and know they can't wait any longer for him, they'll turn in the card pretty quickly.

Richard from Madison, WI

One reason that Georgia's individual D-linemen – Devonte Wyatt, Jordan Davis, and Travon Walker – each seems so good is that they're lining up next to the other two, so it's almost impossible for the other side to double-team them all. But that's college. Once you get to the pros, EVERYBODY lining up next to you is that good, and so are the guys on the other side. I'd be more impressed with someone who's acknowledged to be the only significant rusher on his team who still gets the job done anyway.

I hear you, but that's why the scouts do what they do while we sit back and watch. The film doesn't lie, and they forget more film about one player than any of us watch on all of them.

Tim from Windsor, CO

Thinking ahead and assuming there will be a handful of new WRs, curious to your thoughts that ML might be inclined to play starters more in preseason games.

A popular query, particularly as it relates to Aaron Rodgers. LaFleur's MO has been to have young starters/regulars still play in preseason games. Josh Myers and AJ Dillon started all three preseason games last August, for example. Established veterans do not. I don't see that changing.

Scott from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, I loved the article about the offensive line. Who are the jars on the shelf that may become the next Yosh Nijman?

It'll be a big offseason/training camp/preseason for Cole Van Lanen and Jake Hanson, who have been here and aren't new to anything going on.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think the special teams will finally be better?

For all the Packers' unevenness on special teams over the last 15 years or so, nothing was as bad as what I saw the last two seasons. Famous last words, I know, but if it doesn't get better, and can actually get worse, it's difficult for me to picture it.

Jeffrey from Sioux Falls, SD

Spoff, in answering your question to Marty from New Orleans, you inadvertently missed what could be the most important addition to the team … the new special teams coach. In my estimation, he will definitely make all of the special teams better. One could argue if next year's offense and defense play to the same level of excellence as this year, the improvement by the special teams will carry the team to the Super Bowl.

It's a long season, and I'm not going to go that far in April. But I didn't include Bisaccia in the list of moves the other day because I was focused solely on personnel.

Mike from Somerset, WI

If Aaron plays two more years, can he throw under seven picks in the next two years to remain under 100 interceptions in a 19-year career?

That'll be tough. He's had only one two-year stretch as a starter with fewer than seven (2018-19, six).

Take a look back at photos of Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones during the 2021 season.

Jason from Austin, TX

The historical WR draft analysis is interesting but flawed. Is a wide receiver's success not directly tied to the quarterback and the surrounding wide receivers? Allen Robinson would have had a much different carrier if he had Rodgers as QB than Blake Bortles. He was also asked to be lead receiver right from the start. Adams had Nelson and Randall Cobb to take the pressure and coverage away from him. I'm not saying Robinson is better, but I think wide receiver's success shouldn't be viewed singularly.

No one's saying it is, but in this league the cream eventually rises. Always does. Take a look at what Adams did for half a season with Hundley as his QB in '17. He proved who he was, as has a guy like Robinson, regardless.

Gary from Pulaski, VA

Hey Mike! Given all the WR fever in the Inbox, and given Vic's mantra of them being a "dime a dozen," and given what I think is your somewhat higher opinion of them, I'm curious as to what kinds of conversations occurred when you and Vic worked together. Before he retired Vic was on record as saying he would even move on from Adams and not try to re-sign him. I think I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall of conversations between you and him about the value of WRs. Could you share?

I've often said, and continue to, that the college game cranks out receivers like no other position in this game. They're there to be found in the draft, you just have to find the right ones. Where I differ with Vic is I distinguish more between good receivers and HOF-level ones, in terms of their value and impact on games. I found his take all the more curious given he covered those '70s Steelers team with two HOF receivers (Swann and Stallworth).

Dave from Onalaska, WI

For those of us old enough to remember, the day that Sterling Sharpe was lost due to medical reasons it was horrible for the team. The sky was falling indeed. Yet somehow we were able to overcome using receivers we apparently didn't know we had, thanks to an up-and-coming new quarterback. Funny how things change and yet stay the same.

I see your point, but I don't quite draw the parallel, and not just because the QB's are at totally different stages in their careers. In 1995, the Packers had a high third-round pick, Robert Brooks (No. 62 overall in '92), entering his fourth year ready to take off, and he did. Maybe Lazard could be that guy, but 102 catches for 1,497 yards and 13 TDs … that's asking a heck of a lot. More on my radar in this history lesson: two running backs and a tight end (Bennett, Levens, Chmura) combined for 163-1,761-15 that year.

Barry from Saint Michael, MN

Many people may consider Treylon Burks' 40 time at the combine of 4.55 to be a bit slow, but when you look at the tape, he plays a lot faster than that. Just out of curiosity, what was Davante Adams' posted 40 time when he came out of college?

Burks' 4.55 time is not blazing fast, but at 225 pounds I don't consider it all that slow. Adams clocked a 4.56 at the combine at 212 pounds.

Take a look back at photos of Green Bay Packers S Adrian Amos during the 2021 season.

Dave from Rockford, IL

If we use all 11 draft picks, and they all make the roster, that would leave only 42 players left on the roster that weren't drafted. We would have to cut quite a few players now on the roster. That is why I believe we might be trading some draft picks this year.

As Wes noted, difficult roster decisions are the goal, not the problem, and always better than the alternative. Also, plenty of draft picks spend time on the practice squad, too.

Bob from Marinette, WI

I would figure that the draft board is set up already in the draft room. I also assume some of the prospects that could or have come into GB might cause BG to make an adjustment to the board. Can an interview one on one change BG's mind that much?

A tweak to the board? Sure. A major shift? No.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

For later-round draft-day trades, I've seen the rule of thumb that a pick this year is worth a pick one round earlier next year. But trading for a future first-round pick is a big risk-reward proposition – trading away a future first-rounder even more so (ask the Texans how that worked for them, then ask the Rams). What gives GMs the idea they can predict the future and make these sorts of moves? Sheer desperation?

They aren't necessarily trying to predict anything in terms of the future pick numbers, and desperate is probably the wrong word. More like enamored. They fall in love with a certain guy and just absolutely have to have him, so they'll mortgage a future commodity to get him.

Donald from Imnaha, OR

Frankly, I am amazed at Tiger's recovery and potential to tee up at the Masters, AND him saying he thinks he can win it! It has been a very short time since his accident. I believe he is much like A. Smith and his leg comeback, although the time frames are different. Both cases = amazing. Who else (especially a Packer!) can you compare who has suffered a potential "career ending injury" and made a comeback to the sport's biggest stage! Thanks for all you do – love starting my day with you guys!

I don't recall all the details, but what Mike Flanagan overcame early in his career to eventually go to a Pro Bowl was pretty remarkable.

John from Jupiter, FL

Morning Mike! Just how much angst will you have to handle the day after the draft if the Packers take OL and DL with the two first-rounders? Thanks.

I will be mentally prepared.

Sam from Greendale, WI

Don't GMs know that to succeed all they have to do is make all the draft picks hit, sign only the best free agents, and re-sign all of their star players to long-term contracts? I don't get what's so hard about it. It's just like running a race. To win you run fast in the beginning, fast in the middle, and finish fast. Simple.

Happy Friday.