Chat with Rob Demovsky
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN NFL Nation Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky drops by to chat and answer all of your Packers questions.
Following 16 years covering the Packers for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Demovsky joined ESPN in 2013 as the Packers beat reporter. He is a two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Send your questions now and join Demovsky Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Rob Demovsky (3:58 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. This is our final chat before the draft, so let's get right to it.
joe (san diego)
Hi Rob,All the draft prognosticators are putting defensive players on the GB draft. With the large number of good tight ends and wide receivers available, isn't is probable Thompson would be unable to control himself and draft offense early?
Rob Demovsky (4:00 PM)
Joe: I think most people are predicting Ted Thompson goes defense in the first round, but that doesn't mean he won't address WR and/or TE in rounds 2-4. In fact, I would be very surprised if he didn't find a tight end in the upper half of the draft and possibly a WR. Both positions are deep so you don't have to draft one in the first round, necessarily.
Kevin [via mobile]
I thought that mock couldn't have gone worst. But thougt you made the best pick there. It would have been a reach to go TE C or ILB there. Only other pick that may have worked was Jimmie Ward. But can't pass up Gilbert.
Rob Demovsky (4:02 PM)
Kevin: I was thinking the same thing as it was unfolding and I tried to figure out what Thompson would do in that scenario. I think Ward might have been a reach at 21 also. Also, for those who didn't see it, here's how our ESPN first-round mock draft played out.http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/125622/2014-nfl-nation-mock-draft
Gilbert... Ouch... Another CB where will he play this year?
Rob Demovsky (4:03 PM)
Ben: He was the best player available. In fact, some believe he's a top-15 talent. He could play in the dime assuming there's no injuries. If there are, he'd move up to nickel or even base.
bc88 (Lake Linden, MI)
Hey Rob, thanks for the chat! IF Moseley and Shazier both happen to fall to the Pack at 21, do you have a feel for which one they prefer and which do you feel is a better fit in the "D"?
Rob Demovsky (4:05 PM)
First of all, the chances of both being there are pretty slim. But if it came down to that, it's a hard call. I've talked to a couple of people in the organization about it, but they're not tipping their hand. They view Mosley as the more ready-to-play player, while Shazier is more unique but also more raw.
I know speculating on the draft with Ted Thompson is futile but do you see the Packers taking shot at Jace Amaro in the first round? I hear he needs work on his blocking but the pack have other TE's who can fill that role and Amaro can focus on a Finley type role. Thoughts?
Rob Demovsky (4:06 PM)
Bill:Not at No. 21. That would be a reach.
Preston (Fort Wayne)
Hi Rob, Great value pick with Gilbert in the mock, who else were you considering at the spot since we were stuck there? I'd have to think Fuller is the more physical type corner TT would be apt to go for over Gilbert, thoughts?
Rob Demovsky (4:08 PM)
Preston: I thought about Va. Tech CB Kyle Fuller and Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt but felt Gilbert offered better value.
Adam [via mobile]
Hi Rob. Gilbert at 21 is the steal of the draft but I seriously doubt he'll actually be there on Thursday. Mosley or Shazier have to the choice if Dix or Pryor are gone. Or maybe a trade into the very top of the 2nd. Would you agree or does TT keep the pick or go with the BPA?
Rob Demovsky (4:09 PM)
Adam: I would tend to agree with you -- I don't think Gilbert will actually be there. What if all of those players you mentioned are gone? I bet he'd try to trade back, but it takes two to tango.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
Not sure I agree with the comment that TE is deep this year...from what I've read, Ebron, Amaro, ASJ, Fiedorowicz are pretty much the only difference makers?
Rob Demovsky (4:10 PM)
Scott: I'd throw Troy Niklas in there, too. That's not a bad bunch. Can get one of those late in the second or third round.
sergio569 [via mobile]
Why can't we move up & draft Mack 3rd overall, he would fill 2 needs in one
Rob Demovsky (4:12 PM)
Sergio: Do you know how much it would take to move up that far? If they traded their entire draft, they still wouldn't offer enough value -- according to the standard trade value chart -- to make the deal doable.
James (St Pete)
How does GB make a medical diagnosis or decision on a draftee? I'm assuming they can't examine everyone. Are they provided records from a league doctor?
Rob Demovsky (4:13 PM)
James: There's some pre-draft tests that all the players go through and the results are shared with all the teams, and then the individual team doctors also get the chance to examine players at the combine and during visits.
Scott (NC) [via mobile]
Is Nix a reach at 21? I think he would be a beast spliting time with Raji.
Rob Demovsky (4:15 PM)
Scott: Seems like it would be, although in our EXPN Mock he went 25 so maybe not.
Scott (NC) [via mobile]
Good call on Gilbert. I think if he fell to the Packers, they could use him on returns as well.
Rob Demovsky (4:15 PM)
Good point about Gilbert. He's had some success as a KR.
Can you explain how undrafted free agency works? Is it any different from the normal free agency that other players go through?
Rob Demovsky (4:17 PM)
Stephen: Good question. It's a frenzy right after the draft. Actually it starts before the draft even ends. Scouts start calling the agents and the players on Saturday telling them that they want to sign them. The agents will usually respond by saying "if you want my guy so badly, then why don't you draft him?" But that rarely happens. Within a couple hours of the end of the draft, most teams have deals struck with a dozen or so undrafted FAs.
Josh (NY) [via mobile]
Why are the GB beat reporters so afraid to criticize TT? It's clear that the emperor has no clothes, yet the local press perpetuates the myth that TT is some sort of draft genius. Based on your own experience, why are is the local press so forgiving?
Rob Demovsky (4:18 PM)
Josh: Can you give me an example of the forgiveness? I'm not sure I see it. This year, I tried to give an honest assessment of his performance in the draft in my round-by-round Best of/Worst of series that concluded today.
Rob,Why Gilbert? Just too talented? Why not Amaro, or Hageman?
Rob Demovsky (4:19 PM)
Todd: No. 21 is too high for both guys, I felt.
Matt (New York)
Hey Rob, I see a lot of great reasons to trade out of Round 1 and get 2-3 picks in the second round. What's your take?
Rob Demovsky (4:20 PM)
Matt: There are two reasons why that's a good idea. 1) If all the players you have a first-round grade on are gone. 2) If there are an abundance of players you'd be happy taking in the second round.
Sam (De Pere, WI)
I don't understand the reasoning behind picking Gilbert in the mock draft. It seems like if the LBs and safeties are all gone, the logical pick is a big defensive lineman to eventually replace BJ Raji, who no one thinks will be back next season. Wouldn't Hageman or Louis Nix make more sense?
Rob Demovsky (4:21 PM)
Sam: Again, I just felt like the value wasn't there for Hageman and Nix at 21. Reaching gets you in trouble.
Rob, I was watching your mock draft this morning, do you really think all of the guys the Packers really want will be gone by 21? If that's the case should they move up for someone? Thanks!!
Rob Demovsky (4:22 PM)
Nick: As it was unfolding, I never really considered a move up because Thompson does it so rarely. But maybe he would try. He did it for Clay Matthews in 2009. So maybe this is the year he'd do it again.
Casey (Home Sick)
Do you think that there will be a stable QB situation next year?
Rob Demovsky (4:24 PM)
Casey: I think it's already more stable with the return of Matt Flynn. He's a proven winner as a backup. Let's face it, even if he has limitations, he saved their season last year. That said, I'm curious to see whether Scott Tolzien can develop because he has some raw ability/arm strength. I also think they could add a mid to late round QB.
How much does the trade partner matter to a team during the draft? In your mock, you decided not to trade with MN because you were afraid it might get them a good QB.
Rob Demovsky (4:25 PM)
Jason: I asked a scout about that today and he wouldn't rule out doing it, so maybe I was being too paranoid.
Surely TT would have traded back and picked ward or nix where they are valued. how did you not get any offers from QB needy teams.
Rob Demovsky (4:27 PM)
Josh: I did, but one of them was from the Vikings, and I just don't think you want a division rival moving up to take a QB who's trying to beat you. Maybe I'm wrong in that thinking. The only other team I could talk trade with was SF and Bill Williamson wasn't willing to give me the 30th pick. The highest he offered was in the second round. Now way.
Merrick (North Carolina)
If there was one player who both TT liked and fell to the mid teens but shouldn't...who would it be?
Rob Demovsky (4:27 PM)
Merrick: Maybe Clinton-Dix. He's the only one I could see getting that far down.
Randy (Phoenix) [via mobile]
I disagree with the notion one shouldn't trade inside their own division. If you have a top 5 pick and we are talking about a a QB being available, sure, but not at 21. The odds are now better that you can come out ahead by taking away picks from a divisional foe than they are of them picking a franchise QB. Should the Vikings call about trading up, 3 picks for one makes plenty of sense. Even more so when 2 of those picks would have to be in the top 75 or so.
Rob Demovsky (4:28 PM)
Randy: Again, maybe I was being too cautious in that regard.
Rob, What is one position you will be shocked the packers pick? running back?
Rob Demovsky (4:29 PM)
Brad: Other than kicker or punter, yes.
Matt (Boulder, CO)
Hi Rob--We lost Jennings, Jones and Finley in the last two years and replaced them with Boykin and Quarless. (And Lacy if you think about the whole thing holistically.) My question is, if at all, when do we address the WR/TE need in the draft? Who are some targets? And who on the roster already is expected to step up?
Rob Demovsky (4:30 PM)
Matt: They really like Brandon Bostick, but I think they know they need another playmaking TE. Same goes for Boykin. They're thin behind him, Cobb and Nelson.
LOUIE ( LAS VEGAS)
DO YOU THINK THE PACKERS HAVE ANY REAL CHANCE OF DRAFTING OLB ANTHONY BARR FROM ULCA & WOULD TED THOMPSON MOVE UP TO GET HIM ? SAME GOES FOR SAFTEY DEONE BUCANNON WASHINGTON STATE . BRIAN BALDINGER ON NFL NET WORK SAID IN 3 YEARS HE WILL SHOW TO BE THE BEST SAFTEY IN THIS DRAFT . TELL TT TO GET THEM BOTH !
Rob Demovsky (4:32 PM)
Louie: That's an interesting name because the predictions for where he will go seem to be all over the board. I've heard good things about Bucannon.
Simon (Raleigh, NC)
In your projection you picked the Pack to go 10-6. Seemed a bit low - only a 1.5 game improvement on last year. They sustained a lot of injuries last couple of years. If they have a just a little better luck on the injury front and have a healthy AR it seems like they should be more than 1.5 games better than last season. Do you think the schedule is more difficult this year? Or what was driving the 10-6? I know it is early and a lot of roster question still not settled - is that part of it?
Rob Demovsky (4:34 PM)
Simon: Oh a non-draft question, I like it. First of all, it's incredibly hard to make a prediction in August let alone in April or May, but I felt like -- at least on paper -- the division will be improved. The Bears have already made some important gains on defense, and maybe the coaching change in Detroit will prevent another collapse.
Chad (GB) [via mobile]
I really like it that there waiting on there waiting on a contract for TT beyond 2016 ... He says he is the shadow of Ron Wolf which alot of us do not see.. Them were huge shoes too fill that alot of us fans can see that he fell short of filling with his Draft and his free agency picks.. excluding Julius Peppers.. wut do you think of an extension for him and McCarthy?..
Rob Demovsky (4:35 PM)
Chad: I could be wrong, but I think there's a decent chance Ted Thompson walks away after this contract expires. He's 61 years old now. Even though he's been a football lifer, I could see him retiring to a ranch in Texas and disappearing from public life.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
Where's the obligatory Nick Collins Q?
Rob Demovsky (4:36 PM)
And here I thought we were going to get through a chat without one.
Merrick (North Carolina)
What are the chances that Schneider takes the helm when Thompson eventually decides to step down?
Rob Demovsky (4:37 PM)
Merrick: He would be a popular choice, especially by Mike McCarthy. He and Schneider are very close. Does Schneider leave Seattle to come home to GB? He might.
Cris Karem -Louisville,Ky [via mobile]
Will Our Packers Select S Calvin Pryor with the 21st Pick?
Rob Demovsky (4:37 PM)
If he's available they might.
Scott (Madison, WI)
Hi Rob- Jimmy Ward of NIU seems to be the 'hot pick' as of late. The more I read about this kid, the more I like in terms of the toughness and ability to hit and make impact plays. Even though he played in the MAC conference, what are the chances he would be around when the Packers pick in the second round? Would TT trade up in the second round to take him? I see nothing but a huge upside to him.
Rob Demovsky (4:39 PM)
Scott: The big concern about Ward is he's a little on the small side at just under 5-11. The Packers don't like short DBs. However, he does have excellent coverage skills.
Would the Packers still get compensatory pick for Finely if he doesn't come back this year? Or does he need to get picked up by a team?
Rob Demovsky (4:39 PM)
Good question. He has to sign with another team.
Eli (Mountaintop PA)
Rob, I can get caught up in the excitement of the draft, but at the same time I know bull#$%^ when I see it. It was hard to watch that mock draft. 95% of what went on is unbelievably unrealistic. Starting with the Texans trade to the Bills. I believe you did the right thing by standing pat and taking Gilbert. Would you have made that trade if you were drafting for the Texans?
Rob Demovsky (4:40 PM)
Eli: I think I would have made a pick - either Mack or Clowney, but having said that I haven't done the research on the top of the draft to know exactly what could go on there since the Packers aren't picking up there. I've spent far more time looking at it from around No. 10 on down.
Paul (Houston, TX)
Everyone is suggesting that Schneider would replace TT, but what about Eliot Wolf? He seems to go under the radar nationally but has been moving up the ranks in the Packers organization
Rob Demovsky (4:42 PM)
Paul: Eliot would certainly be in the conversation. So would other internal candidates like Alonzo Highsmith, Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball. It's Mark Murphy's call and he hasn't made a hire of that magnitude yet.
It seems as though we, as fans, are bombarded with whining about the " shortened " preseason team activities and doom and gloom that the poor incoming rookies will have a much harder time learning playbooks and assimilating to life in the NFL because of the current CBA. Isn't the reality of it, that every team is in the same situation? Doesn't that mean that everyone's rookie class has the same problem? Doesn't that also mean teams need to be keenly aware of potential draftee's " football IQ"? That assumes a higher football IQ will allow that player to learn and assimilate faster. I guess my point is simply, that every team has to follow the same rules so shut up and make the best of it because that's exactly what your opponents will be doing.
Rob Demovsky (4:43 PM)
Mike: I can't disagree with anything you said. But that doesn't mean we have to like the current format.
GreenBayDean (Dodgeville WI)
If your pick Gilbert does come to pass, does TT try to get Williams to take a pay cut or outright release him? $10M cap hit seems high for a 30 yr old corner who doesn't seem to like to tackle anymore
Rob Demovsky (4:44 PM)
The way Williams played the second half of last season, I can't see that happening. For the record, his camp number is $9.5 million this year.
steve (sun prairie)
Seems like most mocks have CJ Mosley to the Packers. That is a position of need and seems like a good "safe" pick. Doesn't Shazier have potentially more upside? The Packer D is crying for speed at the linebacker position. Your thoughts?
Rob Demovsky (4:45 PM)
Steve: I've been on the speed issue ever since the first playoff loss to the 49ers. While everyone talked about how the Packers weren't a physical team, I believe it's a question of speed not toughness, which is why I'd probably lean toward Shazier.
Does anyone else agree this may draft is absolutely excruciating. Way to much mocks and what ifs. I hope it goes back to april. Even you must be tired of figuring out new ways to interpret the draft. Its to redundant and quite frankly full of bad reporting.
Rob Demovsky (4:45 PM)
Josh: You're not going to get an argument from me. But if the TV ratings are good -- and I expect they will be great -- then you might have to get used to this.
Bob (The Netherlands)
How can someone like Shazier move up the boards the past few weeks? A month ago, no 'expert' talked about him as a first-round prospect and now he is a first-roud lock. What happened?
Rob Demovsky (4:49 PM)
Bob: Here's something to consider -- Maybe he was a first-round lock all along but the word had not reached the experts yet. Does that make sense?
Steve (Dunlap IL)
Hi RobDo you get to go to New York?Will the Pack stand pat at 21 or do we trade up or down to get a better player or more picks?
Rob Demovsky (4:52 PM)
Steve: I stay in Green Bay. There's more value to being at team HQ, where you have access to the GM and coaches. My gut says they stand pat at 21, but if things go the way they did in our ESPN mock, I could see them moving back.
How much do owners involve themselves in draft picks. It must be nice for tt and MM to not have an owner like Jimmy jones and mcnair breathing down there necks. Maybe thats one of the reasons we have drafted better than some of these other teams
Rob Demovsky (4:55 PM)
Ken: I think that's one of the benefits to working in Green Bay. Ever since Bob Harlan took over as president in the 1980s, the Packers have let football people make the football decisions. There's no indication that Mark Murphy does things any differently.
Rob Demovsky (4:56 PM)
Thanks for all the questions today. I've got more pre-draft work to do. Stay connected to ESPN.com all week for the latest on the draft, and we'll be back here next week to talk about the Packers' hits and misses.