PACK­ERS CHAT

Packer Plus - - News - Pete Dougherty Colum­nist

Green Bay P ress-Gazette colum­nist Pete Dougherty an­swered ques­tions from read­ers dur­ing a re­cent chat. For the com­plete tran­script visit pack­er­snews.com.

Q: Any word on Kevin King’s shoul­der? Any long-term con­cerns?

A: OK ev­ery­body, let’s dive right in. Haven’t heard any­thing about King’s re­cov­ery, not that you can take at face value what­ever they’re say­ing. There has to be some longterm con­cern, these things can be­come chronic. They need him, that’s for sure. Big, fast guy with tal­ent.

Q: Hi Pete, thanks for the chat. Do you think un­der any cir­cum­stances the Pack­ers would take a wide re­ceiver in the first or sesond round? Or are their de­fen­sive needs so great, that those two picks will be on de­fense?

A: I think it’s a real pos­si­bil­ity, es­pe­cially sec­ond round. I’m not get­ting the feel­ing that many if any scouts think (Calvin) Ri­d­ley is so tal­ented he should go in the top half of the first round, so seems like first round is un­likely. But sec­ond round? That would make a lot of sense. (Da­vante) Adams has a con­cus­sion his­tory, (Ran­dall) Cobb is in the last year of his con­tract, and

over­all the Pack­ers just aren’t that tal­ented or (es­pe­cially) fast at wide re­ceiver. It’s a pri­or­ity po­si­tion. I keep chang­ing my mind on whether WR or OL is the higher pri­or­ity (right tackle and guard). Close call.

Q: How much fur­ther do you think the Pack­ers have fallen be­hind the Vik­ings with both teams per­son­nel means this off-sea­son? I do not fore­see the Pack­ers un­seat­ing the Vikes as di­vi­sion champs. Thanks for your com­ments.

A: A lot de­pends on how much of an up­grade (Kirk) Cousins is at QB. Is it a small up­grade or a big one? The Vik­ings also get back Dalvin Cook, he was look­ing re­ally good un­til he tore his ACL last year. Now, we don’t know how much the in­jury will take from him, but he’s a tal­ented back. Vik­ings are def­i­nitely much, much bet­ter than the Pack­ers on de­fense. (Aaron) Rodgers has to be the Pack­ers’ equal­izer, and then they re­ally could use a player or two in this draft who don’t just play a lot, but play well and im­prove the team. That’s how the Pack­ers will make up ground, be­cause they didn’t do a lot in free

agency, though maybe they think Wilk­er­son is go­ing to make a real dif­fer­ence as an in­side rusher. Vik­ings def­i­nitely have a more tal­ented ros­ter top to bot­tom, it’s not even close. But the QB is so im­por­tant, if Rodgers is on top of his game the gap shrinks a lot.

Q: Hi Pete, the NFC looks very strong this year and I see ten or more teams with le­git­i­mate play­off hopes. It’s hard to say the Pack­ers rank higher than 5th or 6th at this point and I think Gutekunst will need to find 3-4 play­ers that can make sig­nif­i­cant im­pact quickly in this draft like the Saints were able to do that last year. Do you think this draft can pro­duce that, es­pe­cially in the Pack­ers ar­eas of need? Thank you.

A: I’d say even one or two re­ally good picks would make a dif­fer­ence. The Saints re­ally did have what’s look­ing like an out­stand­ing draft — things can change over the next cou­ple years, but they hit on sev­eral picks, es­pe­cially Lat­ti­more and Ka­mara, dif­fer­ence mak­ers both. It’s re­ally hard to do, but the Saints are proof it can be done.

PA­TRICK GORSKI / USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Green Bay Pack­ers cor­ner­back Kevin King (right) un­der­went shoul­der surgery in De­cem­ber.

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