Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: Those moves defined a generation of Packers football

Explosiveness and vision are what make Aaron Jones special

Former Packers WR Jordy Nelson during Super Bowl XLV
Former Packers WR Jordy Nelson during Super Bowl XLV

Matt from Des Moines, IA

What did I miss? Anything happen yesterday?

Just a little housekeeping before Spoff returns.

Michael from Pound, WI

Gents. With the official signing of Aaron Jones, I just wanted to comment on his running style. I love the fact that he runs to his size. He bounces and ricochets off defenders most of the time. Not a lot of direct hits and he's got a little bit of "spidey senses" going on, being that annoying half-second or half-step ahead of you if you're playing against him. Great vision and great instinctual runner. I hope he doesn't change his running style, or believe he has to, because of the contract.

I wouldn't worry too much about that. Jones has improved as a pass-catcher and blocker over the past four years but has stayed true to who he is as a runner. Explosiveness and vision are what make Jones special. He knows how to run to his strengths.

Josh from Nicholasville, KY

"Jones still showed he can handle the lion's share of the carries, as well, in rushing for 168 yards and two TDs on 18 carries against Detroit in Week 2 and 145 yards on 20 attempts against Carolina in Week 15." All I have to say is well done, Wes.

You were the only one who caught that.

Nick from Gresham, WI

I have enjoyed the questions around the best draft picks and free agents. The Matt Hasselbeck and Ahman Green question got me thinking, what has been the Packers' best trade (aside from Brett Favre)? The Fred Vinson/sixth-rounder for Green and a fifth-rounder is hard to be beat. Ryan Grant for a sixth-rounder is up there. I may have to go with Eugene Robinson. I had to Google it, but learned the Packers gave up Matt LaBounty.

Trades are more than just "fleecing" another team. Sometimes it's paying the right price to find a missing piece. For example, Ted Thompson made two key trades in 2008 and 2009 that built his "Trader Ted" moniker and helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV – moving back to draft Jordy Nelson in 2008, and trading up to take Clay Matthews in 2009. When I think of "best" trades, those two stand out in the modern era. Those moves defined a generation of Packers football.

Nick from Prescott, WI

Hi, Wes. I was looking at past Packers' drafts and it got me thinking. If you could re-draft the 2013 draft knowing what we know now, could a case be made that David Bakhtiari would go number one overall? The Packers had a good draft that year but the overall class was fairly weak.

David Bakhtiari would be my No. 1 pick. Travis Kelce and Tyrann Mathieu are in the conversation, but Bakhtiari is one of the most decorated offensive linemen of the past 10 years who blocks the blindside of a three-time MVP QB. How could he not be the first player off the board?

Al from Green Bay, WI

So, I guess SF went "all-in", giving up three No. 1 draft picks in the process. I'm glad to be in Green Bay!

Sonny Weaver Jr. would be proud.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

Jordan Love compares very favorably with many of the top QB prospects in the draft this year. Considering the crazy prices being paid for position in this year's draft to get a QB, only spending one first-rounder to get a great prospect seems pretty cheap in retrospect. Can folks stop complaining now?

Probably not, but the Miami-San Francisco trade was yet another reminder of the escalating price for (a shot at) a franchise quarterback. Two first-rounders and a third to move within range of Zach Wilson or Justin Fields. Yowie wowie.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones through the years.

Patrick from Murfreesboro, TN

Love it or not, succession planning is key to any organization's success. Waiting for a star to leave before finding and grooming a successor is high-risk that often ends badly, whether in business or sports. Why bear risk of unprepared? Barring injury, Aaron Rodgers may thrive for years, or the season could collapse in one play. Getting a top young QB talent and seeing how he develops is not anti-Rodgers. The myth that they didn't give him weapons ignores the offense's prolific season and his MVP.

As I said earlier this week, I didn't see the Jordan Love pick coming last year but you have to step back and see what the Packers see. They drafted one of the greatest players in NFL history 16 years ago. With any luck, Rodgers will continue to play at an MVP level for years to come. But things can get dicey if you don't have a plan or a potential successor on the roster. Just ask Indianapolis or New England. The Packers are in this thing for the long haul.

Chris from St. Louis, MO

Good morning, just wanted to offer a take on the Love and Rodgers thing. If memory serves correct, Rodgers signed a new deal after the 2008 or 09 season. By this point, he showed he was a good starter and it wasn't a break the bank contract either. I don't even believe top five at the time. This allowed the Packers to keep many guys that helped win a SB. Who's to say this couldn't happen again? Love performs well enough in Year 4 of his contract and re-signs for a relatively modest contract.

You never know. Again, a part of me laughs at this whole debate. From 2016-19, Packers fans were like: "When are they going to draft Rodgers' successor?!?!?" And now, I'm guessing quite a few of those folks are now hollering: "Why did they draft Rodgers' successor?!?!?"

Scott from Grovetown, GA

Greetings, Wes. I was wondering if the 2021 NFL schedule might be released concomitantly with the 2021 NFL Draft? Or do all signs point to it being released much later than draft weekend?

I doubt it. I'm guessing the schedule release will be later again…just hopefully not in June. I got plans if the offseason program is virtual again this year.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

What would you say the best Packers' draft classes have been? Top 3?

It's 1958 (Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Jerry Kramer and Dan Currie). That might be the greatest draft class for a team in NFL history. My other two would be 1956 (Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg and Bob Skoronski) and 1995 (Antonio Freeman, William Henderson, Craig Newsome and Brian Williams) for the reach and depth.

Steven from Balsam Lake, WI

As far as players who struggled their first couple/few years who a lot of fans wanted cut, I seem to remember a large portion of fans calling for a young Davante Adams to be cut.

True…and Adams just had that one down season. The guy has been a stud the rest of his career, including his rookie year when he was a solid No. 3 to Nelson and Randall Cobb.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Which NFC North wide receiver that is a former United States President has more touchdowns in 2021? "Adams" or "Jefferson?"

Personally, I've always been more of an Adams guy. Like the receiver, John Adams was a highly underrated President.

Tyler from Green Bay, WI

The analysis of Nick Perry and Kevin King is absurd. Perry had a career year in a contract year and was hurt a lot. The defense is better when King is on the field, but he's hurt a lot. What am I missing? He's back on a one-year deal to potentially start and does not even have the second highest cap hit of the CB group. The deal makes sense.

You guys only remember the Perry extension but he didn't have a "career year" during his first contract year. He had 31 tackles and 3½ sacks in 2015 before returning on a one-year contract. Sound familiar?

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers CB Kevin King through the years.

Brian from Pensacola, FL

I just read that Leonard Fournette is going to re-sign with the Bucs, meaning that all 22 starting members of the championship team are back. How often has something like this happened in the past? How much would you attribute the Bucs' ability to retain the players they have to the attraction of being associated to the legend of Tom Brady. If you put any other active QB on that team to replace Brady, do they bring everyone back?

It's rare, especially since teams often will overspend for free agents off Super Bowl squads. What's even more uncommon is for both teams that advanced to a championship game to keep their rosters intact. The Bucs and Packers have done that, though one team is older and the other skews younger. In 2021, we get to see which team prevails.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

Wes, you have written many inspiring and heart touching features about Packers personnel and their families. Thank you for all of them. Are there any insights or seeds of wisdom that have stayed with you and that continue to influence how you regard life and make decisions that you have gleaned from your interviews?

Thank you for the kind words, Sandy. My aim is to show everyone is human. It doesn't matter if you're Aaron Rodgers or Emmanuel Byrd. Every player who has stepped foot into that Packers locker room has traveled a long road to get there and they didn't do it alone. And when I write a story, I want the subject to be the centerpiece of that story – not me. I think writers have lost the plot a little with today's "Look at me" media landscape. No, it's not about you. It's never been about you. It's always been about the subject and the reader. It's Mitchell Henry's story. It's Tyler Lancaster's story. It's not Wes Hodkewicz's story on Mitchell Henry or Tyler Lancaster. I strive to be the invisible guide telling you a story you haven't heard before.

Nicholas from Springfield, MO

Seeing Kyler Fackrell sign with the Chargers has me wondering - which team has the most former Packer players currently on their team?

It might be the Chargers (Bryan Bulaga, Corey Linsley, Jared Cook and Fack Nation).

Yoann from Sainte-Julienne, Quebec/Canada

Good morning Insiders. My question is about Marc-Antoine Dequoy. Last year, he was considered as an underdog with great abilities/speed but never had the chance to prove anything like many/all undrafted rookies. Does Green Bay still have a possibility to ask him for a visit or participating in the undrafted rookies sessions this year? Or did Marc-Antoine Dequoy lose his only chance with Green Bay due to the COVID-19 last year and now should only focus on playing CFL and maybe get a phone call?

Dequoy signed in January with the Montreal Alouettes, who owned his CFL rights after drafting him in the second round last year. So, I don't think he's eligible to sign with an NFL team this season. I hope it works out for Dequoy and he gets his shot at the NFL. He does have a great story.

Ken form Boynton Beach, FL

Hi Wes, the NFC North Roundtable: How cool was that? I thought it was a cool way to get a perspective from the other NFC North team's reporters. Thank you for that. It was really enjoyable to watch.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had a blast getting together with everyone, especially after we didn't get to see each other this season or even in Indianapolis for the combine. Hopefully, it's something we can do again soon.

Michael from Alameda, CA

Ciao Wes. Mi sento fortunato che adesso, la mia squadra preferita ha firmato un lungo dentice che si chiama Fortunato... Che dici?

Ciao Michael. Immagino che tu fossi un grande fan di Giogio Tavecchio.

Wags from Marinette, WI

How many of your picks made the Sweet Sixteen?

Eight (Zags, Oregon, Michigan, Florida State, Houston, Nova and Baylor).

Jeremy from New Glarus, WI

Wes, I am just finding out you are an MMA fan, which is great as it's my other favorite sport. Who is your favorite active fighter, and your favorite retired fighter?

I have two favorites – Ryan Hall and Demian Maia (although Maia is almost retired). My favorite retired fighter is Chael Sonnen.