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Inbox: The Packers must see who seizes the opportunities

Someone always emerges

K Anders Carlson

Brian from Pensacola, FL

A simple thank you for your work. Side note, if Joe Cool calms down the huddle pointing out John Candy in the stands does J-Love point to the press box and say, "Is that Spoff and Hod up there?"

It was a longer weekend than I thought.

Jake from Decatur, GA

I think that was the first draft in which Gutey never traded up, right? If so, what does that tell you about his strategy and/or opinion of the talent pool this year?

He mentioned Friday night they were exploring trading back up into the bottom of the third round, but it didn't work out. He seemed to enter Saturday content to sit and pick, taking as many swings as he could.

Matt from Kula, HI

Overall positive vibes about the draft picks. But not taking a safety until the seventh round must mean that BG has a plan there outside of the draft. Does it mean that he's confident about bringing Amos back? And I would love to see Sean Clifford prove all the critics wrong.

It's hard for me to recall a mid-round QB selection who generated more polarizing opinions in the scouting world than Clifford. That aside, with regard to the backup QB and safety competitions, Gutekunst is not ruling out signing a veteran QB or bringing back Amos. But he's going to let things play out for a while and see what the Packers have in Clifford at QB, along with Iowa State's Johnson and the other young safeties on the roster.

Jeff from Lake Forest, CA

It would appear the MC2 era is over, would you agree?

Drafting Anders Carlson – which Gutekunst indicated was spurred by Bisaccia's belief in his ability, stats and injuries notwithstanding – was another step in that direction. But as with the issues discussed above, Gutekunst hasn't ruled out bringing Crosby back and he's going to see what unfolds in the kicking competition first. There's obviously the risk of losing veteran fallback options (Crosby, Amos, QB) in the meantime, but there's no such thing as certainty in the personnel business. The cap situation dictates the Packers must see who seizes the opportunities presented.

Ed from Hilltown, PA

Were you surprised at the trade made with the Lions in R2, which lead to them picking Brian Branch? Safety is a position of need for the Packers.

I was a little surprised, and the Packers certainly knew Branch was out there as the Lions' possible trade target. But I have no idea what the Packers thought of Branch.

Ben from Guffey, CO

At first I was mad about not getting JSN. But after watching Jayden Reed's highlights, I'm sold. Positive thoughts – him in the slot with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs outside could cause a whole lot of problems.

We haven't seen a receiver with Reed's profile and skills in LaFleur's offense. Color me intrigued.

Tom from Mosinee, WI

With Jayden Reed's number being selected as No. 1, is there any chance the Packers will have him change it to something else? In the 100-plus year history of the Packers, only one player has ever worn that number, Curly Lambeau, and to be honest, I think it should stay that way.

It's already been clarified Reed will be wearing No. 11.

Johnny from Fort Myers, FL

I applaud Gutey for trading back 2x to garner extra picks but wasn't he taking an awfully big risk that Musgrave and/or Reed would be gone by the time the jockeying was through? Excellent draft in my opinion!

He didn't trade back from 42 where he took Luke Musgrave. There was obviously risk in losing Reed between 45 and 50, but I have to believe he had another player or two he would've been just as satisfied to take or he wouldn't have traded back.

Josh from Long Beach, CA

How does a guy with the production of Karl Brooks drop to the sixth round? 18 tackles for loss with 10 sacks and three forced fumbles in 13 games is insanely good for an edge rusher, let alone a DL. I'm excited to see this man play.

Brooks comes from a Bowling Green program that has produced only three draft picks in the last 15 years, all sixth-rounders, including him. Time will tell if he was truly overlooked. I suspected last week on "Unscripted" this felt like a draft in which the Packers would be forced to find D-line prospects on the third day. Wooden from Auburn and Brooks look worth the investment.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

From these untrained eyes, it looks like the Packers are trying to fix their run defense through the 2023 draft. Does this add more heat to Barry's hotseat, or take some away knowing it will take time to develop these studs? I'm not one saying he has to go now because he did turn things around last season, albeit a little too late. But there's no question the microscope is on him right now.

After spending yet another first-round pick on defense Thursday night, Gutekunst was straightforward about the expectations for that unit. I felt he sent a message to the players, coaches and everyone involved on that side of the ball.

Bill from Phoenix, AZ

With Rashan Gary out for the beginning of the season, we may have the unique situation of the No. 1 draft picks of two archrivals going head-to-head early on. Lukas Van Ness going against OT Darnell Wright of the Bears could give us a preview of a matchup to last for years and years. It should be very telling for how these enemy drafts went. What do you think?

It's certainly a matchup to watch, for sure, and somewhat reminiscent of 2009, when the Packers drafted Clay Matthews late in the first and the Vikings took OT Phil Loadholt, projected by many as a first-rounder, in the second. Matthews had his share of success during Loadholt's six years in Minnesota.

JD from Madison, WI

Happy day after Xmas II. In BG's post-draft presser he referenced Ted T's draft about 10 years ago when three of his desired players were drafted before he could get to them. Do you know who were the players and when this was?

I don't know when it was, but I wonder if it was 2015, simply because that turned out to be Thompson's worst draft.

Sam from Skokie, IL

I doubt it was conscious but at least five of the draft picks had stellar years but in other years they had injuries. These injuries made them slip down the board. Maybe you get a steal in the draft by picking guys with more talent than their draft slot because of the injuries. If the medical staff thinks they're good to go maybe the Packers got extra value with this strategy whether on purpose or not.

I wouldn't call it a strategy necessarily, but the Packers thoroughly study any prospect they're interested in, and not all injury histories, recoveries, etc., are created equal. Medical red flags impact where a player fits on the board, if he fits at all. Having nine picks on Day 3 can create more comfort with the occasional roll of the dice, too.

Damien from Manning, Australia

There's something about Dontayvion Wicks that excites me more than any of the other selections. I can't quite put my finger on why but after watching his tape on YouTube I feel like this guy is going to be a guy Love will love throwing the ball to.

Of the various Packers draftees whose best college seasons were not their most recent ones, Wicks strikes me as having the most to prove. A lot of scouting reports mentioned his dropped passes last season. How he moves beyond that is up to him.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

Now that the dust has settled, do you think jersey No. 12 will be put in mothballs and not passed out for anyone to wear until the official retirement ceremony? It still sickens me remembering that Lex Luger wore No. 66 after Nitschke's retirement and we waited for the jersey ceremony for Ray. Just like I never wanted to see No. 15, No. 4 and No. 66 worn by anyone again, the same goes for No. 12.

You don't have to worry. No. 12 will never be worn again. For accuracy's sake, Luger wore No. 66 only in training camp in '83 and didn't appear in a game. The number was then officially retired later that year. Two players did wear Nitschke's number in games after his playing days and before it was retired, though – LB Paul Rudzinski (1978) and NT Mike Lewis (1980).

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

I know everyone is focused on the draft, and stop me if you've answered this before, but don't you think every other team in the NFC North is breathing a little (or possibly very audible, no pun intended) sigh of relief now that 12 is off their schedule?

According to my research (which could be wrong), Rodgers' record against the NFC North was 60-24-1, a .712 winning percentage. I would imagine the rest of the division is counting on winning more than 29% of their collective games against the Packers now. Though they might've felt the same way 15 years ago, too.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Of all the first-round picks the Packers have had in the last decade, who had the most productive or impactful rookie year? Is it not Quay Walker?

I'd say it's a toss-up amongst Walker, Jaire Alexander, Clinton-Dix and Darnell Savage. They all made the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

The Packers wound up drafting 13 players this year. Might that number impact the training camp roster, since picks are competing with free agents, or is there not a significant difference between a late round draft pick and a UDFA? Is the Pack's streak of having an undrafted free agent make the initial regular-season roster in any danger?

The UDFA class might be a tad smaller this year due to the draft class taking up a larger chunk of the 90-man offseason roster, but that UDFA streak will still be difficult to break, I think. Someone always emerges.

James from Asheville, NC

What if anything about this draft surprised you? For me it's not drafting a single offensive lineman. How many years has it been since that happened?

By far the most popular post-draft question. The last time was 2015, and that had been the only year since '99 until this one. But the Packers also don't normally bring back 13 offensive linemen from the previous year's roster and practice squad. Wes called it on "Unscripted" last week. He said either get one of the top offensive tackles early, or it's probably not worth drafting one. You don't do it just to check a box if you don't feel the player would have a realistic chance of making your team. The Packers know what they have, and the O-line is still one of the deepest position groups on the team, even without adding a draft pick.

Cody from Round Lake, IL

I haven't really felt this way about a middle-round player not getting the appreciation and/or playing time they deserved since Aaron Jones toiled on the bench his first few years. Is Zach Tom not the clear third-best lineman on the team? As much as I appreciate Josh Myers, Jon Runyan, and Yosh Nijman as very capable NFL players, it's hard for me to look past Tom's play last season especially the difference he made taking over for Nijman in the second half of the season finale against Hutchinson.

I'm not concerned about ranking the linemen beyond David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins at this point. But I do expect Tom to push, and push hard, for a starting job this coming season, and if he deserves the playing time he'll get it. I just don't know if he'll be competing primarily at tackle, guard or center.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

To Rod from Chugiak's point, the Packers have picked lower than a lot of other teams in the draft. I saw a post comparing Gute to other GMs with similar tenures. I decided to look at where those GMs picked. I'll spare the math, but the Packers average pick in the first round since Gute took over is 22. For comparison, the average draft positions for Joe Douglas and John Lynch are 10 and 12. You have to work with what you've got, and Gute has done well working with less than a lot of his peers.

I tend to agree. That said, this was the second straight draft (and next year is likely to be the third) with three selections in the top 50. These are drafts that must form a foundation for the long-term future.

Keith from Greendale, WI

I hate to be a sourpuss but looking back at previous drafts I can't help but to temper my expectations. We're fortunate if two or three of the players we draft this year will earn a second contract. The fun is to see which two or three players work hard and have that good fortune. Time for everyone to buckle up!

The process begins anew.

Avida from Vienna, VA

I'm impressed by how quickly and on the fly you were able to get information and analysis on each of the draft picks. I imagine that privately you were hoping Gute wasn't going to make all of these 13 picks! Probably secretly hoping he'd trade up a few times to lessen the total draft class. But kudos for being able to turn around information and insight to fans so quickly on one of the largest draft classes we've seen in a long time. Thank you.

Thanks to everyone for consuming our draft coverage. It's a massive team effort. The draft is always a three-day grind, but this year it was especially exhausting with the 13 total picks, and nine on Saturday. We were relieved to reach the finish line, and now it's onward and forward.

Michael from Lakewood, CO

You guys rock! Thirteen draft picks and you got outstanding content on each of them. Plus more coverage! How do you do it? Take a couple days off.

Not how it works, but appreciate the sentiment. Happy May Day.

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