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Inbox: The Packers will use all of 'em

Matt LaFleur and his coaches have been on the whiteboard

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WR Jake Kumerow

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, well I got one player right on the draft board, Jon Runyan. I was told by Ted Thompson once that one of his picks I asked about was a Packer person. I took that to mean that player fits our program and team. How did you do on your mock drafts? And I believe, as fans, we need to see how this plays out for this year's rookie class. Thanks for the great coverage with the coronavirus!

I'm officially 1-of-8 lifetime on first-round picks. The only thing I have to hang my hat on is correctly predicting they'd trade up in the first round and that they drafted nine players. So I got that going for me…which is meh. Good morning!

Al from Green Bay, WI

The Packers' Day 3 draft choice with the best chance to have an impact in 2020 is…

Kamal Martin probably has the best chance in 2020 but I loved the Jon Runyan pick – and not just because of who his dad is. The Packers have such a rich history of converting college left tackles to phenomenal interior offensive linemen. Runyan could very well be that next guy. He's a guard dog who earned every rep he took in at Michigan.

Dave from Lafayette, NY

The draft wasn't what most of us expected. However, do you agree with these picks ML is putting his stamp on this offense going forward (power running)? The end of the McCarthy style of West Coast offense is behind us? Big-boy football?

It's not a complete departure from that system of offense. If anything has changed in 16 months under LaFleur, it's more scheme variation and the commitment to the run – not only in how the backfield is utilized but also the investment the Packers have made in the position.

Karl from Fort Collins, CO

If we are witnessing the end of the MM deep-ball strategy in favor of a shorter, higher-percentage ball strategy preferred by ML, then don't the selections make good sense? For example, short tosses to Aaron Jones made for some bigger plays than deep misses to Marquez Valdes-Scantling that killed drives early. The tape on AJ Dillon and Josiah Deguara showed how those two could make an offense more diverse, and more difficult to guess. There should be some interesting "11" and "12" packages with these guys.

Yeah, the packages with two running backs and multiple tight ends aren't going anywhere. The Packers still have Tyler Ervin to play around with, too. So I can only imagine the plays LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett have been drawing up on the whiteboard this offseason.

Dave from Liverpool, England

Dillon was drafted because we were poor on third downs. Being a power back, he will keep the chain moving so this means keeping the other team's offense off the field. That will mean us winning more games. That's how I see why he was drafted.

Dillon can affect a game in a multitude of ways but adding a 247-pound running back for short-yardage situations intrigues me, especially as a change-of-pace to Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.

Randy from Ooltewah, TN

Admittedly, some of the draft picks surprised me. But many of the same people who complained we didn't have a quality backup QB when AR12 broke his collarbone seem to be complaining about the investment in the backup QB in this draft. As with any draft, let's analyze its success or failure in 3-4 years. How rewarding would it be if Montravius Adams or someone else currently on the roster makes that leap to boost the run defense, which many say went unaddressed in this draft?

You can't plug all the holes with any one draft class. You also need the young players already on the roster to step up. On top of whatever this 2020 draft class adds, the Packers need growth from Adams, Oren Burks, Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage, Kingsley Keke, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and all these other recent draft choices.

Bruce from Lakewood, CO

What do Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown have to do to earn significant playing time? Of all those WRs other than Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, who does Aaron Rodgers trust the most at this point?

I'd throw in Jake Kumerow as someone who has Rodgers' trust. Kumerow doesn't have as many accrued seasons as Adams but he's been in the NFL almost as long now. MVS and St. Brown need to grow. It's as simple as that. They're both super athletes and the Packers need to turn their potential into production. Guys, I'm like all of you. I expected the Packers to draft a receiver. But I assure you the sky is not falling. They have receivers, running backs and tight ends. The Packers will use all of 'em.

Danny from Torrance, CA

I don't care about seven of the nine picks at this point. The two I love are Dillon and Deguara. Smash-mouth football will hopefully be returning this season. It's high time the Packers started shoving the ole pigskin down someone else's mouth. Finesse is fine, but clobbering your opponent is much, much more fun. Thanks for keeping most of us sane these past few months.

I haven't been this excited about a player the Packers have drafted in the third round or later since Micah Hyde (the Big Ten defensive back of the year) in 2013. The position doesn't matter with Deguara. The guy can play anywhere and he just makes plays.

Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Wes and Mike, great job on the draft coverage. Thanks for keeping me grounded in this time of uncertainty. We drafted three linemen but they appear to be a center and two guards. What do you think is the plan for backup left and right tackle?

The Packers return Yosh Nijman and Alex Light but Billy Turner also has position flexibility. I think Green Bay was just looking to load up on some offensive linemen in the sixth round and hope there's a gem or two hiding in there.

Doug from Unity, NH

Taking a RB in round two was the best pick of the draft. Assuming it works out favorably, a good RB will make AR and the entire offense better, thereby making the entire team better.

If Dillon is the real deal, defenses have a heck of a lot to prepare for with Jones, Williams and Dillon. The Packers want to run and last year was the appetizer. Now, I think we're getting the whole three-course meal of what a ground game looks like in Matt LaFleur's offense.

Steve from Middletown, KY

Barring injury, Davante Adams will have another great year. However, I expect to see more double teams on him. Will there need to be better schemes to get him open? He obviously takes the pressure off the other receivers. So, if our No. 2 receiver has close to a 1,000-yard year, will the team be successful?

Sure, but why must it be a No. 2 receiver? What about if Aaron Jones has 1,600 total yards? Or Jace Sternberger and Robert Tonyan combine for 800 yards and 10 TDs? It's not one position or one player. It's the team. If the Packers develop enough weapons, defenses won't have the luxury of isolating on Adams.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

This draft seems to show that Gutekunst subscribes to the same philosophy as Ted Thompson: draft for the long-term rewards, even if you don't meet your short-term needs. The past two years of free agency seem to show that Gutekunst is much more willing than his predecessor to bring in a reasonably priced veteran to make sure those needs aren't too pressing in the short term.

Regardless of whom the Packers drafted, it's not going to be easy for a rookie to step right in and start in this climate. From that perspective, I think Gutekunst did the right thing in signing Christian Kirksey, Rick Wagner and Devin Funchess. With those three moves, he bought time for the young players at those positions to develop.

Jeremy from St. Petersburg, FL

Hey guys, I am a huge Iowa Hawkeye fan and was excited for Josh Jackson to join the Packers. He hasn't made a big impact yet. What is keeping him from doing so in terms of skill and play?

I remain extremely high on Jackson's long-term potential. I know how disappointing last year was for Jackson but I think how he handled it spoke volumes about his character. He didn't whine. He didn't complain. He just worked and that work will show. Jackson needs to stay healthy, play the ball and trust his instincts. That's what made him a second-round pick.

Tom from Eagan, MN

Most fans and media were surprised the Packers didn't take a WR in the first three rounds. Even ESPN took a shot at them on Day 3 when they flashed across the bottom of the screen "59% of WR snaps in 2019 were from undrafted players." Other than Tee Higgins still being available in the first round, it seemed like the best available WR was taken a few picks before them in Round 1-3 (Brandon Aiyuk at 25, Denzel Mims at 59, and Devin Duvernay at 92). It seems like it would have been worth it to move up for one of them.

Brian Gutekunst said the Packers had a number of receivers they were high on but the board didn't fall that way for Green Bay. Some fans wanted to draft Mims at 30 but I felt like that was way too high. Unfortunately, Mims came off the board a few spots before the Packers couldn't gotten optimum value in the second round.

Rob from Ames, IA

With the draft over, instead of second-guessing and trying to grade this one before the players hit the field, how do you grade the 2016 draft class? Since it is hard to really tell if the player is truly a gem (Clay Matthews) or a bust (Jamal Reynolds).

I would grade the 2016 NFL Draft as a solid B. Jason Spriggs didn't work out, but Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez, Dean Lowry and Kyler Fackrell were solid picks. The defense is better today for drafting those four players.

Scott from Green Bay, WI

I have a hard time imagining that a player of Jordan Love's talent was just brought in to sit, learn, and be QB2-3. Isn't it possible – especially in the new NFL – that his talent will be used cleverly, smartly, somewhere, somehow on the field this season?

Never say never but Love is here to play quarterback. There were tons of other gadget players the Packers could've drafted if that's the direction they wanted to go.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

There's a nasty virus going around. It's called Widereceiveritis-20. It is particularly damaging to the brain's thought process. Young, fantasy football players are said to be the most vulnerable to the virus.

Comment of the day, no – comment of the week.

Scott from Diamond Bluff, WI

If the run defense is just a few schematic changes away, why didn't they just make said changes/adjustments last year when needed?

Because not every adjustment happens out on the course. Sometimes you gotta get back to the clubhouse to figure out why you keep missing that 8-foot putt. Once all the games are played, the coaches review the season at the macro level. By all accounts, the Packers found something that leads them to believe the run defense isn't far away from the goal.

Albert from Crystal Falls, MI

I like what I saw from QB Tim Boyle last preseason. I realize Boyle was drafted when Mike McCarthy was coach, but do you think QB Love was drafted because he is better than Boyle, or is because ML wanted his style of QB?

Love was drafted because he's a fine prospect. It's nothing more than that, and this summer, he'll compete with Boyle for that No. 2 job.

Dave from Gainesville, VA

I believe the "Stay at home" rules have gotten to David Bakhtiari. I do not believe I'll ever get the tub image out of my head. Glad to see Bak has a sense of humor close to my own.

A very funny video that ended with a cool welcoming message.

Trevor from Cheyenne, WY

I just looked at the list of remaining unsigned free agents. I'm shocked at the talent still left unsigned. Do you feel like one or two of those players out there unsigned could still find their way to Green Bay?

Tramon Williams is probably the best bet, depending on how the Packers want to proceed with their nickel spot. Jared Veldheer was great in a pinch last year but Green Bay has since signed Rick Wagner and drafted three offensive linemen. That's a packed room right now. Ryan Grant and Ibraheim Campbell are still out there, too.

Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

I see the draft grade by USA Today gave the Packers a D. Only one team had a lower grade. It seems they don't understand what the Packers are trying to do on offense. I know that will dismay some fans, but they need to realize a professional journalist can't analyze prospects nearly as well as a large team of professional talent evaluators.

Here's my grade…are you ready? "IDC"

Scoop from Madison, WI

The NFL had originally awarded hosting the 2021 draft to Cleveland, and 2023 to Kansas City. Speculation was that Green Bay was to host in 2022. I wondered if they decided to progress through Super Bowl winners (GB, KC, etc.) for cities who have not hosted a draft. Since Las Vegas lost the opportunity to host this draft, why didn't they just push everyone back a year, have Las Vegas host 2021, Cleveland in 2022, Green Bay in 2023, and KC in 2024 (and maybe Baltimore in 2025)?

Because Cleveland and Kansas City are already planning for their respective years. The NFL doesn't award drafts that early for giggles. It's so teams and cities can start preparations.

Lucas from La Crosse, WI

How fitting is it that the Packers got the worst draft grade in the league?

My original Inbox title for Saturday was "You guys are doing it again," but I thought better of it. Undoubtedly, the naysayers will never let us hear the end of it if this year's draft class doesn't work out. Fine, but just remember that's a two-way street. Talk to you in three years, Luke.

Charlie from Cameron, NC

Wes, football isn't life. Life is life, and the video of Josiah Deguara's "we're-picking-you" phone call filled me with so much joy! Do you have any offseason human interest pieces in progress, or any stories you want to tell? Not many do it better.

Thanks Charlie. Spoff and I will be cooking up a fresh batch of feature stories in the coming weeks. All we have is time (and no scheduled access), so I plan to be deliberate with how I roll out post-draft stories this year. But I promise they're coming…and hopefully a few other cool ideas, too.

Dan from Norfolk, VA

Not a question, but "Ticket to Ride" is available for Android, and likely Apple. There are free versions. The one I have (Android, "First Journey") has up to four players, any mix of human and computer. For two people, you pass the device back and forth. It's fun.

There you go, Spoff.

Brian from Urbana, IL

Huh. It's almost as if BPA teams tend to fill need in the later rounds. Also, we got a receiver and a linebacker in free agency. Also, Favre was the same age as Rodgers is now when we drafted Rodgers. Am I missing something?

It's almost like we, the observers, don't have all the answers and the personnel department might just know what it's doing. What a concept.

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