All right, let's get started. Internet is slow here in press work room in Indy, so let's hope this goes well. Interesting question. He's still young enough that I'm not sure I'd take five first-rounders for him. Finding a really good QB is just so damn hard.
I'm still not very well versed on the draft prospects, will start doing that after the combine -- though the combine is the place for scouts to put players through the paces, for the media it's mostly about the team you cover, because the coach and GM for most teams conduct press conferences, etc. So I can't comment on Jabrill Peppers specifically. Though you're thinking along the lines I would. They need a difference maker, and if Peppers is that kind of prospect then it's something to think about. Not sure, though, if he's a nickel corner or more a really, really undersized ILB for nickel and dime.
I always battle with how seriously to take these guys' public comments. Sometimes they speak the truth, often times they just say something because they have to say something. Trust me, they make an incredible number of irrelevant statements. I think Thompson just believes strongly in draft and develop to the extreme, and he's probably not going to change. He might think that the motivation of being rewarded by the team that picked him helps a player and helps the team.
I think it was both and that's why things got so out of hand. But you're right, a really good rush can help the secondary a lot. As for the draft, if all things are equal or close and I'm the Packers, yeah, I take the pass rusher. The only exception I'd make is if for some reason there were a skill position player on offense available when they pick and they're pretty convinced he can really be special, then take him.
That contract that Duvernay-Tardiff of the Chiefs signed was an eye opener -- I think it was a little more than $8M per year. Lang is a better player. However, he's coming off hip surgery that will sideline him all season, plus a broken foot in the last game. So that has to hurt his value some, teams can't be sure how he'll recover, and there's an accumulation of injuries there. So I'm not as convinced as others are that he's going to get these huge offers at age 29 (30 in September). I could be very wrong, we'll see. McCarthy was pretty strong in his statements that he wants and expects Lang to be back. That more than anything makes me think it's going to happen.
Good question, I don't know if scouts and coaches take it, I've never heard that it's part of their evaluation process. I'm not sure the Wonderlic counts for that much, a lot of teams have players take other personalilty/temperament tests that they think are more applicable to football (similar to tests the military uses, for instance). The Wonderlic is more to raise red flags and figure out why a guy has a low score -- a lot of times it just means he has a reading disability.
Yeah, I don't understand, for instance, why he appeared to be so nonchalant at times about lining up, didn't seem to be quite ready at the snap at times. I agree he has a lot of ability. I'm still wondering if he's the next Davante Adams -- struggled badly trying to play through injuries in his second season, then comes back with good third year -- or if something's missing, perhaps, for instance, the coachability.
I make a point of asking reporters from other markets about their access, how much they talk to the GM of the team they cover, etc. It's a range, but for the most part the access isn't all that great for most of the local reporters in the league. That said, Thompson is about as absent as they come. He does pretty close to the bare minimum required of the league. I agree that the Packers should be more accessible because of the public nature of their ownership structure, but they don't have to be, and Thompson isn't. Ron Wolf was extremely accessible and was able to do that without giving away team secrets. Mike Sherman was accessible because he also was the coach. Thompson is on the far end of inaccessability, and it's a shame. All that burden falls on Mike McCarthy. Packers fans do deserve to hear more from Thompson, but in the end, it's his call.
He was tagged and on the list of pass rushers in my story today I listed guys who were tagged. So I think you misread it.
I wouldn't think so. Sounds like he has to move to safety, and they're fine at safety.
Yeah, I wonder the same thing. I'm assuming the cost would have to be low -- maybe in the $3.5M range? Just guessing there. And I'm assuming he'd just be a part-time guy as an inside rusher in sub packages. I'd personally move on, his play slipped some last year and could fall big at any time. But they seem to disagree. If he's at that low price and only an inside rusher on passing downs, I guess I could see it. But I don't know if he'd play at that price or if he wants to play at all.
Forgot to address Cook in that earlier free agency question. I have to think they'll re-sign him. He'd be at the top of the list if I'm them.
Perry could end up getting overpaid by the Packers, several outside rushers were tagged so he moved up the list. That's probably the only one. I have to think that as much as they like Lang, they'll draw a line at some point because he's a guard. I don't think Perry or Lang alone will get enough on the open to get a third-round compensatory.
No, you're not crazy to think that. One draft can turn around a team. Look at Dallas' last year with Prescott and Elliott. Drafting even one outstanding defensive player would make a pretty big difference, and two would be huge. That said, finding great players is really hard and takes either a top 10 pick or some luck. Getting one in one draft is tough, getting two is the kind of thing that make a team good for several years. It can be done but the odds are good. But even finding one top-notch defensive player - - say someone the quality of Matthews -- would help this defense a fair amount.
I want to visit that this offseason, I haven't had a chance to look into how Jack did and how things look for his future. Clark started slowly, came on pretty well the final six weeks or so of the season. There's some potential there, for sure, though I'd only take a DL in the first round if he's a really good rushing prospect. Clark is young even for his draft class and there does appear to be something to work with there. But I'll have to ask some scouts about Jack, really don't know how he played and what his prospects are. I wrote last year I'd have taken the risk and picked Jack for his upside despite the injury.
You make a good point, same for churning the bottom of the roster more, keeps players on their toes. Maybe Julius Peppers fits into that. Maybe Adrian Peterson could.
There's some truth to the "Entitletown" name that SI's Austin Murphy gave Packers fans in a story he did on McCarthy last fall. This kind of extended success really is rare. I also understand and agree with the high standard. They have a better chance than most to do something special with Rodgers and should be going all out to do it. In the end, I agree that firing everybody would be counterproductive. This is a really big question/issue and tough to answer in a short chat answer. Many issues to discuss. Put it this way: If I were the Packers I would not have made a change at GM or head coach this offseason
OK, this has to be it, have other duties to get to. But thanks for stopping by and for all the good questions. Always enjoyable to see what's on your minds. I read where Belichick's philosophy is to go safe in the first round and then take chances in the second round. I lean more toward what you suggest, that Thompson could take some more chances in the first round, especially when you're picking so late in the round, year in and year out. The Jack/Clark choice speaks to that -- I'd have taken the chance on Jack because of the upside even though he might flame out because of the knee injury. You can't get too crazy doing that every year -- Justin Harrell was a high-risk pick, for instance. But sometimes you have to take calculated risks when you're picking so late in the first round every year. Thanks again everybody, take care and we'll talk soon.