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Inbox: This is the day legends are born

QB Aaron Rodgers
QB Aaron Rodgers

Greg from Chelsea, MI

Draft day is upon us! A particular brand of baloney stops today.

Take it all in, folks. This is the day legends are born. Good morning!

Tim from Charlotte, NC

Game day boys. What's for breakfast?

Well, I’m sitting here eating my pancakes…thinking about moving No. 1.

Brian from Alta Vista, IA

IT’S TIME!!!!! (Bruce Buffer voice)

GREEN BAY, MAKE SOME NOISE IF YOU ARE…READY!!!!! (Joe Martinez voice)

Fletcher from Tawas City, MI

By the time you get this question, it will FINALLY be draft day. Tell us now, about what time today do you expect that adrenaline wave to crest for you?

When the Packers go on the clock for the first time. Everything else is just hurrying up to wait. In each of the past two years, we had plans mapped out only to have everything tossed in the air after a last-second trade. Once that first pick is made, however, it’s off to the races.

Take a look back at photos of some Packers players from the NFL Draft. Photos by AP and James D. Smith.

Steve from Middletown, KY

Like everyone else, I want to keep AR upright and picking defenses apart, so it makes sense to get another OL. Since Marcedes Lewis and Jimmy Graham may be in their last year, the future at TE is now. Instead of getting a developmental prospect in the later rounds, why not just go and get one of the top three? All three seem to have a consensus to be potential starters as a rookie. Give AR another weapon for the now and the future. The clock is ticking.

It’s complicated with the top three tight ends. As I’ve said a few times, everything hinges on how early T.J. Hockenson comes off the board and whether that creates a first-round run on Noah Fant and Irv Smith Jr. My gut says Hockenson will be off the board by 12, but that may be too high to take Fant. At the same time, Fant also might not be there at 30, either.

Andrew from Savanna, IL

Hey Insiders, if you could pick anyone in this draft, for the Pack, who would it be and why? Mine would be Devin White. A player like White could take our D from solid to scary! Here's to Mr. White sliding to 12!

I cannot see White being there at 12, but he is my favorite player in this year’s draft class. I love his makeup. I love his athleticism. He’s the type of player who immediately makes your defense better. I’d say Quinnen Williams probably is the answer to your question, though. He’s the next big thing, at least in my book.

Colin from Lansdale, PA

My sleeper pick for 30: Rock Ya-Sin. I'm a bit biased because I went to Temple, but he's the real deal at corner.

I didn’t know much about Ya-Sin until the past few weeks, but he’s been steadily climbing boards. Truthfully, I haven’t paid a lot of attention to cornerbacks with first- and second-round grades. I just don’t see the Packers returning to that well this year.

Tim from Spooner, WI

The Packers obviously have one difference-maker on offense. Does the team need a difference-maker on defense to get to the Super Bowl again? The front office doesn't want to pick this high again. Isn't this a unique position to be in to trade up for the defensive difference-maker with picks 12 and 30? If the price is right, of course.

One-difference maker on offense. What do you call Davante Adams then? You want All-Pros in the first round. You want perennial Pro Bowlers. I couldn’t care less whether it’s on offense or defense. If you add enough difference-makers, the rest takes care of itself.

Steve from Janesville, WI

Just a comment, can't help but root for Cole Madison like heck. I’m sure I am not the only one.

Hopefully, Madison’s story is also a reminder to those going through similar situations that they’re not alone. The most poignant thing he said Tuesday was how he and Tyler Hilinski were tremendous friends, but neither communicated with the other what they were dealing with. Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re struggling, it’s important to reach out. I hope Madison knows how many people are pulling for his success, both on the field and in life.

Bob from Colby, KS

Concerning Madison: I've skipped playing basketball for a year. The next year it took me a while to get back in the groove. Would the same be expected for the NFL or does it depend on the position played?

I think the fact Madison reported for Day 1 of the offseason program will help him knock off whatever rust might have built up over the past year. The guy is completely healthy and appears to be a great shape.

Carroll from Madison, WI

I just read Wes's piece on Cole Madison. As someone who's lived with a mental illness for almost 40 years, I congratulate Madison on doing what he had to do to right his own ship last year — and the Packers for supporting him as he did so. It also takes courage for someone in Madison's position to talk about his decision so openly. Whatever success Madison has as a lineman, he's already had a big impact as public educator.

I’m grateful Madison addressed the media Tuesday when he was under absolutely no obligation to in the middle of April. It’s an important message everyone should hear.

Nick from Fredericksburg, VA

I just read the piece on Cole Madison. As somebody who lost both my father and my former commanding officer to suicide over a six-month period, I would like to applaud Cole for not only seeking the help he needed, but also discussing it in a public forum. It is only with open discussion that the stigma surrounding mental health issues will be resolved. I would also like to give a shout-out to the Packers organization for supporting him during his difficult times.

My sincerest and deepest sympathies, Nick. Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is real. Life’s struggles are real. If you’re out there feeling what Madison felt, you are not alone. You are not alone.

Jonnie from Garden City, MI

Describing my perfect date, I'd have to say April 25. It's not too hot and it's not too cold. All you need is a light jacket! It also helps that it's my 40th birthday and the first day of this year's draft. I look forward to the talent the draft will bring. If given the choice between a generational talent who has confirmed off-the-field issues vs. a slightly lesser athlete who bears themselves as a consummate professional, which would you pick and why?

It’s a tough hypothetical and really depends on what the off-the-field issue is. Ted Thompson used to always say it’s his job to determine whether the kid stubbed his toe or there are real underlying issues there. You have to get to know these guys and understand what their story is. If it’s a real red flag, I take the consummate pro and never look back.

Chris from Victor, ID

I’m really interested to see how many total picks BG makes in this draft. I'd love to see an extra swing in the second and/or third round. Although maybe two newer schemes lend themselves toward wanting to make more picks. Let's set the over/under at 8½ picks...what do you take? 

I told Spoff on “Unscripted” my prediction was nine picks. So I guess I have the over.

Dale from Caledonia, NY

I know teams pay higher salaries to players drafted early, but how much room for negotiation is there? Are there set minimums, so that, say, someone chosen 12th will certainly earn more than someone chosen 13th, no matter what positions those two play? Or is it entirely decided by haggling between the player's agent and the team?

Rookie contracts are slotted now, so deals are pretty cut-and-dried for the most part. The one snag over the last decade has been offset language and guaranteeing contracts of first-round picks for both injury and skill.

Doug from Green Bay, WI

I recall it being mentioned somewhere that a team can't send a scout to watch another team’s practice unless it’s a paid admission event like Family Night. Does that role hold true for joint practices or are those open for other teams to send scouts?

The same rules apply. No money. No visiting scouts.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Our FA plunge upgraded the defense nicely, but I don't see any of those three as “tilt the field” kind of players that other teams have to game plan around, in particular an edge-rushing fearsome force. My input for perhaps the third or fourth year in a row is if you think that guy is in this draft, get him at 12 or maneuver up to get him with your draft capital.

Za’Darius Smith, Adrian Amos and Preston Smith are all around 25 or 26. You haven’t seen nothing yet.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

From purely an II perspective, what is the worst thing the Packers could do in the draft that would make your job the most difficult? Is there anything the Packers could do that would make your job easy the next day?

The most challenging would be if they draft a quarterback in the first round. I’ve been bashing people over the head, whack-a-mole style, for the past two months saying it won’t happen. The easiest thing would probably be take one of the Iowa tight ends. Inboxers love those two.

Burt from Oconto Falls, WI

Just wondering how in the big picture you view the overall talent level currently on our defense versus the talent level on the other side of the ball.

The Packers are a bit more experienced on offense at the moment, but there are young, good players on both sides of the ball. What the Packers need now is those individuals to take the next step towards greatness.

Allen from Greendale, WI

What is the basic strategy used for punt returns?

Stay north and south, and try to pick up 10 yards. If a hole develops, capitalize.

Jim from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Who is in charge of moving the draft board? How big is it? Does it fit in carry-on so it can be closely guarded? If it is in a checked bag it could easily be "lost" and another team could "find" it. What if in the process of moving the board from Green Bay to Nashville the board gets messed up and wrong guy is drafted? So much to think about at the last minute. It's the little details that matter most.

The draft board resides in Lambeau Field and doesn’t move. The two Packers reps in Nashville, Chris Kirby and Bryan Nehring, are only there to relay whatever picks Brian Gutekunst calls in from the home base.

Gavin from Albuquerque, NM

Idea for the future that solves both the "Green Bay hosting a draft" coupled with "Green Bay goes to London" questions: Packers host the draft, compensating the team and greater Green Bay area for the financial loss of a home game getting moved to London.

No chance. The draft might be bigger for the entire state, but one week of hosting the NFL Draft won’t offset the income the community draws from a home game. It is massive. The Packers won’t give up a home game to play in London. Never say never, but never. Ever. Never ever.

David from San Francisco, CA

Not only does the league need to step in and send the Packers to London, but they also need to do it while Aaron Rodgers is quarterback.

No question about it. He’s one of the game’s best ambassadors. If the NFL wants to build its international footprint, Aaron Rodgers needs to be part of the pitch.

Daniel from Delta, PA

Having just read an article about the ’99 draft and knowing the Saints’ current pick situation, it's pretty clear what getting the right player and getting the wins can do for the GM and coach. Would you rank that trade for Williams as the craziest thing to happen on draft day?

No. 1. To this day if you look up “fleeced” in the dictionary, there’s still a picture of Ditka next to it.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

Do you think the Packers will draft a guy in a flashy suit, or a guy in khakis tonight?

I’d say the odds are -1000 flashy suit, +600 khakis and +5000 tuxedo shirt.

Ryan from Watertown, WI

Enjoy the draft gentlemen! I am definitely disappointed I have to miss it for the second year in a row, but 364 days of the year Green Bay is priority. April 25 is “Endgame” day!

New movies play a dozen times a day in the theater, seven days a week. The first round of the NFL Draft happens once a year. I’ll catch “Endgame” when I can rest my feet on the seat in front of me.

Nate from Kewaskum, WI

Will you refer to the newest member of the Packers’ media staff as Johnny or Kuhny?

I don’t refer to anyone with “y” at the end of his/her name…unless, of course, it’s Spoffy.

Phil from Madison, WI

Wes, your Dane Cook reference to Derek from Maple Grove, MN, had me laughing. Really well done. On this draft-day morning, after all the mockery that has gone on this spring, all I'm hoping for is to land players who will make us better, whether that's a plug-and-play guy at a current position of need or a prospect that can grow into an eventual position of need. Thanks for giving us Packer fans something to pass the time these last few months. In Gute we trust.

We’re finally here. We’ll have stories, videos and analysis posting nonstop on packers.com over the next three days. We’ll also be doing Periscope and Facebook Live streams before all three days of the draft. Enjoy the draft, everyone!

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