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Inbox: There's plenty of promise in the trenches

That group should be in the conversation

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T/G Royce Newman & C/G Josh Myers

Roger from Key West, FL

If the Packers are going to London this year, can we bring our own walleyes for fish n' chips? And do they need a passport? Yeah no, sign Whitney Mercilus.

And once again we're off, so we might as well get going.

Rob from New York, NY

What's the basketball book? That sounds good this time of year.

"Play Their Hearts Out," by George Dohrmann, first published about a dozen years ago. It's both an enthralling and disturbing look at the AAU basketball/shoe company world by a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. Incredible read.

David from Hilliard, OH

Good morning Mike, after seeing what the Dolphins gave up in the trade for Tyreek Hill, do you think the Packers deal with LV should have netted more for Adams? Thanks.

A lot of questions about the five-pick haul the Chiefs got for Hill. I'll let Patrick tackle this one.

Patrick from Valrico, FL

Wow, I was thinking Tyreek's trade made Adams look like a steal but after some calculating it appears those five picks equal about the same (within single digits points) draft value. Does it feel about like equal deals to you, or does it make you feel the Packers could have gotten more?

I think the Packers might've gotten more if they'd been interested in creating a bidding war, but that would've brought NFC teams into the mix, and I doubt the Packers were going to open that door. But your initial assertion is valid. The Packers got the No. 22 and 53 overall picks from Vegas, which the value chart says are worth about 1,150 points (780 and 370). The Chiefs got first-, second- and fourth-round picks this year, plus a fourth and sixth next year, which is a lot more picks but not much more value. The first-round pick Miami gave up was actually No. 29 overall, which the Dolphins had acquired from San Francisco (when the 49ers traded up to draft Trey Lance last year). It's not the Dolphins' No. 15 pick based on their 2021 record because they'd previously traded that one to Philly (to move up six spots last year to take Jaylen Waddle). So the early two picks going to the Chiefs for Hill are No. 29 and No. 50, worth about 1,040 points (640 and 400). The two fourth-rounders this year and next are worth about 100 total, and the extra sixth is worth 10 or 15. And that's way too much math in the Inbox, but hopefully it makes some sense of it all.

Jeff from Waukesha, WI

So purely hypothetical I admit right off the bat. But curious, do you think it would make sense to keep both the R1s, and see if we could package the two R2s for a third R1? Thinking we could get a first-round WR, OL and DL/Edge player. Would that be too difficult with cap situation? Seems to me like that would be a great move. Thoughts?

The trade chart says the Packers' two seconds would be worth another pick in the bottom half-dozen of the first round, so I suppose it's possible, and I don't think the finances would be prohibitive. But that's asking a team to trade back about 25 spots very early in the draft. Could be difficult to find a taker there.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

While I understand Aaron Rodgers' comment a few months ago that he did not want to be part of a rebuild, it now appears that the Packers of 2022 will be much more of a refresh. Their draft capital will make this year a particular exciting one both for fans and Packer veterans. Was there ever a year when the team had a similar number of picks in the first two rounds, and if so who were the players chosen?

According to my research (which could be wrong), the last time the Packers drafted two players in each of the first two rounds was 1967, when they took Bob Hyland and Don Horn in the first, and then Dave Dunaway and Jim Flanigan in the second. The current four picks in the top 60 could still change come draft day, but the closest recent equivalents I could find were 2019 (Gary, Savage, Jenkins and Sternberger in the top 75) and 2006 (Hawk, Colledge, Jennings and Hodge in the top 70).

Steve from Kansas City, MO

GB needs Treylon Burks, WR from Arkansas! Everyone in the SEC (aka the NFL development conference) knew he was "the guy" and they could not guard or stop him. He made Arkansas relevant. Reminds me of Deebo. I know you don't like specific player questions with the draft over a month away, but any chance Burks is on the board at 22 or 28?

The mock draft research I've done in preparation for this year's Prospect Primer series indicated Burks frequently projected as being chosen anywhere in the bottom half of the first round. That could mean in the teens or 20s.

David from Prior Lake, MN

Marquise Brown, N'Keal Harry, DJ Moore, Calvin Ridley, Corey Davis, Mike Williams, Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson … just some first-round WRs between 2016-2019. Pack drafted Savage, Alexander, King & Clark during those years. Meanwhile Deebo Samuel, AJ Brown, DK Metcalf, Courtland Sutton, Cooper Kupp, Chris Godwin, Mecole Hardman were second- or third-round picks in the same drafts. Just a word of caution for all those looking at Green Bay drafting a WR in the first round this year. Trust the process.

Indeed.

Robert from Saginaw, MI

Justin from Los Angeles asked about one team failing a player on a physical and another team passing that player. The Dolphins failed Drew Brees on his physical and the Saints passed him. The rest is history.

As is, so the legend goes, the Packers almost failing Brett Favre on his physical and Ron Wolf overruling the docs.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

Does the NFL have an agenda to remain relevant year-round, capturing media headlines as one compelling story after another unfolds, even after the dust has settled with post-Super Bowl coverage, or has the constant presence of NFL drama evolved more as a result of social media and the 24/7 availability of breaking news, innuendo, clickbait headlines, rehashing of days old rumors, etc.? Or does living in Green Bay, home of an NFL team, simply expose us to more of this constant coverage?

It's not entirely an accident the combine and free agency are in March, the draft is in April, OTAs are in May, minicamps are in June and training camp starts in July. The NFL wants its product to be on your mind as frequently as possible when games aren't being played. The media does the league's year-round marketing.

Nick from Charlottesville, VA

Some players seem to view "being the highest paid [insert position here]" as a stat or an honor, like leading the league in touchdowns or being voted all-pro. Is this a new phenomenon?

Nope. Not at all.

Dan from San Francisco, CA

Mike, in your response to Rod from Chugiak you mentioned limiting how much a team could pay its QB would diminish advantage of having one of the best at the most important position. Wouldn't it actually augment the advantage since you would have more money to spend elsewhere?

That's one way to look at it, I guess. Another perspective is not having a specific cap on the game's most important position leads to a lot of teams without the caliber of your QB overpaying sorely for theirs.

Donald from Fayetteville, NC

Mike, I think you made good points on the max contract question. One thing you didn't touch though was what having an artificial max contract has done to help create super teams in the NBA. I feel like the NFL's salary cap is the best in the major sports leagues at creating parity, but what do you think?

I wholeheartedly agree.

Bruce from Lakewood, CO

Good morning, Mike: I appreciate the positive yet honest tone in II. Given that balance, if you were Amari Rodgers' best friend, what would you advise him in private to concentrate on in the offseason? I know it typically takes time to earn 12's trust but I thought we would see more glimpses of Amari's talent.

Several queries regarding the younger Rodgers. I think he just has to relax and draw on the success he had under a pretty bright spotlight at Clemson. He played in a lot of big games with high stakes and loud crowds, all of that. Hopefully his second season he can focus on making plays rather than learning them. Once he's more mentally comfortable, his physical gifts can emerge.

Brian from Chicago, IL

What second- and third-year players do you anticipate making a jump in contributions this year?

All of last year's draft class qualifies, but I'll be watching the big guys in particular – Josh Myers, Royce Newman and T.J. Slaton. There's plenty of promise in the trenches with them. As for third-year guys, AJ Dillon and Josiah Deguara come to mind first.

Cheryl from Strawberry Point, IA

Mike, how could you forget everyone's favorite backup QB Tim Boyle as a player the Lions signed after the Packers?!?

I put an ellipsis on the end of the answer. I had to test the love for TBLS in the Inbox.

Larry from Washoe Valley, NV

With the draft getting closer and closer what is going on in the draft room? Are all the scouts talking to BG every day? Are there meetings every day?

Right now much of the personnel department is out on the road for the college pro days. Then there will be visits, in person and virtual, with prospects. The last round of daily meetings with everyone in the draft room usually starts about two weeks before the draft.

Rudy from Cedarburg, WI

Are there any "big uglies" in this draft worth a No. 1 draft pick? Another D lineman would be great.

This draft appears to be deeper in defensive linemen than the last couple, from what I'm seeing and reading.

Brian from Fort Atkinson, WI

Not so much a question, but a comment. I know it seems like other NFC North teams seem to gobble up Packers free agents, but I am sure the Bears feel the same about the Packers. Peppers, Amos and now the punter all come to mind. If there is talent available, and a team can swing it, I don't think they care where the player is coming from. I do believe more tape is watched on division rivals, so understanding how player X would fit in your system is easier to visualize. Welcome back, Mike.

True enough.

Ricardo from Ventura, CA

Not gonna lie, the Reed signing has me excited. We're coming back next year with a strong defense and an offensive lineman OC. Adams was phenomenal, but Aaron Rodgers won't have a security blanket and will need to rely on his RBs and the offensive system more. It won't be as pretty as years' past. But I've seen pretty in the regular season for 11 years and pretty hasn't ended well in the postseason. We've been punched in the mouth. I'm ready to win ugly. Ugly is beautiful. Go Pack Go.

I can appreciate the sentiment, but no matter how the Packers shift an emphasis here or there, I don't envision a LaFleur offense piloted by Rodgers as looking ugly.

Trevor from Waukee, NH

With Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Eric Stokes, and SMASH and Darnell Savage on the back end, are the Packers going to have the best secondary in the league? I really actually for real think so.

That group should be in the conversation.

LeeAnn from Carefree, IN

Is this now officially the craziest NFL offseason ever?

Indubitably.

Jim from Hudsonville, MI

Wait … there's an owners' meeting this weekend? As a new NFL owner, shouldn't have I been notified sooner? This is unacceptable.

Yours is in July. For this one, you'll have to settle for being represented by Mark Murphy. Well, and Wes. Happy Thursday.

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