Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's live chat Thursday at noon CDT.

    Do you think that with the signing of Turner in free agency and Cole Madison showing up for the offseason program this year that it will affect how early in the draft they target OL? Or does this allow them to focus on other areas of need early on such as pass rush, TE, safety, etc?
    OK, here we go. I'd say no, because both of those guys more likely will be guards than tackles, and they still need a tackle to replace Bulaga in 2020 and be the backup swing tackle this year. I have to think T very much is in play at No. 12 with Dillard, Taylor and Williams.
    With the packers adding those edge rushers and safety. It used to be that you built defenses up the middle. The packers haven't had a dominate presence in the middle in a long time. I know devin white the ILB from LSU will probably not fall to number 12. I have heard he might be the best defensive player in the draft. So what would the packers have to give up to move up to get him if packers decided to get him? Have you heard any information about him and also nice tip on the thornhill kid at safety have to keep an eye on him where he lands in the draft.
    My best guess is they'd have to move up to No. 5 to get White. The cost might be as high as a second-round pick. That's a lot. My guess is they wouldn't pay it, as good as he might be the position value wouldn't be there, and they have so many needs. Now, if he's still on the board at No. 9, which appears highly unlikely, maybe things change.
    Pete, what are your thoughts about Hollywood Brown at 30? Although he is very small, Daniel Jeremiah has called him a "DeSean Jackson clone". He would be the definition of a luxury pick, but getting Rodgers a blue-chip deep threat should be a priority before he retires.
    I've talked to a couple scouts about him recently, sounds like he's a lot like Jackson, small but very explosive. The thing that would worry me is the lis franc surgery. Those foot injuries on receivers are a concern. I think you're right that he'd be something of a luxury pick. If I were them I'd lean against it, but he is a talented guy, and the Packers' offense always could use a guy who's explosive with the ball in his hands. I'm not sure he makes it to 30 anyway. I'd bet against it. I'm thinking him and Metcalf go in the first.
    How much consideration do teams give for the strengths of the following year's draft when drafting this year? Some? None?
    I'd say some. I remember talking about that with a scout a few years ago, and we were talking about the QBs in the draft. He said if he'd needed one, he wouldn't take anyone that year because he liked the QBs coming out the next year. I have to think that applies at least some to other positions, though maybe not the degree as it does to QBs.
    Hi Pete. Geronimo, MVS, EQ all appear to me to be dime-a-dozen type wide receivers. While good players, not difference makers. Why shouldn't the Packers spend a premium draft pick on a blue chip WR?
    There are a couple questions of this vein today. I think those guys have some real talent, especially MVS with his speed. I'm not saying any of them is the next Julio Jones or anything like that, but I I wouldn't be surprised if either MVS or ESP develops into a very good NFL receiver, and who knows, maybe both will? Really good combination of size and speed. There's a lot more that goes into it, they have to improve on their craft, but with all the Packers' other needs, I wouldn't use a premium pick at WR. Probably wouldn't use one at CB, either. Everything else would be in play.
    Should we consider J'Mon Moore a legitimate "big slot" option next year? His 3-cone time was in the 96th percentile and 20-yard shuttle was 88th percentile. Letting him focus on one position and use his excellent agility could allow him to blossom.
    He'll get his shot, but he has to catch the ball a lot better. That was his issue in college and why he was still on the board in the fourth round. And that was his issue in camp last year.
    In our new outside-zone based system, what exactly do the Packers need in TEs?
    Ideally, they'd get someone who's fairly complete -- at least decent as a receiver and good as blocker, or vice versa, or better yet someone who's good at both. In the outside zone, the tight end has an important block, he's pretty close to the RB's aiming point. The reason a complete TE is important is so his presence on the field doesn't tip off the likely play call. If the guy is mainly a blocker, the defense knows it's probably a run, and vice versa. And it you try to change it up and run with a poor blocker at TE, or pass with a poor receiver at TE, you're disadvantaged because it's something the guy isn't very good at.
    Pete-----thanks much for the chat and for taking my question. given that the Packers have been under .500 the last two years, shouldn't their draft focus on players that will be able to start in 2019 so we can improve our record? it seems to me that plug and play should get more weight this year especially at the top of our draft. what do you say?
    Especially at the top of the draft, if I'm them I'm taking guys that have the best chance to tilt the field, and if they might need a little time to develop, so be it. Don't get me wrong, you don't pick a guy at No. 12 that's going to redshirt. They need that pick to play. But having the talent to be a difference maker is at the top of the agenda, not how polished they are right now.
    Hi Pete, this schedule is a great opportunity for a fast start and a chance to build important early confidence. The opening game @ Bears is HUGE. Packers with a new unscouted offense, year two of the Pettine D, new special teams coaches. The Bears become the hunted and losing their defensive coordinator could be a problem. My 1st question, how different will the Bears new D be with the new coordinator and will this hurt the Bears? It looks like Lafleur has made some changes for practice and practicing against other teams could be helpful with a fast start. Do you think those changes are significant and will they make a difference week 1? Am I overstating the opportunity and importance of that 1st game? Thanks Pete
    I haven't read anything about how the Bears' defense is likely to look under Pagano, but I'm assuming Pagano will implement his 3-4 system, which derives from the Baltimore Ravens' 3-4 (as does Mike Pettine's), as opposed to Vic Fangio's scheme, who was a protege of Dom Capers. They're both 3-4 but I'm sure there are plenty of differences in the details of the way they're run. Either way, though, the Bears can put a lot of defensive talent on the field, starting with Mack. Enough teams do the practicing against an opponent in camp now that I have to think it has some value. The players get to see a different scheme and go against players with different abilities than they see in practice in the rest of camp. Maybe Week 1 will be the chance for the Packers to steal one early against a good division opponent, which could have tiebreaker implications at the end of the season. But the Packers are probably at the bigger disadvantage for the opener  because they have a new head coach and new offensive system. The Bears have a new defensive system but the same head coach.
    Hey Pete,

    Does the fact that the Packers have brought in so many tackles suggest they wlll plan to stay with Turner at guard?

    What role, if any, do coaches play in the draft process?

    Thanks
    I'm assuming the Packers are planning on starting Turner at RG. Bulaga is the RT, and I find it hard to believe the Packers paid Turner all that money to be a backup at RT and RG. The coaches' influence in the draft process differs from team to team, from what I can tell. The most extreme case is Cincy, which has a small scouting staff and relies heavily on the coaching staff in the draft. With the Packers, I get the sense that their opinions matter, they're the ones that have to work  hands-on with these guys, but I have to think in the end Gutekunst makes the call, he and his scouts work on scouting these guys year round, whereas the coaches are involved for only a couple months.
    Hey Pete, if Gutey drafts a big ol' OT in round one - any chance they let Bulago go to save some cap room?
    I'm wondering the same thing. I guess in the end i'd bet against it, because of depth. They could draft a tackle high and have him compete for a starting job at guard as a rookie, or just have him work as the backup swing tackle. Either way, that depth is valuable. I wouldn't rule out what you suggest, but I'd bet against it.
    The mocks have been all over the board at 12. I've seen QB, WR, TE, OL, DT, DE, OLB, and ILB. So they'll probably pick a RB or DB. At this stage it's all guesswork but if you had to guess on one position at 12, what would it be? Thanks Pete
    The hard part about this, and it doesn't matter whether they're picking at 12 or 28, is figuring out who's going to be on the board when they pick. I'll be diving into that more next week.Right now, my best guess is that the value will be either at DL or OLB. Just a guess. So much depends on how many QBs come off the board ahead of them (including whether anybody trades ahead of them for a QB).
    Was trading Demarius Randall a mistake? It appears Kizer will be cut within a year, especially if they draft a qb.
    The mistake was playing him at CB instead of his natural position, free safety. Also, from what I've heard, McCarthy and his coaching staff didn't take a hard enough line with him. Sounds like Randall missed a lot of practice but still played on Sundays, when the better move would have been to sit him when he didn't practice enough, let him know he had to practice to play. Sounds like he took advantage of that and developed a sense of entitlement.
    Pete - I think we have to go with defensive front 7 at # 12. I am curious to know what you have heard about Clellin Ferrel from Clemson. I know mocks don't mean much but he started mock season in top 10 and now he is regularly around 16-17. Do you know what the knock is on him? Would you take him over ILB Bush from MI?
    The handful of scouts I've talked to basically think along the lines of the mock drafts we've seen. Ferrell obviously was a really good player at Clemson but he doesn't appear to be as explosive as the outside rushers who are ahead of him. From the scouts I've talked to -- it's only a handful, so not a big sample -- I'd take Bush over Ferrell.
    Hi Pete!--Who did the Packers bring in for strength and conditioning? Are they doing anything different for injury prevention?
    LaFleur flip-flopped the staff at the top, so Chris Gizzi now is the strength and conditioning coordinator, and Mark Lovat is an assistant. Gizzi hasn't been available to reporters so we don't know what will change. LaFleur is going back to the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday practice schedule (McCarthy was Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, with Friday as a rest and recovery day). LaFleur did say that when he was with the Rams two years ago, by the second half of the season the Wednesday practice was basically a long jog-through to help the players recover from the previous game, and he said he probably will do the same this year.
    Hi Pete. Draft is just one week away. Since I was a kid, I have always been excited for the NFL draft. Almost like an early Christmas. How about you, do you still get excited to watch it, especially since you cover it? What is your favorite part about the draft? I remember the really LONG rounds and LONG days, and I still loved it then.
    The draft is really, really interesting, and it's the lifeblood of a team, so it's hard to overstate its importance. As a reporter, it is compelling. You try to figure out who they might take, and then how they rate players differently than the scouts you talk to from other teams, and how they see their priorities, etc. The third day drags on a bit, but then when it's over you get the chance to take a panoramic view of their picks and ask the GM and coach about their thinking. The thing is, and I can't emphasize this enough, in the end nobody knows whether a team's draft is good or bad. It takes a couple years, maybe even into the third season, to know that. You just never know how guys are going to pan out. The GMs don't, the coaches don't, nobody does. The GMs and scouts have their opinions and hunches, but they don't know. It's still more art than science, and luck plays a greater role than most care to acknowledge.
    I'm not sure what your standard would be but it seems the Packers have had more misses than hits in the 1st round over the last 10 years. For me this year with 12, 30 and 44 I'm looking for 2 starters by the end of the year and a third making significant contributions as a backup and then moving into a starting role next year. Am I being realistic? I thought Gute got a big hit in the first and a miss in the 2nd last year.
    Yeah, that's realistic. I mean, you might want to expand the definition of starter to be a player who's heavily in the rotation -- for instance, if they took an OLB at 12, he might not start because of the Smiths, but he still should play regularly and be a factor as a pass rusher. But yeah, I'd think at least two of the three should play regularly and help the team -- it needs the help.
    For a much-improved player whose sack total in 2018 rivals that of the two new FA edge rushers combined, is Kyler Fackrell the forgotten man? He was vastly improved setting the edge on runs, too, not to mention having made significant progress with dropping into coverage. His light apparently went "on" in 2018 but some observers seem indifferent to that progression. Perhaps he's the next rendition of Casey Hayward or Micah Hyde.
    He really did improve against the run, that's for sure. He had been a liability holding the edge his first two years but was much better last year. He put up double digit sacks, there's no taking that away from him. I'm still skeptical he'll be able to duplicate that, he's just not that dynamic or athletic around the edge -- the thing he does best is chase down QBs when they try to scramble. He doesn't just beat his guy and get the sack quickly very often. I don't think he's as good as Hayward or Hyde. But maybe I'm wrong and  he'll have another 10-plus sack season.
    Any chance Packers take a QB in rounds 1,2 or 3?
    I'm not ruling it out. I thought it was really interesting they brought in Lock for a visit. There very well might have been some gamesmanship with that, trying to get teams to think they might take him so somebody who wants him will trade ahead of them and move other players down the board. But what if he's still available at 30? Seems unlikely but you  never know. If they really do like him, they'd have to seriously think about taking him.
    Pete thanks for the chats. I’ve seen more mock drafts with Hockensen coming off the board before 12. I know they have flexibility but I don’t think any other TEs in the draft offer a real long term solution. Have you talked with any scouts who think he goes before 12?
    I'm writing about this today for a column that will be posted this evening. From what I can tell, this is a decent year for tight ends, and Fant, among others could be a long-term solution at TE as well. A lot of mock drafts have Hockenson going to Detroit at No. 8. Of the three scouts I talked to about TEs, one saw him as a top-10 prospect, the others thought he should go in the second half of the first round. Teams see guys differently, and just like in free agency, all it takes is one to like you enough.
    How in the world does GPS tracking help the Packers to eliminate injuries?
    The devices they wear measure the speeds the move at and the force they apply to the ground when run and cut, etc. So after tracking the data for a long time, you can see when players are running quite as fast and cutting as explosively, which is an indication they're getting fatigued and might be more vulnerable to soft-tissue injuries. The Packers have, I don't remember exactly, but I'd guess six or seven years of data now.
    The 12th pick is on the clock, Hockenson is there and he's at the top of your board, no brainer, you make the pick. Now pick 30 is on the clock and Fant has fallen, he's the last player on your board with a first round grade. Clocks running down and the phone is silent, what's the call Pete?
    This is a really tough and interesting question. That's a huge double up, a little Patriots-like with Gronkowski and Hernandez. But as tempted as I'd be, I'd either try to trade out or grab another position. They badly need a starting safety, and are in the market for so many other things -- a tackle, a defensive lineman or outside rusher, a running back (Jacobs might still be available, for instance). With the way the game is played today, I wouldn't rule out CB if there's one on the board they really like. If they'd already drafted Hockenson, I'd say taking a TE with another first-rounder is a luxury I'd have to pass on.
    Hi Pete,
    Well the Packers 2019 schedule is out and wow 5 of their first 7 games are at home! Your colleague Rob Demovsky predicts them to go 9-7 this year. I think IF healthy and IF the FA's they recently picked up come through and IF 2-3 of their draft picks next week become starters, I can see them winning 10-11 games this year! At least their bye is NOV 17 compared to the 1st month or so of the season that Mike McCarthy always lamented over. Your thoughts in APRIL as to how many games this year GB can win? Thank you.
    Agreed for sure the bye is in a much better spot. Opening on Thursday probably isn't bad either, they get a little extra rest after the opener. It's just such a strange schedule, so heavy at home early, then four of six on the road to finish. With a new coach, I'm with Rob, maybe 9-7 though I'm thinking 8-8 at this point, like McCarthy in his first year.
    Fant blew up the combine and his times were off the chart for a TE. He also had a bunch of drops last year and a bunch more at the combine. Considering the struggles Moore had catching the football last year (that's what kept him off the field). I don't know what he did in college but Adams struggled with drops his first 2 years and now he probable has the best hands on the team. How concerned would you be spending a first round pick on Fant.
    I'd think Fant would be a really good value pick at No. 30. I don't think his drop issues were as severe as Moore's in college, among other things.
    Greetings from Omaha Pete ! So what's the latest talk on the Packs draft choices ? Word has it they are set on TE at 12 if Hockenson is on the board . I'd prefer trading up for White since we haven't had a thumper that can run and cover for years ! We are looking at the best Defensive draft in a long time so let's not reach ! What say you pistol Pete ?
    I don't think any of the mock drafters out there -- and there are good ones, people who are very well versed in the draft -- have any clue who the Packers are going to take. They're just guessing. In other words, who knows how highly they think of Hockenson? As I said in the first question, trading up for White probably would be too costly, though if he starts getting close to 10 that could change. They'd have to have him rated well above everyone else to make it worth a trade up, though. You always have to wonder about the position value, too, for a trade up -- ILB doesn't have the value of OLB or CB, because even the fastest ILBs can be taken advantage of in the passing game by the best QB-RB combinations. I'm thinking the best guy on the board at 12 will either be a front-seven defensive player or a tackle.
    Pete
    I use to be a Bear Fan until I attended my first game in GreenBay last year ! Man what a good time . Who would you prefer we target at Safety? Seems to be three worthy options. Any chance they move Jackson over and select The CB from
    LSU ?
    Sounds like they're not thinking about moving Jackson to safety yet, at least that's the feeling I'm getting. There's a safety from Virginia named Juan Thornhill who's a pure free safety -- fairly fast (4.42), explosive (44-inch vertical) and has some ballhawk skills (I think he has six INTs last year), he might be a guy to keep an eye on at 30 or 44.
    When will we know whether drafting a punter and long snapper were worth last year's picks?
    I'd say by the end of this season.
    I think about 80 to 90 percent of what teams are "saying" or insiders are "hearing" is smoke screens and lies. With that said, the thought of a quarterback at No. 30 seems like a way for the Packers to move back in the early second round, amass more picks and get two players they like as second rounders. Or does this seem to Ted Thompson-ish?
    Definitely a possibility. Teams like to trade up to late first round for a QB because they get that fifth-year option for first-round picks.
    Hey Pete, what are your thoughts on Sweat at 11 if he's there (about half the mocks have him available.) Good production, great Senior Bowl practices and game, and blew away the combine. Last guy who did all that was Aaron Donald, he turned out to be not too bad. Not saying he's the next DPOY, but that's a decent resume.
    OK everybody, this will have to do it, unlike most Thursdays I'm writing a column today so have to get to that. But lots of great, well informed questions and opinions, as always, so thanks for stopping by to share them. As for Sweat, if he's there at 12 I have to think there's a very good chance they'd take him. As you say, he had a lot of sacks during the season and played well at the Senior Bowl and had an excellent combine in the physical tests. That's the trifecta. He does have a heart issue, though the doctors at Miss. St. cleared him, as did the doctors at the combine. But I've read some credible reporters who are saying at least some teams might take him off their board because of it. It's very much touch and go whether he makes it 12, but I'm with you, I'd have to think they'd take him unless they've rejected him medically. That's the kind of upper-tier talent you're looking for when you select fairly high in the draft. With that, we've put another chat in the books. Come back next week, it will be draft day, plenty to talk about and speculate on. Until then, take care.
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