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Inbox: There's greatness lurking around every corner in this league

The Packers now have two young tight end prospects who can grow together

TE Luke Musgrave
TE Luke Musgrave

Jeff from Victorville, CA

Good morning, Wes! Kudos on a successful, exhausting weekend. Hope you followed it up with a deep breath and a cold root beer. Brett Favre owned Detroit, Aaron Rodgers owned Chicago. I guess you know where this is going...Love is the answer!

I did actually. Spoff bought me a cold sarsaparilla on Saturday night.

Benny from Skokie, IL

Good morning II, as usual, outstanding job on the draft. You guys are hall of famers in my book. Have the Packers drafted a Pro Football Hall of Famer in every round of the draft? I imagine 5-7 not so much. Round 2 seems to be the winner with the most. I can't wait for the ride to start!

The Packers have drafted 13 Hall of Famers, including four first-rounders (Paul Hornung, Dave Robinson, Herb Adderley and James Lofton). That narrowly edges Round 2, which produced Jim Taylor, Forrest Gregg and LeRoy Butler. Bobby Dillon and Ray Nitschke were third-round draft choices. There are no fifth- or sixth-round picks by Green Bay, though Henry Jordan was a fifth-rounder for Cleveland. The rest are Jerry Kramer (fourth), Jim Ringo (seventh), Tony Canadeo (ninth) and everyone knows the Bart Starr story (Round 17, 200). Teams always have a better chance at discovering a generational talent early but there's greatness lurking around every corner in this league.

Mike from St Louis Park, MN

How is it that the talking heads can grade and declare winners/losers of the draft when these kids haven't even attended a practice or put a jersey on yet?

Pundits say the darndest things when there's s a block of programming to fill.

Matt from Fitchburg, WI

I was always under the impression that teams double-up on positions in the later rounds for more cracks at the egg because the later-round prospects aren't as likely to pan out. This year however, the Pack took a TE in the second and third. Isn't that an indication they're not as confident in the second-round pick? Why use two premium picks on TE? I understand there are a lot of factors that go into the decision, but just curious about some of the logic behind it.

Because tight end is a premium position in Matt LaFleur's offense. Green Bay's base offense is pretty much "12" personnel. They run those packages as often as any team in the NFL. Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis combined for 1,042 offensive snaps and 20 starts last year and the Packers could be counting on this group of young tight ends to take those reps depending on what happens with Cedes. For years, the Packers have filled their tight end depth chart with established Pro Bowlers and homegrown undrafted free agents. By taking Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft on Day 2, they're getting back to their roots. The Packers now have two young tight end prospects who can grow together in this offense…and they're gonna need 'em.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Really excited to see the Packers draft Tucker Kraft from South Dakota State. He's a local kid from small-town South Dakota with a background story full of adversity. Looking forward to seeing him step onto the field at Lambeau!

As much as you don't want to see any player encounter a life-altering tragedy, Brian Gutekunst raised a salient point Saturday night about adversity. There is nothing you can throw at Kraft or Jayden Reed that compares to the heartbreak and sorrow they've felt. A credit to those two young men, Kraft and Reed overcame those personal tribulations to become top NFL prospects. Knowing Kraft's background, it was emotional watching his draft party. You can tell how much it means to Tucker and his family. This is just the beginning.

Gary from Bealeton, VA

This offense is very young. Where the defense has some vets to build upon and transition the young players, this offense will be maturing together. What advantages/disadvantages do you see here?

Just riding the waves associated with having a young quarterback and skill-position players. The cool part is they're going to be able to grow together in 2023 and beyond. Love developing a rapport with Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed almost reminds me of how the Packers transitioned to Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson during Aaron Rodgers' first few seasons as a starter.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

Mike wrote about Jayden Reed, "We haven't seen a receiver with Reed's profile and skills in LaFleur's offense." Considering the varied skill sets of DA, MVS, and Cobb, what makes this young man so different? Color me intrigued.

He's quick – Jon-Eric Sullivan said they clocked Reed at 4.37 – and a rottweiler when the ball is in the air. Michigan State played this kid everywhere and I expect something similar in Green Bay.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Versatility seems to be a theme among the draft picks. At what point do you draft someone who excels at one thing rather than someone who is simply good at multiple?

I'd say early in the sixth round. Maybe 207th overall or so? Somewhere in that ballpark.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

I was really hoping GB would draft Jake Moody, kicker from Michigan. Seems the 49ers thought pretty highly of him, too: third-round pick, yikes! Can you tell us a bit more on the kicker from Auburn that the Packers selected other than he was injured in 2022?

Moody may turn out to be an elite NFL kicker. My friend and former Packers beat writer, Michael Cohen, was very impressed by what he saw from Moody at Michigan but taking a kicker in the third round is still too rich for my blood. Not only because of the investment but also the implications involved with drafting a kicker that high. The fact is Moody is on San Francisco's roster regardless of how well he kicks in the preseason. You can't cut that guy. I'd rather take a talented kicker in the sixth round like the Packers did with Mason Crosby in 2007 and Anders Carlson this year and see what you have once he's in town.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

The kicker draft pick worries me. Not that drafting a kicker is a bad thing but look at his statistics. Looks very underwhelming. Poor over 50 yards. He sure is tall though. What are your thoughts with that pick?

With a few exceptions, kickers are rarely refined when they enter the NFL. It takes time to smooth out the edges, but Carlson has a good head on his shoulders and strong foot on his leg. Rich Bisaccia worked closely with Anders' older brother and helped Daniel develop into an All-Pro in Las Vegas. If Bisaccia sees something in Anders, believe him.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hello II, what position group are you most excited to watch in camp this year?

Offensive line. The Packers didn't draft a single one, which means it's on the 13 (thirteen!) returning veterans from last year to push that position group to new heights next year. Zach Tom should compete for a starting job somewhere. Sean Rhyan and Jake Hanson will be back. Caleb Jones is massive and in the best shape of his life. I want to see who wants it most this summer.

Scott from Eau Claire, WI

Just love the draft commercial with my favorite player Aaron Jones ending it with "You can prove them right, or you can prove them wrong" statement to the draft hopefuls (and aimed at the draft "experts"). Who do you think (or hope) out of this year's class is most likely to "prove them wrong"?

I like Carrington Valentine. Talking to him Saturday night, you can hear the fire in his voice. He's a press-man cornerback who has studied Jaire Alexander. Valentine is only 21 years old, too. I don't know what led to him falling into the seventh round, but I wouldn't be surprised if Valentine comes in here and proves Mel Kiper right.

Scott from Sheboygan, WI

My question is if Sean Clifford is so polarizing why couldn't Will Levis beat him out for two years and had to transfer to Kentucky?

I want facts, not opinion, on Sean Clifford. Right now, the one undisputable fact I know is the Green Bay Packers like this kid. They like his skills. They like his character. They like his leadership. I've thought a lot about Milt Hendrickson's line about Clifford being a "gamer." You can't measure it or time it, but it exists. It is that unquantifiable trait that made Brock Purdy one of the league's best stories in 2022. Never bet against a gamer.

Rex from Santo Domingo de La Calzada, Spain

I'm on holiday, but I've been following the draft. As an alum of both schools, I'm happy to see a Hawkeye and a Cyclone drafted this year. I'm pretty sure Lukas Van Ness will do well, but I'm pulling for Anthony Johnson Jr. to find a place. What do you think of his potential?

I like Johnson's confidence. You can tell he's one of these experienced prospects who is champing at the bit to prove he can play at this level. This is a golden opportunity for him, too, at a wide-open safety position. I don't like comparisons, but his skill set reminds me of Micah Hyde in terms of being a college cornerback whose home will be safety in the pros.

Dave from Hanover, MN

Hi II, great draft coverage. You guys killed it working that many picks. We usually see updates on Sunday on the undrafted rookie free agents signed. Did we not see this coverage due to having the late picks on Saturday or did the Packers not sign any as of yet? I counted the roster at 61 veterans and 13 draft picks (no math!), so the Packers have 16 spots to fill. Thank you.

They were announced on Monday. Here's a link to the full list if you haven't seen it yet. The Packers' roster currently stands at 88 players (63 veterans, 13 draft picks and 12 college free agents who have agreed to terms with Green Bay).

John from Livermore, CA

With the draft over, what holes are left for the team to fill prior to preseasons start?

I see opportunity more than I see holes with this team. Yes, the Packers have lost a lot of snaps from last year, but I'm excited to see which young players emerge at receiver, tight end, and safety.

Jeff from Ripon, WI

When was the last time that all of the rookies drafted made the team? With 13 drafted this year, I hope more than half make the team.

You don't have to dig too far. They kept all 11 draft picks last year on the initial 53.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Mike and Wes, thanks for sharing the website, The 33rd Team, with us. I am usually lucky if I get one draft pick correct for the Packers. This year was lucky to get five out of 13: Musgrave, Kraft, Dontayvion Wicks, Colby Wooden, and Anthony Johnson Jr.. The Packers did trade back twice but not in the first round as I was thinking but in the second. I was a big fan of adding draft capital. You can never have too many picks. What are the most picks the Packers have had in a modern seven-round draft?

You're looking at it. This year tied the Ron Wolf's 2000 draft for most selections with 13. I want to give one last shoutout to The 33rd Team and its digital department, too. They have great analysts and information, but I was so impressed by the user experience on their site and how accessible they made their content to us. It reminded me a lot of the early days of Pro Football Focus. If they keep sending us easy-to-navigate reports, I'll keep using them.

Take a look at Packers WR Grant DuBose during his college career.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

What percentage of BG's draft picks land on the original 53-man roster? Do you see that percentage being lower this year because there are 13 of them?

It would be tough for all 13 to make the 53. That would be almost 25% of the active roster. I think only six guys made the Packers' roster in 2000 when Ron Wolf drafted 13. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila started that year on the practice squad. Over the past five years, Gutekunst has kept 43 of his 48 rookie draft picks on the Packers' 53-man roster. Only one – offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen (2021) – hasn't made the initial squad the past two years. The others not included on the initial 53 as rookies are OL Simon Stepaniak (PUP) in 2020, and OL Cole Madison, DL James Looney and LB Kendall Donnerson in 2018.

Tobias from Front Royal, VA

I think Gutekunst needs some appreciation for acquiring an extra fifth- and a sixth-round pick while only moving down five spots in the second.

It was a cheeky move for a player the Packers would've happily drafted at No. 45. Instead, they moved back five spots and got Dontayvion Wicks and Karl Brooks out of the round, too.

Phil from Paris, IL

What's up II, longtime reader, only asked a couple of questions, but I had to know your opinion. Given our current salary cap situation, do you think the Packers' front office is planning on taking a hard look at some of the potentially affordable talent that has been developing in the XFL this year? There has been some quality football played over there this year and I think it may be a spot to add another arm for camp or more WR depth. I can't help but think our scouting dept. has a plan! GPG.

It's a near-certainty the Packers will sign someone from the USFL or XFL before training camp begins. I don't know if it'll happen anytime soon, but Green Bay has tapped those levels for talent whenever a roster spot opens in July and August. Last year, it worked out brilliantly for Micah Abernathy, who made the initial 53-man roster after signing with Green Bay like two weeks prior.

Ryan from Sun Prairie, WI

How did each of the other three teams in the NFC North help themselves in the draft?

Minnesota and Chicago did fine to augment their respective rosters. I feel like Detroit's draft is going to be tide-turning or forgettable. I don't think there's much middle ground after jumping on Jahmyr Gibbs and Jack Campbell in the top 20. Brad Holmes, John Dorsey and the Lions' front office have made all the right moves so far. We'll see how this plays out.

Tim from Olathe, KS

Wes, over 300,000 people attended the draft festivities in KC. You saw the aerial shots of the crowd. In your opinion, does Green Bay have the wherewithal to host the draft?

Abso-toot…never mind…just yes, absolutely.

Gardner from Circle Pines, MN

So, Bumper Pool (LB, Arkansas) signed a UDFA contract with the Carolina Panthers, but hope springs eternal. Kool-Aide McKinstry (DB, Alabama) will be a junior in the upcoming season and could declare for the draft next spring. So, we have a chance to select the "Best Named Player on The Board" then. We need the game-changer we have been missing since Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was voted in to the "All Name" Bowl!

Twitter lost something special when Eliot Wolf deactivated his account. I miss seeing all the interesting names on draft weekend. In the meantime, I'm holding out hope for Decoldest Crawford wearing a green-and-gold uniform someday.

Ted from Findlay, OH

As May 2 is my birthday (and a significant one due to it requiring a new provider of health insurance), I will ask you how you like to celebrate yours. In particular, what is your choice of cake? Also, homemade or bakery purchase?

Happy birthday! I go with my wife's homemade confetti cake or grandma's chocolate mousse cake. If we're talking strictly from a bakery, then marble with whipped-cream frosting. You can't beat it.

Michelle from Ringgold, GA

Where do the Packers go from here?

Rookie minicamp. Have a great Tuesday.

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