Hi everybody, let's dive right in. Yes, he does need to avoid over-emphasizing need, the greatest need is for playmakers at any position, especially on defense but really anywhere. So if there's someone on the board at No. 14 that he thinks is going to be special, he should take the guy. From what I can tell, a lot of times it's not that cut and dried, and a couple or even several players can have very similar grades, so then you go with either the highest-value position or position of greatest need. Really, he could take the best defensive player regardless of position and probably be fine. If there were a really talented at 14, a guy he thinks is going to be special, then by all means take him. So can't disagree with you.
The Packers definitely have some leverage because of the two years left on his deal, no question there. But they also have a lot of incentive to not let him ever get to free agency, because those franchise tags are really, really expensive the second and third years -- the raise the second year is 20 percent, and the third year is 44 percent. And let's face it, his importance is so outsized that they want to keep relations good -- they want him fully invested and feeling good that he's in this organization. So there are a lot more reasons to get an extension done than to not. He's got more than enough leverage to get a contract better than Cousins'. He should get a contract better than Cousins'. Now, at a certain point it gets counterproductive and costs so much that it makes it tougher to build a team around him. So he needs to keep that in mind too. The Packers have to walk a line between letting him know that his input matters greatly, but that he's a player and not the GM. So on Nelson, for instance, that's just a move they have to be free to make that move. These things happen all the time in the NFL, players get cut -- the Patriots make moves like this every year. So while Rodgers might be unhappy about Nelson getting cut, this is the kind of thing he just has to live with. But he's also the most important person in that building, and the Packers can prove that to him with this next contract.
I'd say just about everything is on the table. The one thing I would do if I were him, unless he gets a mind-blowing offer or has some other really really good reason, is trade back from No. 14. They don't get to pick this high very often, so if I'm then I'm either picking at 14 or trading up a few spots. Other than that, all possibilities of trading up and back are open.
Pass rushers are the hardest thing to find after QBs, and they can do more for CBs than CBs can do for pass rushers. So yeah, agreed. If the grades are close, I'd go with the pass rusher.
I am. I really thought Gutekunst would sign or trade for one of those CBs who changed teams in the first few days of free agency. There are some veterans still out there -- not of the caliber of the guys who went early in free agency -- so I'm still thinking they're going to sign another one unless they draft like three CBs.
Not sure about that yet. I have several calls with scouts scheduled for the next day or two so will know more after talking to them.
Is Chubb a generational talent? I'm not sure about that, will find out more about him in the next few days. But generational talent is a pretty strong statement. That said, if he's there at six, it could get interesting. From what I can tell looking at trade history, the Packers' second-rounder might be enough to move them up from 14 to six. Depends on what offers the team at 6 gets, but that might do it.
That's a possibility. Some of this is just part of the negotiation process, it probably helps Rodgers' leverage to send out these signals, certainly doesn't hurt them. A lot of money at stake, so even with the indispensable player it's still a hard negotiation. Drew Brees' talks took until just before the start of free agency to finish up a deal, and that seemed like a no-brainer. So yeah, things can get a little rocky.
I'd say it's not true at RB. That position is so exposed to injury and attrition that you need a couple good backs. I think Jones is the better of the two, at least as a runner, by a fair amount. But staying healthy looks like it's going to be an issue for him, and pass protection is a question too. I still think he has the better chance of becoming the primary back, but it could end up that they'll have a relatively even split. He just so much more dynamic than Williams, though, he's a much bigger threat with the ball in his hands. So a lot depends on his durability, or they're concerns about his durability.
I'm in total agreement, I just don't get it. If he were a great pass rushing talent from the inside, like Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox or Suh, I could see it even though they'd have a glut of pretty talented inside guys (Daniels, Wilkerson, Clark). But from what I can tell, Vea is a really talented run stopper but only decent as an inside rusher. So I'm with you. Could be a smokescreen -- the Packers had him in for a visit -- or maybe they see more pass rushing talent there than the numbers suggest.
I don't have much of a feel for what to expect from him. He didn't flash much as a rusher in his abbreviated rookie season. Now, he also had surgery on both feet last spring/summer, so he missed a lot of time and might not have been at full strength. But I really don't have much of a guess on how much of a jump he'll make. But if I'm them, I'm not assuming it's going to be a huge jump.
I'm sure he and Highsmith did in some way, shape or form.
I asked McCarthy if he could see playing Wilkerson, Daniels and Clark together in nickel, and he basically said no. In base 3-4 they could play together, but that's maybe 20 percent of the defensive snaps at most. Nickel and dime are what matter, and it doesn't sound like they would play together in those. I'd assume same goes for Vea, he's 345 pounds.
Sounds like Ward is more talented and the better prospect. Also sounds like he probably doesn't get out of the top 8 or so.
The standards have to be set somewhere, and teams have actuarial tables that show, for instance, how few QBs who are under 6-2 excel in the NFL. Doesn't mean none will excel, just that the odds go way, way down, and to do it they have to have some exceptional compensatory qualities. I just talked to Ron Wolf this week about his early drafts, and we talked about Buckley. He said he learned from picking Buckley, who I think was under 5-10, that small players don't succeed in Green Bay because of the weather and conditions from late October through January. So the standards matter. I'm sure at a certain point, if it's close enough, they can overlook it -- for instance, if it's only 1/8th or 1/4 an inch in height, for instance. But the old saying is, the problem when you start making exceptions is that pretty soon you end up with a roster full of exceptions. So of course we always can find good and great players who didn't meet one of the thresholds. But they are the exceptions, and the standards are there for a reason, if nothing else than to raise red flags.
Just to be clear, the Packers pick at 14, but agreed there's a good chance all those guys will be there. I'm intrigued by Landry, need to learn a little more about him. But maybe him.
WR is a real need. Adams has the concussion history, Cobb needs a No. 1 to be really productive and is in the last year of his contract. Allison might be ready to start, and Clark might be ready to contribute if he works hard in the offseason. But I'd still say WR is a fairly big need.
I'm not doing a mock draft but will make a prediction on their first-round pick.
That's tough. It's looking like they're all likely to go from 6 to 10, but I'm thinking James has the best chance to make it to 14, or at least closer than the others. That's my guest guess as of right now.
Can't give you a hard and fast answer, I'm not a scout, and unlike with guys who are already in the league, there's a huge second level to this because you're projecting from college to the pros. So I don't have an opinion worth hearing on that. But I will say, if Gutekunst thinks the guy is kind of special, then he should take him. Special players, great players, win games. So if Gutekunst thinks other teams are missing the boat on this guy, then take him even though the needs at OLB and CB are a little bigger.
You're talking about Fitzpatrick, and it sounds like he can play safety, slot and CB all at a fairly high level. Smart, instinctive and athletic enough to do all three. I'd think the Packers would like him as a slot guy.
To move from 41 to 26 to get Matthews in '09, the Packers had to give up two third rounders (plus No. 41 of course), and they got 26 and a fifth-rounder in return. They're picking at 45 in the second round this year, so that should give you an idea.