Brian from Cranford, NJ
Insiders, this has to be one of the most intriguing drafts in a long time. There is no consensus top three picks, or top five even. And with Gute being the new GM, I am intrigued what moves and picks he will make. I am excited for this weekend.
And it's only a few more hours away. No more mock drafts. No more speculation. Just cold, hard draft picks coming at you 10 minutes at a time. Good morning!**
Venny from Montgomery, AL
Draft day! Let's hope the crystal ball yields good fortune. Were there any Packer draft picks in the past 15 years that you deemed shocking the moment it happened?
I always like to tell the story of the time I was watching the NFL Draft in my friend's dorm room at UW-Whitewater in 2005. Keep in mind there were no smartphones back then, so I was stunned when I turned on her TV and found out Aaron Rodgers was available at No. 24. Where were you when the course of Packers' history was forever changed?
Mike from Somerset, WI
Wes, I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around why Spoff wants to listen in to cut-down day discussions. Please explain how that would be enjoyable.
I think you misunderstood what he was saying. He doesn't want to be in the room when a player is let go. He wants to be privy to the personnel executives discussing making those critical decisions when picking a final 53.**
Ryan from Atlanta, GA
Do you believe the Packers intentionally put out the word that they're looking to trade up in the draft?
Who knows? Who cares? The draft will start, picks will be made and the Packers will go on the clock. Those are the truths I give you. You'll get the rest soon enough.
Kyle from Los Angeles, CA
Wes, your question to Gute about making it to pro days this year had an interesting answer: Gute pointed out that he'll know more about this draft class than any other while GM because he was out there doing the scouting with his own two eyes all year before earning the GM job in January. That could explain why talent evaluators Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson were so successful in their first drafts! Have fun tonight, gents.
Thompson was successful because he always was on the road. He was a true scout. I get a similar feeling about how Gutekunst will approach the job. It stands to reason he wasn't going to make as many pro days as past years, but it's interesting he's seen most of this year's draft class in-person, whether it was during the season, or at all-star games or pro days. That's a good benefit to have for your first draft.
Rich from Manitou Springs, CO
Are 12 picks a help or hindrance? I don't think 12 picks are necessary unless a team is lacking for talent. To me, 7-9 picks are adequate to maintain a competitive team year to year. I hope Gute trades some of those picks to upgrade a pick. What do you feel is a good number of picks?
There is no such thing as too many draft picks. It's the currency and lifeblood of the NFL. Having the most picks gives Gutekunst so much leverage to move around during all three days of the draft. I prophesy the Packers will draft 10 players.**
Eric from Oshkosh, WI
I love "Draft Day" – both the movie and the event. Is there a player in this draft that, if draft position weren't an issue, you would take, "no matter what"?
Yes, but before I begin, I must say there is only one Vontae Mack. A generational talent. Denzel Ward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James, Bradley Chubb, Tremaine Edmunds and Roquan Smith are all defenders I could see going into a camp and making an instant impact. I'd add Marcus Davenport, but he appears to be a bit more of a long-term investment.
Tony from Eau Claire, WI
Why have an NFL Draft if there is a team salary cap and limitations on rookie contracts?
The picks are still the picks. The rookie-wage scale was only meant to keep rookie contracts more reasonable in the 2011 CBA. Prior to that, the guarantees in these contracts were forcing teams to cut veterans to stay under the cap.**
George from North Mankato, MN
Did you ever think that the NFL Draft would become a prime time television event?
Never. At least, not when I was watching as a kid 20 years ago. I am old enough to remember when the draft used to go off-air during the later rounds on Sunday afternoon. Now, it's a weeklong spectacle.
Peter from Oxford, UK
Gutekunst used a lot of his 30 pre-draft visits on top players, whereas Ted famously used them on potential UDFAs. There's much chatter that this is a major philosophical shift. Might it just be that we have a dozen picks this year and the roster is only so big, so it makes sense to focus on draftable players?
Gutekunst said he wanted to have an audience with as many of the top prospects as he could and I don't blame him. This is a big commitment. You have to get the pick right. The Packers see what these players can do on film, but the locker room also is such a vital component to team-building. You need to get to know both the player and the person.
Jeremiah from Denver, CO
Is there a certain unfolding scenario during the draft that has you excited? Though we are stocked at RB, I'd love to see Barkley in Green and Gold.
Take a look at some players who were picked in the No. 14 spot of the NFL Draft. Photos by AP.
If Barkley is available at No. 14, something went wrong. The only scenario I'm curious to see play out is what the Packers do if there are two or three of those defensive players I previously mentioned on the board at No. 14. After so much speculation over the last three months, I'd be interested to see whom Gutekunst and his scouts feel is the best fit for the Packers.**
Mark from Dallas, TX
Everyone seems to agree Barkley is a special talent, but debate over how high a pick a running back is worth (you're passing up an elite QB or CB or pass rusher to get him). How far would Barkley have to fall to be a no-brainer considering his talent but also value of the position?
Barkley should be taken fourth – no sooner, no later.
Matt from Saint Louis, MO
I don't pretend for a minute that I could do what Gutekunst is about to over the next three days, but a lot of readers make draft predictions thinking that they could do the job. Obviously Gutekunst has a long career in football, but do you think anyone with the right training and a little luck could rise to his ranks (like many readers have in their minds), or does it take a special personality to do what he does? And how many scouts start out like him and fall out because they don't have what it takes?
I believe it was Ron Wolf who once said it doesn't take long to figure out if a scout can cut it. After all, the proof is in the pudding in regards to finding gems and defusing busts in the pre-draft process. The best scouts have an eye for talent and a tireless dedication to their craft. Gutekunst certainly has both. **
Connar from Lake Nebagomon, WI
I've really been rooting for Kentrell Brice the past couple seasons. He could be the hardest hitter on the team. Does he have an increased role with Morgan Burnett gone? I know he was playing quite a bit before he got injured in the nitro defense.
Brice started the season as the next safety up behind Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix before the ankle injury prematurely ended his season. Everything I've heard suggests Brice should be good-to-go for the offseason program. He'll be back in the running for a role.
Timmy from Chicago, IL
Over/under 1.5 Packers drafted tonight. I have a Gute feeling we'll be aggressive in trade talks.
Here's my bold guesstimation with no evidence whatsoever – the Packers either trade up from No. 14 or draft two players in the first round.
Jordan from Lugoff, SC
Have the Packers historically worked trades on draft day with specific teams? For example, even though the Browns' No. 4 pick is worth much more, I'm sure it's much more likely we trade there than into the eighth pick.
Take a look back at photos of some Packers players from the NFL Draft and current photos of them now. Photos by AP, James D. Smith and Evan Siegle, packers.com
I wouldn't be so sure about that. Thompson and John Schneider are closer than most brothers, but I don't recall them doing any deals on draft day. One of Thompson's favorite trade partners actually was the New England Patriots. Those two teams did a lot of business on draft day.**
Trevor from Seattle, WA
I can only imagine how difficult and/or emotionally stressful the draft must be for each prospect. You are about to take a huge step in your career. What is your most memorable interview with a player regarding the draft process that really gave you perspective?
The Packers drafting D.J. Williams in 2011 is high on the list given his backstory. Williams and his family overcame so much to make that dream come true. There were so many emotions during that first conference call.
Ric from Longmont, CO
In your opinion, how many players in tonight's draft have a first-round grade? How many quarterbacks are truly first-round talent?
I'd classify 25 players as first-rounders. Five are quarterbacks – Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen – though it wouldn't surprise me to see a team reach for Mason Rudolph at the end of the first round to get the fifth-year option.
Philip from Westport, CT
Glad draft day is finally here. When teams talk about players with first-round grades, what do they mean? I'm not talking about what the number is but rather what the expectation is for players to be drafted in the first round (e.g., Pro Bowl), second round (e.g., starter), etc. Thanks for the insight.
It's based on value. There might be some players the Packers feel have a Pro Bowl-caliber ceiling, but would be considered "reaches" to take in the first round. A good example would be Green Bay waiting to take Donald Driver in the seventh round in 1999 despite the fact it had a fourth-round grade on him. By declaring a player a "first-rounder," a scout is acknowledging the value of the pick corresponds to the player's skill level and upside. **
Matthew from Portland, OR
Do you think Ted Thompson will grant an interview after the draft? Curious to see what he says in his new position in a supporting role.
Knowing Ted, I'm guessing the answer is no. As Mark Murphy said in January, Thompson made himself available because it was required, not because he relished it being the glitz and glamour of the job. I think he prefers the spotlight remains on the new GM. It's Gutekunst's canvas to paint now.
LeeAnn from Corydon, IN
For the past two years, the Packers have been trying to get younger and more athletic at LS. I mean no disrespect to Brett Goode, but with 12 picks and two each in the sixth and seventh rounds, would it be a good time to identify the best one and use a draft pick?
The Packers are performing their due diligence on this year's class of long snappers, which is not the least bit surprising considering Zach Triner is the only one currently on the roster. Still, I don't see them picking one. The Packers can sell prospective college free agents on having a legitimate chance at competing for the job just like Justin Vogel received last summer.
Bradley from Riverview, FL
I hear Dez Bryant wants a one-year "prove-it" deal. Why not take a flyer on him and give the younger receivers another year to develop?
It wouldn't seem right. Too much history.
Sam from Brookfield, WI
DeAngelo Yancey seems to not get mentioned as one of the guys in the mix within the WR group. When he got drafted, Yancey was compared to James Jones.
I'm always careful with comparisons, but Yancey is a big-bodied receiver who had a knack for making plays at Purdue. The full season on the practice squad should have him prepared for another shot at this thing.**
Jim from Tempe, AZ
My bold first-round draft prediction: No. 1 – Barkley. No. 4 – Chubb/Nelson. No. 14 – Trade between Clev-GBP. Browns select Lamar Jackson. Packers get pick 33, 36 and WR Josh Gordon. Happy draft day!
God help John Dorsey if the Browns draft anyone but a quarterback No. 1. This is not the time to mess around.
Ricardo from Mexico
A lot has been said about the draft. As I see it, there are four interesting QB, with no absolute definition on who is No. 1 (Darnold, Mayfield, Rosen, Allen). Then you have the top prospect in a RB (Barkley). If I were the Browns, why not pick Barkley first, and then picking fourth, they should still have a top QB.
There's a key word there. They should still have a top QB, but it doesn't guarantee them one. The Browns have been picking the third- or fourth-best QB for the last 19 years. It's time to end the carousel. Take the one you feel is the best.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Tomorrow we can start analyzing a bird in the hand. I grow tired of the bush.
The only real bird worth analyzing.
Andrew from Pleasantville, NJ
More excited about the draft or Infinity War?
The infinity draft.
Jason from Lake Geneva, WI
I find it hard to justify lighting the charcoal for the sole purpose of grilling dogs or beer brats. I prefer to at least have some other meat to use the heat and flavor of good charcoal. Question: Who's propane and who's charcoal between Spoff and Wes? Hot, fast and efficient or patient and flavorful?
Spoff definitely is the more efficient packers.com writer. Not sure I'm any more flavorful, though.
Ryan from Fedora, SD
So Pete from Perham asked Spoff what kind of brew he will be pouring on Saturday. I myself will be indulging in some Old Style with my frosty mug. How about you Wes? What kind of root beer will it be? Barq's, A&W, Dads?
Oh, I can assure you the San Pellegrino will be flowing Saturday night.
Gary from Sheboygan, WI
Thank You, a simple Thank You.
You're Welcome, a simple You're Welcome.
Henry from La Crosse, WI
With all the grilling talk, how can you proudly use propane and propane accessories when it always tastes better over charcoal? Of all the things I've disagreed with you fine men on, this is the biggest crime perpetrated.
I was given the grill free of charge. As Andrew Jaworski used to say, "If someone is going to give you something, take it." That one is for you, Grandpa Hank, whom we lost three years ago this weekend. Enjoy the draft, y'all. It's finally here!