Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: That's the sentimental favorite for most Packers fans

Learning multiple positions is a rite of passage for NFL offensive linemen

Pro Football Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler
Pro Football Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler

Bob from Emmaus, PA

Good morning, II. Now that the Tailgate Tour is done, offseason workouts have started and the draft is imminent, the only thing I can say is that after all was said and done, a lot more was said than done.

And we're officially one week away from the 2023 NFL Draft. Football business is about to pick up.

Zachary from Las Animas, CO

I have heard a lot of talk about how the Packers need a pure slot receiver. What are the qualities needed to be a slot receiver, and who would best serve in that role on our current roster, or is it a label that truly doesn't matter?

I don't think that label matters as much now as it once did but there still are desirable traits in an NFL slot receiver – explosiveness, fearlessness, and an ability to knife through traffic to gain separation. Samori Toure and Bo Melton could play there, but this is also a good time to mention one of my favorite players in this year's draft: Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba. When healthy, Smith-Njigba is a pass-catching machine. He's not the fastest receiver in this year's class but his tenacity in the middle of the field reminds me of Randall Cobb. He's also a threat on pre-snap motions, too. The hamstring injury was often discussed this winter, but I'm completely enamored with JSN's sophomore year. Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson drew plenty of attention, but it was JSN going off for 347 yards and three touchdowns that helped Ohio State outpace Utah in the Rose Bowl.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think the Packers pick a tight end first?

It's been 23 years since Ron Wolf drafted Bubba Franks 14th overall, so I'm still waiting to see the card submitted before I'll believe it. That being said, if there was ever a year to draft a tight end in the first round, this sure seems like it.

Michael from Houston, TX

II, I understand the theory that good tight ends can still be found in later rounds and that's the thought about not drafting one in the first round. I also remember Jermichael Finely. While Finley was only a third-rounder, do people remember the impact he made on this team? Paul Coffman? If the Packers can get a really good tight end, that could make a huge difference for this offense.

Absolutely. It's just the hit rate on first-round tight ends is complicated. It's been a full decade since the last time a first-round pick was voted first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press (Tony Gonzalez, 2012). Meanwhile, a slew of Day 3 tight ends has dominated the NFL (Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Jimmy Graham and Mark Andrews).

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Breaking my rule about never making assumptions, I'm going to assume that a certain amount of II submissions include the name of a player that the submitter believes the Packers should draft in Round 1. Is there a name that is most submitted?

Darnell Washington.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

Which home games and which away games are you most looking forward to?

Patrick Mahomes leading Kansas City into Lambeau Field for the first time in a regular-season game should be fun. My favorite away game is easily Las Vegas. Obviously, the matchup with Davante Adams will drive storylines that week, but I'm also excited to check Allegiant off the short list of NFL stadiums I haven't been to.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Some random facts: The Packers starting quarterback (except for injury replacements) has stood 6-foot-2 for the for the past 37 years. That includes Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Don Majkowski, and Randy Wright. Scott Hunter was 6-3 and last played in 1985. Standing at 6-4, Jordan Love is the tallest starting QB in Packers history. It's only a couple inches, but what advantages are afforded by this extra height in the pocket?

Love is prototypical as far as height, weight (224) and hands (10½ inches). The biggest advantage for a tall quarterback is his ability to see over the linemen in front of him from the pocket and deliver the ball from a higher angle. There are a handful of scouting bureaus and analysts that have run tests indicating a taller QB's completion percentages tend to be higher and big-play probabilities increase.

The Green Bay Packers kicked off the first day of the 2023 offseason program inside the Don Hutson Center & the team's weight room.

Jonathan from Osceola Mills, PA

What free-agent quarterbacks are the Packers targeting to be Jordan Love's backup this season?

I haven't seen a single report suggesting the Packers are targeting any FA QB right now, but the top remaining options are Teddy Bridgewater, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, and Mason Rudolph.

Matt from Madison, WI

Zach Tom is wearing No. 50 because he really wants to show off his versatility this year being able to play all the offensive line positions and some linebacker, with his ultimate goal to play eight different positions over eight games.

I don't get the hate for Tom wearing "50." I like it; feels like a throwback.

Matt from Cottage Grove, WI

What would be the bigger veteran loss on offense: Randall Cobb or Marcedes Lewis?

Lewis has been an irreplaceable complement to Matt LaFleur's offense the past four years. If Lewis isn't back, somebody is going to have to take over his responsibilities as an in-line blocker. The Packers may also need to utilize more formations with a sixth offensive linemen, which they have rarely done under LaFleur. Losing Lewis certainly would have a domino effect.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Are there certain college programs the Packers pay more attention to when seeking particular player positions? Schools known for producing good quality X players? Or do they take a more general approach to scouting?

There's probably something to that, though I'm not sure the Packers view it any differently than any other NFL club. I don't think you need to be a high-ranking personnel director to appreciate the offensive linemen and running backs Wisconsin has elevated to the NFL or the litany of defensive backs Alabama has put in the league. Purdue had the "Cradle of Quarterbacks," Iowa has its tight ends, and Ohio State and Michigan put out one strong class of defensive linemen after another each spring. The Packers keep their eyes open to prospects all across the country but undoubtedly take notice of the programs that routinely generate NFL-ready talent (e.g. Rashan Gary, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, etc.).

Chad from Middleton, WI

An impending trip to New Zealand in a few weeks has got me thinking about switching which side of the road I'll be driving on. I did it for a few days in the UK, and it was terrifying. While the defensive lines in the NFL aren't quite up to semi-trucks bearing down on me as I fearfully stuck to the outside lane with a white knuckled grip. This experience sure gives me an appreciation for our talented O-line players who can switch sides – and how valuable a skill that could be to look for in the draft.

I want no part of operating a motor vehicle in England. The mixture of heavy traffic and crisscrossing roads in London makes Chicago look like a stroll through Sobieski. Along those lines, I think you touched on one of the most underrated aspects of professional football as it relates to offensive linemen switching sides. I still can't wrap my head around Elgton Jenkins' all-around excellence. Whether it's on the left or right side, Jenkins is just so flawless with his footwork, fundamentals, and discipline. Learning multiple positions is a rite of passage for NFL linemen, but Jenkins has continually embraced his versatility. A lesser man might have asked to plop down at one spot, citing his two-time Pro Bowl pedigree…but not Jenkins.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Former Packers punters Corey Bojorquez and JK Scott were both alive and kicking in the NFL last season. If there's that much of a dearth of punting talent in the league, should Green Bay carry a backup on the practice squad? Thanks.

During my time on the beat, the Packers only once have carried a punter on the practice squad (Ryan Winslow, 2020). Now, that was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams almost had to due to the ramifications of a positive test and the strict testing policies for incoming players. With 16 spots available on the practice squad, it's become customary for teams to keep a second kicker, but not necessarily a punter. When teams identify their punter, they tend to stick with that individual since he usually doubles as the holder for the kicker. As we saw in 2021, holding is half the battle.

Pat from Redgranite, WI

In your response to Chuck from Richfield's comment about length of games, you stated that the league would be hesitant to expand the scope of what could be reviewed. I feel that the league could expand, if it would install a hard time limit on reviews…no ifs, ands or buts about it. Sixty seconds, 75 seconds, whatever…but stick to the limit! Gotta feeling there would be more than a few million fans who would love to see these seemingly interminable reviews go away.

I agree wholeheartedly the NFL needs to reintroduce the shot clock on reviews. Maybe 90 seconds isn't long enough anymore because New York is making the final call, but we need to speed things up. There were a few games I covered last year it felt like it took five minutes to say a ruling on the field stands.

Nick from Santa Rosa, CA

Are we sure that a certain celebration that took place on Dec. 26, 1993, isn't more iconic than the Brett Favre Super Bowl touchdown? I mean, it is still done almost 20 years later.

I don't want to pit one iconic moment against another, but I agree that's the sentimental favorite for most Packers fans. What's not to love about LeRoy Butler and the Lambeau Leap?

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Jacob had asked about iconic moments of the Packers in the '90s: Steelers at Packers in a late-season game and GB needs to win in order to secure the division title. Late in the game a Packers player informs Coach Holmgren that Favre is coughing up blood. Holmgren's response is "How much?" Steelers WR Yancy Thigpen is wide open but drops a short touchdown pass with seconds left. The Packers win.

The gaffe that marked the Packers' arrival as a championship contender.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

Did I see Eric Stokes in one of Evan's photos from the workouts, or was it a figment of my imagination?

That's correct. He was in one of the videos, too. The former first-round pick is on the rehab road. That's all we know right now, but obviously it's great to see Stokes working out again.

Jeff from Ripon, WI

Who is the tallest and shortest player to be drafted in the NFL?

I believe the shortest NFL draft pick is still Trindon Holliday (5-5, 166 pounds). He was selected in the sixth round by Houston in 2010. Morris Stroud (6-10) is the tallest player ever selected in the NFL Draft (third round, 1969), though Richard Sligh (7-0) was the tallest player drafted in the AFL.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

When fines are assessed against players and organizations, the monies are said to be given to charities. I'm curious what these charities are.

The fines collected are donated through the NFL Foundation to programs designed to help alumni and legends in need. The programs are mutually agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA in the CBA. Since 2011, roughly $4 million a year is used to assist former players, according to the NFL.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

There have been several drafts recently held on an outdoor stage. If the draft came to Green Bay, do you think it would be held in the Resch Center or on the street between the Resch Center and the Hutson Center?

I'm not privy to the logistics of an NFL Draft in Green Bay, but having the Resch Center and Resch Expo expands the possibilities. Armed Forces Drive, the road between the Resch and Hutson Center, has held events before, but weather can occasionally be an issue in late April.

Tim from Olathe, KS

Insiders, I am so bummed you are not coming to KC for the draft! It's a major event here and KC has much to offer our guests. You are always welcome. Thanks for all you do for Packers Nation!

I love KC. Spoff and I have been there more than any other non-NFC North city because of how frequently the Packers close the preseason against the Chiefs. I look forward to our next trip to Missouri and the wonderful barbecue that comes with it.

TK from Grafton, WI

"NFL 2K5" > Any version of "Madden"?

Hmm…in my humble opinion, "Madden" was at its zenith from 2003-05. Those three years were hard to top for me. Things quickly went south after EA won the exclusive NFL rights.

Patrick from Folly Beach, SC

It's good to have you guys back on “Unscripted.” It doesn't look like you guys aged a bit despite all the offseason drama. What's your tip on remaining cool when others are in a frenzy?

Living in reality, not on Twitter.

Jeff from Gladstone, MI

Who was the legend wearing the "Bushwood CC Champion" hat on the first day of the offseason program. I need one!

The legend of Pat O'Donnell grows.

Andrea from Barmstedt, Germany

It was really interesting to read the mantras by Wes and Michael from Pound, WI. Great idea. I also have some for work and some for life in general. Related to the latter, I'd like to share this one: "To make a difference in someone's life, you don't have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care." And also, could we please put a pin in this theme for Outsider Inbox? Have a great day, everybody.

It's been added to the list.

Ed from Windsor, CO

The draft and a trade are almost upon us, but I can't get past asparagus on a brat.

As the great Ric Flair once said, "Whether you like it, or you don't like it, learn to love it. Woooooooooooo." Have a great Thursday.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox