Presented by

Inbox: The Packers want to take care of their own

Some NFL prospects just want it a little bit more

K Mason Crosby and Head Coach Matt LaFleur
K Mason Crosby and Head Coach Matt LaFleur

Evan from Durango, CO

When are we going to Vegas?

Thursday. Oh, you mean the Packers? In the regular season? 2023. Good morning!

Mark from Beaverton, OR

Hi Wes, while a lot of speculation has centered on drafting a wide receiver in the first or second round, this is no certainty. One player I'm looking forward to reading about is Equanimeous St. Brown, and not just because he has a cool name. I think he could have a breakout year and team with Allen Lazard to give GB true No. 2 and 3 receivers. I was also an early fan of Lazard as soon as Gutey grabbed him from Jacksonville. Any updates on St. Brown?

I'm eager to watch St. Brown this spring, too. He was off to a quiet start last summer before injuring the ankle in Winnipeg, but the guy still is only 23 years old. At 6-5, 214, St. Brown has a great catch radius and has the versatility to line up anywhere. It's why I put him down as one of my five under-the-radar Packers to watch in 2020.

Sean from Colorado Springs, CO

Following the offseason with Brian Gutekunst as GM is a lot more entertaining than it was under Ted Thompson. I love the talk about at least entertaining the idea of Hooper, Littleton, Schobert and Kwiatkoski. I'm just hoping to start hearing talk about some of the more affordable FA options at WR, as well. Robby Anderson, Travis Benjamin, Phillip Dorsett, Rashad Higgins, and Nelson Agholor are all up for FA. I believe each of those guys made less than $5 million last year if I'm not mistaken.

It's always good to survey the land and see what's out there, but there will come an offseason when the Packers aren't nearly as active. My advice is don't panic when that day arrives because this team isn't playing catch-up anymore. The Packers are contending again and have some big-time players coming up for contracts in the next two years. The Packers still want to take care of their own. That part hasn't changed.

Lori from Brookfield,

Wes, who was your favorite combine participant? Why?

Marlon Davidson. Spoff wrote a little about the Auburn defensive lineman last week. Every so often a player steps on the podium and you can tell how much this opportunity means to him. Davidson's mom died when he was in high school. He vowed to get a college degree and take care of his family financially. Some prospects just want it a little bit more and that kid wants it. Sign me up.

Gary from Oregon

Which position is heaviest with first-rounders this year?

Receivers and defensive line/edge rushers.

Take a look at photos of Packers WR Allen Lazard from the 2019 season.

Andrew from New York, NY

Will the increase in roster spots be detrimental to teams that draft towards the end of each round (specifically pick 30)? Will it be detrimental to teams who struggle attract undrafted players?

I don't think so. There are NFL-caliber players on virtually every practice squad. If anything, I think it gives those individuals more tools and resources to "make it" in the league because teams can be more patient with their development. Additionally, I don't see what draft position would have to do with it.

John from Evans, GA

All this talk needing a WR in the draft and FA but no one is talking about Brian Gutekunst signing one of the best WRs in the CFL. I didn't know anything about Reggie Begelton until we signed him but I can definitely see why after watching some highlights. Any plans for a story so we can get to know a little more about the guy I feel we will all be talking about after the preseason?

He's one of the new guys I'll be watching this spring. While Begelton is 26, I believe he's still eligible to participate in the rookie minicamp so he should get some pub that weekend. His CFL credentials (102 catches for 1,444 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019) validate the Packers taking a look.

Paul from De Pere, WI

As far as Wisconsin RBs in the NFL, who were the hits and who were the misses? All in all, I would imagine the Badgers compare favorably to other Power Five schools in producing RBs that play on Sundays. Do we include FBs in the discussion?

I have James White, Melvin Gordon, Derek Watt in the "hit" range, and Montee Ball and Brian Calhoun as misses. Ron Dayne and Michael Bennett are somewhere in the middle. Both had lengthy NFL careers but didn't necessarily play up to their status as first-rounders.

Billie Jo from West Plains, MO

In deciding where to play next, do players consider the team environment on top of the money? I remember reading that the Smiths talked about speaking to other veterans before deciding to come to Green Bay. How common is that?

I think it's pretty common. I remember Marcedes Lewis talking with Jimmy Graham before he signed with the Packers in 2018 to get a lay of the land. It's no different than when I took this job in April 2016. I talked with folks I knew both inside the organization and friends who worked for other NFL clubs. You gotta perform your due diligence.

Scott from Sheboygan, WI

The 1995 draft didn't produce any Hall of Famers, but the Super Bowl XXXI victory does not happen without Craig Newsome, William Henderson, Brian Williams, Antonio Freeman, Travis Jervey, and Adam Timmerman. That draft never gets enough love.

Great point. It's long been my contention if you look at any team that wins a Super Bowl, it typically had a pretty good draft class the previous year. The 1995-96 Packers are a testament to that.

Tim from Trempealeau, WI

Would the Packers consider trading for an experienced backup quarterback?

The Packers have invested two years into Tim Boyle's development. I think it's more logical to draft competition for the No. 2 job than acquire a veteran at this point.

Matt from Sioux Falls, SD

With all the mention of drafting a RB, are we overlooking the jar on the shelf we have in Dexter Williams?

We probably haven't talked enough about Williams. He didn't play much last year but he has credentials. His 10-foot-10 broad jump was tied for the best at the combine last year. This is a big offseason for the former sixth-round pick.

Kurtis from De Pere, WI

All of this talk about Canada supplying the NFL pipeline reminded me of my favorite non-Packers player: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. His story is absolutely fantastic if you appreciate hearing about the good people in the NFL, not just the bad stuff that makes the news. I totally disagree with the NFL's stance on allowing M.D. on his jersey. It's much more inspiring than Jr. or III.

Duvernay-Tardiff was another top Canadian prospect a few years ago and I've been happy to see his skills translate to the NFL level. I believe he's still the only active player with a medical degree. He earned that title, so I agree Duvernay-Tardif should be able to wear it on his jersey.

Chris from Victor, ID

You know what would be pretty scary? If the Bears or Lions signed Derrick Henry. If you were Gutekunst, how much could a move like that influence your own player acquisition strategy?

It wouldn't. Yes, the Packers pay attention to the happenings inside the NFC North (and obviously Matt LaFleur is very familiar with Henry) but that doesn't mean Green Bay would have to go sign particular players to defend him. They already play Dalvin Cook twice a year. You create plan for a season – not one specific player.

George from North Mankato, MN

"Depending on any breaking news........" got me wondering, what does Wes know? Will Clark, Bulaga or Martinez re-sign with the Packers or maybe the Packers be awarded the draft? Wheels are turning..... What's it going to be?

I know nothing. Just like I knew nothing before Mason Crosby re-signed and Davon House retired. You have to be ready for anything, especially when Spoff's on vacation.

Al from Green Bay, WI

We all know the Packers' draft board is a well-protected, super-secret centerpiece of the draft process. How many people within the organization have eyes on this? While governments and multinational companies deal with information "leaks" from within, why have we never heard of draft board leaks?

Because it behooves the people in the draft room to not pass out their homework for nothing. College scouts invest a year of their lives preparing for those three days, so why would they want to leak that out that information?

Christopher from Neenah, WI

Any news or rumors on the 2020 schedule?

Nothing to report on that front. Last year's schedule didn't come out until April 17, so we've got a long way to go yet.

Bob from San Diego, CA

I was surprised to hear 49ers had no picks in Rounds 2, 3 and 4. Ouch! Which teams do you see hurting with limited or very little draft picks?

We're still waiting for compensatory picks to be distributed but I think Chicago, Houston, New Orleans and Pittsburgh all have a league-low four picks at the moment.

Luke from Fort Worth, TX

II, what do you think of Aaron Jones and his agent looking for a deal sooner than later? I think those situations are always team-friendly. Y'all mentioned how Ted re-signed Davante Adams and looking back at it that was a complete steal. Davante is happy, but what a bargain. I hope we can do the same for Jones. Thanks for the input guys. Go Pack!

I think a long-term deal could really benefit both parties. As a former fifth-round pick, Jones hasn't really had a big payday yet so it would make sense to get something done sooner than later to put some guaranteed money in his pocket. At the same time, Jones' modest salary makes it palatable for the Packers to spread out the signing bonus if the two sides agree on an extension.

Jacob from Mukwonago, WI

I was wondering if you could touch on Tony Romo's new contract with CBS. I've seen players speaking out negatively about it. I am trying to understand why, as broadcasting is a completely separate entity as the players and their salaries.

I was disappointed to see those comments about Romo's contract. It's not the NFL. There is no salary cap. Honestly, I feel like Romo's situation only helps other former players who want to get into media. Also, it's important to mention the game is more than what happens on the field. As any pro wrestling fan will tell you, you need commentators and promoters to guide fans through the action and get them excited about the action on the field. Romo does that. He's become a great ambassador for the game.

Jason from Granby, CT

Who do you set as your No. 2 receiver behind Adams when you play 'Madden?'

Geronimo Allison has the next highest 'Madden' rating for Packers receivers, right? That's my guy. I play to win the game.

Dennis from Toledo, OH

Regarding Paul from De Pere and his question about late-round picks or UDFA becoming MVP, we can't forget about three-time MVP Tom Brady, being the sixth-round pick he was.

Brady was OK, I guess.

Dave from Crossville, TN

Any player interviews at the combine that made you laugh?

I didn't have one of those laugh-out-loud moments with a prospect like I did with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louis Nix III in 2014. Joe Burrow's tweet about retiring due to small hand size was pretty funny, though.

Jeff from Belton, TX

Now that the combine is over, are you able to attend pro days around the country? If you're allowed, which one or ones do you want to attend?

Spoff has been to Wisconsin's pro day before but I've never attended any. I'm OK with that, too, especially in my current role. I suppose it would be cool to attend Alabama's or Ohio State's because of the spectacle but it's not like they're on my bucket-list or anything.

Brian from Buford, GA

With the draft about 50 days away, when will y'all start the Prospect Primer videos?

Soon. Spoff and I have put together our preliminary thoughts on this year's series. We just need to sit down and map out when we'll roll them out.

Jim from McLean, VA

Wes, they must be giving you a pretty good meal allowance to be eating at the same restaurant as Jerry Jones!

The per diem in Indianapolis is only $56 ($1 more than the federal minimum) so I definitely finished in the red that day.

Matthew from Greenwood, IN

So, did you try the wagyu at Prime 47?

Not that red. I didn't wanna have to explain that charge on the credit card to the wife. I went with the seabass, which includes a free side. Honestly, I find Hyde Park has much better food. Prime is just to see and be seen.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

Wes, I am crushed that Dunkerton, Iowa didn't make your list of places you want to visit. Tell me you at least looked it up on Google Maps once. (Yes, I am formerly Thomas from Dunkerton)

That's because I've been to Dunkerton, Thomas. Beautiful town.

Michiel from Brussels, Belgium

No love for Belgium (not the one in Wisconsin)? If the Packers ever play in London, hop over to Brussels and I'll give you all a tour!

I'll put a pin in that offer.

Greg from Sydney, Australia

Apart from some orphaned kangaroos, the spare room is all yours anytime if you wish to visit down under Wes!

I'm starting to feel like we need to do an "Insider Inbox Roadshow." And tell me more about these orphaned kangaroos.

Brian from Columbia, MD

Everything I've seen notes the Jimmy Johnson draft value chart is: 1) ostensibly used by all NFL GMs as the standard for evaluating deals, and 2) It has no statistical validity but keeps things quick and simple in making trades up and down the board on draft day. Despite years of applied analytics, it appears no one has cracked the code to predict the future value of draft picks.

No, and the perceived value truly is in the eye of the beholder. For example, Bill Belichick seems to be one coach who doesn't really pay much attention to the draft-value chart in the traditional sense. He'll make the trade if it makes sense to him.

Cheryl from Roseville, MN

For eight months, my lifetime Packers fan and father-in-law (Don, Chetek WI) has received a daily mail packet with printed Packers news and the Insider Inbox to help pass the time in waiting rooms, hospitals, and chemotherapy treatments! Back in his day, Packers games were via radio – after farm chores – and scarce team info came via the daily paper. A different fan experience! On March 5, a "mixed family" (Vikings fans/Packers fans) will sing Happy 88th birthday! What's your advice for divided families?

Do whatever Don wants because that guy sounds like the absolute man. That story made my day. Please give him my warmest regards. All the best to you in your treatments.

Advertising