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The pick could change the course of history

Depth of first round will carry into second round


Tim from Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Vic, do players fear draft day, knowing their starting spot or even their spot on the team could be in jeopardy?

If you're a veteran player and your team's first-round pick on Thursday is a player who plays your position, you know plans are being made to replace you. It's the natural attrition of the game. Football's coldness is the game's romantic quality.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Judging from Tony Pauline's grading scale, he doesn't see any players in this draft anywhere close to franchise players. Is this a relatively weak draft?

It doesn't have a lot of star power at the top, but it has quality and depth that'll carry deep into the second round.

Shalom from Conway, AR

Vic, why do teams wait until the last second to pick the player, instead of in the first few minutes of their allotted time?

What's the rush? You've got 10 minutes to make sure everything is OK. They are the final 10 minutes of the hours and hours of evaluation that has gone into this pick. Ask him if he's injured himself in any ways recently. Ask him where he is and who's with him. Your representative in Chicago has his name on a piece of paper. He's standing next to the commissioner, ready to turn in the pick. He's just waiting for the go sign. So spend some time on the phone with your choice. Get a feel for what this means to him. Use every second available to you to make this pick, because the consequences of your actions will be enormous. This pick could change the course of history for your franchise.

Derek from Ramsey, NJ

Vic, how many scouts typically work for an organization? Also, how do scouts initially make a name for themselves if they weren't former players?

A dozen is a good number. The vast majority of scouts have a playing background, but they weren't players whose names you'd recognize. Most of the scouts I've known played in anonymity. They used their playing background and the contacts they made to get into the scouting business, and then they began working their way up the ladder. The NFL isn't where careers typically begin, it's where they end. This is the top of the ladder. I have a scouting friend who was a high school coach and athletic director. I have a friend who was a recruiter at several colleges. You find scouts where you find scouts. If this is what you want to do, the way you begin is by finding someone who'll let you in. Mike McCarthy began as a volunteer coach at Pitt. Look at the road Vince Lombardi traveled to become the greatest coach ever. As you scout, so will you be scouted.

Joshua from Philadelphia, PA

"Whatever it takes." – Coach Noll. Vic, please fill in the blank for Coach McCarthy.

"Write it down in big letters." I will always remember Coach Mike McCarthy for the boldness of his predictions and his commitment to improvement.

Deborah from Timoteo, MG Brazil

I want to thank Vic a lot for the time spent with us, always listening to our questions. It brings Green Bay next to me.

Thank you for the geography lesson. I learned Timoteo is located in the Steel Valley and has a factory that manufactures stainless steel. We're from the same place thousands of miles apart.

Mike from Whitefish, MT

Vic, I was intrigued by your support for a merger of the NFL and CFL. Given the numerous and significant differences in rules, how would such a merger be structured?

I have no idea and the logistics of it don't interest me. I'm a big picture guy and I envision the growth of professional football. I think it would be wonderful for the CFL to have a team in the NFL playoffs. I think it's time for the Pro Football Hall of Fame to be true to its name.

Jack from Perth, Western Australia

Vic, why is it Ted Thompson pays no attention toward free agency? It seems like currently established players with NFL experience would be less of a risk than focusing all your energy on the draft alone. Or am I just being ignorant?

You're ignoring players such as Jared Cook and Julius Peppers. The Packers pay attention to free agency. They know enough about it to know you can find value now and then, but not nearly as often as you might think. The risk factor in free agency is greater than it is in the draft. Patience is the dividing line. The Packers are a patient organization, and their commitment to development of young talent is the vehicle that allows them to be patient. They aspire to have a constant flow of young players on the rise ready to fill a need or replace a player who's left in free agency. Those young players on the rise are the Packers' free agents.

Thomas from Park Falls, WI

Vic, who is the No. 1 prospect the fans writing to you want Green Bay to pick or end up picking with their first pick?

Reggie Ragland is No. 1. There's a lot of sentiment for Jaylon Smith in round two.

Dale from Kettering, ON

So Ted Thompson is saying when something unexpected happens in the draft, that is when you have to really believe in your people and philosophy? Or did I read between too many lines?

Trust your board. I suspect that's what he's saying. Your board is a compilation of everything in your system. It's a product of your people, your philosophy and your process. When a player begins an inexplicable fall, as Aaron Rodgers did, trust your board. You spent months and months creating it. Don't allow a panic to sway your decision.

Barry from Skokie, IL

Vic, unfortunately, many players don't believe they need the media to talk to the fans anymore. They have Twitter.

Twitter doesn't ask questions.

Sheila from Denver, CO

Vic, I am getting a little jealous of yours and my husband's relationship. Every morning, all he wants to do is read your column. "Vic is so hilarious! Listen to what Vic wrote." Vic, Vic, Vic.

He belongs to me now.

Larry from Goldsboro, NC

I grew up in central Wisconsin during the '60s and remember the blackout rule, however, we were able to receive the La Crosse TV station, which could broadcast the games. How did the removal of the blackout really affect ticket sales and stadium attendance?

I don't think we can ever really know the answer to that question because the 72-hour rule was a continued threat for the game being blacked out. What if there was no 72-hour rule? What if the league had announced before the start of the season all games would be televised, whether they were sold out or not? I think a lot of stadiums would've had empty seats. Congress did a good job on this one. They acted fairly.

Patrick from Tampa, FL

Vic, you're a man who has seen the game from a unique perspective for many years. I am familiar with your opinion on today's ever expanding rulebook, but it is far more likely to expand even further in the future than to be streamlined, as I'm sure you would prefer. If you could create one completely new rule to make the game even more entertaining, yet, fair to both sides of the ball, what would it be?

All penalties are 15 yards. Offside and false-start penalties are annoying and have to stop, and ticky-tacky pass-interference penalties that result in 50-yard gains are unfair game-changers. We're calling too many penalties. If the league won't stop it, then coaches need to make it stop.

Amar from Ashburn, VA

If the Packers do take BAP and somehow grab Laquon Treadwell, how crazy will your inbox go?

He'll be long gone.

Carl from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

The Falcons GM stated he didn't pick Clay Matthews because they didn't have a LB need. Who couldn't use Clay Matthews?

He left him for a team he would face in the 2010 playoffs, when the Falcons were the NFC's No. 1 seed. That's the risk associated with need picking. He not only won't be playing for you, you'll likely have to play against him.

Kevin from Austin, TX

Vic, I've been told Lancaster County, Penn., is the best place to purchase a Whoopie pie. Do you concur?

If I'm in Lancaster, I'm not going to waste my time eating a wimpy Whoopie when I can eat the greatest food invention in the history of the world, Shoofly pie. Shoofly is what Whoopie wants to be.

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