Noah from Brisbane, Australia
Vic, if you had the first pick in this draft and had to draft a quarterback, who would you select?
Jared Goff, and one of the reasons that would sway me is he’s from Cal. Nonsensical, right? I agree, just as it was nonsensical for Aaron Rodgers to fall in the draft because he came out of a Jeff Tedford system that had produced several quarterback busts. Now, Rodgers’ success has re-branded Cal quarterbacks, and I think Goff is going to reap the rewards.
Martin from Grafton, WI
Vic, if the Steelers would’ve beaten the Broncos, do you think they would’ve won the Super Bowl?
No, Brady beats the Steelers like a drum. The Patriots would’ve probably won the AFC title game and Brady would probably be a five-time Super Bowl champion.
Bo from Montezuma, IA
It’s the Packers’ first pick. At the top of your draft board sits an offensive big guy and a defensive big guy. Both have been graded the same. Who does GM Vic pick?
If we’re talking about a defensive lineman and an offensive tackle, I probably pick the defensive guy because I can project him in a defensive line rotation and know I’m going to get an immediate contribution. The Packers have two good tackles. Their need is for depth.
George from Atlanta, GA
There is a star forward for Baylor, Rico Gathers, who is 6-8, 275, hasn’t played football since junior high but claims to have great hands and runs a 4.65 40, faster than Gronk. He wants to set up a pro day with NFL teams as a tight end prospect. Are you intrigued enough to take a look?
I’d call my area scout and tell him to look into Gathers. Scout everyone; leave no stone unturned. I’ll tell you, though, there was a burly basketball player at Pitt a few years ago. His name is Chevy Troutman and they were saying similar things about him. The Redskins gave him a try. It ended quickly. Football and basketball are different sports. One is about seeking contact. The other one is about avoiding contact. I think wrestlers are a better fit.
Travis from Bandung, Indonesia
Read an article about the types of questions NFL teams ask players at the combine and, as an educator, I was just curious if NFL teams take note of the most recent research into how students, or people, learn. For example, looking for players that have a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Or the research on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.
Somebody is probably doing a study on that. Here’s the first question I would ask: Do you like to hit people, on the football field, of course? If he looked me in the eyes as he answered yes, and if I saw the truth in those eyes, I’d call you so you could ask him those mindset questions.
Louis from Coral Springs, FL
Vic, if a team is in the salary cap abyss and they hire the right people to fix it, what would be the theoretical minimum timeline before they return to being contenders again?
If they commit to a complete cut and gut, and if they draft lights out, find some hits in street and undrafted free agency, and if they hit on a franchise quarterback in their first draft, they can become competitive again in year three. Otherwise, it’s more like five years.
Ross from Stephenson, MI
Has the ardor for Hunter Henry cooled since his performance at the combine (13 reps on the bench and DNP in the other tests)?
I’m getting a lot of Nick Vannett now.
Gus from Holbrook, NY
I just read another window of opportunity question, and I agree that from a team-building view it sounds right, but what if you are Aaron Rodgers? Do you view the window differently? Do you have more of a sense of urgency than Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy?
You want your players to think in terms of right now. You want your leaders to see the big picture.
Jimmy from Naugatuck, CT
Vic, do you think the NFL will expand the combine and make it a spectator event like the draft? It’s not like them to leave money on the table.
I think the NFL is getting a lot of bounce from the combine. I think they can do more with free agency. There’s tremendous fan interest in free agency. I can see some kind of first-weekend-of-free-agency event in the future. Maybe they can get the players to agree to attach it to some kind of lottery system.
Greg from Ann Arbor, MI
Vic, this is neither a Packers question nor a draft question, so it probably has zero chance of getting answered this week, but it’s something that’s been bugging me, so I figured I’d ask. The Saints are in salary cap trouble and they drafted their supposed ILB of the future, Stephone Anthony, in the first round last year. But now reports say they’re kicking the tires on veteran James Laurinaitis. What gives? Is free agency just like catnip to some GMs, or do the Saints know something about either Anthony or Laurinaitis the general public doesn’t?
They probably view the late years of Drew Brees’ career as a window that’s closing.
John from El Dorado Hills, CA
How has the “Ask Vic” column changed you? Or has it?
It has changed me. The interaction has given me a feel for what the fans think. I didn’t have a forum for that when I was a newspaper reporter. I wrote stories and columns that said this is the way it is. My words were unchallenged. This column calls me out. I think it’s good for both of us.
John from Jefferson, WI
Vic, if you were to write 10 (brand new) commandments as they would pertain to football, what would the first be? Would you mind taking a stab at re-writing the classic 10?
1. Thou shall not worship false gods (free agents).
2. Thou shall not take the salary cap’s name in vain.
3. Thou shall not pass on the big guys.
4. Thou shall play your best football in December.
5. Thou shall honor thy coach and general manager.
6. Seek speed and thou shall be rewarded.
7. Hear not, speak not of the howl of the wolves.
8. Thou shall lie only to the media.
9. Run the ball.
10. Thou shall convert third-and-1.
Matt from Raleigh, NC
Clearly, a back would preferably have both speed and power. If you were picking a back that only had one, which is better?
I like power backs. I like pounders. I like fast pounders. Most of all, I like pounders with light feet.
Jerry from Wausau, WI
Vic, do you have a favorite overall player in this year’s draft or is that an unfair question to ask?
My favorite player in this draft is a defensive tackle from South Carolina State. His name is Javon Hargrave and I saw him in a game early last season. He couldn’t be blocked. He did anything he wanted. I decided he would be my sleeper, because he played for a school that doesn’t get much exposure.
Jerry from Wilmington, NC
Vic, what exactly does matchup tight end mean?
It’s a player whose size offers a scheme advantage. He needs to be too good of a receiver to cover with a linebacker. If the defense decides to cover him with a defensive back, the tight end’s size and blocking ability should allow the offense a run-the-ball advantage against a light-in-the-pants defense. The tight end must be able to block a little, or he’s just another wide receiver and the blocking advantage doesn’t exist.
Paul from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, is personality, locker room chemistry, integrity and how a player carries himself on and off the field a bigger attribute than say overall physical talent when drafting a player?
It begins with talent.
Dave from Eau Claire, WI
Check with Tony on Joe Schobert, the LB from Wisconsin. I remember saying to myself a few times while watching the Badgers, “This guy is a playmaker!”
I’ll tell you what I think of Schobert. When I watched him, I saw some Jack Ham in him.
Matt from DePere, WI
Vic, out of all the coaches you covered, is there one in particular player Vic would be fearful of when heading into halftime down 28-0?
Tom Coughlin wouldn’t be passing out orange slices.
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