The biggest part of the offseason -- especially for a development-oriented club like the Green Bay Packers -- is the NFL draft, which kicks off Thursday night from Philadelphia. The storm of misinformation, speculation, and hysteria can finally give way to real draft picks, and soon after every fan base will finally know their team's full 90-man roster.
So while the veracity of the rumors and reports coming out in the final 24 hours remains questionable, Packers fans have much to look forward to. They also have much on which to reflect, including a key draft choice made 12 years ago.
Using the words of those deeply involved with the 2005 draft, Rob Demovsky retells the story of how a future two-time MVP fell from the top selection in the draft to the Packers at pick 24. Though it seems silly now, many had doubts about Aaron Rodgers' abilities coming out of Cal.
While the Packers likely will pick defensive players early during the 2017 draft, the idea that they should forgo better options seems incredibly short sighted. Such a mentality contributes to the degradation of a roster, and it ignores that positional needs can fluctuate quickly in the NFL.
In his latest mailbag, Wes Hodkiewicz answers myriad questions, including some about undrafted free agents. While the Packers certainly need to hit on a good portion of their picks, they also need to find quality players after the draft. Players like Geronimo Allison played a major role for the team down the stretch in 2016, and they might need such contributions from unknown rookies again next season.
To no one's surprise, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix earned the top score of the group (A) with Corey Linsley not far behind (B+). Davante Adams, a middling player through his first two years, made the leap in 2016 and justified a grade of B. Richard Rodgers, Demetri Goodson, and Jeff Janis fell in the C-range while the rest either received failing grades or came close.