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Inbox: You never know who that guy might become

They’re all out there but you gotta find them

DL Kenny Clark

Dave from Bentonville, AR

No disrespect to either of you, but why do so many readers believe you are all-knowing when it comes to who/when the Packers should/will pick in the upcoming draft? I'll bet you just want to scream at the top of your lungs "I DON'T KNOW!!!!!!"


Eric from Mequon, WI

Hey II, if you were to split the draft into three categories, 1. Playmakers, 2. Solid starter, 3. Developmental prospect, where in the draft would you say the cutoff is? I think picks 1-15 are your playmakers, 15-100 are solid starters, and beyond 100 are your developmental prospects. Would you agree or disagree?

The first five should be face-of-the-franchise superstars, No. 6-10 All-Pros, 11-20 playmakers, 21-32 solid starters, 33-75 players who may need a year of development but are long-term contributors, 75-150 developmental prospects, and 151-259 is trying to find a guy who fits into any of the previous categories. They're all out there but you gotta find them.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, unless a team has many deficiencies, which the Packers do not have, I cannot understand the fans who want the Packers to trade down for more picks. Do they not understand that a second-round pick has a much better chance to contribute to the team than two fifth-round picks?

I used to be a proponent of trading out of the first round if you were in the bottom 10, but the fifth-year option changed my view on that. It makes too much sense to draft a player these days because you never know who that guy might become. You could have the next Kenny Clark on your hands and it helps to have that extra year of control. Oh, and congrats to KC on becoming a dad, by the way.

Tyler from Onalaska, WI

Every year much of what we see and hear from draft rankings is media driven and doesn't necessarily play out when the draft kicks into gear and players rise or fall according to assessments in league circles. Darnell Savage was one of those off-the-radar guys. Are you hearing of any late risers/fallers from league circles?

Jaycee Horn – the son of Joe Horn – was one player Spoff and I touched on during Thursday's "Unscripted." He's steadily climbed from a Day 2 pick to a possible first-rounder in the minds of many after his South Carolina pro day. The other name is Elijah Moore. He's small (5-9), but that may not matter. His 0-to-60 makes him dangerous if coaches scheme him into space.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Hi Wes, in response to DT from Bozeman, MT, on Mt. Rushmore of exciting QBs (not currently playing), Randall Cunningham came to mind pretty quickly.

Great pick. As I told Spoff, I really wanted to put Tim Tebow on that list. I know, I know, but anyone who watched Tebow in 2011 cannot say the Broncos weren't entertaining to watch. It was must-see TV.

Mitch from Winston, GA

Gents, underdog stories are a heartwarming part of football and all of sports. With competition for the No. 3 running back spot expected to be a highlight of training camp, will Dexter Williams be on the radar and get a legitimate shot? From what you have seen, what is holding him back? There must be a reason the Packers keep him on the practice squad. Thanks for all your daily insight.

That's hard to say because we haven't seen much of Williams. It was going to be an uphill battle for him to make the 53 last year after the Packers drafted AJ Dillon, and then Williams got hurt when he was about to get his big break against San Francisco. He has the explosive intangibles the Packers want in their running backs, but pass pro was one area he needed to work on after his rookie year. This is a huge offseason for him, especially if the Packers add another RB through the draft.

Jack from Racine, WI

Do you think the Packers would take a chance on a smaller-school prospect like Quinn Meinerz from UW-Whitewater during the draft, or do you think he would fall through the draft and possible pick up after the draft is over?

I'd love to see it, but it might take a Day 2 pick to get Meinerz. I'm not sure if the Packers would be willing to go that high on a center. Meinerz isn't just some feel-good story. He's a legit NFL prospect. As I said to Spoff on "Unscripted," I cannot believe he fell through the Division I cracks at that position in this state.

Logan from Plover, WI

Call it a hunch, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Christian Barmore is going to be sitting there for us late in the first round, and it's going to be hard to pass up a big, physical defensive tackle with coachable traits. He's rated very highly on NFL.com, but none of the pundits have him going in the first round in their mock drafts. What say you?

NFL.com has him as its 12th-best prospect at a shallow position, so it's hard to see Barmore falling all the way to No. 29. It would be huge if he did, though. He's different from Clark but I get similar vibes from him as a very young D-lineman with a buildable frame and massive upside.

Jeffrey from Wauwatosa, WI

Hi guys, of late I've been hearing a lot of talk about the Packers moving Darnell Savage to the slot position. If they are planning on doing that it would certainly make safety a possibility in the first round. Have you heard anything about this and what do you think about the idea?

I have not, other than reading the same stories you have. Much like the receiver position, though, we should learn quite a bit about the Packers' plans in the secondary through this draft.

Brian from Moncks Corner, SC

Other than the Packers, in your opinion, which team has the most interesting draft upcoming, and which team has the most urgent draft upcoming?

Atlanta and Miami. What the Falcons do at No. 4 will have a ripple effect for the rest of the first round. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have a golden opportunity with all their draft capitol. They must capitalize on this window.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Following up on the question from Bruce in GB (ideal size for a return specialist) I believe the answer varies by punt returner vs. kickoff returner. Some of the best punt returners (Devin Hester, Deion Sanders, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and others) have been the shorter, shiftier guys. Cordarrelle Patterson is an explosive kickoff returner, but he lacks the wiggle to be an effective punt returner. There are specialists within the "return specialist" designation.

That's an interesting point. Jeff Janis, for example, was a solid, explosive kickoff returner but wasn't an option on punts. On the other hand, Micah Hyde is a gifted punt returner but his finesse didn't translate as well to kickoffs.

Will from Rochester, MN

Who do you believe the Packers would have taken all those years ago had Aaron Rodgers not been available?

I'm guessing they trade back. I think it's well-established Rodgers was the last player with a first-round grade on the Packers' draft board.

Bob from Racine, WI

Gentlemen: The scouts play a vital part in the draft process. Based on your knowledge, are the Packers' scouts full-time employees, or do they work, say, half of the year or some other fraction? Thanks. Bob

Oh, it's a full-time job all right. There are a few spots in the calendar where scouts can burn some PTO but otherwise it's all-systems go. There are campuses to visit, film to crunch and Marriott points to accrue.

Fred from La Crosse, WI

The Draft Digest about Liam Eichenberg leads me to questions about OT arm length. What is the big deal about an inch of arm length that couldn't be overcome by a strong, quick body and mind? And a follow-up, what is the success rate of short-arm tackles?

Eichenberg is a great athlete but there isn't a great track record with NFL offensive tackles with sub-33-inch arms. It's not a deal-breaker. Eric Winston (32¼) had a great career but it takes talent and discipline to do it. Eichenberg has both. But the name of the game is getting hands on pass rushers. That's why arm length matters to scouts.

Adam from Scroggins, TX

I saw the article on packers.com about Rashan Gary announcing the picks on Day 2 for the Packers. Is it normal for an active player to announce picks for his team? Has it happened before? I would appreciate your insight.

It has. Sam Barrington, the Packers' Man of the Year at the time, read a draft pick in 2014.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

A salute to #30

Before we move forward. A look back.

The smile. The ever-present smile. Always a smile.

The joyful dance. A dance to warm our hearts and the hearts of your teammates.

Though others star may shine brighter on the battlefield, you will not be forgotten in Titletown

Jamaal Williams, we wish you the best and hope your path one day returns you to the green and gold.

A special poem for a special player. I caught heck from a dude on Twitter for saying on "Unscripted" that I think Jamaal Williams could be the Lions' lead back. First, all I said is they need to give him a fair shot at it. Secondly, take a look at the Lions' backfield over the past decade and tell me Williams isn't an improvement.

Ronald from Panabo, Philippines

Insiders, in your opinion, what position is the hardest to scout? I would imagine quarterback, receiver and running back would be the easiest because you have a lot of stats.

It's QB because of all the variables and the investment required into the position. It's nearly impossible to get the perfect player and his flaws are difficult to hide under that spotlight. My honorable mention would be defensive tackle – I don't know how scouts determine which guys can dominate at this level. Perhaps the best to ever play the game, Aaron Donald, wasn't even a "sure thing."

Robert from Salem, WI

Do you see any free-agency activity for the Pack prior to the draft? With some solid, experienced FAs still available at DB and WR, what your thoughts on supplementing in those areas?

It's always possible the Packers could still sign someone before the draft (Jahri Evans signed on April 26), but it's unlikely given we're already a month into free agency and the unrestricted window closes in two weeks.

Bob from Oconomowoc, WI

The new rule changes for the 2021 season are out. As is pretty par for the course, I was more interested in a rule that didn't pass. The Eagles and Ravens proposed a new "spot and choose" rule to overtime. The choices for the coin flip would become possession of the ball and where on the field the possession starts. If that rule were to pass, it feels as if every team would start overtime on the 1-yard line. That doesn't sound great for the first team to get the ball. Thoughts?

Well, one team would pick where the ball is spotted and the other decides whether it wants to play offense or defense. Either way…all I have to say is oy vey. Every year, I feel the need for more clarity with the rules and procedures during offseason meetings. Instead, we get the old "one sibling cuts the sandwich and the other picks which half they want" response to overtime.

Wags from Marinette, WI

If all the players of your Draft Digest are available at 29, who do you pick?

Teven Jenkins, out of Oklahoma State, is my guy this year. And before anyone asks, my previous picks were Datone Jones (2013), Ryan Shazier ('14), Byron Jones ('15), A'Shawn Robinson ('16), T.J. Watt ('17), Derwin James ('18), Brian Burns ('19) and Ross Blacklock ('20). Let's see how I do.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Every year someone comes out of this looking like a donkey.

…and it could be you if you trade the No. 6 pick for three second-round picks.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, when you took the Wonderlic did you finish? I've taken it twice and didn't, even though finishing was my only goal the second time. With 50 questions in only 12 minutes, that average of 14 seconds to read, understand and answer each item is really intense! The choices do get tougher toward the end. That said, I feel the Wonderlic is less a general intelligence test than it is an evaluation of one's ability to quickly process complex info. I see why QBs need higher scores. What's your take?

I didn't finish it. I think I had like 10 questions left. It's incredible Ryan Fitz Magic scored a 48. I'd love to see the question he either got wrong or didn't answer.

Scott from Albertville, MN

Who was the individual that had the shortest tenure as the Green Bay Packers head coach?

As far as the 15 individuals the Packers recognize as head coach with no interim tags, it would be Ray "Scooter" McLean. While both McLean and Ray Rhodes only coached the Packers for one season, McLean coached fewer games (12) than Rhodes (16).

Darrin from Sparta, WI

No question, just a comment related to all the questions you've fielded regarding the draft. I'm an everyday II reader and honestly, how are you not pulling your hair out with the constant onslaught of questions you've already answered, many, many times? I guess I did have a question. Reading comprehension is obviously a thing of the past. Sad!

Who said I wasn't?

Laura from Pittsburgh, PA

What do you think about the new jersey number system?

Sure, why not? I don't think it changes much, though. With Nos. 3 and 4 retired and 1-5 unofficially retired, that leaves only 6, 7, 8 and 9 for available single digits. The rest is window dressing.

Ross from Roswell, GA

Gents, good to see and hear that "Unscripted" is back. Like the new intro music. But to more important matters. With the advent of single-digit numbers being allowed more judiciously, if the Packers signed Ty Montgomery, would he be assigned number…Never mind, I'll see myself out.

The "Unscripted" plug saved you from Inbox oblivion, Ross. So, this is where I close today's Inbox, but before doing so, I just wanted to share a few quick words about my good friend and colleague, Mike Atkinson, our extraordinarily talented producer whose last day with the Packers was on Friday. When I came over from the Press-Gazette in April 2016, I didn't know Ax all that well but nobody made me feel more comfortable in this building than he did. During the NFL season, we often spend more time with each other than our own families. Mike is someone who always made your day better and a road trip more interesting. I could tell a million stories about Mike as both a friend and a coworker, but I just want to say this: Thank you, Ax. Thank you for supporting my writing and making me a better on-air talent. Thank you for challenging me to push the envelope on stories and videos. As an employee, you are unrivaled. Your hard work and dedication made Packers digital/broadcast better every day you came into the building. As a friend, you are legendary. The memories do indeed make us rich and all of us here will cherish each one we made with you. I love you, brother. Enjoy your weekend, everyone.