Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Friday, April 14 transcript

  • If Clay is going to play a bunch of MLB again this year, do you even draft another one? Ryan I thought played pretty solidly, and I would expect Martinez to take a step. Plus you have Thomas as well. Seems like that room would be already full, considering the max you play is 2 (except maybe in Goal line or some unique Capers package). Plus Burnett is a quasi MLB already.
  • Hi everybody, let's dive right in. I'm not sure about that, looks like it might be fluid depending on how the draft goes. You're right Morgan Burnett, McCarthy has that they're going to use him more as one of the two nickel linebackers, so maybe that will lessen the need to play Matthews there. It also probably depends on how much Martinez improves as you suggest, and Ryan too. Ryan was a better player last year than as a rookie, no doubt, and he could keep getting a little better. They haven't given any indication they're going to use Matthews inside a lot -- all McCarthy will say is that they're going to move him around -- so the plan might be to use him in there only in specific packages or maybe against a specific opponent. And if things go well with Martinez, Ryan and Burnett splitting time at LB, maybe it stays that way. And if there are problems, maybe Matthews plays more inside as the season goes on. That's my guess on their plan. We'll get a better feel watching the three OTA practices that will be open this spring.
  • Pete...with TT's "awful" misses on drafting defensive players...is there any way he would recuse himself and let someone else make the pick. All these #1 picks on "D" and still pathetic.
  • No, Thompson will be making the picks. The thing is, he drafted great his first few years. Nick Collins was an outstanding pick. Thompson traded up for Matthews, so he something there. Raji was a pretty decent pick, was a really good player in '10 when they won the Super Bowl. Agreed that he needs to hit big on a defensive pick if that defense is going to get much better.
  • With injuries and age sneaking up on Clay Matthews, I would think that it's a no brainer to draft an edge rusher. I'd even bet my last buck on that. What do think?
  • Basically agree. I see it as their biggest need as well. Wouldn't bet my last buck on it, though, because drafts are so unpredictable. You never know who might be there, could be a guy they have a really high grade on at a different position. Could be no OLB they like as a first-rounder is there at 29. But I'm with you, I'd give the best odds that their first-rounder will be an OLB.
  • ?Does ARod get a contract extension this year or next?
  • I'd think next offseason. He'll have two years left on his contract at that point. They only extend contracts of guys in their last year, but of course all that goes out the window with a quarterback. If I were a betting man, I'd bet next May or June.
  • Hi Pete - Don't know if you agree on the Packers needs, but it seems to me the Packers needs to step up to the next level and Win a SB are
    1. a Guard for Langs spot who can at least hold his own, (which would make both guards now adequate but not exceptional)
    2. add another OLB who is a Difference maker on passing downs
    3. add a true #1 corner
    4. add a stout Thumper at ILB on running downs
    5. Add 1 more DL who can pressure
    My point is when you have an elite QB running out of years, Should Thompson have done more in Free Agency for the Defensive side of the ball knowing all of the needs listed above can't be filled from 1 draft alone which will make for another year like the last several where we are in the playoffs with an exit short of a SB and our QB another year older. I just don't see any way Thompson can fill the Packers Defensive needs to win a SB in the Draft alone. What say You?
  • Basically agree on the needs. I think RB is in the top four, I'd put that ahead of ILB at this point, and I think OLB and CB are the top two needs. You make a good point about signings, I thought maybe Thompson would sign a guard who could be the fallback starter if the draft doesn't go their way. I also wondered if he might/should sign another corner, maybe someone such as Alterraun Verner or McCourty (who was just cut by Tennessee this week). That could take some pressure off the draft. You're right that it's hard or nearly impossible to fill three or four immediate needs in one draft. Even if you take a guy who ends up being good, he might not do all that much as a rookie. That said, you're right that at guard they just need someone who's good enough. So they don't have to hit big on that pick, just do OK. If they hit big on a pass rusher, a guy like Matthews, say, then the whole defense immediately improves. But as we know, it's hard to find guys that good. So the biggest thing in my mind is for Thompson to hit big on one of those defensive picks, either at OLB or CB. That alone could make a huge difference.
  • When looking at all the football numbers, it seems to me that Mixon is the best back in this draft. When looking at all the information--on-field and off-field--his status becomes cloudy. What do the Packers do, since football numbers say he's a first round pick?
  • This is all conjecture, so take it for what it's worth. But I don't see any way Thompson takes Mixon in the first round. I'm skeptical he'd take him in the first three, just doesn't strike me was a Thompson-like move to invite that kind of scrutiny into his locker room. I could be wrong, don't have any inside information there, but that's my take. They had him in for a visit, so if you interpret that as a sign they might take him in the second or third round, you could be right. I'm not convinced but am just guessing. I think we can assume they did an extensive background check, so maybe they ended up liking what they learned despite the horrific thing he did in punching that woman. First round, though, I'd say no way. After that I have my doubts. I'm betting he ends up elsewhere. But we'll find out in a couple weeks.
  • Pete, does Mcaffrey have the size to play every down, and a lot as a running back? Seems a bit small to be a starting RB. Maybe more of a part-time RB that runs routes from the slot more than carrying the ball.
  • Doesn't sound like he's an every-down guy, as you suggest just too small. Sounds like a guy you'd have a lot of packages for, but you'd only want to use him part-time or half-time to get the most out of him and keep him healthy.
  • This is tough because there's no knowing who will be on the board. Even the week of the draft it's almost impossible to figure out. I really think Watt is a strong possibility. The question is whether he makes it to 29. I don't have a good feel for that yet, though some mock drafts I've seen online have him going a few picks before that. He just has Ted Thompson written all over him -- just a clean prospect, meets the physical critera for OLB, high-effort guy, would be a safe pick but also a guy with some upside. So for now I'll say him. We'll talk the week of the draft, maybe by then it will be a little more clear whether he's likely going higher than 29.
  • You mentioned several weeks ago that Thompson's early years drafts were his best. Do you think the departure of Dorsey, McKenzie and Schneider had an impact on that?
  • That's a really good question, and I don't know. All of those guys are excellent scouts. But I know Wolf, Highsmith and Gutekunst have good reputations among the guys I talk to with other teams. It's tough to know how much influence any one guy had on any one pick. I think especially with the first-rounders Thompson keeps close counsel, I think even the guys who work for him aren't exactly sure who he'll take though they have inklings. So I don't have a good answer there. Could just be that that's the nature of the draft. There's a large element of luck in the draft as well. Teams do a ton of research and film study, and there's a real skill in projecting players. But there's still a big element of luck too.
  • Any idea why Ted Thompson seems to shy away from drafting players from the University of Wisconsin ? Wouldn't it have been nice to deny Russell Wilson to the Seahawks by drafting him instead of Jerel Worthy ?
  • He hasn't drafted many -- I think Abbrederis is the only one. Trying to think how many Wolf drafted. I can think of Ferrario off the top of my head, not sure if there was anyone else. They wouldn't have drafted Wilson. Rodgers already was a star by that draft, and there was no way they were taking a quarterback in the second or third round. But yes, Worthy was a bad pick. I remember talking to a scout before that draft, the guy has a real knack with defensive linemen, and he said Worthy worried him because he seemed to get a great jump on the snap in college, and when he didn't get that jump, he didn't make many plays, and that it would be much tougher getting that jump against the more sophisticated cadences in the NFL. That was spot on. But hey, maybe Thompson takes Watt or Biegel this year.
  • Who is the one player that Thompson would trade UP for?
  • I'd say nobody. The cost to get up far enough to get someone that he liked that much would be prohibitive, I'm guessing. I can see a trade down, but not up. Now watch him trade up in two weeks. But that's my take.
  • Pete - how do you reconcile TT always preaching team and taking care of those who produce when you look at what happened to TJ Lang (who played hurt) and compare him to Cobb (who is always hurt and not playing)? Cobb hasn't had a good season in two years and yet he still gets paid more than Nelson. I cannot make sense of it.
  • Yeah, I can see your confusion. Lang did play hurt, and he played well. The Packers should be forever grateful for everything he gave them. But Thompson drew a line at cost, he was going to pay a guard only so much, the position just doesn't carry the premium of other positions. So I don't blame him for letting Lang walk even though Lang is a very good player. The strength at tackle and center allowed for that. I'd have asked Cobb for a pay cut, but that's risky because if he says no then you have to be prepared to cut him. And while his production has diminshed and he has some size limitations, he's a really good target when plays break down, and that happens a lot with Rodgers' scrambling. So they decided to bite the bullet and keep overpaying Cobb rather than lose him. Age plays a role too. Lang was 29, Cobb is 26. That's a big difference in this league.
  • Is draft and develop a misnomer in GB with its complicated Defense limiting player opportunity? Also, Rollins and Randall were so bad last year that I am having a hard time imagining them getting better. At times they looked completely lost. Is it fool's gold to rely on them?
  • No, it's not a misnomer, that's why they like to have guys in the system for a few years. But you're right, that also means replacing guys with rookies and young players. This is the way the NFL works today, young players are cheap, so every team has a lot of them. It's up to the coaching staff to keep things simple enough that everyone can learn it while not having things so simple it's a competitive disadvantage. I'm not yet convinced Randall isn't a decent or good player. I thought he played pretty well as a rookie. Last year was really bad, no doubt, even before he got hurt. Diggs from Minnesota just torched him in Week 2. But I'm still open to the possibility that he's this year's Davante Adams. Maybe he won't be, but I still think he's a talented guy despite how poorly he played last year. Rollins, I'm wondering if he's not quite fast enough to be a starting corner. His 4.57 40 is a little slower than average for a CB (based on scouting combine data), so he'll have to have great instincts and awareness and all that to be a good player. I think the Packers can look for improvement from both, but they'll need a lot of it, not just a little. I'd think Randall has the better chance, but we'll see.
  • Why is Long Snapper such a specialty? Could use roster spot for more help on defense!
    I don't get it...
  • It's too important to have a part-time guy doing it. You absolutely can't have a bad snap cost you a game. Honestly, how many bad snaps have you seen in the league the last couple years? Very rare. These guys are nearly flawless. Having a guy only snap allows him to practice with the holder and kicker, or punter, all practice long while everyone else is doing position or team work.
  • Do you know how large the Packers Scouting Department is? Are other NFL teams similar?
  • I'd have to go through the press guide and count it up, but they have several area college scouts, a college director, Wolf, Highsmith, Gutekunst, three other pro scouts. When I look through other teams' directories, their staffs are of similar size.
  • Hey Pete, I don't get why TT didn't re-sign Datone Jones. He was young, talented, relatively inexpensive, and was around the QB a lot last year (believe he led the DL with "pressures"). What gives?
  • I thought he wasn't a real good fit for their defense. They found a way to use him in that elephant role where he lined up at OLB with his hand on the ground, but really he was a 'tweener in the 3-4. He ended up signing for $3.75 million with Minnesota to play as a 4-3 end. That's the kind of defense he belongs in. I thought the Packers did the right thing. If they could get him for $1.5 million, fine. But otherwise, let him go and find someone who fits their defense better.
  • I would be in favor of trading our first round pick along with Davonte Adams for Richard Sherman. Seattle needs receivers and we need a lock down cornerback. Do you think Seattle would bite?
  • I'd think Seattle would like that deal. That's way too expensive for the Packers, in my opinion. Reasonable people can disagree on this, but this is my take: I wouldn't trade a first-rounder for Sherman. He's 29 and showed a little bit of decline last season. He's an excellent player, no question, but I'd worry that could really start slipping, if not this year than next year. Maybe he has two or three really good years left, but I'd consider that a significant risk. I'd trade a third-rounder for him. Maybe a second, I'm not sure there. But not a first. That's my take, you might see it a lot differently.
  • why not spend 10m yr on a vet shut down cb like Sherman if you could trade 2nd or 3rd. They were going to give a healthy Shields similar $$$.
  • That's the range of pick I'm thinking. That I would do, for sure a third, maybe a second. The question is whether Seattle would take it. I'm guessing the Seahawks wouldn't, but maybe in the end they just want to get rid of him. Which makes you ask, why are they so eager to get rid of a really good player? Have they just had enough of him as a personality in their locker room? Or do they see imminent decline?
  • Do you think the packers would draft Sidney Jones in the second round if he's available ? Obviously he wouldn't be able to help the first year
  • I'm wondering that myself. My guess at this point is that's too high for a guy who's not going to help you this year, or at least won't be playing until late in the season. The Packers need to much immediate help in my opinion. I wouldn't mess with him until the fourth or fifth round if I were them. Among other things, an Achilles injury not only is a long recovery, but there's a chance he won't be the same guy when he comes back. CBs make their living running and cutting and being agile, and that injury could cost him a little of that in the long run too. Just taking a wild guess, I'd say someone will grab him in the third round.
  • Do you see the Packers likely draft a D-Lineman at any point in the draft?
  • I could see it on the last day. The first three rounds doesn't seem real likely to me, though never say never.
  • Hi Pete, who do you think is more likely to be asked for a pay cut between Nelson and Cobb?
  • If the Packers were going to ask for a cut they would have done it before the start of free agency. So the answer is neither.
  • since it is draft season, do you follow prospects that might be good in a Green Bay Packers uniform? If you do, what do you think about Kevin king or Grayson Conley with that 29th pick if they are there? Big if
  • Yeah, I'm thinking about those things, looking at Packers needs and who might be available. I talked to a scout yesterday who loves King, thinks he's really talented (6-3, which is huge for a CB, with the combine test numbers of a smaller guy). But he doubts King makes it to 29. King is exactly the type of CB Seattle likes, so if he's still on the board at 26, I could see the Seahawks taking him. Conley (CB Ohio State) is a possibility at 29 from what I can tell. I've gotten a couple different reads on him from different scouts, so who knows what Thompson thinks. But I'm guessing he's a possibility.
  • Do you think Ted will trade down in round 1. I am worried that this is a high possibility because of the amount of holes on the roster. Thoughts?
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