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Inbox: The quality of the people determines the quality of a team

Jeff Hafley commands the attention of a room with his cadence and delivery

DL Kenny Clark
DL Kenny Clark

Matty from Durango, CO

What is our biggest hole/weakness left after the draft? I honestly can't think of any glaring areas an opposing team is going to key on. Except for rookie inexperience, we're looking Brock Purdy good.

I see no holes. Only opportunity.

Larry from Hudson, WI

I watched PFF on the first day of the draft and a comment was made implying the CB class wasn't very strong. My guess is the draft board reflected the same, so they just waited until the end because the value disparity wasn't great. I hope Kalen King learns to wrap up.

To each their own, but I think we need to shift the focus from "the Packers didn't draft any corners" to the fact Green Bay selected four defensive backs. For everything that happened on the perimeter last year, Green Bay was besieged by injury at safety and had even fewer options in the slot. Fortunately, Keisean Nixon was a rock all season.

Christopher from Marshfield, WI

Going into the draft the main thing I was thinking is we need guys that are aggressive tacklers. Apparently, GB staff agreed, and I love it. My question is do you think Detroit trading up to draft Terrion Arnold had anything to do with keeping GB from drafting him, or does that sort of divisional keep away not play much of a role?

That's impossible to answer without being in the room but remember objects in the mirror aren't always what they appear. For instance, there was a minor uproar for a hot second about Philadelphia jumping in front of Green Bay to take Cooper DeJean at No. 40. Then, Brian Gutekunst told reporters afterwards that trading back with New Orleans from 41 to 45 was in motion before the Eagles jumped up to 40.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Towards the end of your latest "Unscripted," you mentioned Colby Wooden has put on 20 pounds since last season. Assuming it's mostly muscle, would this be something the team recommended or does a player make this decision on his own?

To clarify, Wooden told Wayne Larrivee he's up to 290 pounds, which is approximately 20 pounds heavier than his listed weight of 273. Either way, Wooden has the base for it. He played in the 280s at Auburn, I believe.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

Is there a rule against signing a coach to a player contract midseason? Could a team hire an undrafted free agent or recent retiree as a coach (therefore not impacting the cap) and then sign them midseason should an injury occur?

A team can hire a coach whenever it wants. Matt LaFleur brought in Aubrey Pleasant as an offensive consultant after Detroit fired him midseason as its defensive backs/passing game coordinator in 2022. I suppose they could be signed to the active roster if they are a "free agent." If a player is on the reserve/retired list, however, he must be released from their previous club and clear waivers in order to sign elsewhere (e.g. Jared Veldheer in 2019).

George from Kennebunkport, ME

A big factor in Jordan Love's success in 2023 was the surprisingly good protection he got from a young O-line with David Bakhtiari unavailable. With another year of experience, plus the new additions, I agree with Pro Football Network's projection of that group ascending into the top five. That bodes well for our quest to win the division.

I've talked before about how impressive it was that O-line pulled together through injury and setback to keep Love upright during that playoff run. Mixing three draft picks into that room not only helps create competition but also reinforces the depth the Packers lost this offseason.

Lane from Monroe, WI

I can't get enough of Jeff Hafley's interviews. I love his energy and I can't wait to watch the defense this year. And now after the draft, seeing the playmakers we added to this defense, when is the next news conference for our new defensive coordinator?

I'm with you. I've watched Hafley's interview with Adam Breneman at least a half dozen times now. Hafley is an excellent communicator who commands the attention of a room with his cadence and delivery. I cannot wait to hear Hafley speak more on his defense, especially in the wake of last week's draft. He'll likely speak again during one of the three weeks of organized team activities.

Mike from Ames, IA

Question about the compensatory pick formula, which Mike discussed Wednesday. You mentioned that the potential pick would be for Yosh Nijman, and that the other players canceled each other out. Is that based on salary, time of signing, or something else? How do they decide the pick is for him and not Darnell Savage, for example?

There's always been an air of mystery involved with the compensatory pick process, but it seems largely based on average per year salary (APY). I don't want to get into how the net-loss formula works other than it is player-for-player based, not total sum of players gained against value of players lost.

Mark from Austin, TX

I do like the positions that GB drafted. Have you seen Julian Edelman's comments about the GB receivers saying "I don't think they have a No. 1 receiver" but a bunch of guys that haven't reached their prime? He goes on to say that it's a good thing that Love doesn't feel pressure to force it to "the guy." The Patriots won six Super Bowls without a No. 1 WR, so I like the comparison of a system that throws it to whoever is open.

The NFL doesn't award Lombardi Trophies for depth charts, and I think the construct of Green Bay's offense made Love's job easier as a first-time starter last season. I'm not saying No. 1 wideouts aren't valuable. Davante Adams might have been the best to ever do it here in the Super Bowl era. But when a team has five or six studs, the sum of the whole becomes stronger than the individual parts. I feel like that's where Green Bay is getting to at receiver.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

A recent interview with Tae Adams about his decision to leave GB got me thinking about another aspect of the move: Salary cap. In 2024, the Raiders' cap hit on Adams is about $23.35M. For the Packers the 2024 cap hit for their top seven WRs and top three TEs from 2023 is a combined total of approximately $13.25M this season. Shocking. What's your take on those numbers?

I think it shows how critical it is for NFL general managers to make the most of their draft picks. Adams is one of the game's best wideouts and deserves what he's getting from the Raiders. At the same time, Green Bay built out its offense with young talent on four-year rookie contracts. That's why it's so vital to keep the talent pipeline strong because you can't sign everyone.

Tom from Blaine, WA

The enormous volume of digital ink spilled on the draft has me thinking about the varying levels of insight and quality provided by different media outlets/freelance writers. Aside from the obvious (, what do you consider to be the best sources of Packers related news and analysis on the internet?

When it comes to the draft, I think really does a fantastic job. I love the web interface, and Chad Reuter and Lance Zierlein do a tremendous job of providing background and analysis on all the prospects.

Don from Boise, ID

The Packers management placed a lot of value in its draft picks on being team captain in college football. Do you think that's due to an expectation of leadership at pro level, or some other associated trait, maybe demeanor or focus or ...?

Typically, team captains not only are a football team's best players, but they're also its best people. Being a captain isn't like a prerequisite for the Packers, but it's another part of the pre-draft process. NFL teams are making significant financial and draft investments into these players and want to be confident in the person they're bringing into their organization.

Anthony from Madison, WI

I think character is the most important intangible a prospective player can have in any job interview with the Green Bay Packers.

The quality of the people determines the quality of your team…and that applies to any walk of life.

Doug from Roberts, WI

II, outstanding job from your team on draft content. I read that Gutey had a second-round grade or higher on the first five picks. Although everybody's board is different, do you feel the picks are equally subjective for each round or more so as you go deeper in the draft?

Scouting is a subjective art (e.g. every team is seeking gold, only with different treasure maps). The key for Gutekunst and Co. is getting premium value on the players they like most. A Day 3 example would be Jacob Monk, whom Gutekunst said several of his scouts were very high on. The Packers waited and waited until they wanted to wait no more, trading up five spots to draft the Duke offensive lineman.

Yotam from Atlit, Israel

In response to the question by Tim from Olathe, KS, about the running back room and Emanuel Wilson's role in it, Mike said that there is a tough decision, aside from Josh Jacobs and MarShawn Lloyd. You would put Lloyd as a sure thing?

Lloyd has to come in and earn his place on offense, but I'd be shocked – barring injury – if he's not on the 53-man roster in 2024. Teams don't cut Day 2 draft picks unless it's a character issue.

Oscar from Millburn, NJ

A big THANK YOU for all that you do for us fans! With the move to "old school" 4-3 defense, could you envision a similar move on offense? Perhaps a move to "old-school" offense, utilizing a fullback? I think AJ Dillon could work well in that position (even though he doesn't really want to switch positions), it might even extend his career here. With two-back formations, the defense will have to figure out who will get the ball. Please share your thoughts.

I'm kind of confused about where these fullback comments are coming from. Dillon is a running back. Yes, Dillon is a bigger back and blocked a time or two for Aaron Jones, but he is a running back. Also, the Packers train their fullbacks with the tight end group. They're not gonna ask Dillon to switch rooms five years in.

Alan from Fresno, CA

Being from Fresno I'll always consider Evan Williams a Fresno State guy. But his draft docs say he's from Oregon. With basically nonrestricted player movement every year in college football, how far away are we from not listing the school a player is from? Pride in one's university is being devalued by the NCAA. May not be an issue to some, but to us old diehards, it is sad times.

I hear ya, but that's also the direction the college game is heading. If I remember correctly, this year's draft featured one prospect who attended four different schools in four years.

Bill from Fort Worth, TX

The draft understandably draws the attention, but I've come to look forward to the undrafted free agent announcements. History says at least one of these dudes is going to step up, and who doesn't love the underdog?

My ears perk up anytime Green Bay acquires a former Wisconsin player. Peter Bowden snapped for three years for the Badgers and was a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award last year. Messiah Swinson also has my attention as a 6-foot-7, 259-pound tight end.

Ken from Georgetown, TX

What will interest you most in the upcoming announcement of the 2024 NFL schedule? Placement of the divisional matches? Where will the bye fall? Something else?

All I care about is whether the Packers play on Thursday, Sept. 26. If they do, I'm likely to quit. The National is playing Madison that night. I'll take anything else as it comes.

Jay from Yulee, FL

Has any team had less draft picks than the Vikings' three this upcoming draft?

Fewer (Stannis Baratheon voice). All I can think of is the New Orleans Saints trading all their picks for Ricky Williams in 1999.

CJ from Cedar Rapids, IA

I was hoping the Packers would draft Tampa from Iowa State. Did you hear why he fell so far I. The draft?

I have not. But you know what I have heard? Enough about T.J. Tampa for two lifetimes.

Robert from Saginaw, MI

Concerning Guardian caps on helmets in games as an option, at one time in the NHL helmets in games were an option. Get used to it folks as soon as logos can be put on Guardian caps the option part will go away.

It's gonna take a minute for my eyes to adjust but I'll always be in favor of any measure to keep players healthy long after their playing careers are over. So, while we're on the topic, what is the league's thoughts on fields based upon natural grass?

Dan from Algonquin, IL

Regarding Mr. Irrelevant, according to an ESPN article, the three most impactful ones are Brock Purdy, Ryan Succop, and Tae Crowder. Contrast that with the UDFAs since 1976 such as Kurt Warner, James Harrison, Antonio Gates, Warren Moon, Priest Holmes, London Fletcher, Arian Foster, Chris Harris Jr., Nate Newton, John Randle, Tony Romo, Jeff Saturday, Justin Tucker, Adam Vinatieri, Wes Welker, Tramon Williams, Ryan Longwell, etc. You could build quite a virtual team with those UDFAs, right?

That would make for quite the 33rd team in All-Madden.

Daniel from Manchester, CT

I never liked the term "arguably the best..." If you have to argue for it, then they are not indubitably the best. But in response to Dave from Germantown, TN, we got "arguably the best" linebacker, running back, and safety from the draft, so I think we found many potential game-changers.

I don't disagree…I also don't think I've seen a "best" debate that didn't include an "argument." Have a great Thursday.

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