Thierry from Paris, France
Vic, I keep reading Jaire Alexander is playing bigger than his size. I like the two cornerbacks drafted by the Packers, however, you used to say to be cautious of this type of player, as the game already is physical enough for big guys. Should we be concerned or just enjoy his other skills?
Prior to the rules changes of 1978, cornerbacks were measured for their physical toughness because they were integral in run support and pass coverage was all about jamming receivers in the bump-and-run technique. These days, cornerbacks are judged by their ability to mirror receivers. Today's cornerbacks are basketball defenders. They have to be able to move with their man and have the quickness to go for the steal. I don't see playing big as a requirement or a danger at the position. Now, if you're equating playing big with playing high, that's a different story. Cornerbacks in today's game need to go up and make a play on the ball.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
How many NFL teams do you think fall into this category: "If we stay healthy and catch a few breaks when we need them, we can win the Super Bowl."
That would describe all of the teams that have an elite quarterback. The Packers have an elite quarterback, and if they can keep him and their key players healthy, and catch a few breaks when they need them, it's not outlandish to think they can win a championship. That is not, however, my expectation for this season at this time. I see the Packers in a restorative year, and my hope is they'll be able to compete for a playoff spot.
Ben from Chicago, IL
Vic, is it safe to assume that in picking at 14 the Packers made out much better than they would have at their typical position in recent drafts?
If they were picking at their usual spot at the bottom of the order, I doubt they'd have that extra first-round pick in 2019. Picking high is a huge reward for losing. Anybody who thinks otherwise either doesn't get it or elects to kid themselves.
Zach from Chicago, IL
Which team do you currently believe has set themselves up best for a Super Bowl run this year, or a continued run of success?
The Rams would be the consensus answer to the first part of your question, but I'm more interested in the second part. The five teams (Browns, Jets, Bills, Cardinals and Ravens) that picked quarterbacks in the first round interest me. Which of those teams will have changed the course of their franchise's history as a result of their quarterback choice?
Eric from Lansing, MI
Coach McCarthy has no weaknesses, you say. That is high praise, except he has to be judged by special strengths if he is going to win. Apart from your often repeated "McCarthy is a leader of men," what is his greatest strength?
He has the best offensive mind of any coach I've covered. I love what he does by formation. He's a master at creating mismatches. Coach McCarthy uses schemes to scheme personnel, which leaves defenses to scheme schemes.
Nate from Pueblo, CO
One position, Vic. One position! How many teams wish they only had one position to upgrade?
No team is one player or one position away. That fact has been confirmed to me over and over during the years I've covered football. Dedicate all of your attention to one position, and a rash of injuries will decimate another position. You take what the draft gives you, and then you patch at what the draft couldn't give you. That's life in the seven-round, salary cap era.
Stephen from Chicago, IL
Josh Jackson seems like a steal. Did the Packers get two first-round talents? Or did he land where he should have been picked?
I like the Jackson pick as much or more as the Jaire Alexander pick. Give me Jackson and Marcus Davenport and my expectations for the Packers this season might not be as guarded as they are, but I sure like that extra first-round pick.
Craig from Subiaco, AR
Vic, in your last column you stated the Packers fixed their cornerback problem with this draft. Did you think the same thing when they drafted Randall and Rollins? If not, what's different in your mind?
Randall and Rollins were attempts to catch lightning in a bottle; they were projection picks in what was a weak NFL draft class. There's no such wildness with the Alexander and Jackson picks. They're groomed and ready to go.
Blake from Normal, IL
Vic, we talked about arrows on Monday. On that same theme, what direction is the arrow pointing for the Bears?
Mitchell Trubisky will determine the direction. I think it's pointing straight up. I think Roquan Smith can make the Bears defense a force. The rest of their draft? Mezza mezza.
Derrick from Rockaway, NJ
Who was the most successful "Mr. Irrelevant?"
My favorite is a short, stout guard named Tyrone McGriff. He had a nice career, but it's his "Mr. Irrelevant" story I like; it was fun to write. He was the last pick of the 1980 draft. The Steelers had defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the previous season's Super Bowl, which meant the Rams picked next to last in the '80 draft. Newport Beach, Calif., is the home of the "Mr. Irrelevant" event, and the Rams liked the PR benefits they could've enjoyed by drafting "Mr. Irrelevant." They passed on their pick, hoping the Steelers would pick and the Rams could then follow with the final pick of the draft, but the Steelers wanted the free trip to Calif. for their pick, so they passed on their pick. The Rams then picked and the Steelers followed by selecting McGriff. The kicker to the story is McGriff is the only "Mr. Irrelevant" who elected not to attend the event.
Dave from Savage, MN
The new Packers punter says his plant foot doesn't leave the ground when he punts, and when you look at the video, it doesn't. It looks very different. The only other guy I can remember like that is Reggie Roby. Am I missing anyone? Any good punting style stories?
I covered a punter named Craig Colquitt. He was a two-step punter whose style was stiff looking. It's possible his plant leg didn't leave the ground. The charm of the two-step technique is it's so difficult to block a two-stepper's punt, defenses don't even try.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, what are your overall thoughts of the Jaguars draft? I feel this is a true BAP draft. There may be no starters this year, but quite a few jars on the shelf. It made it very clear this is first and foremost a young man's game.
I love the Taven Bryan and Ronnie Harrison picks. The Jaguars' strong defense got stronger.
Adam from Wausau, WI
You said the Packers needed to get faster at wide receiver. It appears they got bigger and faster at wide receiver in this draft. What's your take?
They used the shotgun approach at wide receiver. They drafted the same guy three times. It's similar to what they did at running back last season. The theory is one of the three will address the need at the position.
Nancy from Pluffer, MA
The term "country strong" is meant to describe someone who has a natural strength, not necessarily developed in the weight room. What player throughout your career would you say was the best example of "country strong?"
It's Carlton Haselrig. He's the most naturally powerful player I've ever covered.