Hi everybody, let's get started. That's in fact something I kind of address in a column that will be posted later today. Not sure there's a pat answer to that, though if I had to guess, that's what I'd guess they'll end up doing, signing five or six guys whose average salaries range from maybe $2.5 million to, I don't know, $7 million or so. I could see the argument for going big on one guy, I've thrown Le'Veon Bell out as a possibility if it's in the range of $12 million, or there's Landon Collins, or maybe even one of the better pass rushers (Justin Houston) at about that price range and hoping for significant impact. The risk with that is if the guy gets hurt or underperforms, you don't have much else to show for it. If you go for five or six guys and bat .500, you're helped yourself some. It just depends on who the guys are. For instance, so many safeties have come available recently they might be able to get an OK stop-gap veteran for a pretty reasonable price. No telling what offensive lineman, say a possible starting guard, they might like. But push to shove, yeah, I kinda think they'll go the route you suggest. They'll check in on some higher-priced guys, but the best guess is those guys will be a little more expensive than they're willing to pay.
I don't. I mean, there's no knowing for sure what they'll do, and you never know what circumstances might come up. But they don't pick this high very often, and the odds of getting a really good player, while always something of a crapshoot, are much better at 12 than five or six or 10 spots later. With the depth in this draft on the D-line especially, I just have to think they'll sit there and pick at 12. You never know, and depending on how things go they could move back a couple spots, but that wouldn't get them an extra high pick in return like last year did. Best guess is they pick at 12 and hope they've identified a difference maker.
I do enjoy them. Way back when we started doing these, I don't even remember how many years ago, I wasn't a fan and felt like it was just burning time. But that was wrongheaded. It's really good to know what the people who follow this team and thinking and wondering, and you guys are always thinking of things or looking from a perspective I hadn't considered. So you keep my mind open. As to your question, yeah, that position has been devalued generally speaking, for quite a while. That's even been a point of discussion in the Hall of Fame selection meetings, so few safeties have been inducted until just the last couple years. With the cap and budgets, some positions have to be devalued, and I safety is one. I'd argue this has been going on for years. The franchise number for safeties has always been among the lowest of the positions. Aside from kicking specialists, I think safeties and tight ends have the lowest tenders. Yet, good safeties are still really valuable, and with offenses becoming more spread every year, good safeties who can cover but still tackle in the run game, or even play linebacker, have a lot of value. It's a tough position, requires an uncommon skill set. Derwin James from last year's draft looks like he might be a stud. But several safeties have been cut in the last week or two, fairly big-name guys. Might just be an anomaly, but seems like it's a position teams are looking to save money. Landon Collins is a good player but the Giants didn't think he was worth the cost of the franchise tag.
I'm sure they'll look into it, probably already did at the scouting combine. If I had to bet, I'd bet the price will be more than Gutekunst is willing to pay. But you never know. With all those safeties available maybe Collins' market will be soft.
Could go a couple ways, though my guess is it will be a free agent. Not ruling out Josh Jackson, though. I haven't heard anything, so this is just speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if they move him to safety and Tramon Williams back to CB.
I still don't know the prospects real well -- I've read a fair amount about them now on all the websites you've probably been checking, so I have a decent idea in that sense, but even the draftniks give you only a general impression. One thing I learned from writing the position-by-position draft series when I was a beat writer, opinions on players can vary widely, not only between teams but among scouts on the same team. So even if there's something of a consensus among a few public draft experts, a team's view of the players could be quite different. It does sound like Oliver is a talented guy, and even though he's as much an inside guy as an outside guy, I have to think he'd be in their discussion because he's a pass rusher. Pettine really emphasizes the inside rush, and they need a pass rusher (inside or outside) and really a difference maker more than they need any specific position. Even if they sign two rushers in free agency (a couple mid-level, or a more expensive one and a cheap one, whatever combo) I'd still draft a pass rusher in the first two or three rounds. I really think there's something to the way Seattle built its defense earlier in the decade, where they had about six or seven pretty decent rushers (Michael Bennett was the closest thing they had to a star), and they just kept coming at QBs in wave after wave with fresh legs. Hard to do -- just because you sign or draft someone doesn't mean he'll be good, but loading up there can pay off in a big way.
I find it hard to believe they won't. He looked like he was going to have a pretty good season last year until he got hurt.
I can't give an opinion worth hearing at this point, but that very well could be among the choices they'll face. The things you have to wonder about are position value and just how good you think the guy is. Inside linebacker doesn't have the position value that a pass rusher would, but if by chance you think White is special or maybe even a Derrick Brooks, then you have to take him. But you'd really have to feel confident about him being that good. He ran a 4.42, so he is an explosive guy. Sweat's testing was unbelievable, though I do wonder why his production doesn't quite match up to the talent, and I think I read something about him somewhere the concern that he's more of a straight-line guy. But obviously two intriguing players there. Pretty sure most of the mock drafts I've seen have them both gone by 12 but not much before. The mock drafts could look quite a bit different in six weeks. As for the Iowa TEs, just seems like Fant's great testing means neither he nor Hockenson will be there at 30.
Cutting Perry would pick them up $3.3M under the cap, and they're approximately $34M under the cap, now, so they'd be about $37M under if they make that move.
The best candidates for making a jump next year would be the two rookie receivers who played a lot (Valdes-Scantling, St. Brown), Josh Jackson and Oren Burks, Kevin King staying healthy, maybe Montravius Adams. Probably could even throw Tonyan in there. Alexander obviously too, though I thought he was pretty good overall as a rookie.
Agree. New offense and coach, he needs all the reps he can get, and that includes live reps in games. I'd think he'll play a lot more in the preseason than he has in the last five or so years. There's definitely a risk, and he should be under instructions to not take chances with his health as a scrambler, but yeah, he's got to get snaps in the new offense.
Yeah, I kinda do, wouldn't even rule out second round though it's probably unlikely. LaFleur wants to run the ball, and I don't think it's just lip service. His mentor is Kyle Shanahan, and the Shanahan offense emphasizes the outside zone, it's the starting point for the offense. Aaron Jones is a good and talented back, but three MCL sprains in his first two seasons (plus he missed a lot of camp last year with I think it was a hamstring injury) shows he just won't hold up to a heavy work load. They can't count on it, at any rate, even if he's able to add some strength (for body armor) in the offseason). Jamaal Williams is a good football player and guy you want on your team, but he's just not a good enough runner to split time IMHO, I think they need a more talented runner than that. So unless they sign one in free agency, which I'd guess isn't likely, then they'll have to draft one. I could be wrong, but I'm thinking it's a reasonably high priority.
That's a really important question. Not sure I have a satisfying answer. I'm inclined to say Baltimore's Za'Darius Smith, was thinking he might be had for $9M or 10M a year, but now I'm wondering if his price might end up several million dollars higher. I don't have a good feel for what Justin Houston will cost -- the Chiefs reportedly are going to cut him if they can't trade him. He's on the wrong side of 30, so maybe he can be had for $10M or so. I could see spending that on him. But these prices are kind of unpredictable until the dominoes start falling the first day or two of free agency. That's why things will be so fluid for the Packers. A lot of different scenarios could play out, and neither we nor they can have much confidence about which ones will actually pan out.
Yeah, he has a lot of resources -- not a ridiculous amount, the cap money will go fast (he has to save some for next season, for draft picks, and the RFA tenders will eat up a little too). But he can still sign some players and sure appears intent on doing so. Two first-round picks, including one at No. 12, and high picks in the second and third rounds, that's big. One really good draft can make a huge difference, look what the Saints' draft two years ago did for them.
Sorry, the question didn't post for two answers ago, here it is.
My best guess is he'll sign one, and then have a draft pick and guys on the roster fight it out for the other safety spot. As mentioned before, wouldn't be surprised if they move Jackson to safety as one possibility.
That's right, the intimidator safety really doesn't exist anymore. That's why Atwater has been a robust discussion in the HOF meetings, he doesn't have eye-popping stats for HOFer, but part of his value was dissuading teams from throwing over the middle. Those hits aren't allowed anymore. He'd a linebacker in today's game.
What would you consider the right price? Would I trade a third-rounder for him? Maybe. I'd have to think this through a lot more than I have. But I'd think somebody who doesn't have a QB would offer more than that. Also depends on what they think the odds are that Rodgers will make it until at least 40.
With all the safeties available in free agency I have to think they'll sign one. Slot receiver depends so much on cost. Beasley, for instance, is interesting but I wouldn't pay him anything even close to the $20M guaranteed he's looking for. I'd still sign at least one pass rusher if I'm them, whether it be at the upper end of what's available or more in the middle or lower tiers. They just need to add talent there, even if it's only a modest upgrade. Remember they need a starting guard too. The real answer is they probably need to be flexible when the free-agent dominoes start falling.
I haven't heard that and find it almost impossible to believe.
I just don't see any way they can play Aaron Jones anything close to full time. Don't see how he'd last the season, the odds of that would be really low. He is a dynamic player, but it doesn't do them much good to get a lot out of him for two-thirds of the season and then lose him to an injury down the stretch. If they want him on the field in December and January, they need another good runner to split the playing time with him.
Totally guessing here, but I'd guess the odds are low, they'd have to sign him to a contract extension that would be a huge investment, and I'm guessing it would be more than they're willing to pay.
Coming out of college he was a Matthews' type LB in the sense that scouts said he could be an outside linebacker in the 4-3 (playing off the ball) or in the 3-4 (as an outside rusher). So it does make you wonder if he could transition and be a 3-4 OLB for them, he had that kind of talent coming out. But he's been playing off the ball with the Vikings for what, five years now? So that would be pretty risky to invest a lot of guaranteed money in him for a new role at this point in his career. So I'd guess no. But you never know, maybe they've seen something that makes them think he could do it. He turns 27 in March. Not young, not old.
I'd think they will at least try. Sure looks like he's going to test the market. Often that means the guy is gone, but in this case not necessarily. I really don't know what his market will be. All it takes is one, and maybe somebody out there thinks he's still worth a lot as a part-time outside rusher. If I'm the Packers I'd hope to bring him back at a relatively modest price ($5M or so plus incentives?) to play primarily inside but occasionally rush from the outside.
There are ways to lead besides being vocal -- mainly by competing really hard on the field and working hard during the week, teammates see that, and being engaged and communicating even if in a quieter way. Based on his college career, Oren Burks looks like a potential leader, but of course he's got to play well enough to get on the field first. Alexander looks like he really competes, so he could be a possibility.
This will have to be the last question, other duties to get to. Not many questions when I logged on but they came fast and furious once we got started, so apologies if I didn't get to yours, just way to many to answer them all. We'll do it again next week, so try again then if you didn't get through this time. As for your question Bill, I can't give you a straight up yes or no, but my gut inclination is to guess no. If I'm the Packers I'd only do that if I were convinced the guy is special and quite a bit better than the other rushers available. I just don't know if either Bosa or Allen would qualify. Not saying no way, maybe they in fact think one of them is a future Hall of Famer. But for all we know, they actually might like a couple of the other rushers as much if not a little better. Like I said early in the chat, I'd probably just sit at 12 and pick, that's pretty high in the draft, and this draft seems deep enough to get a prospect they'll like a lot in that spot. And with that, we'll put another chat in the books. Thanks again everyone, enjoyed the discussion as always, look forward to doing it again next week. Until then, take care.