Packer Report Chat Transcript

You asked great questions and Bill had some decent answers as draft talk dominated the conversation on Wednesday night. Want to join us next week? We will be chatting again on Wednesday, April 21 — one day after the schedule release and one day before the draft.

Q: Any chance you think the Pack would take Ryan Matthews at 23?

Bill: Yeah, I think there is a chance that happens. I've heard they like him. Really good all-around running back. Power, breakaway speed, catches the ball pretty well. I think the odds are better on an offensive tackle or corner though ... or maybe Mike Iupati if he falls that far.

Q: It would make a great 1, 2 punch

Bill: Absolutely, and give them insurance in case they don't want to pay Grant upward of $9 million in 2011.

Q: I firmly believe green bay is thinking westbrook would be a great plan b option if they don't get they guy they want in the draft who ever that is

Bill: Depends on the money for Westbrook. I wrote about him a month ago and said he'd make a lot of sense. Problem is, do you go into a season planning on having someone and then he's not available for four games because he got his bell rung? That's a tough call. Either way, like you said, nothing will happen til after the draft. Maybe you get your guy early ... say Jonathan Dwyer of Georgia Tech in the second, who I wrote about on Saturday.

Q: How much "stock" to you think the fact TT has never taken an OL in the First Rd?

Bill: Amazing, isn't it? Only one offensive linemen in the first two rounds, period.

Bill: I know they wanted Sam Baker a couple years ago. They were shocked when he went to Atlanta in 2008. He was the last of the OTs they liked. So, Thompson traded back and took Jordy Nelson. So, he's not dead-set against it. Sometimes the board just works out that way.

Q: In your opinion, do you believe that they are targeting anyone in particular?

Bill: I haven't a clue what the Packers want to do. They are so tight-lipped. Thompson will talk to us on Friday afternoon but doubt much will come out of it. I know they like Charles Brown, the OT from USC. I know they like Devin McCourty, the corner from Rutgers. I'm not sure what they think of Kyle Wilson of Boise. I think everybody likes Iupati of Boise State and Maurkice Pouncey of Florida.

Q: TT has perfected the art of talking for 20 minutes and not really saying anything, but I like him.

Bill: That's for sure! He's actually a nice guy with a good sense of humor. He just won't say anything. Not that I blame him a whole lot. There's not much to be gained by laying out his plan to everyone.

Q: I read somewhere, it might have been Football Outsiders, that Thompson is not a guy on an ego trip, he's quite humble. Has that been your take on him, Bill?

Bill: That's exactly my take. Now, don't tell the anti-Thompson people that because they'll think I'm on the take or just saying it to protect my credential. If Thompson was a first-rate jerk, his scouts would have left. Instead, he's got the same group of guys here for his entire tenure.

Q: Does anyone see Dexter McCluster last until the bottom of the second round?

Bill: I'm telling you, every team in the league likes McCluster. OK, I might be exaggerating slightly, but you get my point. I was told by a source today that the Packers "love" McCluster. He would fill a lot of holes. Change-of-pace runner, receiver, returner. I think everyone knows my opinion on him since watching him all week at the Senior Bowl.

Q: If McCluster isn't there, there are a lot of clones, Trindon Holliday, Jacoby Ford, that little "squib" from, what is it, Illinois State?

Dexter McCluster
Butch Dill/AP Images
Bill: Deji Karim from Southern Illinois. I wouldn't say those guys are clones. Holliday has done nothing but return kicks. Ford is a pure speed guy. He doesn't have the speed/quickness combo of McCluster. I like Ford a lot though. Tough little guy with good hands. McCluster is so polished as a receiver. That's what separates him from Holliday and Karim. And he's a 1,000-yard rusher, which separates him from Ford.

Q: All of those guys are mirrors of one another. Javid Best is another; he's one concussion away from a career though.

Bill: Totally agree on Best. If he's healthy, he might be the first back off the board. That guy is lightning as a runner, receiver and returner.

Q: I have seen him live at the annual Cal/Stanford game.

Bill: Best is tremendous. The stats don't lie. Big plays in every phase of the game. Is that one concussion a real big red flag? I don't know .... but you have to consider it when you're pouring those resources into that pick.

Q: Where is the Pack in regards to OLB; there are a ton of hybrid types plying their talents in this draft.

Bill: I'm really hammering away at those hybrids. Done four stories so far and a few more planned. I asked McCarthy about Brad Jones during Fan Fest and he said all the right things. But it's such a great position in this draft. You can get Hughes from TCU or Griffen from USC in the first round, Sapp, Misi (among others) in the second. Eric Norwood of South Carolina is among the guys in the third. Texas' Sergio Kindle is in that first-round mix too. The Murray State kid (from Iola), Austen Lane, in the third or fourth. Even late, there's guys like Coleman from Auburn who had double-digits sacks. Small-school guys like Adrian Tracy and Arthur Moats and Chris McCoy. I assume they'll add one or two, just on "best player available" status.

That's why everyone is going to the 3-4 because you can get those hybrids in the middle rounds who have proven they can get to the quarterback and can run and have some toughness because they played DL in college.

Q: It is really hard to figure being that half of the league runs the 3-4. I really like Kindle though; he was huge in the National Championship game.

Bill: Kindle obviously has some tools but you wonder about his driving record. Two major driving violations ... you wonder if he can keep his head on straight.

Q: If I were Thompson I would seriously consider trading a pick from next year to trade up at some point. My thought is that a lot of really good players came out early this year due to the possible lockout in 2011 and/or a hard rookie slotting system for Draft Picks. So fewer quality players may be available next year as compared to this year.

Bill: I think a lot of teams would like to trade down for the same reason. So, maybe there's not much value. Hard to say. It's probably one of those things where Thompson will have 'X' number of guys slotted for 25, and they're gone, he tries to get out of the pick. With that said and with what you said, maybe it's easier to move up if you must have someone.

It's a great draft though. There's a reason why the Eagles wanted a pick in the "top 42" for McNabb. They see this as a draft with 42 first-round players.

Rodger Saffold
Indiana Athletics
Q: What is the Saffold kid about? I know nothing about him. That is until "the report" threw him on my radar.

Bill: I was told yesterday or two days ago that Saffold could sneak into the first. Four-year starter at Indiana who really was excellent the last couple years. Good guy, funny .... people will love him. Impressed teams at the Combine. Packers talked to him there. Haven't had any contact with him of late, but they probably don't need to do much research on him considering he's a Big Ten guy and they've probably seen a ton of him.

Q: Safety is a concern for me also. What is there at 23 and what is there at 56?

Bill: Safety is unbelievable. That might be the best position in the draft. The top guys, Berry of Tennessee and Thomas of Texas, will be long gone. But you've got Mays at 23. Let's see ... Burnett of Georgia Tech, Jones of LSU, Jones of Georgia, Stuckey from Kansas, Allen from South Florida. Those guys could all go in the second round. And with that depth, there will be talent there in the third. They've done a lot of homework on Nebraska's Larry Asante, too. And Myron Rolle will be around later.

Q: Mays is a physical enigma, but he could not cover my grandmother. Javid Best tore him up!

Q: Hey, Bill, is their any weight to the rumor that Green bay would trade nick Barnett

Bill: No none on Barnett. I talked to Barnett's agent today. First he heard of it. Barnett's in GB doing all the voluntary workouts. Probably wouldn't be doing that if there was anything of substance to those rumors. Not sure where that came from but decided to check since we've got 100 posts in the forums on it.

Q: What do you think about Chad Jones, the big thumper safety from LSU? I know that he is tampering with baseball, but I liken him to Taylor Mays.

Bill: Agent is trying to get me Chad for next week, so looking forward to that. You're right, he's a lot like Mays but might be a better prospect, in my opinion. I'm not sure that I like Mays all that much. He just didn't do much at USC. Now, was that the scheme? Could be. But five interceptions as a four-year starter? I'd take Burnett of Georgia Tech and Jones of LSU over Mays.

Both Jones and Mays are so big and such good athletes, you know the potential is there. Jones did more in his last two years than Mays did in four. But, again, you can't argue with Mays' potential. Some coach will be positive that he's the guy that can make it work.

Q: Bill, any projected 7th Round QBs catch your eye?

Bill: I really like Kafka of Northwestern. Kind of reminds me of Matt Flynn. Knows how to move the ball. Athletic. Good-enough arm. I'm huge on Tim Hiller of Western Michigan. Productive and a straight-A student who throws it pretty well. I really like Troy's Levi Brown too. Not sure he makes it to the seventh though. He throws the ball pretty well ... better than guys like Hiller and Kafka or Canfield or Zac Robinson.

Q: What is your feeling re: Charles Brown?

Bill: I like Brown more than a lot of people do. A few weeks back, I talked to both Brown and Pat Ruel. Pat was Brown's OL coach at USC and he was an assistant OL coach here, so he knows his stuff and he knows what it takes. People say Brown isn't tough enough and mentally tough enough. Ruel told me that was true but it changed during the Rose Bowl after the 2008 season. Penn State's Aaron Maybin whipped Brown for a sack/strip. Ruel got on Brown's butt, and Brown told Ruel that Maybin wouldn't make another play all day. And he didn't. Really athletic. No sacks allowed as a senior. He was voted the conference's best offensive lineman by the conference's starting defensive linemen. That must mean something.

Q: How is this little scenario for the Packer first pick: the top five offensive tackles are gone, the top two corners are gone, Earl Thomas is gone, Brandon Graham is gone, the Packers don't want Taylor Mays or Sean Weatherspoon, so they decide between Jerry Hughes, Sergio Kindle or Charles Brown. Who do you think they would select?

Bill: I think they'd take Brown first. But Hughes is tremendous too. Killer first step. Proven pass rusher. Those guys tend to translate to the NFL. If you can sack the QB in college (assuming you're not facing stiffs) then you can sack the QB in the NFL.

Q: I don't know anything about W-spoon, what's the knock on him?

Bill: Spoon is great. That talking crap rap is nonsense. He talks a lot but it's mostly encouragement to teammates. Not sure where that's coming from ... unless the week of practices I saw was all a charade and he's really a first-glass jag. He seems like the ultimate teammate to me. Sure, he talks some junk. He's also the first guy on the scene if his teammate makes a big play.

Q: But does he fit 3-4?

Bill: No, I think Weatherspoon is more of a 4-3 OLB. That's kind of what I've heard from people too. Not that he wouldn't fit in a 3-4 but might be better guys.

Q: What about Odrick? If he is there at 23 do you take him?

Bill: Maybe too early though I know for sure the Packers really like him. With Jenkins and Jolly and Raji, do you need another DE? I don't think so. But he's good. Solid all-around player ... run and pass ... great motor, great guy.

Q: What about Pouncey? He's a stud, even though we do not need a center

Bill: Pouncey is incredible. He'd be really hard to pass up. You could put him at left guard to start with ... opened his career there. He's tough, feisty and smart. Experienced. Made all the line calls in a complicated offense.

Q: What about a guy like Patrick Robinson?

Bill: Reminds me of Al Harris ... and his trainer says the same thing. Physical and athletic. Not sure if 23 is too soon for him. But if the Packers think he's perfect for their scheme, then maybe they have a higher grade than everyone else. I liked him at the Senior Bowl ... didn't love him though. Thought Kyle Wilson and Devin McCourty were superior. Robinson played a lot of man in college, so that's a plus.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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