Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

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

    so many needs we move back for two more picks RIGHT
    OK everybody, lots to talk about today. Let's get to it. There's a lot of logic in moving back though I don't know if they'd get two extra picks. In '08 they got an R4 for moving from 30 to 36. This is how I'd handicap it, though remember I'm just guessing like everyone else: Maybe trade up a couple spots for Queen or Murray, or hope one makes it to 30. If not, try  hard to trade back. If you can't find a decent deal to move back, then sit and pick somebody else. That's my guess.
    With all the whining coming from GMs and coaches about the remote draft do you think there’s a chance for a bit more chaos this year than normal? Or will they get into the swing of it pretty quickly?
    I'm sure there are a lot of things that could go wrong, big and small, but my guess is all in all it will come off fine. Sounds like the league is going to allow some leeway for time to make trades, etc., if there are any kind of technical glitches. I bet everybody adapts quickly.
    It doesn’t seem like Gute is as strict about the size requirements as TT was except at WR. Any chance he gets away from that in order to add more speed and athleticism. It doesn’t seem like they need anoth 6’4” guy with 4.5 straight speed and no wiggle. They need more explosion and athleticism IMO. It always seemed a failing of TT to be so rigid on size requirements.
    That's pretty much what I'm thinking. I mean, if they go for size again this year, it presumably will be somebody with more receiving talent than what they have -- Valdes-Scantling was an R5, St. Brown an R6, Lazard and Kumerow UDFA, though Funchess was an R2. So I'm thinking it would be smart to bring in a different kind of guy, somebody more like you describe. That's why I'm wondering if Aiyuk and Reagor would be the best fits for this corps, either would bring something quite different than what they already have. And Aiyuk has that 80-inch wingspan, tied for like fifth-widest of the 54 WRs at the combine, that's a good compensatory quality for being just under 6-feet. But Gutekunst clearly, clearly likes big receivers.
    If Cole Kmet is still available when the Packers choose in round 2, Does Gutey take him?
    He'd have to seriously think about it, depending on whether he's done anything at ILB and who's on the board at that position. If the ILB Brooks from Texas Tech is still available -- I'd think he'd be long gone -- or maybe Davis-Gaither of Appalachian State, I'd have to think those guys would be possibilities too. Sure sounds to me like Kmet is unlikely to make it to 62 though.
    Pete, hope you are doing well. Why hasn’t any consideration been given to trying Jenkins at RT. He did it briefly in college and seems to have the feet to do it. RT is a premium position with AR at the helm.
    Can't tell you for sure, because it does seem like he could play out there. But he's such a good guard they might just want to leave him there. They also might be leaving the door open to moving him to center down the road too. But he could be a really good guard, and need you need good players to block those top inside rushers.
    With so many quality receivers are available, does it make more sense for the Packers to draft a receiver in the 2nd round instead of the 1st? Which receivers, if any, look the most NFL-ready (think Greg Jennings) that might be available in the 2nd round?
    That's definitely one school of thought. The one thing you don't know is whether there's a guy in that first or second tier of WRs who they think is better than the others. For instance, there might be teams that think Jefferson is the top WR, and if you can get him after the other three guys (Jeudy, Ruggs and Lamb) then you do it. I know a couple scouts who are really high on Aiyuk and think he's a notch better than everybody after the top four guys. In that case there's an argument for picking him later R1 rather than somebody else in R2. But as you suggest there's also the approach that evaluations can be wrong, and if there's all these good WRs you have just as good a chance to get a better one in R2 than mid to later R1, so take another position and then take your chances on a different WR in R2. I don't really have a feel for who would be more NFL-ready. I'm not sure teams do either. I don't know that the Packers knew Jennings was ready to contribute as much as he did until they got him on the practice field. Just from what a couple scouts have told me, the Baylor WRs come from a simple system, and their adjustment to the NFL seems to take longer than others, so that would argue against Mims being a big contributor as a rookie.
    Pete,
    The top four wide receivers will be gone by 30 so unless Gutey trades up they should wait for wr until second round. Also if Love is there at 30 they should take him.
    If they want Aiyuk or Reagor, they'd probably have to take him at 30 (Aiyuk might not make that far). Maybe they could get Reagor real early 2 if they trade back. A knowledgeable scout yesterday said he doesn't see Love making it 30.
    Hey Pete, I am extremely concerned that Gutey is going to be impatient and burn away his picks by moving up to snag a WR when he could, after all, just sit back at 30 and let the draft come to him. In a draft as deep as this at WR - why not keep the picks to build depth at other positions?
    What say you.
    I've seen the reports that he might be interested in going up to get Jefferson, and I have to say that really surprised me, for the reason you state. Again, if he thinks really highly of Jefferson and sees something special there, then I guess you do it. But you better be right, because there's a big element of luck involved in drafting, and to move up to get Jefferson probably would be pretty costly, like a third-rounder I'm guessing. So I'm in your camp. I could see trading up a few spots for an ILB, there aren't nearly as many good prospects available at that position, and I don't think I'd trade more than an R4 to do it. But to go up 8 or 10 spots for a WR seems really risky to me. We'll see what Gutekunst does tonight.
    Pete, as always, thanks for these chats. With the lack of depth and talent at the tight end position is there any chance that the Packers take a flyer on the tight end the bears released last week? Burton I believe is his name?
    Guess I wouldn't rule it out, though I do wonder how well he fits what they want to do. He's on the shorter side and I'm not sure if he's much of a blocker, which they'd want with the zone-run scheme unless the guy is an outstanding WR. Maybe if they don't draft a WR they'd consider, though they have real cap limitations and some other pressing needs (run stopping DT, maybe Tramon Williams as nickel CB).
    Are either Jacob Hollister or OJ Howard available for future draft picks?
    Either would be a huge upgrade at tight end for Aaron Rodgers.
    Sounds like Howard is available, though at what cost I'm not sure. I saw a report yesterday that said TB wants a lot for Howard and is fine with keeping him to pair with Gronkowski. Also, Howard has only a year left on his contract, so it could end up being a one-year rental. How much are willing to give up for that? An R5? Don't know if TB would take that.
    Pete – I have a theory that the Packers have no intention of drafting a quarterback, at least in the first three rounds. They may want to present the illusion that they may draft one to keep trade options available. The comparisons between the Brett Favre days and Rogers are nonsensical. Brett was threatening at every turn that he was set to retire, while Rogers says he wants to play for at least four more years… Big difference! Pete obviously you can Remember those days are you in agreement?
    I actually was talking with someone else on the beat earlier this week about that exact topic, whether Gutekunst openly saying he's open to drafting a QB in R1 was a smokescreen. Very well could be. Agree that Favre had already been talking about retirement at this point in his career whereas Rodgers is saying he wants to play into his 40s. But there's another difference cutting the other way, Rodgers has had some injuries, and there's a chance another one could diminish him quicker. When you get down to it, I'm guessing they don't draft a QB high until next year or the year after.
    About three summers ago, I attended a Packers mini camp in mid June. I was no more than twenty feet from the offensive line men. They were doing some sort of cross over foot drill while moving laterally. It was quite complicated and some were actually tripping and falling. Jason Spriggs had by far the best drill and was so agile. I thought he was going to be great. Why do some surprise and become a bust?
    There's no easy answer for that, that's why scouting is so hard. I remember when they drafted Spriggs, I talked to two OL coaches in the league and both were really high on him, thought it was a really good pick in R2. And then the guy totally busts. He was a really good athlete as a tester, looked like one on tape in college, but in the NFL he lacked strength and didn't play as athletically as he looked. Then you take a guy like Mark Tauscher, he was hardly body beautiful, a seventh-round pick, but it turned out he was just a really good athlete despite that chunky physique, just natural athleticism and strength. Scouting budgets in the NFL are huge now, and they have all these analytics, yet there's still a big element of luck in picking players. It takes skill, for sure, to be a good scout, but there's also a decent amount of luck in drafting, too, because all these teams have their share of good scouts.
    Hi Pete, I see you picked OT Erza Cleveland as the packers pick at 30. What other players do you see available at 30? Such as Murray and Queens at ILB, Jefferson, Mims at WR. If none of these players are available what would they get in return for a trade down to 33 or 34?
    So i did a couple different mock drafts. I think in the LA Times draft Aiyuk was still on the board, and Murray and Queen were gone, so I took Aiyuk. In the USA Today draft, Murray and Queen were gone, so was Aiyuk, so I took Cleveland. In my own pick prediction, which went online this morning, I guessed they'll either get Queen at 30 or maybe more likely trade up three or four spots to get him. I talked to a  handful of scouts yesterday, three thought Murray would go before Queen and that there was a chance Queen makes it to 30, and a pretty decent chance he'd at least make it to 26 or 27 for a trade up by GB. Another scout who I respect greatly said the opposite -- no way Queen even gets close to 30, Murray might. So I guessed Queen will get through. I'm still not sure either one gets close within striking distance of 30, but we'll see. I'm thinking if neither is there or in striking distance, try hard to trade back, though I don't know if Gutekunst is thinking that way. A trade back still allows for a shot at a good WR prospect, maybe an ILB prospect (Baun or Brooks), a tackle prospect (Cleveland?) or a DL (Blacklock?). Then by picking up, say, an R4, you have an extra pick to trade up in R2 or R3 for a guy you really like, or keep the pick and hope you land a good player (Bakhtiari, Sitton and Lang were all R4s).
    Hi Pete and thanks for the chat. I thought La Fleur's scheme called for a fairly prominent role for a fullback. Yet they did not retain Vitale. I thought he showed promise but was not used much. There is a fullback on the roster, Wellman, but know nothing about him. Do you think fullback is still an option in the scheme? Might they draft one? Rich
    I've got to think FB is still a position he wants to fill. He's a Kyle Shanahan protege, and look at the emphasis Shanahan puts on that position. I thought Vitale was underused last year too. He wasn't a good blocker but he had real skill as a WR. Wonder if they'll draft one late on Saturday.
    Pete
    Greetings! I have been on my horse on blogs about moving Gary to DE. His position in college. We were told his stats were not great in college because he funneled all the traffic for Devin Bush to clean up. I'm sick of drafting DE and trying to move them to OLB. To many to name the failures. I'm told Gary is too light--- at 277 !?! Then put 12 lbs on him and hes 290 !!! Clark needs the help. Lets do it now before he turns into Ed Perry, or Datone Jones.
    I've wondered all along if Gary will end up being an inside player because of his size -- 277 is almost big enough to play in there, and I agree, you'd think he could add a few pounds. But during the season Pettine seemed pretty adamant that Gary is an outside guy, and Gutekunst and LaFleur strongly echoed that after the season. They seem him as like Za'Darius Smith -- an outside guy who can run from the inside on passing downs. Maybe their thinking will change in a year, I don't know. But they seem to see him the same as when they drafted him. Gary is probably best built for a 4-3 left end, but really if a guy's a good player, schemes and coaches have to be flexible enough to make use of his best skills.
    The most watched draft in NFL history? Will the ratings rival Thursday Sunday or Monday night football?
    I have to think the ratings will be off the charts, relatively speaking. I think I saw a post on ProFootballTalk where someone in the know was predicting ratings at least as high as a Monday night game. The appetite should be huge. Everybody's is Netflixed/Amazon Primed/Hulued-out. There's nothing knew on the networks. Sports fans are craving anything live and new.
    It seems there's a chance at least part of the season might be cancelled and some or all of the games could be played without fans. Could there be an adjustment to players salaries if that's the case? Also the 2021 cap will be set off this years revenues. If those are down 20-25% because of the virous would the cap also go down? The Packers have $160M committed to 2021 and 5 starters set to be FA.
    Yeah, i was reading something yesterday that said all the NFL CBA calls for is "good faith" negotiations between the union and league for the 2021 cap, which obviously have to take into account the revenue shortfalls if there are no fans for some or all games, or a shorter schedule. The lower cap could create some problems for teams, no question. Wonder if they'd try to lower the cap growth in subsequent years instead, so cap growth over several years would be flatter than in recent years. All part of the uncharted territory we're in.
    Hi Pete, if Zach Baun is available at the packers pick do they take him assuming Queen and Murray are gone? Do you think he would be able to step in at an ILB as a starter without mini camps etc? Thanks
    I've been thinking about that. My guess is they'd be hesitant to take him in R1 but maybe would do it early R2 if they traded back and he's still there. The reason is, there's a lot of projection with him, because he played mostly OLB at Wisconsin but would be primarily ILB with the Packers. He appears to have the ability to do it, but it's still a projection, they haven't seen him do it much on tape. They tried the position change with Randall as an R1 and that didn't work. They're trying it with Gary now. The scouts in the league I've talked to said they'd wait until R2 to take him unless maybe you're like NE or Tennessee and your ILBs and OLBs are kind of interchangeable. So that's my best guess on when they'd be willing to draft him. If they picked him in early R2 I'd have to think they'd expect him to play a fair amount as a rookie even with no offseason practice. They are awfully think at ILB. He was a HS QB, made the change to OLB in college, so you have to think there's football smarts there.
    Hi Pete, Thanks for the chats on Draft Day. I'm getting excited! If Gutey could not get ILB on days 1 and 2, what will be a backup plan? Pray Kirksey being healthy and/or Burk's big jump is not an option. Right? For OT, I'm pretty comfortable at least this year if Gutey could resign Veldheer. ILB is the biggest hole, isn't it?
    Again, these are famous last words, but I'm thinking they're definitely taking a WR in the first three rounds, and probably an ILB too. They don't have much at ILB after Kirksey, and he's been so injury prone the last two years, they'd be crazy to bet on him making it through the season healthy. They do have a little more leeway at tackle, though even if they re-sign Veldheer, they really don't want him starting more than a couple games in a row as a backup, his body is just so beaten up. WR and ILB are the biggest holes IMHO.
    So far BG has had mixed success in his first couple of drafts. Do you trust him to make good selections? If he has a mediocre or worse draft, how long of a leash does he have?
    His first draft looked pretty promising after one season, not so hot after this past season. But Alexander is a good player, and if he becomes a stud, that counts for a lot. Second draft looks promising, again after only one year, and a lot will depend on Gary and Savage this year. Drafting is huge, I don't mean to undersell, but GMs in the end are graded on the big picture. So if you don't draft great for a couple years, how do you do in building your roster in other ways? He hit big in FA last year with the Smiths. That counts for a lot too. The job is to win, by hook or crook. Eventually you have to draft well, and he'll need to hit on picks, there's no getting around it. I'd think his leash is relatively long, though we are a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" species.
    Pete, I'm thinking the Packers may consider a RB or CB with their first pick. A premium player allows the Packers to let either Aaron Jones or Kevin King leave in free agency next year. They could get similar production for a fraction of the cost, thereby improving the health of their salary cap considerably. What do you think?
    There's a plausible argument for an RB because of the importance of the run game and Jones' durability issues. But in the end, with their numerous other needs and the position value (seems like you can find good RBs in mid-to-late rounds) I'm still thinking RB is a little too much of a luxury with their first pick. As for CB, the more I've thought about it the last few weeks, the greater I see the need. Right now Chandon Sullivan their No. 3, and King, who has a worrisome injury history, is in the last year of his deal. They really need to upgrade the No. 3 CB immediately and be ready for the possibility of King departing next year. Now, they can sign Tramon Williams after the draft for the nickel job, but still ... Josh Jackson's prospects are not looking good, and unless they think Ka'Dar Hollman is going to develop into a lot more than a special teams player, they need corners. Just not sure i see the value in late R1 or early R2 at corner relative to WR, T or maybe ILB though.
    Pete
    In a previous Chat I asked you to make a pick between Love, Queen, 3 WR's or trade back...You started with it would depend on how much you liked the QB....what have you learned and would you pick him above all else if available at 30
    I have learned more, though I would in now way take this as a definitive answer or anything like that, because none of us knows how Love is going to turn out. From what I've heard in the last few days, there's not much chance Love is going to be there at 30, somebody is going to trade up to get him in the 20s if he's not taken before then. If he's there at 30, I'm guessing the Packers would look hard for a trade partner who really wants him, and if that happened they'd pick somebody else. I don't have a lot to base that on other than they'd have to like him a lot -- I'm thinking, they'd have to think he has at least a 40 percent chance of being a winning NFL starter to consider taking him -- and with the way his evals are all over the map, I just have doubts that they'd think his chances are that good. So I'm thinking they'd pass on him. But that's just a guess.
    Pete
    It seems Gutekunst and even TT picked more to top needs vs best player available...Perhaps my memory is short but I seem to remember Wolf going more toward BPA even if that player was in a position of strength on the team as his philosophy was a strength can quickly become a weakness...GM's say they pick BPA on off their boards but they also have the luxury of stacking it to slant toward needs....Comments Please and which is best policy.
    Wolf did a lot of need picking -- remember he took a CB with each of his first three picks in 1999 -- and Thompson did a fair amount of BPA. For instance, WR wasn't their biggest need when he took Nelson, and I don't remember DL being a glaring need when he picked Harrell. Here's how a really highly ranked scout put it to me this week when we talked about this: He said you pick the best player available within reason. You do have to use some common sense. If things are pretty close between two or three players, you probably should take the one that's the greatest need. If you think there's a real difference, you take the better player unless it's a lower-value position and you're already good there (like for instance, center or guard). Then they also need to take into account the positions of strength and weakness in the draft. If there are a lot of guys at one position of need and maybe not many at another, you have to think about finding the weaker position first. It's as much art as science.
    We've begun to hear some free agents state that they prefer not to play in Green Bay because of the cold. Do you have a sense that as Aaron Rodgers ages that the attraction to play for Green Bay is diminishing for free agents and draft picks?
    I can't say I've gotten that feeling. I mean, with all the other cities available in the league playing in Green Bay isn't for everybody, and it's always been that way. It's still really attractive because they have great facilities, they treat their players great, and they can pay as well as anybody in the league. They have great resources. And some players love the smaller city. But there are some who would much rather be in a bigger and/or warmer city, and it's always going to be that way. Every once in a while that could be a determining factor for a free agent, but in the end money talks, so the contract is the biggest recruiter, and having a top QB is huge too, because guys want to win. Rodgers is still very much a draw for the Packers. What will be interesting is whether things change when he's gone.
    Hey Pete,, I'm thinking I usually trust Gute's management. But I am thinking it's nuts to not bring back Tramon. Even losing a step this year he would still be a viable 4 th CB not to mention his leadership in helping rookies for the price of less than 1% of the budget. You don't want him playing every down anyway. He should only be a situational or emergency CB. What do you think?
    Looks to me like they're seeing what happens in the draft before committing to him. My guess is nobody else is trying to sign -- he is 37 after all -- and he has more value to the Packers because he knows the system, so they know they can wait. I guess if I had to bet, I'd bet they end up re-signing him, and that he'll play a lot, either as their nickel guy or rotating in a lot. Again, just a guess.
    Recalling that Davonte Adams struggled in his second season, is it probable that MVS will get a good shot at redeeming himself with his drops issue? Will the recently hired sports psychologist work on these on-field issues with players?
    Adams was a more talented and savvy receiver -- he wasn't as straight-line fast as Valdes-Scantling, but he had a much better feel for the game. But yes, Valdes-Scantling will get a shot at redeeming himself this year. He has great size and speed, that counts for something. He also expresses the desire to be a great player, and if it's not just talk, that counts for a lot too. But he's got become a more sophisticated receiver. He could have really used the practice reps this offseason.
    with all the predictions about drafting a wideout, which of the current wideouts is on the bubble? Kumerow? ESB? MVS? Shepherd? Lazard?
    They could easily keep seven. Adams, Funchess, Lazard, St. Brown and the high draft pick count for five if all stay healthy. Everybody else would be on the bubble IMHO.
    With so many total draft misses, especially after the first round, I do no understand why GMs are so reluctant to trade picks to move up into the first round or for an established veteran. Seems to go against simple logic.
    Mainly because football is a young man's game, and you have to constantly replenish your roster with younger and -- this is important too -- cheaper talent. Even high picks are relatively cheap. Guys get old so fast in this league. At 26 they're playing their best football and at 28 they're often starting to show age from all the wear and tear and injuries.
    We all see the need for an ILB, but does Gutey value the position enough to take a player in the first couple rounds? If so, that would be a departure from many years of Green Bay Packers draft history and strategy. If I remember right, Barnett and Hawk were the last two ILBs that they drafted high, and since then they've collectively ignored the position, even though it's an area of need.
    Very relevant question, and it's not just Gutekunst but Pettine. Yes, it would be a departure, but it looks to me like the league is starting to emphasize ILB a little more the last few years because it's such a hard position to fill and offenses try to exploit it. If you go small and play dime all the time, like the Packers do, you're vulnerable to being run on. And if you go bigger, offenses will match those LBs against good TEs and good-receiving RBs. It's hard to find a guy who's big and explosiveness enough to play the run fairly well and also hold up covering all that ground in the middle in the field. To get a guy like that you usually have to use a high pick unless you get pretty lucky in the later rounds. Among other things, we'll have to see if Pettine will play more nickel (instead of dime) than the last two seasons t if they draft an ILB high. Will they put the rookie and Kirksey on the field together a decent amount?
    trey burton has signed with Colts
    This addressed an earlier question, I forgot that, thanks for the reminder.
    What did you make of Gutey's comment about "not waiting too long" to get the guy they want?
    This will have to be the last question, other duties to get to as the draft closes in tonight. Groundhog Day ends for at least three days. As for your question, I took that and his other comments to mean he wants maneuver up and down the draft board. Sure sounds like he's hoping to be an active trader. The beauty of it is, all the talk is coming to a close, and now it's time for action. Finally. Just want to say thanks to everyone who stopped by with a question or comment, they poured in so I didn't have time to get even half of them, but I'm hoping I addressed in one way or another what most of you were wondering about. Special thanks to our subscribers, our thorough coverage wouldn't exist without you. And a reminder, if you don't subscribe you can get the Packers News app, I think the introductory offer is $1 for the first month, then only $4.99 a month after that for all the Packers coverage we produce, which is a lot. And with that, we'll wrap this up and get ready for the big happenings tonight and all weekend. Take care everybody, stay safe and well!
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement