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Inbox: That's exactly what happened

It was odd, yet somehow it worked

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CB Eric Stokes

Matt from Eau Claire, WI

What a day, huh?

Just another mundane late April at the office.

Doug from Westford, MA

Hi, I didn't realize that Mike went on vacation...

Good one.

Chet from Sioux Falls, SD

I don't even know which side to be upset with, all I know is that I am just sad.

It wasn't pleasant news to come across. I feel for all Packers fans dealing with the uncertainty. No one wants to hear what Rodgers reportedly said, particularly when the team's approach this offseason has been to keep as many pieces together as possible to make another run at it. This is a business, but it's also supposed to be fun. It's a tough situation for all involved, and no one's having any fun right now.

Cameron from Grovetown, GA

"Nothing would compare to last year." So does that mean this is all Hod's fault?

Most common submission of the day. Good call. I'm blaming him.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

I think we just drafted the "star" position for JB's defense. But this news about 12 is a little scary. Should we have seen this coming after the comments made after last year's draft and then after the NFC Championship Game? Is Love ready? Go Pack Go!

I wouldn't assume Stokes is going to play the "star." It strikes me as a spot you're looking for a more experienced defender, which is why I'd say Alexander and Savage are the top candidates. The addition of Stokes provides some flexibility with Alexander if Barry wants to explore. As for Rodgers' comments, I believed him when he said last spring and summer that he'd come to peace with the Love pick and what it potentially meant for his future. I'm not sure what changed, and I can't speak for him. Part of me hopes this is just an ultra-hardball negotiating tactic with regard to a new contract, but I really don't know.

Robert from Chandler, AZ

Can this be fixed?

Gutekunst seems to think so. In his news conference, he appreciated the opportunity to say he regretted not communicating his thoughts and intentions better during last year's draft. He seemed genuine.

Michael from Appleton, WI

With all the scrutiny and pressure that inevitably comes with being a GM, to also have as much patience and tolerance that Brian Gutekunst exudes in interviews – especially where he politely and respectfully responds to noise and drama that is unrelentingly being spewn at him – says a lot to me. Not just about who he is as a professional, but also as a person. He seems to be as high-class of a guy as any of the individuals he drafts.

I thought Gutekunst handled the news conference as well as anyone could, and he gave what sounded like honest answers to me. But let's be clear – he didn't dismiss the questions as "noise and drama." Gutekunst said the team has been working through this for several weeks now and confirmed lines of communication are open. That's where we are.

Alex from Kitchener, ON

Spoff, I bet you could use a question about the number 88 right about now...

Maybe, and I can't believe I just said that.

Lane from Louisville, KY

Does picking Eric Stokes to place alongside Jaire Alexander put the Packers in contention for having the best CB duo in the league? We now have two blazing fast corners who are phenomenal in man coverage. Also, you have my sympathies for having to deal with what must be an avalanche of hysteria flooding the Inbox right now.

No sympathy necessary. It's part of the gig. The Packers have only one front-line corner they can count on being under contract in 2022. It's a premier position. This pick was one of three I felt would have made all the sense in the world for the Packers the way the end of the first round fell. Because they seemed to have options in that regard, I thought they might trade back and then use the extra pick to trade up from late in the second and get two early picks tonight. Clearly, Gutekunst felt strongly about Stokes, but I could still see a trade up coming.

Chud from Danville, IL

Do you think the Packers entertained any trade offers to move down into the second round? Also, do you think they will try to move up in the second round to take one of the wide receivers (Elijah Moore or Terrace Marshall Jr.) or an offensive lineman (Teven Jenkins, Jalen Mayfield or Liam Eichenberg)?

Gutekunst said they did consider trading down but opted to stay put because they didn't want to lose Stokes. I think defensive line (Christian Barmore, Levi Onwuzurike) would be a trade-up possibility as well.

Cindy from Mesa, AZ

Good morning! A lot of players mocked to the Packers, such as T. Jenkins, are still available but seem unlikely to be there when the Packers pick in round 2. What are some realistic trade packages the Packers could assemble to move up to the top 10 of the second round?

I think the Packers would have to package their third-round pick with one of the fourths to get all the way up into the top 10 of the second round, so that might be a little rich. But I could see the third-round pick getting them 13-15 spots, or the fourths being worth about 4-5 spots apiece.

Steve from St. Charles, MO

Aren't we all thrilled by the near miss? At the last minute it looked like the Packers might actually pick the guy Wes predicted. Any hope that Eric Stokes can turn into a return wizard with that speed?

Wes was soooooooo wanting to be right on Jenkins. I'm not saying Stokes can't be a returner, but he had just one punt return and three kickoff returns in his college career. Let's see what the whole draft class looks like Saturday night and revisit this topic.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Congrats on nailing the pick with a Draft Digest. I like the pick and the coverage. Go Insiders!

At least we have that going for us, which is nice.

Dave from Huntsville, AL

"I'd guess the 29th pick to be on the clock around 10:30 p.m. CT, give or take 10-15 minutes." Not bad, the pick was in at 10:41 and announced at 10:45.

Sounds like I should go buy a Powerball ticket. Maybe I'll just make a wish instead.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

As fans watching at home, we only find out who is picked a few minutes after the next team is on the clock. Does the NFL notify the team going on the clock who the previous pick was so that they don't spend time looking at that player?

There's an official database into which the league enters the pick when it's turned in, and all teams have live access to those updates.

DT from Bozeman, MT

The Packers had the No. 1 scoring offense last season. We did not have the No. 1 defense. Despite that I'm guessing the Inbox is filled with fans screaming that Gutey blew it because he didn't get Aaron another weapon on offense with his first pick in this draft. What say you? Do you think Gutey was going BAP or need?

I said for several weeks I thought the Packers' three biggest needs in this draft, in whatever order, were offensive line, defensive line and corner, and I felt there'd be a good chance need and value could meet late in the first round at one or more of those positions. That's exactly what happened.

Michael from Weston, Ontario

On a lighter note, the chair was a lot of fun.

It was odd, yet somehow it worked.

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

In your opinion, what was the biggest surprise of the night?

For me, there were three. The Notre Dame linebacker, Owusu-Koramoah, not getting drafted in the first round. The Eagles, for the second straight year, spending a first-round pick on a small receiver. And Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw lasting until the 23rd pick. That worked out exceedingly well for the Vikings to trade back nine spots, get some extra picks, and still get Darrisaw.

Chase from Minnesota City, MN

A TE with the fourth pick? Given Atlanta's track record (Julio Jones), that probably shouldn't surprise me, but it does.

It was unusual for a tight end to be considered the best (non-QB) offensive player in a draft, but the opinion seemed rather universal.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

There is no doubt that not having No. 69 on the field impacted the NFC Championship; but he didn't give up a touchdown before half time or fumble the ball right after the half or drop a two-point conversion or get called for pass interference. A lot of other things went against us and we should have been able to win without him.

I wholeheartedly agree, and have said as much before. This all started with someone asking me if I thought the Packers win the game if Bakhtiari is healthy. I said yes. That was it. And for those who don't know me well enough, I absolutely caught the "Fletch" reference the other day. I would never miss a "Fletch" reference. Why do you think I posted it? But that doesn't change the fact that the submission didn't actually make sense. OK, time to move on, on both fronts.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

Which would you prefer: another season of "The Newsroom," or a sequel to "Draft Day"?

Wes may differ here, but give me "The Newsroom" in a heartbeat. I would think a sequel to "Draft Day" would be almost impossible. If you make it more realistic, it would be boring, and you can't make it more outrageous, right?

Joel from Green Bay, WI

Good morning! The Packers currently have 72 players under contract, meaning they can add 18 this week without cutting anyone they already have. Assuming they add 10 players through the draft, and given the UDFA signing bonus pool limit of $160,000 per team, do you think it's to the Packers' advantage to only be able to add eight UDFAs, as they could offer higher signing bonuses to get the "cream of the crop," versus a team signing 20 UDFAs?

Given the considerably smaller volume of players in this draft pool, the math says the UDFA crop won't be as strong as it normally is. I don't see the Packers handing out larger signing bonuses just because they can, if they aren't confident those players can make a legitimate run at a roster spot.

Bill from Little Chute, WI

Is the real reason GB has never formally retired No. 1 is because they need it for the first-pick photo?

After an extremely long day and night, this actually made me chuckle. Thanks.

Nathan from Delta, PA

Y'all got any big plans this weekend?

Sleeping in Sunday. Not there yet. Happy Friday.

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