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Inbox: The butterfly effect is real on draft night

There are open telephone lines in every draft room and opportunity is just one call away

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

Michael from Hammond, IN

Offense or defense preferred in the upcoming draft?

Preferably, yes.

Matt from San Luis Obispo, CA

If we ban physics in the Inbox, we are abandoning the dream of laser goalposts. We need to rethink this.

Never mind. In that case, physics sticks.

Kirk from Woodbury, MN

In your dream scenario, which positions do the Packers address with the first four picks they have in the draft?

Offensive tackle, safety, inside linebacker, and cornerback (not necessarily in that order).

Shilo from Wildomar, CA

Andre Dillard is a perfect Packers pickup (Peter Piper would be proud)! Seriously, though, his height/weight is fine for a tackle, and he's a really good athlete...but he's better at run blocking than pass blocking, which to me sounds like more of a technique issue than size or ability, and we have a great history with coaching linemen up.

Signing with the Packers is a great move for Dillard, who has everything to gain. It's also a quintessential Brian Gutekunst signing at a position where the Packers lost three veterans this offseason. I mentioned on social media Thursday night that it reminds me of when Green Bay brought in Dennis Kelly, Rick Wagner, and Byron Bell in the past. Dillard is a plus athlete, so why not bring him in and see what the coaches can do with him?

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Spoff: "...the metrics consider Dillard a better run blocker, as he had his struggles in pass pro last year..." Do you think this could lead to another platoon-type approach like we saw working well at guard last year? I know it's different than swapping an interior guard but if Dillard is a good run blocker, maybe he's used more in run sets, short-yardage/goal-line moments and replaced on passing downs?

The Packers will always have that platoon option in their back pocket. They did it with Elgton Jenkins and Lane Taylor in 2019 and brought it back last season with Rasheed Walker/Yosh Nijman and Jon Runyan/Sean Rhyan. That said, we are a long way between now and Week 1. All those O-linemen, including the ones that won't join the team until next week, will be competing for (full-time) starting jobs all summer long.

Dave from Sparta, WI

Over the past 10 drafts, the first round has averaged 7½ QB/WRs picked. This year, many mock drafts are confidently suggesting 10 or more being taken in the first round. Would a GM in the later part of the first-round view this as an opportunity to move up and grab a high-impact non QB/WR, or move back and let the pick fall to them? Yes, I built a beautiful chart depicting draft history by position. It's not math, so you can publish this one.

It just depends on the player. If you think it's a generational talent, then maybe go get him. Otherwise, I'd let the board come to me and maximize the value of that selection if you have multiple prospects with similar grades.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

I just watched Larry's Total Packers interview of Jeff Hafley. Love his enthusiasm and vision of what he wants our defense to become. Did not know much about Jeff prior to this interview but it sure looks like we got the right man for the job!

Hafley was sold as a relatable, innovative coach and I feel like he's lived up to the billing. Sure, we have to see how all the on-field particulars come together, but I like Hafley's vibe and the way he carries himself around the building. I thought it was a nice move on his part to pop out and say hello to Kenny Clark in-person prior to the Tailgate Tour leaving two weeks ago, too. Little moments like that can go a long way in developing trust and respect.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Mike mentioned the possibility of Devonte Wyatt having a major jump from Year 2 to Year 3 like he did Year 1 to Year 2. Some could look at that jump and think that makes the Packers set along the D-line. I wouldn't be opposed to adding another high impact player or two to the mix on the D-line, though. I've always believed having a deep and dominant D-line with guys who can rotate throughout the game to be a huge advantage, both physically and mentally, especially late in the game.

It could go either way. The Packers historically take a defensive lineman in every draft, so it wouldn't surprise me to see them add another. Even if Green Bay doesn't, the unit is still set up well with Kenny Clark, Wyatt, T.J. Slaton, Karl Brooks and Colby Wooden. That's a formidable five and Jonathan Ford is still there on the practice squad.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Good morning, Wes. Brenton Cox Jr.? Training camp will be a great opportunity for him and others to secure a spot in the DE/edge rotation. Last year, I tried to pay attention to him in the preseason but wasn't very successful. What have you seen from camp and practice in Cox? How did he fair in the 1-on-1s? Does he have the tools to be a key contributor/starter this year?

With Kingsley Enagbare's knee injury, there's a clear path for Cox to the edge rotation but the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive lineman has to grab it. Cox played sparingly last year but Green Bay loves his upside as a powerful, athletic pass rusher.

Wayne from Stevens Point, WI

It's the week of the draft, so I suppose I should be guessing who we will draft. My question is about repeat injuries. Injuries can turn a season on its head. Do you have any datum on recurrences of kidney injuries (e.g. Luke Musgrave)? I want so badly for our TE group to shine. As a group, they have the potential to be game changers.

I have good news, Wayne. I think the tight ends will shine next season. The kidney laceration is a pretty freak deal (sometimes the roulette wheel stops on green, you know?) Hopefully, the Packers have a little better luck in 2024 and we see Musgrave and Tucker Kraft together more this year. In addition to their talent, Musgrave and Kraft have skillsets that complement each other perfectly.

Richard from Telford, TN

During my career I had the opportunity to fly frequently to Europe, Asia, and South America. Although all flights were long, South America was the easiest from a jet-lag perspective due to minimal time change. Then again, I found it easy to sleep on long flights.

I can't sleep on flights – not for an extended period of time, anyway. The 12-hour flight home will put that to the test, though.

James from Appleton, WI

When Jordan Love signs his contract extension, will part of his signing bonus necessarily count against this season's salary cap?

One-fifth of it (assuming it's a five-year extension).

Tim from Myrtle Beach, SC

What are your thoughts on trading a Day 3 pick for Zach Wilson? With all this talk of BG wanting to get back to developing QBs, why not take a flyer on a guy that was a former No. 2 overall pick? He's clearly not wanted in New York, but if GB is willing to take on some/most of his $5-ish million, fully guaranteed contract, maybe he plays well enough in the preseason that they can get a good ROI, maybe a future Day 2 pick. He's also only 24 years old. Thoughts

I wouldn't touch that contract, as is. It's too much money for a third-string QB on a contender (with a legitimate QB1) to take on. Green Bay should allocate resources towards a championship. Even if you want to take a long-term view, the Packers soon will have that 2022 draft class coming up on contracts in the not-so-distant future.

Adam from Pacific Palisades, CA

With so many swings and misses for teams drafting QBs in the first round, it's amazing that, counting Favre as being drafted for the 17th pick, the Packers haven't had to gamble a high draft pick on a QB (see: Mitchell Trubisky and Zach Wilson) in over 30 years. Who is the highest-drafted QB by the Packers?

Randy Duncan was the No. 1 pick in 1959, but he signed with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League instead. Different times. Babe Parilli is the highest-drafted QB (fourth overall, 1952) who actually played for Green Bay. He didn't have much success with the Packers over his two stints (1952-53, 1957-58) but had some great seasons with the Boston Patriots and later won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Jets as Joe Namath's backup in 1968-69.

Craig from Lakeville, MN

I know it's been out for a couple months, but I just watched the "30 for 30" episode on Reggie White. It brought back childhood memories of walking around the Lambeau Field parking lot with my dad before games, selling Reggie White candy bars as a fundraiser. And wearing a No. 92 jersey, while playing football in the backyard with my brother. Are there any athletes from your childhood that bring back memories so vivid they seem like yesterday?

LeRoy, Michael Jordan, and Toni Kukoc. I became a big Kukoc mark after Jordan retired the first time and he was the reason I kept cheering for Chicago after Jordan's second retirement. Once Kukoc was traded, my Bulls fandom ended.

Josh from Vancouver, WA

What's your favorite aspect of Lambeau compared to other stadiums?

Gamedays. I've been to all but two of the active NFL stadiums and more than 40 total now. Nothing compares to a Sunday at Lambeau Field – pregame, during and post. It's magical.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

I encourage anyone really interested in the strategy of drafting to find a mock draft simulator and go through the draft at least a dozen times. Put aside the question of who you actually draft – it is the process that is educational. No two drafts are the same, and a slight change to settings can wreak havoc on a board. Do this and you will come to realize that the phrase "it depends upon the board when we pick" is a completely truthful answer from a GM to the "who ya gonna draft?" questions.

The butterfly effect is real on draft night, especially once the top players start coming off the board, and one pick can have such a drastic effect on the futures of so many players, coaches, and scouts. NFL teams still run their own mock drafts, though, because patterns do emerge when you run that many simulations. Not only that, but it also allows Gutekunst to put his draft board to the test. Teams always must trust their board. If you stray from that path, you're likely to lose your way.

Mark from Omro, WI

How does a team know with the draft live which team may want to trade with you, either up or back? Going up, you know you need to get to a certain position to get a certain player. But going back? How do you know who would be interested in your spot? Send out a mass email to 31 teams? Or are some scenarios talked about in advance?

I think most teams test the waters heading into a draft to identify possible trade partners. Once the NFL Draft begins, however, there are open telephone lines in every draft room and opportunity is just one call away.

Tim from Olathe, KS

Last year, I was invited to attend the draft held in KC. My first thought was why would I want to attend the draft? It turned out to be a fantastic event because for a moment everyone was a friend, even Bears fans, and all were well-versed on the top prospects. I cannot wait for the 2025 draft in Green Bay!

I agree with you 110% and I think next year's draft will be the best one yet with thousands of fans from every NFL team celebrating America's greatest game in one of the NFL's strongest footholds. I'm counting down the days.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Who do you think the Vikings are looking at drafting for QB?

I love you, Caleb. I could not possibly care less. That's their problem.

David from Santee, CA

Hey guys, I went to high school in Sao Paulo. Loved the food. Be sure to try the national dish called Feijoada, and the sandwich, Bauru, is awesome. City has exploded in population. Had about 4 million folks back in '60s and now 20 million-plus.

I'll add 'em to the list. It looks like I'm gonna have a busy few days.

Ray from The Villages, FL

Saw your interest in the Maldives. Check out Tahiti. Been to both and BoraBora (or Moorea) are way better as there's much more to do, as in the Maldives you are stuck one a very small island. Just make sure you get an on-the-water bungalow. By the way, going back up to our place in Sturgeon Bay for the summer. Ever spend much time in Door County? It's a great place, better than Cape Cod by far. Thanks for giving us a great place to keep in touch with our favorite team.

It'll take note of all that, too. I've never been to Cape Cod, but that's especially high praise for DC. I mentioned what you said to our digital UX coordinator/Door County aficionado Jennifer Ward, who replied with simply a word: "Respect."

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

I would imagine BG and the player personnel staff spend at least as much time preparing for the draft as the cumulative time of all II readers speculating. Soon the baloney stops. Intrigued to watch it unfold.

We're three days away. Welcome to draft week, everyone.

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