Robert from Madison, WI
Vic, is it weird I take the draft off work like it’s a holiday? Every year, I am more and more entertained by the whole process, but my fascination has been deemed by some as over the top. Would you agree?
If it’s over the top, it’s an affliction you share with millions. Your fascination for the draft is another example of America’s obsession with the NFL. Does anybody treat the MLB draft as a holiday? This country wouldn’t be the same without football. It would suffer great pangs. It would literally be a national disaster should football cease to exist.
Tyler from Fond du Lac, WI
The Rams have picked a quarterback No. 1 overall before. It didn’t work then. Why do they think it will now?
Playing without “The Man” isn’t an option. You do whatever you can do to get “The Man” because he’s the key to a franchise’s potential for success. It’s also important to remember it was a different regime that drafted Sam Bradford. The name of the team is the same, but everything else is different. You are who your people are. These aren’t those Rams. If the quarterback the Rams draft becomes a star, winning will last for 10-plus years and the turning point in the franchise will be traced back to tomorrow.
Justin from Titonka, IA
Who will be the top five picks in this year’s draft?
I can’t remember a year when we didn’t know the answer to that question as much as we don’t know the answer to that question this year.
Maximillian from Sydney, Australia
Vic, I know there’s more of a chance of a UFO catching on fire and crashing into your house on the same night you win the Powerball than correctly guessing who Ted Thompson may pick at No. 27 in the draft, however, if you had to pick a name, who do you feel may be selected at No. 27?
I think Tony gave us three top candidates yesterday: Billings, Ragland and Hunter. We’ve been honing in on those three over the last three months. Jason Spriggs is another name I think is worth consideration.
Chris from Sun Prairie, WI
Vic, how long has the supplemental draft been around and who is the most prolific player to ever come out of it?
Bernie Kosar is the player who defines the supplemental draft for me.
Dave from Germantown, TN
Vic, I just read the Packers’ draft history under Ted Thompson. In his early years, he turned seven or eight picks into 10 or 11. I don’t think he has been able to do that the last couple of years. Did everyone catch onto what he has been doing? Do you think there’s a chance Ted makes a couple of deals and walks away with 12 or more picks this year?
In his early years, he had a roster to rebuild and he needed extra picks to do it. Now, he has a strong roster that doesn’t require numbers, only a few additions. I think using his extra picks to trade up and target those few additions would make sense.
Max from Milwaukee, WI
If Vic Ketchman was a projected first-round pick in the NFL draft, would he attend the draft or pull a Joe Thomas and go fishing?
Vic would attend the draft. He’s not above this.
Jesse from Al Udeid AB, Qatar
Vic, I’m making a bold prediction: The Cleveland Browns trade up to our pick at 27 for Paxton Lynch!
Lynch will be gone by then. Maybe the Browns will take him at No. 8.
Karen from Everett, PA
Vic, I just read an article regarding the decline in participation in Little League baseball. One reason, it was surmised, was parents can’t stand to see their kids sad after striking out. What in the world are we doing to our kids?
One day they’ll make a movie and they’ll call it, “Sad!”
Graham from Green Bay, WI
GM Vic is on the clock and the top player on your board happens to be a quarterback. Would you prefer to move to where value better meets need, or do you draft him as Rodgers’ heir apparent, if a couple of years early?
It’s too early to begin looking for Aaron Rodgers’ replacement.
Brandon from Houston, TX
Why do I feel as if the Packers will draft an offensive lineman in the first round?
You’re not the only one. This draft is loaded with top tackles and they fit deep into the first round.
Dale from Kettering, OH
When did tall become more important on the lines than low? We know the passing emphasis is the reason, but can you pinpoint a time or player?
It began with the rules changes of 1978. When linemen were allowed to use their hands to block, the game got higher. Each subsequent rule change has moved the game away from hips and shoulders and toward hands and feet. Coaches urge their players to stay off the ground.
James from Spring Valley, MN
Vic, thanks to your answer about the 1972 Dolphins playing in Pittsburgh for the AFC championship, I had the opportunity to learn more about the game before my time. Why did the NFL decide to change from rotating homefield to awarding it to the winningest team? What was the perception of the decision at the time this was done?
It was a logical change and Al Davis was one of the owners who lobbied for it, right after the Raiders lost in the AFC title game at home to the Steelers in 1974. The AFC Central was scheduled to have homefield advantage in ’75 and Davis didn’t like the idea of having to play in Pittsburgh in the ’75 AFC title game. The rotation system was changed and the owners adopted a best-record concept that included a tiebreaking system that is largely the same system we use today. The result? The Raiders played in Pittsburgh in the ’75 AFC title game.
Ryan from Saint Anthony, MN
Love the column, Vic! I recently discovered several articles dating back to September of last year broaching the Packers’ interest in Mississippi State ILB Beniquez Brown. At your suggestion, I found Tony Pauline’s write-up on Brown. He describes Brown as an underrated run-defending linebacker with good pass-coverage discipline and the potential to provide some contribution early in his career. Perhaps some good value in the middle rounds for a team in need of a versatile ILB?
After talking to Tony about Brown, I have a higher opinion of Brown than as a middle-rounds prospect.
Grant from Wauwatosa, WI
Vic, draft this guy, sign that guy, win this game, win the divisional games. It’s all just entertainment and nothing really matters but this: Get to January healthy.
And in the playoffs.
Shane from Bozeman, MT
Vic, I see a lot of examples in your column where you say you liked a guy before that player was commonly liked by others (Javon Hargrave, for example). Who is a guy you thought was going to be great that was flying under the radar and you turned out to be wrong?
I can’t recall a lot of examples in my column of liking a guy before he was commonly liked by others, but you’re right about Hargrave. I can, however, recall a player I absolutely loved and campaigned for his selection, and he never played to my opinion of him: Armanti Edwards. Edwards was a championship quarterback at Appalachian State. He reminded me of Michael Vick. I thought Edwards was the most dynamic player in college football and it was my opinion he would become the NFL’s next “Slash.” I envisioned him catching passes, throwing passes, running reverses and draws, returning punts. He was drafted in the third round by Carolina. His last stint in the NFL was with the Bears. He’s playing in the CFL now. It underscores for me how difficult it is to play in the NFL, that a player of Edwards’ immense athletic ability couldn’t make it there.