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The pick will please Packers fans

What makes a draft successful?


Brian from Fanwood, NJ

Vic, I'm thinking five quarterbacks come off the board in the first round. If you were a betting man, would you take the over or under?

I'm thinking three will be drafted in the first round, but I'll probably be wrong because the position becomes more over-drafted every year.

Chris from Savage, MN

Vic, I think a lot of Packers fans will be happy with the pick tonight; no trades needed.

I completely agree. I think Packers fans are going to get their guy and there will be little doubt in their minds the Packers are going to the Super Bowl.

S.J. from Milwaukee, WI

Since you're not on Twitter, I'll share a Ty Montgomery tweet: "Just mowed the lawn for the first time in 10 years. Dang. Felt kinda good tho." The joy of mowing lawns transcends generations, apparently; it's not just you old-timers.

It brings us back to earth, figuratively and literally.

Bo from Montezuma, IA

Vic, thank you for all the work you put into this column. Who was "The Man" before 1978, or was it always the quarterback?

It was always the quarterback, but running backs were nearly on equal footing with quarterbacks. The O.J. Bowl? That wouldn't happen today. That's how much the game has changed.

Mike from Des Moines, IA

Given how deep this draft is, wouldn't it make more sense for the Packers to try to move up to the mid or high second round than to try to move up in the first round?

It only makes sense to move up or down when you've targeted a player you want to acquire. At that point, you fit yourself to that player, provided the cost isn't too high or the reward is too little. If a team believes it can acquire a difference-maker, I'm all for trading up to get him. Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu were acquired in trades up. It's all about value. When you get players the quality of Matthews and Polamalu, nobody can say you didn't get enough value.

Christopher from Franklin, TN

Former Titans GM Floyd Reese does a local sports radio show and recently he was telling a story about drafting Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan played college ball at Samford. Floyd realized playing at such a small school meant there wouldn't be much game film on him, so Floyd borrowed Samford's game film library, returning it after the draft so no other team could see it. Are there any other stories of scouting gamesmanship as we head into the draft?

I have a feeling Reese took his lead from the John Stallworth film story. It's the same. All's fair in love, war and the draft.

Bob from DeMotte, IN

I really enjoy Mike's column. When are you retiring?

I'll make sure you're the first to know.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Of the defensive tackles you've mentioned for the Packers at the 27th pick, who is most likely to be a three-down player?

What you're really asking is who can stop the run and also rush the passer? In a two-gapping scheme, you don't draft defensive linemen to rush the passer as much as you select them to hold the point of attack. Andrew Billings is a pure hold-the-point nose tackle who's expected to improve his pass-rush ability as he grows professionally. Javon Hargrave played collegiately as more of a penetrate-and-disrupt defensive tackle you would expect to fit better in a gap-control scheme than he would in a two-gap scheme. The bottom line is in a two-gap scheme there aren't a lot of three-down linemen. Once you get the offense into obvious passing situations, you're going to use a lot of scheme-heavy sub packages punctuated by defensive backs and linebackers in a blend of blitzes and coverages.

Graham from Green Bay, WI

How would you define a successful draft?

Where the Packers are picking, two long-term core players and a cast of developmental, special teams and depth players would qualify, in my opinion, as being successful.

Rick from Chanhassen, MN

Vic, why does the NFL have eligible and ineligible numbers? Doesn't the formation determine who's eligible?

The NFL wants a structured game, from the numbers players wear to the height of their socks. Why make it more difficult for defenses to identify formations? How would the product improve in quality by allowing a player wearing No. 1 to be an ineligible tackle and a player wearing No. 71 to be an eligible receiver? Somebody is likely to get embarrassed. Don't trick 'em, whip 'em.

Travis from Superior, WI

What do you think of Hargrave's stubby arms and tiny hands? Is it a weakness?

I think his physical "deficiencies" have been greatly exaggerated.'s description of him makes him sound misshapen. Trust me, he is not misshapen. He's on the short side. So is Mike Daniels. So is Aaron Donald. So is Warren Sapp.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

Before he turned the draft into a form of entertainment, I thought I read Mel Kiper got his start publishing a prospect guide. Did NFL teams buy this? Do they still today, or do they pretty much have this scouting thing covered in-house?

No self-respecting personnel department would use Kiper's draft book as its guide, but once upon a time teams drafted right out of Street and Smith's college football preview. It's all we had back then. It came out in July and featured star college football players wearing a facemask-less helmet. I can still picture Roger Staubach on the cover. Street and Smith's was the magazine of choice at vacation time. You went to the beach and you bought a copy of Street and Smith's.

Ron from Mesquite, NV

Vic, very excited for the draft. I agree with you, it's a time when attitudes change from that of disappointment to that of hope. My question is when it's Ted's turn to pick, does he take into consideration what the chances are of him getting the positions he needs in later rounds, or does he go strictly BAP? In other words, if the BAP is a DT but he feels he'll still be able to grab a worthy DT in the second round, does he target the BAP of a different position or does he still take the DT?

A GM considers all information, but if he's truly committed to picking the best available player, he trusts his board and picks from the top of it.

Mike from McHenry, IL

Happy draft day, Vic! Hope springs eternal?

Of course it does, but different fans have different hopes. Some hope for a defensive lineman. Some hope for an inside linebacker, or an offensive lineman, or a tight end. What will it take to make you happy?

Ryan from Roselle, IL

If Ted Thompson personally invited you to look at the team's draft board, would you look at it?

Sure, but there's a better chance he'd ask me to look at his sock drawer. Today, that draft board in Lambeau Field occupies a place of importance equal to those four Lombardi Trophies, because that draft board is what wins Lombardi Trophies. In fact, I want to change my answer: I would not accept the invitation to look at the draft board because I don't want to spend the rest of my life thinking someone is following me.

Mark from Vincennes, IN

Why did the NFL lower the number of players a team can draft?

A seven-round draft was part of the CBA owners and players negotiated and which launched unrestricted free agency and the salary cap. Players want this, owners want that, they meet in the middle.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

Mike Nolan called Aaron Rodgers a gunslinger. Help me out. What is a gunslinger?

A feared quarterback. That's all it is. It's a quarterback you fear will shoot you down.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

Vic, can you make one last prediction? At this time tomorrow, will your inbox be deliriously happy, depressed and angry or scratching its head?

I think it'll be deliriously happy. I think the Packers are going to get their man, and I think that player will also be the fans' man.

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