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Inbox: That's going to be the most interesting aspect

It’s an inevitable reality

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

Bil from Stateline, NV

OK. I'm now thoroughly convinced. Wes is a visitor from outer space. Doesn't eat cheese, eats asparagus on brats and favorite road trip snack is sunflower seeds. Unless he eats the shells (like you would expect an alien to do) he's not riding in my car. I'm not vacuuming up shells until I trade the thing in.

Maybe he buys the already-shelled kind? I dunno.

Andy from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

The draft is coming fast, can we expect any new "Unscripted" episodes in the near future?

We are planning to reboot "Unscripted" this week. Stay tuned.

Doug from Lithia, FL

Mike, we need to put an asterisk next to No. 5 in your response to Richard from Madison. While Hornung never played for another team, he was picked by the Saints in the startup draft and retired before the season started.

Good catch.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

So where do you both watch the draft? Do you have your own "draft room" set up to monitor the draft?

Wes and I will be in the Lambeau Field media auditorium, along with all the other media, watching the draft on TV screens, which are then muted when a Packers scout or personnel executive enters to talk about a pick and when the picks themselves are connected via conference calls.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Regarding draft pick busts, the talent evaluators shouldn't necessarily get all the blame. It's on the player to demonstrate the drive and work ethic to succeed. I would think it is difficult to assess a player's psyche. Interviews with the player and his coaches can only tell so much.

True that.

Richard from Greenwich, NY

Hi guys, while AR has always been a mobile QB, 369 yards rushing in 2016 was his career high. Apart from Justin Fields's 1,100-plus rushing yards last year, several top QBs (e.g., Josh Allen) ran for over 700 yards in '22. Do you expect Love to be in that higher range his first full year? Seldom miss a day of Insiders. Thanks.

That number sounds a bit high to me, but I could see him topping Aaron Rodgers' 369 perhaps. In the end, that's going to be the most interesting aspect to this upcoming season, is just how much we simply don't know, beyond the usual unknown of a "normal" year.

Arthur from Eau Claire, WI

I recall people saying the Aaron Rodgers always plays better when he has a chip on his shoulder, because he had to sit behind Favre for so long, etcetera. Why don't they believe that Jordan Love won't have the same motivational chip as well as three years' experience in Coach LaFleur's system to do well?

Once again, no one will know until we know.

Fredrick from Bluffton, SC

Let's say we pick up a first or second from the Jets in this year's draft. If we wanted to move up from the 15 slot, what would it take? Also, if we got one of the Jets' picks would it even be worthwhile to move up? Would we gain that much or you would we be squandering some good picks?

Whether you're talking pick 13 or 15 or any of the second-rounders in the early 40s, if the Packers packaged a first and a second in those ranges, they could move up pretty close to the top 5, if they wanted to and could find a trade partner.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

I had been thinking along the same lines as Chris from Savage. Last year, A.J. Brown was traded during the first round of the draft, and I can't imagine that trade came together in five minutes. Probably one or both sides wanted to see how the board started to take shape before deciding which of the Eagles' mid-first-round picks to include in the trade. I could see a similar scenario happening this year, either approaching picks 13/15 or 42/43/45.

That's becoming a popular sentiment. As usual, we shall see.

The Packers Tailgate Tour ended their five-day road trip in Minocqua with stops at Lakeland Aviation & the Habitat for Humanity Northwoods Wisconsin ReStore. Their final visit of the day was spent with the Green Bay Army National Guard Armory.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Good morning! According to my research, which could be wrong, Tom Brady had a top 10 defense (points allowed) in 17/21 (81%) of his primary seasons as a starter (not counting injured 2008). Aaron Rodgers had 3/15 (20%). Apologies for the Inbox math. It will be interesting to see what Rodgers does with a defensive-minded head coach and talent on that side of the ball, should the anticipated trade occur.

I've seen similar stats before, re: Brady and Rodgers. On the Packers' part, the deficiency certainly wasn't from a lack of effort or commitment when you look at the draft resources expended. I'm just spiffballing here, but I think it speaks more to each franchise's success at developing defensive players, which could've been a reflection of the head coaches' backgrounds and leanings, I don't know.

Jerry from Lancaster, CA

I agree with Tyler from Cartersville, CA, in letting Micah Hyde walk. There have been several others, but for me, Taysom Hill not making the cut of the 53 and becoming the Swiss Army Knife, jack of all trades for New Orleans.

Yeah, the Packers misjudged that one (as they did Hyde, though I admit Hyde got a bigger contract than I thought he would). They hoped they could sneak Hill through waivers and onto the practice squad, but they were wrong. The Saints claimed him. As for Wes's comments on letting Hayward go, obviously another mistake. I'll always maintain that was in part a hidden consequence of the game that shan't be discussed. Hayward had two huge blunders down the stretch in that game, including one on the second-to-last snap in OT. I think the Packers lost their faith in him at that time, which led to them using their first two draft picks in 2015 on corners (Randall and Rollins), and when Hayward followed with a "meh" season in '15, they had no interest in paying him market value.

Eric from Bangkok, Thailand

There has been a ton of talk about the Pack being very tight on cap space and therefore handcuffed and unable to pursue much for free agents. According to OTC, the team has $21-plus million in cap space. Am I completely missing something? More money to hit that cap with extending contracts or dead money? Surely, draft picks don't cost nearly that much to sign.

No, they don't, but the draft class combined with the $9M hit once Rodgers is traded (assuming it's before June 1) and any wiggle room for in-season moves pretty much consumes that $21M.

Connor from Minnetrista, MN

Will a Rodgers trade get done pre-draft?

Before or during is still my expectation.

Shawn from Kissimmee, FL

I still wouldn't be surprised at all if the Rodgers deal doesn't get done until after June 1. Packers' reasons would be cap issues, and Rodgers usually doesn't go to OTAs anyway so he probably wouldn't be needed in NY until summer.

If the deal doesn't get done prior to or during the draft, then it could very well be on hold until after June 1, though I still think the Packers would be better off swallowing the whole cap hit now (or at least most of it) and not pushing off a big chunk.

David from Galesville, WI

With the rumors that the Jets want a conditional 2025 pick to protect against Aaron's retirement, when is the earliest that trade can be completed? Can 2025 picks be traded now, or does that only open on draft night?

My understanding is picks that are no more than three drafts away can be traded at any time.

Steven from Fort Wayne, IN

Instead of looking at the 40-yard dash results why aren't they looking at 15- to 20-yard dash of defensive linemen instead? Pass rushers especially don't run over 20 yards. And run defenders also.

Scouts do look at 10- and 20-yard splits, but it's the 40 times that get all the media attention.

Michael from Novato, CA

Morning, guys. It's not often I REALLY have strong opinions before the draft, but this year, I'm pretty sold on either Van Ness or Murphy for our first round, and then somehow getting Darnell Washington. I'm not sold on the "get Love more weapons" school of thought. I simply think that a TE who can block like he can, and has upside as a receiver is much more likely to make our other "weapons" better. Does that seem reasonable, or would you rather swing for the fences with a WR?

If the first two selections were to play out as you suggest, I don't think I'd have any complaints.

Brian from Maple Grove, MN

I think most fans look at OT as not an acute need this year, but it could be next year with David Bakhtiari counting 40M against the cap, being 33 and unavailable because of his knee. Yosh Nijman is a free agent next year, too. All the mock drafts I've seen show a run on tackles starting around pick 13. It seems to me value could meet a sneaky need with one of Skoronski, Johnson Jr., Broderick Jones or Darnell Wright there for the Packers. Thoughts?

First, to clarify, Bakhtiari appeared to have put the knee behind him finally last year before the appendectomy cropped up, but as you mention his age and cap number for '24 are definitely concerns. I've been saying all along if one of those top offensive tackles is there at 15, it would be tough to decline one. No matter what picks they may get from the Jets for this draft, the Packers aren't going to be able to accomplish everything they want to in the first two rounds. It's an inevitable reality.

Kevin from Grand Rapids, MI

I have an O-line question. If the Packers don't draft a tackle early, do you think they will look at Jenkins again at right tackle? He was penciled in there last year which didn't work out, but I don't think he was 100% healthy when he played there early.

While Jenkins' versatility has been a godsend for this team, he's at his best at left guard and I think the Packers would prefer to just keep him there.

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

I read an article about a new QB helmet that substantially reduces concussions, in addition to the recent helmets that were specifically designed for offensive/defensive linemen. Do/can the Packers mandate these helmets as a requirement for their players, or is that decision left to the players (as long their choice of helmet meets league requirements)?

The helmets are the players' choice, as long as they're in compliance, but Red Batty and his equipment staff will happily acquire any helmets players want to try out if they're interested.

Bill from Clive, IA

Your 2023 free agency rundown post still shows four guys as UFAs whose status is unresolved. Are there any important dates coming up by which some resolution is likely?

At this point, there's a decent chance there won't be any significant signings until after the draft. On the Monday after the draft (May 1), the compensatory window closes and UFA signings do not impact the compensatory formula for next year.

James from Appleton, WI

Shouldn't the Packers be picking up Jordan Love's fifth year by now?

That deadline is also May 1.

Chris from New Canaan, CT

A lot of folks may already know this, but it's worth pointing out IMO. Quinnipiac won the D1 men's hockey title and UConn won the basketball title, both schools from CT. The last time the men's D-1 hockey and b-ball champions hailed from the same state was 1977, Badger hockey and Marquette basketball. The bumblebee jerseys were tremendous. There was precious little love lost between Badger and Marquette basketball in those days, e.g Al McGuire atop the scorer's table at the MKE Arena.

I was a little young back in '77, but it was the wildly successful Badger hockey teams of the early '80s – when there was very little to cheer about in football and basketball – that made me a Badger sports fan for life.

Aaron from Phoenix, AZ

Regarding the pitch clock diminishing a pitcher's opportunity to gain a longer rest period between pitches and innings, this brings to mind Dr. Ian Malcom's maxim that "Life finds a way." That's obviously referencing a very long timeline, but even so, with improved training and adaptability to counter the clock, I'm curious to see how pitchers of the future evolve physically and how their capabilities increase. Or will their bodies just break sooner?

Great question. The Brewers already lost Brandon Woodruff for an extended period to a shoulder injury after two starts.

Paul from London, UK

The race is run and the jockeys weighed in! "Any Second Now" was a disappointment but "The Big Dog" came in fifth which earned me a few quid! I also had the winner in the "Works Sweepstake" which won me a few more of our finest English pounds. So much so that I'll be heading to the Packers (Quid) Pro Shop to purchase my new JL 10 shirt, I love the throwback jersey! Onwards and upwards to the draft, looking forward to getting up at silly o'clock in the morning to see our latest recruits?? GPG!

The Packers currently have four tight ends on the roster and the Big Dog came in fifth. You don't say.

Matt from Fitchburg, WI

Breaking rule No. 1 of Insider Inbox twice in one week? Guess I'll pull out the ole lawn chair and relax in the yard, while waiting for the world to end.

I vow to be better this week. Happy Monday.

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