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