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NFL Scouting Combine

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NFC NORTH: What the general managers are saying

INDIANAPOLIS – All four general managers for the Packers, Vikings, Bears and Lions spoke to the media Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

It's a chance for each top executive to give a brief state of the franchise address ahead of the start of one of the most important steps in the pre-draft process.

Here are some key takeaways from those media sessions:

Green Bay: GM Brian Gutekunst

1. On Aaron Rodgers: "There's no new updates. I think he's got a very tough process that he goes through to get himself ready to play every season. It's a big commitment. And he's done that for a long time and it certainly shows with the results, I think he feels he needs to do that, to play the way at the level he plays at. And so I know that that weighs on him, but I think he's going through that now."

Gutekunst did say he'd like a decision from Rodgers by the start of the new league year March 16.

2. On how Rodgers' situation affects Davante Adams' free agency decision: "Yeah, obviously we'd like to know as soon as we can. I think it helps for planning and moving forward. But those two situations are completely different. They're two different players and two different situations, both great in their own right. We were lucky to have them and hopefully able to have them both moving forward. But they're separate.

"There's been constant communication and had a good talk with 'Tae after the season and then obviously we've been in touch with his representatives throughout."

3. On playing in an international game in London for the first time: "You know, in some ways, there's some unique challenges that we haven't had. The first time I think we will go over there ever. But at the same time, I know, for our fans, it's going to be pretty exciting. I know everyone was pretty fired up about it, I got a lot of texts when the news came out. Everyone was making plans.

"Packer nation will show up strong. We're obviously, just got the beginning parts of working through the logistics of that, and we'll see what week it falls on and things like that. So I think the first our first thought was, okay, how we can do this best for our football team to play but I know that, family members, and all kinds of fans and stuff have been reaching out."

Minnesota: GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah


1. On QB Kirk Cousins: "He's an incredibly consistent passer. I don't think people realize it. Essentially, every play has a result built in based on factors that he can't control. I think what you know about Kirk, is when the odds are shifted in his favor, he gets the most out of it, right? And I think people don't appreciate that skill enough.

"But he is incredibly consistent, an incredibly accurate thrower. Tough. Durable. He plays every game, He stands there and takes those hits when those throws are a little bit harder to come by. He's an incredible player. Really cerebral. He's one of the first phone calls I made."

2. On his first Combine as GM: "One of the things I appreciate about the Combine is the relationships. You get in town and get that 'Combine bro hug' or a hug from anybody, and that's the thing I think about the most when it comes to the Combine. We all compete at the highest level, but at the end of the day, we appreciate each other. We appreciate the opportunity we have in front of us and are excited to be in each other's company."

3. On why some of the little things about people are so important to him: "When we first met (head coach Kevin McConnell) when he got to Minnesota, and they were preparing his day for him, and I was asking everybody, 'Hey, are you going to make him wear a suit all day? I feel like that's not a good idea. So, we meet down at the garage lobby, and he sees me pull up in sweats and is like, 'You wear sweats? Me too.'

"It's like little things, and when you're in that process, you want to make sure you've got the major things covered in terms of how he views team building and philosophy and vision. But then those little things are kind of cool to learn about somebody and figure out as you go along."

Chicago: GM Ryan Poles


1. On the type of player he's looking to add at WR: "They come in different shapes and sizes and speeds. I think it comes down to playmakers. We saw that in the Super Bowl, guys that can make plays when their number is called. That's what we look for.

"And you can see that on college tape. I will say one of the benefits of the Combine is you get to see some of the physical traits as well—what sets them apart. Is it size? Is it length? Is it explosion? Is it speed? We'll put all that together. But I would say that all boils down just to being a playmaker."

2. On reshaping the o-line: "We're going to change it up a little bit just in terms of the style. A lot of those guys, and the message has been clear, we've got to change body types a little bit. We've got to get lighter. We've got to get quicker."

3. On having only five draft picks and no first-round picks: "I don't think it changes much. Obviously, you want a lot of picks. But that's just the hand we were dealt. We'll be open-minded on how we can create more picks, and we'll be smart about that. It just changes the focus a little bit of maximizing that second and third wave of free agency and making sure that we get the right type of players in."

Detroit: GM Brad Holmes

1. On where he views the strength of this draft class: "That's a great question, because the more that we keep going through the process, I can say all across the board I'm seeing positions – like, interior defensive line, I think is a strong class. That was exhibited down at the Senior Bowl, and that's not even counting the players that weren't invited down there. It's a good wide receiver class. I think the safety class is good. It's a good corner group. So, it's actually a lot of positions where I think it's shaping up to be a pretty good draft."

2. On the NFL getting rid of the Wonderlic test: "The Wonderlic, I always thought it was a good resource to utilize, especially when you're trying to figure out a player's ability to absorb information and retain information. It's not the end-all, be-all, but I thought it was a very helpful tool, a very helpful resource.

"There are a lot of other resources that you can utilize. Even with the Wonderlic, how are you using the Wonderlic? It was like that one-digit score that everyone was looking at, but it was like, OK, what's that one-digit score of of how many were attempted within that time frame. You can find out a lot the deeper you dive within that Wonderlic, but there's a lot of other tests out there that we utilize – that I'll keep in-house – that can be as good, if not better."

3. On deciding the right time to spend big in free agency: "You still want to build through the draft. At least that's what Dan (Campbell) and I talk about, in terms of building through the draft. You want to be selective and you want to be strategic in free agency. We did a lot of the one-year deals last year that kind of went in line with what our plan was and our process was at that time. And now we're entering Year 2 of our plan. You've got a tweak here and there that's gonna be a little bit different. But as the years go on, you've just got to stick to your plan."

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