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The draft is finally here

Jahri Evans makes a lot of sense for the Packers' offensive line


Bob from Green Bay, WI

Man am I sick of everyone coming out with their millionth mock glad the draft is finally here! GO PACK!

I'm with you. Let's get this thing going.

Charlie from Morgan Hill, CA

With the draft on tap tonight it got me thinking about the most annoying "cliché" comment. I despise "110 percent" and referring to grown men as "kid." What annoys you?

His motor never stops running.

Dennis from Hinzerath, WI

What do you think Jahri Evans brings to the table and does it solve the need at guard for the Packers? Keep up the good work.

If you're a "Wish list" fan, you have to be pleased with the acquisitions Ted Thompson has made over the last six months. Christine Michael, Martellus Bennett and Jahri Evans are all names I saw pop up in the Inbox since I started at The Evans signing makes a lot of sense. It gives the Packers a proven option at guard who played better than many expected last season. He's likeable, durable and experienced. He should fit well in that room.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

Am I understanding correctly in that the signing of Jahri Evans will count adversely against the Packers' compensatory picks next year?

Evans was an unrestricted free agent, so he does count toward the net loss formula. A lot depends on his contract, though. While Scott Tolzien was an unrestricted free agent last year, the Packers didn't get anything in return because his contract, playing time, etc., wasn't enough to warrant one of the 32 compensatory picks.

Danny from Anaheim, CA

I would be extremely impressed if Ted moved up the charts to pick up a RB like Fournette or McCaffrey or even a top 10 prospect. What are the chances of that happening? I'm sure everyone would be shocked.

Ted Thompson has administered 12 drafts as the Packers' general manager and he's yet to trade up to draft a player in the first round. He traded back into Round 1 once (Clay Matthews in 2009), but never moved up from his original first-round spot. So he's either due or it's not going to happen.

Kurt from Phoenix, AZ

Ted Thompson has done a masterful job using free agency to keep the draft about BAP. I would say more so this year, but not much. Love all the signings this year. What has been your favorite personnel move by Ted?

It's too easy to say Martellus Bennett, so I'm going to go with Lance Kendricks. His story reminds me a lot of Jared Cook's last year – a supremely athletic tight end who's never been to the postseason or played with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers. Bennett, Kendricks and Richard Rodgers should be a fun group to follow this summer.

Dan from Rock Hill, SC

I'm curious on how trades are communicated during the draft. Does each team have an official representative that must sign off on the deal for it to be official and announce? There has to be paper trail, but 15 minutes seems too short of time to verify everything going on and communicate it.

*There's constant communication among executives all three days of the draft, but it's ultimately Thompson's call in Green Bay. Sometimes personnel directors will pursue possible trade partners to move up or move back, but there's always someone responsible for making the final call. *

Ed from Portland, OR

Corner is so important, yet the Packers have a pattern of developing decent DBs and when their time comes to get paid, just letting them go: Williams, House, Hayward, Hyde. ALL of them let go? Seems extreme, letting guys go faster than they can replenish. If you were GM, how would you change the cornerback "staffing" policy?

Williams actually did get paid in Green Bay. It's just that second contract ran out after the 2014 season. Yes, the Packers allowed Davon House to walk but now he's back. That's a good first step to helping replace Hyde. Finally, I know of a lot of readers who were content letting Casey Hayward walk last year because of the depth at cornerback. The Packers have options at cornerback and probably will have even more after this weekend. That's what important.

Kawanza from Atlanta, GA

Do you think we will lock up Morgan Burnett for a long-term contract? Lord knows he's the leader of the secondary.

The Packers face another slew of difficult decisions over the next year with Burnett and most of their 2014 draft class in the final year of their contracts. Green Bay has inked in-season extensions with players in each of the past two seasons. It stands to reason it could happen again. Burnett's value continues to increase in this defense. As experienced as he is, he's still only 28 years old.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Lynch to Oakland, Eddie to Seattle, Murray to Minnesota, AP to New Orleans. I'm loving this game of running back musical chairs happening before the draft. Hopefully it allows the Packers to have a good number of good running backs to choose from even later in the draft now.

I agree with Rodgers. I'm glad Lynch is back in the NFL. It's also nice for Oakland to have one of its top homegrown talents playing for the hometown team. It's really been interesting to see all the dominoes fall at running back this offseason. I'm curious to see what the Packers' situation looks like a week from now.

Josh from Pullman, WA

Is there any chance we have a 2005 scenario happen again this year? I'm of course talking about Fournette dropping to us.

I don't see him falling out of the top 10. If he's still on the board at No. 29, I'm asking myself why?

Jonathan from Paducah, KY

Hey Insiders, what position battles are you already looking forward to this summer? Mine are by far running back and offensive guard.

Running back should be fun to watch, but I think the cornerback competition will be compelling. All four spots are up for grabs and there are several guys hungry to put 2016 behind them for one reason or another.

Niklas from Stockholm, Sweden

T.J. Watt and Takkarist McKinley are still on the board at 29. Who do you pick?

It's a good position to be in because I like McKinley a lot. He has a compelling personal story and carries it with him onto the football field. He's a tireless worker who has tremendous natural gifts. If you pair him up with a position coach who stresses fundamentals, I think McKinley could be a serious player in this league.

Derrick from Randolph, NJ

Hello Insiders, I thought college athletes were not allowed to have agents. With most colleges still in session, how are these athletes able to have agents prior to the draft for representation?

College players are allowed to sign with agents whenever they desire. They just relinquish their eligibility once they do. There have been a few underclassmen who attended the NFL Scouting Combine in the past that were allowed to maintain their eligibility because they didn't sign with an agent. Once you sign on the dotted line, your college career is over.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

If the worst first-round pick makes a million more than the best second-rounder, how much more does a seventh-rounder make than an undrafted rookie? Would you prefer to be picked in the seventh or wait to go undrafted and sort of pick your own location?

The only difference is their bonuses. All players drafted after the third round make the same base salary. That also goes for undrafted rookies if they make the roster.

Phil from Tampa, FL

With the draft starting this evening, what is your favorite draft memory?

Unequivocally, it's the selection of Aaron Rodgers. I accompanied a friend of mine to UW-Whitewater for spring orientation on the day of the draft. I followed it on the radio the entire day and was stunned to hear of Rodgers falling. I was convinced the 49ers were going to take him. It was a different time then. There was no Twitter or iPhones. When the Packers finally went on the clock, I darted to the dorm room of another friend of mine, wondering if Thompson would take the quarterback. He did and the rest is history.

Paul from New Richmond, WI

I think you should dedicate a day in this column to "The Rock" himself. He is such a great asset to the Packers and Packer Nation. I've had the privilege of attending a couple of his speaking engagements a few years back and he was so entertaining. Truly a great representative of the Packers.

You guys have heard me praise Larry in the past, but he deserves every syllable. He's not only a tremendous ambassador for the Packers, but also the game of football. I don't know if I've met anyone who is more knowledgeable about the game.

Jackson from Rothschild, WI

To comment on salaries and fans complaining that star players should take a pay cut in order to sign better players potentially, I would ask them if they are willing to take pay cut at their job – I think we all know the answer to that.

I tried working for free once. I had to stop when my power was turned off.

John from Flanders, NJ

In all your years personally covering the draft, who was the biggest can't-miss prospect that just didn't make it?

USC's Mike Williams. I thought he'd be what Calvin Johnson became and I was very wrong.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Who are the three best draft picks of TT's career?

*Aaron Rodgers, Nick Collins and Clay Matthews are fairly obvious, but David Bakhtiari isn't far behind. *

Kelly from Randolph, WI

Almost everything I look at in regards to the draft says one of the Packers' main needs is an outside linebacker. The most common pick I see is T.J. Watt. Wouldn't that give us three outside linebackers with big contracts?

*Contracts for first-round picks aren't as crippling as they once were. Assuming the Packers stay in the first round and don't trade back, they have more than enough cap space to handle the contract. *

Wesley from York, UK

OK, so what would you think if the Packers liked a QB and took someone like Davis Webb at the end of the first or early in the second?

I'm not drafting the quarterback of the future. I don't care who it is. I'm drafting to build around the quarterback of the present.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Draft prediction: none of the predictions made in this column, by readers or Insiders, will happen (except this one, of course). Ted will be classic Ted and select someone no one was talking about.

I managed to get the Packers' first-round pick right in 2013, but I'm 0-for-3 ever since. I also successfully predicted they'd draft B.J. Coleman in 2012. My mom still has the trophy on the wall.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Where/when in the draft do the Packers look at special-teams skills as part of a player's potential?

You consider it in every round, but it probably plays a bigger role on Day 3 because that's likely where the player is going to play at first. Can the player return kickoffs or punts? Is he fast enough to be a gunner? Is he strong enough to be a jammer?

Bill from Belle Plaine, MN

If the NFL can do throwback jerseys during the season, how about they do a throwback draft one of these years? I, for one, would love to see the return of the helmet phone to every team's draft table.

Somebody make this happen.

Theodore from St Louis, MO

Mulch or bag?


Matt from Winfield, IL

Watched ESPN's mock draft and found it interesting Bill Polian really dislikes Charles Harris, Taco Charlton and Derek Barnett, saying they're too slow. But he loved Jordan Willis from Kansas State. I suspect, more so than in recent years, the real draft will vary greatly from expectation. Can't wait to see what happens tonight. What are you hoping to see tonight?

Quick picks and no trades.

Barrett from Lubbock, TX

Happy draft day Insiders. Thank y'all in advance for all the work you're going to do to put info about our first pick, or potential trade back, out to the public.

Spoff will be the one working hard. I'll be in media dining. Enjoy the draft, everybody.

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