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What we don't know is more exciting than what we know

What is it about sports that gives us license to misbehave?


Ryan from Atlanta, GA

Do you read much into the numbers players are assigned, such as Blake Martinez wearing A.J. Hawk's 50?

Not at all. There are a limited amount of numbers available to each position group. You have to use nearly all of them.

Mark from Brookfield, WI

I hope you are enjoying your time at home and rejuvenating for an exciting 2016 season. I just read an article about undrafted free agents indicating the Packers got your man at ILB. Were you surprised Beniquez Brown went undrafted?

Stunned, would be a better word.

Mike from McFarland, WI

What is the human confrontation in the draft?

Man vs. his dreams.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

When do we get updates on the undrafted free agents that will join the Packers?

They have to pass physicals before the ink on their contracts can be considered to be dry. That'll happen this weekend when they report to rookie camp.

Jesse from Mandan, ND

Nobody from the East or South. Is this just the way our board fell or is there something more to this?

You draft the player, not the region.

Richard from Bradenton, FL

I'm like a kid at Christmas. I can't wait to see our team perform with these new players. I'm also looking forward to our first game at Jacksonville. In addition to the sweltering heat, do you expect their new and developing talent to provide stiff competition? Your column is a gift. Thank you.

If the game was late in the season, I'd answer yes to your question, but I don't think it's logical to expect rookies to make a major impact in the opener. What the Jaguars' draft class is doing for that franchise is to give it new energy and belief. That combination, especially on a hot day, will be the Packers' greatest opponent. The Jaguars will spend the summer preparing for one game, the opener. They'll want it to be the franchise's statement game. They'll want to use that game to announce their arrival.

Steve from Montreal, WI

Can you be a true lawn guy with a riding mower?

It seems like cheating, doesn't it?

Trevor from Dublin, CA

So the Packers traded up in the second round to take Spriggs. According to the BAP that gets preached, Spriggs was the next BAP on the Packers board, but they saw they would need to move up to get him and had the ammo to draft him, correct? Without knowing the formula, it seems like drafting for need.

Yes, teams address need, but they try to do it by adhering to their value line. The Packers had targeted Jason Spriggs. I had mentioned his name in this column several times, and even recently I wrote I wouldn't be surprised if he was the team's first-round pick. I think the Packers saw Spriggs wouldn't last to where they were picking in round two, so they made a move up to get him. It's where he fit. What's the problem with that? Why are we Nutsville on this BAP/needs stuff? You have to manage and massage the draft. The Packers traded up for Clay Matthews and down for Jordy Nelson.

Andy from New Berlin, WI

The first round saw two safeties drafted vs. no inside linebackers. Overall, eight safeties were picked before the second inside linebacker was picked. Are we seeing a trend in which inside linebackers are being replaced by larger safeties, or safety/ILB tweeners?

I don't think we can say for certain that's a trend, but it's clearly a trend that run-stuffers are being undervalued. Defensive coordinators fear the big play. They fear not being able to match up with their opponents' receivers. They fear open spaces, and that's why defensive backs are being picked ahead of inside linebackers. Today's game is a passing game. It's an open-spaces game and you need pass-rushers and pass-defenders to win that kind of game.

Christopher from Deer Park, NY

I recently read an article that gave 30 out of 32 teams a thumbs up for their draft. Everyone's a winner!

Grading draft classes is strictly for fun. The only problem I have with the analysts is they consistently favor the storyline picks.

Steven from Hackettstown, NJ

With all of this draft hype, I feel many of us have forgotten about Sam Barrington. What are your expectations for him?

I expect him to pick up where he left off when he was injured in last year's season opener.

Ric from Longmont, CO

Ted Thompson obviously targeted Jason Spriggs. How many other targets got away from him?

We'll never know, but I'm sure some did. Maybe he lost one of his tackle targets, which made it even more important to trade up for Spriggs. Every so often, a retired former GM tells draft stories to a reporter. He reminisces about what if this or that had happened. I love those stories. They allow us to wonder how history would've been different. What if the Packers had drafted Joe Montana? There are stories about a faction of the team's personnel department wanting to draft Montana. What if the Steelers had drafted Dan Marino? Chuck Noll loved him. What if the Jets hadn't traded up to draft Darrelle Revis and the Jaguars had drafted Revis? I wish the draft wasn't such a secret business. The stories we don't know are even better than the ones we do know.

Steve from Beaver Dam, WI

You've talked about the advantages of a 3-4 defensive scheme before, especially being able to find more pass rushers. Could you explain the advantages a 4-3 scheme offers?

It provides more beef up front to stop the run. That's the only advantage I can see.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

You may want to rethink your EverBank will be green theory following that draft. Enjoy that defense in 100 degrees, pal. We'll be waiting.

New energy, new belief.

James from Crown Point, IN

"Martinez lasted to day three because we don't value tackling as we should." It's difficult for me to believe you even said that when horrible tackling in the NFL has been a hot topic not just here but on a lot of forums. Do you not recall this being brought up several times over the last few years?

So given the choice between a premier pass-rusher and a premier run-stuffer you'd take the run-stuffer?

Rick from San Ramon, CA

What did you think about Roger getting booed?

After the umpteenth time, I thought to myself: What is it about sports that gives us license to misbehave?

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