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Inbox: The possibilities are limitless when everything aligns

Everyone is excited to see what Rich Bisaccia has in store for Packers’ special teams in Year 2

G/T Elgton Jenkins
G/T Elgton Jenkins

Eric from Green Bay, WI

LeRoy Butler's replay absolutely would've held up if the TD had been called back. One of the Aaron Rodgers' highlights that keeps popping up on YouTube is the one of him vs. Chicago where he's dancing in and out of the pocket, finally steps up from about 45 yards out, throws a missile to Davante Adams down the middle as he's getting high-lowed by two Bears defenders, and Adams catches it for the TD. WOW! Only there was holding on the play and the TD didn't count. Still an amazing play!

Hey, don't let a yellow handkerchief stand in the way of a good memory.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Thank you for the in-depth draft analysis in the latest “Packers Unscripted." Your opinion about taking a top OT at 15 or not at all sounds perfectly logical. How many seventh-round tackles do we need to stockpile? Would you apply the same logic to the running back room? If you like Bijan Robinson at 15, then you don't need to draft another. If not, do you keep hoping to find the next Aaron Jones on Day 3?

The only issue with that comparison is how few running backs are drafted in the first round these days. For example, there wasn't a single one last year. The meant Kenneth Walker slid into the second round, Dameon Pierce into the fourth and Isiah Pacheco being available in the seventh. My take on Robinson is that if he's the best player at "15," I'd work the phone and see if someone wants to trade up to take him. Green Bay used a premium pick on AJ Dillon three years ago. That's who I'm riding with.

Jeff from Ripon, WI

When is the last time the Packers didn't draft an offensive lineman? It seems they have core players there already.

2015, which came after Green Bay's starting five of David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Corey Linsley, T.J. Lang and Bryan Bulaga played together in 17 of a possible 18 games (including playoffs). That's the only example in the last 25 years of the Packers not drafting an offensive lineman.

Nick from Madison, WI

Hi guys! Most GMs and scouting departments have certain athletic profiles that a prospect must have in order to make it on their board. We see guys fall in the draft all the time because of short arms or slow 40 times. How do scouts and GMs go about deciding when to ignore the testing numbers and trust the tape?

Every GM does it differently. Some will favor certain tests and drills more than others in prospects. Other times, they'll throw out the numbers and let the film speak for itself. Micah Hyde is a good example of that. It all goes back to trusting your eye and baseline numbers. Ron Wolf is still the grandfather of that here in Green Bay, passing down lessons the Packers' personnel department uses to this day. The possibilities are limitless when everything aligns.

Michael from Thomson, Illinois

If the Packers can consistently make plays in the run game, should there be any reason for them to pass the ball more than 30 times a game?

Perhaps not. When Matt LaFleur was Tennessee's offensive play-caller in 2018, Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert attempted more than 30 pass attempts in a game on only three occasions – and the Titans' attempts fell below 25 passes when Derrick Henry broke out during the final four games.

Michael of Pound, WI

Gents, how much of the Pack history of not picking a WR in the first round has to do with how low in the round they were always picking due to their success? I'm sure the thought process was, we'll get comparable talent in the next couple rounds, a HOF QB should make them better anyways. And there are fewer large 300-pound athletic men around than there are WRs so...Picking this early in the draft, it's almost more chance of a bust because of expectations or a letdown not getting a playmaker.

That's a good point, but I also think it has the most to do with the Packers' high hit rate when drafting receivers in the second round. You don't need to invest first-round picks into a position when you're consistently developing Pro Bowlers who were drafted in the second. Conversely, there were years when Green Bay didn't have as much success with defensive linemen, and in turn, invested more resources into the position in the years that followed.

Al from Green Bay, WI

We're all thankful that Patrick Mahomes isn't a Bear. And many of us were disappointed when Minnesota drafted Justin Jefferson ahead of GB's selection. With that in mind, are there any players that you really hope don't land in the NFC North ahead of the 15th pick this year?

Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The Packers already are going to have to do deal with Justin Jefferson, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams (once he's back) for the next decade. I either want JSN in Green Bay or as far away from the NFC North as possible.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, Mike talked conviction as the determining factor where players land on any given team's board. Do you believe that if all 32 teams worked together, they could assemble a consensus first-round draft order? Would they all be convicted about the same 32 college players? Or are there too many talent assessors and too many variables to achieve consensus? Is that in fact the beauty, mystery, intrigue, surrounding the draft?

I doubt you put get 32 people a room together and get them to agree on anything, let alone teams. Draft boards mushroom as the draft progresses. I think most will start very lineal and slowly branch out over Day 2 and 3. By the time you get into the later rounds, I'd bet no two boards look remotely similar. One teams fifth-rounder may be another's primary free agent and vice versa.

Greg from Marquette, MI

To the Dave from Cable, WI, question about draft prospects and pundits … my father (God rest his soul) used to say every year: "If the pundits knew something that the scouts and GMs didn't, they would be in the draft room and not on the TV." We have to remember they are there to generate ratings and create discussion, so you tune in. Trust in Gutey and LaFleur; leave the rest in God's hands.

Plus, I couldn't tell you a darn thing about how well those experts performed with the accuracy of their projections. GMs have to wear their scars. Pundits get to pretend they're not there.

Dennis from De Pere, WI

Is it just a coincidence that the Packers' biggest needs align with the supposedly deeper areas of the draft, or is it a BIG coincidence?

Whichever way you slice it, I feel this is the right draft at the right time for Green Bay. There is depth where the Packers require it.

Fredrick from Bluffton, SC

I have a follow up with the comments/questions in the Insider Inbox about not keeping Lewis next year. If we need a sixth lineman on some plays, would you make that sixth lineman an eligible receiver? If so, how much work would you need to do with said lineman to make sure he was a decent receiver? Is that something that is even practiced with regular linemen?

Most linemen won't run routes. They're too much of a pass-catching liability. That's why I said using a sixth O-lineman is typically an offense telling on itself. Over the past two years, Marcedes Lewis has been one of Green Bay's best hidden weapons – particularly in the red zone.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

As a Packers fan, I get most aggravated with the team when (blank). My answer would be when the team is struggling to stop the run, because it seems so demoralizing. I hope GB will select Bryan Bresee if he is available in the first round. He will only be 21 in October, and he could be a run stuffer and pocket pusher (quarterbacks hate that) for years to come. With Bresee's help, we might also be able to get an extra year or two from Kenny Clark.

Bresee would be a huge addition, both literally and figuratively, for the defensive front. I still think the Packers need to see what they have in Devonte Wyatt and give their returning first-round pick a proper chance at establishing himself as a three-down player. At the same time, having a solid five-man defensive line is a must for NFL teams. Whether it's Bresee or even a guy on Day 3, I fully expect the Packers to add at least one D-lineman to the competition next weekend.

John from Geneseo, IL

What is your reaction to what Dean Lowry had to say to the reporter from Rockford (where he grew up) concerning how great it is to be a Viking? Was I reading "too much between the lines" by him not saying a positive thing about his time as a Packer? GPG

I don't read much into it. Lowry obviously is going to say complimentary things about Minnesota. Every incoming free agent does that with their new team. Overall, I do feel the Packers did right by Dean Lowry. He received a huge opportunity as a fourth-round compensatory pick in Green Bay, playing nearly 3,700 defensive snaps over 112 games. What's more, Lowry was paid every cent contractually owed to him the past seven years.

Josh from Randolph, NJ

Seeing our special teams improve down the stretch was a sigh of relief and excitement. Hope to see some trickery in that part of the game next year since one of my favorite Packers memories was Tom Crabtree scoring on a fake field goal against the Bears.

I think everyone is excited to see what Rich Bisaccia has in store for Packers' special teams in Year 2. Tim Masthay's pass to Crabtree was the high watermark of special teams under Mike McCarthy. Matt LaFleur has put a fake punt on tape now, albeit an unsuccessful attempt against Miami on Christmas. As much as LaFleur laughed about it afterwards, the Packers proved they're not afraid to pull a rabbit out of their hat every once in a while.

Ralph from Pewaukee, WI

With the talk of the Jets wanting any 2024 pick to be conditional in a Rodgers trade or to receive compensation if he only plays one year, the Packers would be wise to insist on additional compensation should he play more than two years, however unlikely. It would be embarrassing if Rodgers is rejuvenated and plays beyond 2024 with too little to show in return. I would like to hear your thoughts.

That sounds like fair trade to me, no pun intended. Insurance should work both ways when dealing with a player of Rodgers' caliber.

Troy from Westminster, CO

In response to Kenton from Rochester, MN, a rising tide lifts all boats. While most fans consider money designated for QBs as taking away money from other players, I presume NFLPA leadership believes ALL money earned by QBs lifts up the salary of ALL other players. If union leadership put a restriction on a QB's earning potential, ultimately, they're putting restrictions on the rise of the tide. Why are WRs making $20 million/year? Because QBs are making $50 million/year. The tail will follow the head.

I don't struggle with this as much as many of our readers. It's a quarterback league. The quarterbacks are going to get paid. The rest falls into place from there.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. Since I don't use the Prospect Primers until the draft is over, I've got a different question: What is the over/under for the number of hits on the Packers picking the Prospect Primers?

1.5…and probably 0.5 if we're being honest.

Jim from Westland, MI

Were you aware that the first (volunteered) draft consultant in the NFL was a full-time mortician? The 1960s Eagles found a mortician that collected newspaper clippings from college games and consulted on the draft. His draft success rate was about the same as an average decent draft today.

That doesn't surprise me. Genius is often born in the unlikeliest of places.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

There may be no gambling at Bushwood, but apparently there is gambling going on in Detroit. What do you make of the suspensions?

Just be smart, man. Gambling is all around us now, but I view it through the same lens as performance-enhancing drugs. Players are briefed on the rules and their player-engagement specialists are just a phone call away to answer any questions. So, be smart, play the game and get your money. You have the rest of your life ahead of you to do what you will.

TK from Grafton, WI

Are teams required to wear color rush uniforms for Thursday night games?

Teams are no longer required to wear the color rush uniforms, but the Packers chose to do so last year against the Tennessee Titans. I was thrilled about it. It's a sleek look under the lights, especially at Lambeau Field.

Phil from Flagstone, MI

Interesting thing about the traffic in London is its chaos is oddly controlled. Large and small vehicle drivers are respectful and mindful of crosswalks when the light is red. If you cross when it isn't designated by the signs, nobody is slowing down for you.

Not the day I was there. Some poor fella on a motorcycle got smoked by car while we were Ubering into town. He was being loaded onto an ambulance on a backboard as we drove by. Other than that, he seemed fine.

Dan from Tallahassee, FL

During the first day of training camp in 2018, while walking through the crowd on the north side of Lambeau, my eye caught a No. 19 Packer jersey with the name plate of "TOGETHER." Hunh? Then I saw their walking partner had, under the name plate of "SINCE," the No. 86. It was so clever I had to stop them and ask about it.

That's wonderful. What a nice wedding idea.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Weston, the topic of fans creating jerseys of lesser-known players has come up before, and I suggest it could be a solid Outsider Inbox question. A young Dar had a Ty Detmer "11" jersey made during the early days when Brett Favre frustrated Mike Holmgren (and everyone else) with his "rocket balls." I wore it in 2011 to Super Bowl XLV and got tons of unique and fun comments. I'd love to hear the experiences of fans who also have underdog jerseys, and what inspired them about the player.

Maybe I should start a small Outsider Inbox council with past Inbox MVPs brainstorming ideas. Consider this one added to the list.

Ed from Windsor, CO

Are you already queuing up post-draft questions? Why did they make a trade, why didn't they make a trade? I like/don't understand the first (second, third…) pick. Get ready, I sense an upcoming disturbance in the Inbox.

There are no winners or losers on draft night. Only fools. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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