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Inbox: They trust their work

That’s just one of many draft wishes

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QB Aaron Rodgers

Michael from Cashton, WI

Not a question, an answer: It's an orchid. :) Thanks for the continued efforts on the column, guys. It is something good to look forward to each day; and do take some time, now that we have it, this spring to notice and enjoy the flowers!

Will do. Definitely will do.

Tristan from Durham, NC

Hi Insiders, has it been more difficult to get material together for the Prospect Primers with everyone in your department teleworking? In general, what have been the biggest challenges in changing the way you work?

We actually had a lot of work done on Primers before they closed the offices, though I have recorded some voice-overs from home. The video guys have it tougher than the writers in these circumstances, with their editing duties and all, but mostly we just miss working "together" every day.

Ryan from Sun Prairie, WI

I heard the NFL might not allow front offices to return to the office for the draft. Please tell us they have the draft room saved in the cloud somewhere and not just physical names on the wall.

I'm sure by now they've found an electronic alternative to the physical board.

Paul from Indio, CA

The first part of the Legacy docuseries, "Humble Beginnings," was very well done. When will the second decade drop?

One segment every Thursday (except maybe the night of the first round of the draft), as long as I can stay on schedule with producing the quizzes.

Ryan from Colfax, WI

I am listening to Aaron Rodgers on Danica Patrick's podcast on YouTube and man am I amazed at what an intellectual human he is on such a broad range of topics. Mike/Wes, in your tenure with the Packers and covering Aaron Rodgers, when did it resonate with you and make you think, "Man, he is much more than just a football player"? The in-depth responses that he gives on such subjective topics just amazes me and makes me realize how analytical he really is.

It hit me definitively during his difficult summer of 2008. Not just how he handled it, but how he talked about all the issues. He could be both introspective and a big-picture thinker in the same press conference, and it was clear he wasn't just saying what someone told him to say. He was answering questions his way, with his own words and thoughts. I've never discounted his intellectual capacity since.

Richard from Menasha, WI

With the Packers drafting at No. 30 I began to wonder if questions arise in the draft room if a player begins to drop dramatically all the way down to No. 30. Do they simply trust their board or do they ever question if other teams before them know something they don't?

I've often wondered that myself. I think as a staff if they have a process they follow and believe in, they trust their work. That certainly was the case 15 years ago when a highly touted player was making a dramatic drop.

Benjamin from Moose Knuckle, MN

Hello II, do you think a potentially truncated offseason could lead certain teams to limit the number of first-year players they have coming into the program in 2020? If so, could you see a lot of teams trading up (value vs. volume) in this year's draft or trading for future year picks?

Another interesting query, though I'm not buying your stated location as real. Teams look at drafts as building for their future, not just the current year, so I don't think it'll have much impact. I don't recall that mindset affecting things during the lockout back in 2011.

Jay from Land O'Lakes, FL

Guys, my only wish for the draft is that the Packers do NOT draft a DB of any type in Rounds 1 and 2. We have plenty. What are the chances my wish comes true?

Better this year than perhaps any other year, though I'm not completely ruling out drafting a corner if a top one is there in the first two rounds. You're never more than one injury away at that position from changing your whole defensive landscape.

Dant from Toledo, OH

This will probably never happen but what if we go the other way on the seven-team playoff system. Teams 6 and 7 play each other to get into the playoffs and then the six-team playoff proceeds as normal? I'm fine with a seven-team playoff as long as the bottom two are "punished." The top two seeds deserve the reward of a bye for the grind of the regular season.

Not viable. Because games have to be spaced out by a week, there'd only be two games on the first playoff weekend under that format, with everyone else waiting, and the top two seeds taking two full weeks off before playing. Nope.

Adam from Madison, WI

When people talk about a re-seed based on record and ignoring the division, they are assuming the best record is a better team. What if the division winner had a brutal division with three playoff teams and the 15-1 team was in a horrible division? You are now giving them an even easier run.

Well, it would be virtually impossible for a 15-1 team to be a wild card to merit the re-seeding, but that detail aside, I agree with your larger point. A 10-6 division champ with two 9-7 teams on its heels has nothing to apologize for if it's hosting an 11-5 wild card from a division with a pair of 3-13 squads. The occasional 8-8 or 7-9 division champ really rankles some people, but I'd rather accept that anomaly than create a system that could punish a team for winning a really tough division with nine or 10 wins.

Richard from Corpus Christi, TX

How many preseason games does it take for the coaches to figure out that a player should stay or go or be put on the practice squad?

They usually have a pretty good idea after two preseason games, but there are always players who come on later in camp, either due to injury or other circumstances. One fewer preseason game will really make it tough on young hopefuls if they miss even one game.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Specialty positions aside, which three positions would surprise you the most as Green Bay's first selection in the draft?

Safety, outside linebacker, quarterback. Based solely on how this draft class looks, I'd put tight end on the list, too.

Jerry from Las Vegas, NV

WOW! Bronko Nagurski. That is quite a reference. Why was he going for so long? Was he injured, suspended, retired/unretired? What happened?

He retired in 1937 and came out of retirement in 1943 because the Bears had so many players called to serve in World War II.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Looks like Devin Funchess was given No. 11. What happened to Ryan Grant?

He's a free agent and wasn't re-signed.

Dennis from Rhinelander, WI

In response to Gary from Sheboygan from Friday's II, he must not have seen the movie "Draft Day." So realistic.

I should start an over-under on how many times Wes watches that movie this month.

Sean from Glen Ellyn, IL

Hi Mike, how did the statisticians score Jarrett Boykin's wacky touchdown in 2013? I was fortunate enough to be at that game and want to shout-out to the other 3 Packer fans in my section!

It was scored as a 15-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Further, touchdowns fall into one of three categories – rushing, passing or return – so it's classified as a return touchdown (in essence, a fumble "return"). Randall Cobb was credited with a similar return touchdown when he fell on James Starks' fumble in the end zone in Detroit to start the comeback in the 2015 Hail Mary game.

Kim from Hudson, WI

This is not football-related but I have to ask. I have been doing some social media video interviews with other business owners and it never fails that the screen shots catch me looking really silly. How are you avoiding this in your Three Things screen shots? You all look good! Are you posing for the shot knowing it will be on the website?

Our video editors are nice to us and find the right screen-capture moments when finalizing the product.

Corey from Bethlehem, PA

You are chosen to be the Packers schedule-maker this season. Rodgers is going on the road to face three HOF quarterbacks, two of which are on new teams. We also face the NFC champs and four other playoff teams from last year. How will you lay it out?

The networks and their preferences will determine part of it. The maximum (on the original schedule) five prime-time games is practically a given, with a share of late-afternoon doubleheader slots as well. I don't see an overabundance of noon games on the 2020 slate.

Aiden from San Diego, CA

I agree with many others that TE is kind of a hole in our offensive scheme. My question is what kind of TE do you think we should draft? A traditional big-bodied blocking TE would definitely help preserve the run game, but I'm more in favor of a receiving TE to add as another target for Rodgers.

I would agree. Teaching an athletic tight end to block is easier than trying to develop athleticism in a blocker. I'd love for the Packers to get another young prospect in the pipeline like Jace Sternberger, but that's just one of many draft wishes.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Isn't it great to see professional sports evolving to the point of hiring a team psychologist? Is that a trend around the league or still fairly unique?

Calling it a trend in pro sports is probably an understatement, and yes, it's great to see.

Adam from Toronto, Ontario

Good morning gents, what are your thoughts of Justin Madubuike out of Texas A&M? With all the talk regarding WR, OT and linebacker as needs I believe DT is right up there as a top need. I think Justin checks all the boxes of what we require from an IDL. He also has similar measurables as another lineman we picked last year from the same program. Madubuike is high on "my list". Do you think he's available at 62?

If he is, it would be difficult to pass him up, unless the Packers select a defensive lineman at 30. I'm not sure Madubuike will go in the first round, and I'm even less sure he'll last all the way to the end of the second.

Hans from Tulsa, OK

With all the talk of receivers in this year's draft and the Packers' "need" for one, I was curious what your thoughts were on evaluating the players. Reagor has been touted for his shifty change of direction, Aiyuk for his YAC ability, and Higgins for his size. After watching some tape on Mims I can't help but marvel at his body control and ability to catch balls that are ridiculously far outside a reasonable catch radius. What are the most important traits when evaluating the position?

Depends on whom you ask. I'm not trying to be dismissive. It's a legitimate answer, because it illustrates why teams' ratings and rankings on players are rarely the same.

Steve from Middletown, KY

Sounds like we'll have three preseason games, then a week off before starting the season. Since most starters are getting limited playing time anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to start the season following the week of preseason while they're still fresh? Would two bye weeks during the actual season make more sense with adding a 17th game? I'm sure it would be a scheduling nightmare, but this is going to be the new normal.

I think the idea regarding the new camp/preseason schedule, once the game format is 17-3, is to spread out the shift from setting the roster (making cuts, waiver claims, practice squads, etc.) to preparing for Week 1. It's annually been a bit of a fast-paced cluster, and I think coaches will appreciate the new, slower rhythm to the transition.

Brad from Solon Springs, WI

Mike, deleterious. Thanks for learnin' me a new word! I know many words but I've never seen that one. "After stealing Wes's lunch I realized it would have a deleterious effect on him, but I had already eaten it."

Ah, the memories.

Matt from Dyersville, IA

Mike, are you surviving OK without Wes's lunches?

We all have to make do in these trying times. It's forced me to get more creative in how I give him grief.

Dave from Minneapolis, MN

It seems fairly obvious that The Thing on Wes's wall is a stylized art piece depicting a satellite view of him hula hooping with several giant, flexible hula hoops. Oversized hula hooping is the perfect socially distanced exercise, so kudos.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

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