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The Packers are all out to win now


Dan from Burton on Trent, UK

Vic, two players graded the same are available at your pick in the draft. A cornerback and a tight end. Which do you pick? Is a premium position more important than need when selecting draft picks?

I think it is, especially if it's the first round, because now you're talking about a premium talent at a premium position, and that combination represents potential stardom. Late in the draft, I might favor need over the impact of the position. When drafting, everything has to be considered. That's where feel takes over for science.

Wayne from Bellevue, NE

What kinds of questions do teams ask potential draftees at the combine?

If you're interviewing a player who was suspended for a few games or a season in college, you ask him what happened, and then you check his answer against the facts. It'll give you an indication of his accountability.

Pete from Wausau, WI

Ha Ha aside, how many times does Mr. Thompson draft someone the column has focused on? Were you surprised by Randall and Rollins? Did you have to look them up? I trust our GM. He has earned it. The draft should be like the season; don't have expectations, just enjoy it. Thanks for the column.

Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins weren't mentioned in this column once before they were selected by the Packers. Tony never mentioned them to me, I never asked Tony about them, and I was completely caught off guard when the Packers selected them. A safety converting to cornerback and a one-year player from the MAC? Nobody saw that coming. What their selections told me is what I already knew: The Packers personnel department leaves no stone unturned in its search for talent.

Tim from Grand Rapids, MI

Vic, I'm not saying Mr. Thompson plays it safe with the roster. I firmly believe in how he goes about building a team. But what they do seems to create stability and competitiveness in the team, which seems to create longevity in their job security, as opposed to going all out to win now and getting canned because that didn't turn into a Super Bowl win. I'm so good with how this team goes about its business.

The notion the Packers aren't all out to win now is ridiculous. I see reckless spending in free agency as being all out to lose now.

Brian from Louisville, KY

I was wondering if you or Tony could explain how prospects are ranked. I am a proud Hilltopper and I was trying to figure out why Brandon Doughty, who has thrown for 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in consecutive seasons, is so far down the rankings.

It's not about what a player has done, it's about what he'll do, and projecting a player to the next level is about evaluating how his talent applies to the NFL game. Doughty played in a spread system conducive to producing yards and points. You approach him as you would approach a Baylor quarterback, a bit suspicious of the term "system quarterback." In Doughty's case, however, you see his size (6-3, 212) and you want to see more of him than what you see on tape. Can he make all of the throws? Does he have an NFL arm? He was a touch passer in college. He needs to show scouts he can drive the ball. Doughty could jump up the board with a strong combine.

Mary from VOC, AZ

Vic, is there any one position where combine performance most accurately predicts successful performance in the NFL?

If there is one, I think it's cornerback. The drills fit the demands of the position.

Max from Mequon, WI

Why do you believe we should get our big guys early when four-fifths of our offensive line has been from the third round or later?

It's that way because the Packers have been drafting near the bottom of the first round. The big guys are already gone. If one falls, pick him.

Mark from Fremont, CA

I'd bet a thing vs. a beer that our esteemed friends of "Ask Vic" cannot pick the first draft pick Ted takes. Ted's too good and we're not. I've tried to speculate who he'd pick and it might be easier to win the lottery.

I only have one thing and I won't risk losing it, but if I had two things I'd bet my thing you're right.

Taylor from Amarillo, TX

Vic, just saw a report that if the Colts cut Andre Johnson, it would be a $7.5 million cap hit. He was signed last year to a three-year, $21 million deal. If that's not a good enough example for needing to be cautious in free agency, I'm not sure what is.

That would be a tough lump to swallow, not only for what it does to your cap, but for what it costs the franchise in real money. Try walking down the hall and explaining that one to the owner.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Vic, how about tight end Bryce Williams out of East Carolina?

If you're looking for a matchup tight end, he's your guy. Williams is 6-5, 260 and a skilled pass-catcher. He'll test well.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, I recently saw a Peter Sellers movie called "Being There" for the first time. Is that where you get your "I like to watch" line?

Yes, it is. I love that movie. It's a wonderful parody on the life of someone from the TV generation. TV taught him everything he knows. He likes to watch. Doesn't that describe all of us? We like to watch, especially football.

Nathan from Phoenix, AZ

Vic, you say the four premier positions in football are QB, left tackle, pass rusher and shutdown corner. Since 1997, every first overall pick has been a QB, defensive end or offensive tackle, so I guess you're three for four. Are cornerbacks just too risky to pick first overall?

No, you have to get the big guys early.

Chris from Gainesville, FL

Vic, what are your thoughts on Kevin Hogan out of Stanford? I think he can be the next Tom Brady or "The Man."

I like your comparison to Brady. Hogan has a Brady build and look to him. I saw Hogan in 2014 and really liked him. He was having a good day after a slow start to his career at Stanford. Hogan was a big-time high school recruit. This past season, I watched him in the opener at Northwestern and he was terrible. I saw him a couple of times late in the season and he was sensational. The inconsistency is driving down his stock. He can change that real fast with strong workouts. He's another guy who should test well. He comes out of a pro system. I expect him to shoot up boards.

Jason from Klamath Falls, OR

Vic, how come it's important to know how far a player can jump and how high a player can jump when standing still? I didn't realize there was so much standing still in football, or am I confused?

The broad jump is thought to indicate explosion. It's an important drill for running backs. LeSean McCoy turned in a bad broad jump at his pro day, and I think it dropped him down boards. As a GM said to me, "He scored 35 touchdowns in two years and everybody knew who was getting the ball, and then we drop him down our boards because he had a bad broad jump." I don't know that I've ever seen a back run with more explosion. So much for that drill.

Nate from San Diego, CA

Vic, do you think there are any traits or skillsets the Packers might try and target in the draft to add to the roster? Speed, size, physicality?

I'd like to see them add speed at receiver.

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