Steve from Preston, UK
I know you don’t like the draft experts, but nfl.com grades the Packers’ draft at B+ (then upgraded it to an A-). Do you think this opinion might appease the “we didn't draft anyone” brigade?
I love the draftniks. I think they make the draft what it is for us. NFL.com does a nice job with its pre-draft coverage. I went there to read about every player the Packers picked. What I like most about nfl.com’s draft coverage is it offers a specific grade for every player. In the end, you total up the grades and average them, compare that grade to the leaguewide average, and now you can assign a letter grade to your team’s draft. The Packers got quality. In this case, the numbers don’t lie.
Jani from Helsinki, Finland
“Centerfielder” became the catchphrase of the draft, referring to Damarious Randall. What does it mean in football terms, what traits should one playing that position have, and can you name some examples of players who have excelled in that role?
A “centerfielder” is a single-high safety roaming the back of the coverage and playing the ball in the air. He has the speed and instincts to cover sideline-to-sideline. He plays the quarterback’s eyes and the route tree and senses where the ball is going. Randall has those skills. Ed Reed is the best I’ve ever seen at it.
Matt from Round Rock, TX
Vic, the Packers have made six straight playoff appearances, won four straight division titles and won a Super Bowl. All this with BAP and draft-and-develop philosophy. Why is it so hard for people to believe Ted Thompson might know what he’s doing in the draft?
It’s the same for every GM in the league because they all draft from the outer reaches of the talent pool, and that’s when fans complain because they don’t know the players from the outer reaches of the talent pool. Fans have a top 50 or a top 100. GMs have a top 500. How many Packers fans were familiar with David Bakhtiari? I didn’t even know how to spell his name. Was that a good pick?
Max from Broomfield, CO
Assuming his rookie contract will expire before Rodgers retires, will Brett Hundley ever actually be an asset for the Packers, or would we have been better off just re-signing Matt Flynn?
You’ll never regret developing young talent at the quarterback position. It’s the most important position in football, and being deep in talent at that position offers a sense of security that can literally take the bullseye off your starting quarterback. Don’t try to predict, just draft and develop. The cards will fall as they may.
Brett from Green Bay, WI
Vic, what did you think of day three of the draft?
Jake Ryan and Brett Hundley provided name recognition that calmed the angry mob.
Harry from Rochester, NY
Vic, what can you tell us about Jake Ryan? Does he have the capability to fill the need at inside linebacker?
He’s a thumper and he, indeed, has the ability to fill whatever the need is at inside linebacker.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What grade do you give the Packers’ draft?
I don’t do grades; it’s because I’m not qualified to do them. I knew nothing about Damarious Randall, Quentin Rollins and Ty Montgomery until after the Packers selected them. I think grades are fun, as long as we treat them as entertainment, and I leave them for the draftniks to assign.
James from Whitewater, WI
Vic, you got your guy Jesse James. I mean, the Steelers did.
He wasn’t my guy. He was just a guy with an intriguing name and size. James is the classic example of a pick that pleases the fans. When you pick a guy like him, your draft immediately gets a higher grade from the fans. We’ll see.
Chris from Green Bay, WI
Vic, are the Packers on to something? Could point guards to corners be the new power forwards to tight ends?
Quinten Rollins is a football player. He has a limited body of work, but he was the best player in the Mid-American Conference last year. He dominated.
B.T. from Ripon, WI
Vic, I went to the draft and had an amazing time. I got to meet Merrill Hoge (who sends his regards) and Maurice Jones-Drew (who sends his love; you’re his boy, it seems). I got to be within a foot or two from the first-round draft picks (on their way to the media room) and I got to be two rows away from the stage on Friday night. The reception Jim Kelly got was a great moment for football fans to unite to wish him the best, and Ickey Woods and Donald Driver got great crowd reactions. I told Trae Waynes good luck facing Aaron Rodgers twice a year. Overall, a great time. I recommend it to any fan to go to at least once.
The NFL created an amazing spectacle. This league is absolutely the best in sports at putting on a show. I think back to the first drafts I covered, and I chuckle. They were held the week after the Super Bowl was played, and information on picks came slowly and without fanfare. I remember sitting in a small room with other reporters. When a pick was made, a PR guy would come into the room and write the player’s name on a large piece of paper that was displayed on an easel. We watched closely as he wrote the letters. A couple of letters in somebody would yell out the name; it was like a game show. They are great memories I will always treasure.
Ron from Broken Arrow, OK
Vic, my thoughts and prayers are with you and others impacted by the tragedy 45 years ago.
At 12:24 p.m. ET today, I will pause for 13 seconds of silence, along with my friends from the dormitory. For 13 seconds, we’ll all be doing the same thing. It will unite us.
Jack from New York, NY
Herm Edwards just stated the Packers were 28th in rush defense last year and did nothing this draft to improve on stopping the run. Do you agree with Herm?
You can’t draft everybody. If they had drafted Malcom Brown in the first round, they would’ve addressed their run defense, but what about the pass defense? What about what the Packers already have on their roster? What about Josh Boyd and Khyri Thornton and Mike Pennel? What about the young big guys and the possibility they’ll address the run defense? Maybe Edwards is right, but I know you can’t fix everything in the draft. Your existing roster better have some answers on it.
Mark from Stewartville, MN
Vic, what’s Brett Hundley’s upside?
His size and talent suggests he has a high ceiling. His performance in 2013 made him a high-round prospect going into 2014. One of my favorite offensive coordinators, Dirk Koetter, is fond of saying if you can do it right once, you can do it right every time. Hundley’s upside is tied to Mike McCarthy, and I think that’s what’s exciting us so much. Coach McCarthy will find that upside.
Ryan from Madison, WI
What do you think about Cleveland’s coach, Mike Pettine, saying he’s “not going to over-prioritize the quarterback position”?
I think it means he didn’t get his guy.
Dirk from Pleasanton, CA
What is this new-breed defensive back position everyone is talking about?
They’re cornerback/safety hybrids. They can play both positions, and that gives defensive coordinators the security of knowing they won’t get trapped with the wrong personnel on the field.
Dan from Houston, TX
Vic, did Ted Thompson target Ryan all along?
Rob from Webb City, MO
Vic, I hope your inbox has recovered. It looks like we addressed the secondary during the draft. Do you also think this draft speaks to the Packers’ commitment to improving special teams?
I think it was a theme of this draft.
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