Stephan from Vienna, Austria
After the draft, in which direction is the arrow pointing for your three teams, in your opinion?
They all addressed need with value picks, and that makes me believe they each have north-pointing arrows. The Packers fixed their cornerback problem, which I believe is the most dramatic cure of the three teams to which you are referring (Packers, Steelers, Jaguars). The Steelers focused on their safety problem and drafted two prospects with one theme in mind: Get tougher. Terrell Edmunds and Marcus Allen are big, physical safeties. The selection of quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round gives the Steelers' draft home run potential. Rudolph is a run-pass-option quarterback who'll fit nicely in the Steelers' offense and the team's future. The Jaguars drafted a player I believe has J.J. Watt potential. Taven Bryan is a powerful, mauling type of defensive lineman who'll make a strong defense stronger. You can never have enough big guys and the Jaguars needed to get a young cornerstone player for their defensive front.
Dave from North Potomac, MD
All cover and no rush? Does Green Bay already have the rush they need?
You can't draft everybody. The Packers had a choice to make: Pick rush and draft Marcus Davenport, or pick cover and maneuver to select Jaire Alexander. Mike Pettine will try to create a pass rush the same way Dom Capers tried to do it: Create confusion and chaos by disguising coverages and blitzes. By fixing the cornerback problem, the Packers will allow themselves more coverage time to get home with the rush. Be that as it may, I share your concern for the failure to address the pass rush.
Jon from Bloomfield, NJ
I'm rooting for all of the new starting quarterbacks. The current generation of QBs is fairly old, so the NFL really needs the young franchise signal-callers to develop. Has there ever been a QB drought in the history of the NFL, other than times when players were at war?
Other than a few guys at the top, such as Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford, I think the pickings got a little slim at quarterback from 2006-2010. I consider it to have been a mini-drought that caused a lot of teams to waste picks and push some panic buttons at the position. It underscores how fortunate the Packers were to have selected Aaron Rodgers in 2005.
David from White River Junction, VT
Scrolling through Saturday's draft picks, I noticed quite a few kickers, punters and even the Packers long snapper. Is that a reflection of a lack of depth in this draft class or is something else going on?
When teams are picking kickers and long-snappers in an era of declining kicking-game importance, it almost has to be the result of the class having been weak at the playing positions. I couldn't help but notice how quickly this draft ran out of name-recognition players.
Pete from Minneapolis, MN
What if Vince Biegel turns out to be the reincarnation of Deacon Jones?
What if he doesn't?
Vincent from Seattle, WA
What did you think of the new GM's first draft?
It's very original and I like that. Brian Gutekunst was clearly picking from his board and not from popular opinion. It's a working man's draft class. What the class lacks is a sexy pick. It doesn't include a quarterback, for example, or a high-round wide receiver about whom fans can obsess and make wild predictions.
David from Hilliard (wherever that is)
Vic, what is the best thing about this draft for the Packers?
The problem at cornerback has been fixed.
Kevin from Silverdale, WA
Vic, the only draftnik who had us picking Alexander was Mike Mayock. He seems to have a talent for guessing our picks.
Mayock is good. I trust his evaluations. His weakness is his delivery lacks pizzazz. He's kind of a banker/draftnik. I've always gotten the feeling he's used his draftnik status to audition for a GM job. Ultimately, that might be good for him, but his ultra-serious delivery doesn't mesh well with the fun aspect of the draft process.
Dave from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, I grew up in West Virginia about 75 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. As a West Virginia Mountaineer fan, I listened to Jack Fleming call WVU games on the radio. I know he also called Steelers games, including “The Immaculate Reception.” Any thoughts on Jack?
Jack was a friend. He called me "Country Boy," which I considered flattering because Jack was a country guy through and through. In my opinion, Jack's claim to fame as the Steelers' play-by-play man is he's the guy whose voice you hear in replays of the "Immaculate Reception." Curt Gowdy blew the call. He didn't know where the ball was or what had happened. Jack's call was spot on, step for step: "Hang onto your hats, here come the Steelers out of the huddle. Terry Bradshaw at the controls. Twenty-two seconds remaining. And this crowd is standing. And Bradshaw, back and looking again. Bradshaw, running out of the pocket, looking for somebody to throw to, fires it downfield, and there's a collision! It's caught out of the air! The ball is pulled in by Franco Harris! Harris is going for a touchdown for Pittsburgh! Harris is going. Five seconds left on the clock. Franco Harris pulled in the football. I don't even know where he came from!" Jack's "15 minutes" of fame were the result of 17 seconds of clarity.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
Ward went fourth, Mayock had Jaire as his top cornerback, and the Packers get a first-round pick next year in the process. Too good to be true?
If you favor cover over rush, the Packers' draft is a windfall for you. Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson and last year's top pick, Kevin King, give the Packers a trio of young cornerbacks who should secure the position deep into the future. The extra first-round pick? Maybe it'll be used to draft Aaron Rodgers' successor.
Adam from Oshkosh, WI
Vic, with Gutekunst netting a first-round pick in the 2019 draft from the first-night trades, shouldn't that pick be included in the evaluation of Davenport-Alexander?
It absolutely should be included, but it likely won't because draft classes tend to stand on their own.
Seth from Kenosha, WI
Cornerbacks in the first and second round. Is it any different this time?
It's very different this time around because Alexander and Jackson aren't projections. They aren't a baseball player and a basketball player. Alexander and Jackson are football players and proven cornerbacks.
Joseph from Hollywood, FL
Quote from Jaire Alexander: “I’ve played against bigger receivers who are 6-5. It doesn’t really matter. My mentality is I’m going to beat the man in front of me. That’s just a part of being a student of the game. I don’t pay any attention to size or anything like that.” I like this kid!
Acta non verba.
Dan from Houston, TX
Well, Vic, how did Gute do?
I posed that question to Tony Pauline and this is his answer: "Solid to real good. A lot of potential on the third day, while filling needs on days one and two."
Jeremy from Lethbridge (wherever that is)
Vic, what do you make of the Steelers not drafting a linebacker for the first time since 2009?
It's a shocker, just as it shocks me the Packers traded away from a pass rusher for the second consecutive year. The Packers focused on their problem at cornerback, and the Steelers focused on their problem at safety. I think the message is you can't fix everything. Also, the Steelers might be telling us they plan to use their safeties as hybrid inside linebackers.
Andy from Thompsontown, PA
Vic, how did Jason Cabinda go undrafted? He was great this year. I thought he would fit in as an edge man for someone. I think you even mentioned him in your column.
I was asked about a run-stuffing inside linebacker. Cabinda isn't an edge rusher, he's a grunt, and that's why he went undrafted. The inside guys are two-down players and, therefore, undervalued. The Raiders acquired a lot of value in signing Cabinda as an undrafted free agent. You can find those inside guys among the undrafted.
Matt from Madison, WI
I've read your column since you joined packers.com through to the new "Ask Vic" and I've never had a question that someone else hadn't already asked. Well, I have one now. It seems to me the message sent by the Packers' first-round trades is Brian Gutekunst doesn't think the fix is a one-year proposition, and he'll need more talent than fans want to believe. Do you think he sees this as a two-year fix, therefore, the extra first-rounder next year will pay off more? It would give them a shot at a top quarterback, if Kizer doesn't work out.
I think that's a fair evaluation. I sense patience in Gutekunst's selections. I feel no sense of panic. He had a plan and he executed the plan. I think acquiring value was at the heart of his plan.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Can you speak to the evolution of trading draft picks?
Prior to the creation of the salary cap, trading was about talent evaluation. These days, it's also about money.