Greg from Ann Arbor, MI
Allow me to be the thousandth reader to point out that Denzel Ward officially measured just shy of 5-11 at the combine. He's Ron Wolf approved!
And now, given this CB class, he’s even less likely to be there at 14.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
Do you think that fans would be in awe and possibly shocked as well, if they could be a fly on the wall and could witness all that goes on to run an NFL team?
I’ve worked inside the walls of Lambeau Field for 12 seasons now, and I’m still learning regularly.
Logan from Honolulu, HI
When are the Packers going to increase the seats in the stadium so I can see season tickets before I die?
I believe Lambeau is at its max. The stadium has added 20,000 seats since 1995. I don’t see its capacity growing again anytime soon, if ever.
Tyrus from South Range, WI
Hey guys, we all know Rodgers is worth the money and should be the highest-paid QB in the league, but do you believe he would put status and ego aside and sign a less expensive contract to allow the team to bring in more talent around him to win more championships? Is being the highest-paid QB a stat he would choose over multiple championships?
This might be the most popular question in the Inbox over the last couple of weeks. His last two contracts have been rather cap-friendly while ranking him where he belongs on the pay scale, league-wide, at the time of signing. I expect a similar balance to be found once again. I don't believe Rodgers will grossly short-change himself, but I don’t think he’s out to unnecessarily squeeze the team for the sake of status. There’s a workable middle ground, and they’ll find it.
Rick from Selinsgrove, PA
Hey Insiders, what are your thoughts about the Rams giving Sam a shot? Seems like the pressure will be off him with so many other high-profile signings.
The Rams clearly have worked in advance to fill the cornerback void from Trumaine Johnson’s pending departure in free agency, trading for Peters and Talib and now signing Shields. Everyone knows the reason Peters was available, and it appears Talib was a cap casualty who was only interested in a couple of destinations. We’ll see how it all works out for the Rams, who are making changes up front on defense as well. Shields will come in not having to start, which is to his benefit after effectively a two-year layoff. I wish Sam the best, though I can’t help but worry for him. The hit in Jacksonville seemed so routine, yet it altered his career. He’s a quiet guy who was always very good to me. I pray he stays healthy.
Josh from Oshkosh, WI
This talk recently of the Packers finding a successor to Rodgers is just crazy. I would venture to say the next Packers QB is in high school right now. With your crystal ball, whether it be this year or next, what would your best guess be for the length of a new contract? I'm not sure why I think this, but five years sounds reasonable. If he signs tomorrow, he'll be locked up until he's 39 years old.
Five years makes the most sense because you can’t pro-rate the signing bonus for cap purposes any longer than five years. A sixth or seventh year would probably just get redone when the time comes anyway, as is the case now.
Derek from Olney, IL
So Muhammad Wilkinson is meeting with the Packers (Thursday). Who exactly is he meeting with? McCarthy, Gutekunst, Pettine, and maybe Ball would be in the room, too?
Throw in D-line coach Jerry Montgomery and that probably about covers it. I could see Mark Murphy popping in at some point as well. But Brandon wants to add one more.
Brandon from Orlando, FL
In regards to the potential signing of Wilkerson, there's only one thing I need to know before approving of it. Does Mike Daniels want him on this team? Enough said.
All right, then.
Richard from Madison, WI
"NFL teams need to be under the cap by the start of the new league year next week." And I fully expect that they all will be. But what if one of them wasn't? What then?
The league has a number of penalties at its disposal, from fines to lost draft picks to contracts getting canceled, presumably starting with the most recent.
Jeremiah from Denver, CO
QBs get overdrafted, athletic big guys fall under the planet theory. Do players have multiple draft grades? A grade for projected potential seems different for a grade for projected selection. How do teams address this?
You grade the player the way you grade any player, and then you take the other circumstantial stuff into consideration when you build the actual draft board.
Michael from Schofield, WI
While any position can get better every year, I believe the demise of the current wide receiver corps has been greatly exaggerated. Do you guys believe wide receiver is a position of need for the Packers?
How many ways can I explain that the team’s current wide receivers were all drafted when there wasn’t an immediate need at the position?
Bob from Colby, KS
One year starting at college? Is that really enough? I'm a Hawkeye fan and I'm wary of drafting Josh Jackson.
With the additional questions about his speed and playing mostly zone rather than straight-up man at Iowa, Jackson might not be a mid-first-round prospect in a deeper cornerback draft. But a lot about him also screams upside with the right system and development.
Dale from Owatonna, MN
Have you ever read a question, decided not to answer it, and then go back and look for the question because it was now more relevant?
I occasionally have second thoughts as soon as I hit the delete button, and I might restore an email to the Inbox for further consideration. But if too much time passes, there’s no way I’ll find it again.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Mike, after Aaron's comments on Alex Van Pelt not returning, I have the following question. True or false: Aaron Rodgers is consulted whether or not Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are brought back even if they won't rework their contracts?
False. The composition of the coaching staff is up to McCarthy. The roster, up to Gutekunst. I think Rodgers’ opinion is already known and obvious. Where it will rank on the list of factors should a decision need to be made, I have no idea.
Mike from St. Germain, WI
Hey Insiders! In your opinion, what players from last year’s practice squad could make the leap to this year’s team?
I think we saw the leap from two players late last year because the Packers were out of playoff contention. Michael Clark and Reggie Gilbert.
Dan from St. Louis, MO
Hey guys, if you had your choice to meet one Packer alum (whom you haven't already met), who would it be? Mine would have to be Chris Jacke.
From any era, alive or not? Don Hutson.
Luke from Dorchester, England
Whilst Shaquem Griffin is a great story, I struggle to see how he can translate to the NFL. Sacking the Roethlisbergers and tackling the Gurleys of this world is hard enough with both hands. With one hand it must be next to impossible. Also, surely it would just take sliding/stepping to the right to escape any pressure?
I’ve wondered the same things, and I’m intensely interested to find out.
Rich from Grand Rapids, MI
The mock drafts are slightly more interesting now that the combine is over, but the real interest comes around March 20, after several days of free agency. All of the talk of trading up or down is worthless until we know where the FA quarterbacks land and, therefore, who will be desperate to trade into the top 10. Especially with Buffalo having two late first-round picks and no QB to speak of.
A lot of folks chiming in with cogent thoughts here. Amir from Milwaukee noted how the landscape changes for QB-needy teams picking ahead of the Packers if Cousins indeed signs with the Vikings, who pick late. Then again, if somehow there isn’t the early first-round QB frenzy everybody is predicting, the opening night of the draft takes on a whole new look. Pete from Chanhassen, MN, mentioned 2014, when all but one of the top QBs fell to the 22nd pick and beyond. I don’t see that happening this year, but you never know what all these teams are really thinking.
Anthony from Southington, CT
With the Packers rewriting their playbook, would you expect the starters to get significantly more playing time in the preseason games? That would make rookie evaluation much more difficult, wouldn't it? How much do you think the new playbook might affect the chemistry between Rodgers and his veteran receivers, i.e. Jordy?
It’ll all get worked out during OTAs, training camp and 16 weeks of regular-season practices. I don’t expect it to change Green Bay’s approach to preseason games at all.
Daniel from Denmark
So Martellus Bennett is available. What do you think of that?
Dusty from Mason, OH
Which do you think is our biggest problem, pass rushers or corners? And which do you address in free agency and which one in the draft?
Yes and yes.
Eric from Stevens Point, WI
Trying to do some math here. If Rodgers’ cap number this year is approximately $20 million and he renegotiated for a contract that paid $30 million a year, wouldn't that leave us with only about $7 million left to sign our draft picks? Hard to be aggressive in FA with only a couple mil in the couch cushions.
Another ultra-popular query these days. If the Packers wanted to, they could structure Rodgers’ new deal to actually lower his cap number in 2018 and take a bigger cap hit later, such as next year, when other large contracts are expiring. I’m not saying that’ll be their approach, but it’s an option, and taking the big cap hit in Year 2 of the new deal isn’t kicking the can so far down the road you eventually get to Regrets-ville.
Steve from Flagstaff, AZ
I always get excited about the combine and see who ran a quick 40, had a good vertical, benched 225 how many times, and the shuttle and cone runs. Then I remember the Packers drafted Ahmad Carroll who ran a 4.38 and had a vertical of 41 but his coverage skills were terrible. He was better known for drawing pass interference calls. Am I wrong to think the combine is overrated?
You have to look at the combine as one piece of the pie. It’s just not the one that gets the ice cream.
Wayne from Wausau, WI
When will the "Prospect Primers" start?
If all goes well, hopefully sometime mid to late next week. Thanks for your interest.
Bob from Russellville, AK
Where on the internet can one find the current correct information as to the players each team will be drafting in the upcoming draft?
Ha, good one.
Ron from Boise, ID
Rams and Chargers will be sharing a stadium. Jets and Giants already do. What happens when the teams play each other in terms of season-ticket holders?
Depends on who’s officially designated the home team.
Randy from Billings, MT
The Packers have some pressure to get this draft right since they most likely will not get much in the way of compensatory picks next year. Other than Burnett, do you see any of the Packer possible free agents that would be worthy of a comp pick?
Evans would be the next best bet, if he signs elsewhere and plays a full season close to injury-free again.
Karen from Everett, PA
For the love of all things NFL draft-related...please people, find a way to reconcile in your minds the fact that need-based drafting and best-available-player drafting are not mutually exclusive. It's a fluid situation much like Ty's position designation.
Andrew from Memphis, TN
If the Packers do draft someone with whom they never actually sat down and interviewed, what is management's strategy for getting this personal insight? It seems to me the interview is one of the most integral aspects of the combine. I understand the cat-and-mouse game and playing your cards close to your vest, but should you really spend a high draft pick on a player with a question mark next to personality? Are there alternative avenues through which this information can be attained?
Teams can find out a lot about players by talking to all sorts of people connected to their past. There are informal chats with players all the time at the college all-star games, too, which sometimes tell teams enough, so they don’t use one of their 60 combine sit-downs on said player.
Robert from Fort Wayne, IN
Should the Packers think about drafting a quarterback to back up Rodgers?
If the Packers don’t sign a quarterback in free agency, I fully expect them to draft one, and there’s a good chance they draft one either way.
Matt from Hartford, WI
I'm looking at the board, but no one is considering Derwin James for the Packers? Why not?
The assumption is he won’t be there at 14. I don’t think it’s due to anything else.
Robert from Wisconsin
I can't get over the fact that a number of us (Packer fans) are delusional. We remember Reggie and Co. dominating offenses, and that has become an expectation. Today's defense needs a big play or two. To expect more is unrealistic. The rules favor offenses.
The Jaguars contained Brady for three-plus quarters but couldn’t make a play with the game on the line. The Eagles couldn’t stop Brady for three-plus quarters and made a play when it counted.
Jerry from Goldsboro, NC
Hello boys, two things. While I can appreciate concerns about Rodgers’ recovery, I think people forget his biggest attribute is his football IQ. While hurling Hail Marys and zipping throws is not easy, he is the smartest QB in the league. If he has lost some abilities due to the 13 screws, I think he will do just fine.
I think people are worrying way too much about one performance that came after a two-month layoff and one week of practice.
Ron from Waukesha, WI
Brian Gutekunst has had a front row seat to many of Ted Thompson’s drafts and I’m sure he’s had his sights set on being a GM one day. So with that in mind, do you think BG kept track of who he would have picked (it could be the same as TT’s pick) when it was time for the Packers to pick? And then through the years self-grade his personal drafts?
I’m sure he remembers the mental hits and misses. They all remember.
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