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The unknown factor is what builds suspense


Mike from Glenwood, IL

Does this weekend's blizzard give any concern to the city of Green Bay hosting the draft in the future? As an aside, if weather had been on the minds of the developers the baseball stadium in Minneapolis might have a retractable roof. An entire weekend series with the White Sox postponed due to the inevitable.

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The latest total from NWS Green Bay is 24.2 inches, which is the biggest snow storm since 1888. Photos by Evan Siegle, packers.com

That was brutal. Worse than brutal. I’m just thankful it fell on a weekend. That being said, I don’t think it hurts the Packers’ chances at hosting the draft. It’s still another week away and I can’t see it snowing like that during the last week of April. Plus, this was the worst snowstorm Green Bay has seen in 130 years and the roads already were drivable a day later. Good morning!**

Al from Green Bay, WI

23.7 inches. That's the official total from the blizzard this past weekend. As you look at the list of the Packers' home opponents this coming season, which game would you most like to see played in a blizzard?

*The Vikings and Falcons games probably would be the most fun to be played in a blizzard after the Packers had to open their domes the past two years. *

Patrick from St Paul, MN

I honestly don't understand all the Sturm und Drang over the RB depth chart. This isn't a system built around having a bell-cow running back. I'm happy knowing that we have three guys who all have looked good at various points in the last two seasons, are young, healthy, and have at least slightly different skill sets.

I think some fans are married to the idea of an every-down back, but that’s not the world we live in anymore. There are a handful of backs who remain undisputed starters, but most teams rely on three or four options these days. Green Bay’s backfield is a reflection of the changing tides of the NFL.

Jeff from Athens, WI

I am feeling more excited about this draft than I have in years. It is because it is Brian Gutekunst's first one as GM. It has been an offseason with activity and I can't wait to see what transpires for the Packers in the draft. I even wish the draft was this week. The suspense is killing me.

The unknown factor is what builds suspense. There is no precedent with Gutekunst, which definitely can be an advantage for a new GM. Nobody knows what the Packers are thinking right now. They’ll find out April 26.

Joseph from Decatur, MI

What are the limitations of players practicing together outside of OTAs or training camp? For instance, are the QBs and WRs allowed to get together in the offseason and run routes and such to get better timing/chemistry? Love the column, makes my lunch time that much more enjoyable.

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Players can freely get together during the offseason. In fact, there are several Packers players who train together, but this idea of quarterbacks throwing to receivers in the offseason has been overblown for years. Training camp is where chemistry is forged and the work gets done. **

Mike from Prescott Valley, AZ

An exciting offseason for Green Bay! Been following draft coverage closely since 2005. My personal philosophy is "best available player at position of need." Can you give an example of a great draft pick that was contrary to this philosophy?

Teams have to build for the future while playing in the present. It would be too easy to say Aaron Rodgers in response to your question. Randall Cobb (second round, 2011), T.J. Lang (fourth, 2009), Corey Linsley (fifth, 2014) and Kenny Clark (first, 2016) also come to mind.

Christian from Santa Fe, NM

We were all super-relieved once we saw that we re-signed Davante Adams and locked him up for a good while, but after seeing what Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins, and Mike Evans are about to be paid, do you think he’s mad/unhappy with the contract we gave him? Should we have waited?

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Take a look at photos of Packers WR Davante Adams from the 2017 season. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson, packers.com

I don’t want to speak for Adams, but the grass is pretty green on his side of the field right now, too. He set the market with his contract and gets to play with a proven quarterback who trusts him. There’s value in that.**

Kirkland from Killeen, TX

Corner, corner, corner! I get it. However, did everyone forget about Lenzy Pipkins? I mean just watch the film. That kid made plays every time the ball came his way and he was a big hitter in the run game! Pass rush has to be the first pick! Corner in the second round.

*I thought Pipkins stepped up at the end of the year. He still has growing to do, but his inside-outside versatility puts him in the mix for a role this summer. *

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Do you think certain GMs with scout input are better at assessing specific positions? Is it simply lack of luck that our edge-rusher picks since Matthews are less than stellar overall?

*I don’t know if I buy the Packers’ edge rushers being “less than stellar” since Matthews. Nick Perry has been a solid pick and the only prototypical outside linebacker Green Bay has drafted in the first two rounds since Matthews. Some teams may be better at projecting talent at a position than others, but there also is an element of luck involved. You don’t draft Aaron Rodgers in 2005 without 23 other teams passing on him first. *

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Everyone thinks defense is going to be the focus in the draft, but with all the pre-draft visits, I get the feeling Gutekunst’s about to reload the offense this year. Thoughts?

*Roughly half of the pre-draft visits have been reported, so I wouldn’t read too much into that. Yet. *

Steve from Ankeny, IA

What exactly is the purpose of a potential draftee visiting the team? Don't we already know more about his character from what can be seen from his college days than we can learn from a meeting? The film shows how he plays the game. And if we pick him he has to come, so what are we learning from the visit? And by the way, I love what you guys do for Packer Nation!

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Ted Thompson liked to use his pre-draft visits on prospects who weren’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and to sell potential undrafted free agents on the Packers. Mitchell Henry, God rest his soul, told me back in 2015 he signed with Green Bay over Denver based on that visit. It also can be a way for the Packers to get to know these first-round prospects on a deeper level, which makes sense. A big commitment looms with that No. 14 pick.**

Grant from Grimes, IA

With a league-high 12 picks in the draft, do you see the Packers trading back into the first round, like in 2009, to address the need at edge/CB depending on who they draft at No. 14?

*If the Packers want to move back into the first round, this is the year to do it. They can pair any of those extra picks with their second-rounder to move back in. *

Max from Carmel, IN

Is there any merit for personnel staff to try and spread the fortune of our current draft pick stock over the next few seasons rather than utilize all 12 picks in a year that the roster seems more complete than typical? Specifically in trading up this year or for future picks next?

*I wouldn’t purposely dispose those extra picks into next year’s draft unless it’s a part of a bigger trade. You have the most picks in this year’s draft. Put them to work for 2018. *

Geert from Old Windsor, UK

Considering our first four picks of 2017 had somewhat of a false start, should we expect a big influx of talent in 2018?

I just want to see them all on the field. The Packers made a big investment in their defense last year and I think you’ll start to see them reap those rewards in 2018. Kevin King and Josh Jones undoubtedly should benefit from last year. As for Vince Biegel and Montravius Adams, we’ll get a better feel for what those two bring to the party this summer. A full offseason and training camp makes such a difference for rookies in today’s NFL.

Dale from Kettering, OH

At a guess, where would you say player ratings start to bunch up this year so a GM might have three or four options and still be picking BAP?

*Third round. *

Matt from Rubicon, WI

Did Jason Spriggs show you enough this past year that he has a future on this team? He looked good at times and got better each game.

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Packers T Jason Spriggs celebrates his birthday on May 17. Take a look at photos of him from the 2017 season. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson, packers.com

I think we’ve all been spoiled by watching Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari jump in as starting tackles and run away with the job. It’s not that easy for most. Spriggs is in the conversation for being the best athlete on the offensive line, but so much more goes into mastering that position. Mike McCarthy said Spriggs has been a fixture in the weight room this offseason, so I’d look for him to make a jump this summer barring any setbacks with the knee. **

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

I have read several articles that claim that Damarious Randall never played in the position that he excelled at in college and that’s why he often struggled in the CB position. Was that because he was needed to play corner due to injuries, or the Packers simply played him in the wrong position?

Too much is being made out of this narrative in my opinion because Randall mostly played the position he excelled at during college – “star” slot cornerback. Randall technically was a safety at Arizona State, but the system Todd Graham ran called for Randall often covering receivers at the line of scrimmage. That’s why the Packers felt he could play cornerback in Dom Capers’ scheme. We’ll see where the Browns play Randall, but it’s not like Green Bay tried to plug a square peg into a round hole.

Craig from Laramie, WY

A concept from my economics class nearly 40 years ago always come to mind at this time of year: opportunity cost. The hypothetical or actual cost of what you forgo by making your choice to choose otherwise. Maybe it wasn't what Jordy could have given GB or "was worth,” but more about the value Brian Gutekunst ascribes to "the opportunity" to have a different player in that roster slot? Maybe not though...I only got a C in econ.

*And here I thought “Opportunity Cost” was just a great song by G-Eazy. The decision to cut Jordy Nelson wasn’t just one reason. It never is when parting ways with a veteran, but I agree there has been a logjam behind the Packers’ top three receivers for a few years now. This is an opportunity for the Packers to see what’s behind Door No. 2. *

Myke from Janesville, WI

Other than Reggie White, one of the best veterans we acquired was Don Beebe. Don't you think he played every game with his analytical mind propelled by his huge heart? I remember him stopping a touchdown by catching up with the runner and causing a fumble near the goal line.

Ron Wolf gets a lot of credit for acquiring White and Brett Favre, and rightfully so, but what often gets overlooked is how Wolf hit the jackpot on so many mid-tier acquisitions such as Beebe, Desmond Howard, Keith Jackson and the list goes on. Beebe is the perfect example of why it sometimes behooves teams to sign a veteran at the tail end of his career. He filled an important role on the Super Bowl XXXI team.

Benjamin from Bear, DE

We all know there's a legal tampering period with unrestricted free agents in the NFL. Is there any such period established for college players who most likely won't get drafted and sign on with a team right after Day 3?

Not that I’m aware of. Scouts constantly are fishing for college free agents throughout Day 3.

Chase from Sunnyvale, CA

Wouldn't the solution then be that all fields would have to become artificial? It would seem far less drastic than removing a kickoff.

* Conversely, I can tell you there are players who say the solution would be removing artificial turf all together. If you can grow grass – cough, Chicago, cough – I believe that’s the safest playing surface for NFL football.*

Ryan from Atlanta, GA

Do the Packers have draft boards for the other teams in the league? It seems to me it would be valuable to keep track of what other teams’ boards might look like, according to their tendencies and need.

NFL teams will project the needs of teams picking around them during the pre-draft process and mock drafts, but I don’t know of any that actually create draft boards.

Sean from DeSoto, TX

My bold prediction for the draft is that no more than two quarterbacks will be selected in the top 10 and no more than three going in the first round.

That is bold. I can’t see that many quarterbacks slipping out of the top 10. Not this year. Let’s circle back on this April 27.

Mark from West Bend, WI

Just wanted to say thanks to all the Packers and Mark Murphy for not letting Mother Nature win and letting the West Bend Tailgate party take place Saturday! They could have certainly just headed for home. Everyone made sure all the questions were answered and autographs were signed. An absolute great group of guys at the end of what had to be a long week.

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The Packers wrapped up the 13th annual Tailgate Tour in West Bend with a party to benefit Threshold, Inc., a non-profit that helps individuals of all ages with disabilities. Photos by Evan Siegle, packers.com

You have to tip your cap to Murphy and the Tailgate Tour for seeing all their commitments through and not heading home early. Endeavor to persevere.**

Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador

This is a shout-out thanks. I never knew the one and two-syllable-or-more rule for putting apostrophes at the end of possessive “s” words. My writing will be better henceforth.

You never know what you’ll learn when you open the Spoff-clopedia.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Do you guys ever get to work from home? I would imagine Sunday was the day for that. Hope everyone is safe and warm in Green Bay.

*I don’t like it. It doesn’t jive with my ADHD. I’ll do it if I have to, but there are too many distractions. I’m more productive when I’m at the office. *

Bob from Lexington, SC

How are the Prospect Primers selected? Do you select them as a group, or is it an individual person selecting them?

Mike Spofford says, “Wes, you’re doing these Primers,” and I say, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

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