With one NFC East in the rearview vision, we now move onto the NFC North. Surprisingly, compared to some divisions, this group has been doing a great job not having too many obvious holes, including the Bears. Just a reminder that these are team needs for starting player, not upgrades or depth. So, let’s get right to the NFC North team needs.
Chicago Bears (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 3rd, 36th, 67th.
Left Tackle – The Bears, for some reason, seem to have a sense of faith in their 7th round pick in 2014, Charles Leno. Recently, Leno has said he will repay the faith they have shown in him. I think it’s time to cut bait. However, they may not address this till day 3.
Linebacker – There is no such thing as too much pass rushers. Even though the Bears have 2 very talented OLBs in Leonard Floyd and Willie Young, it wouldn’t hurt to get another one. If McPhee can be healthy, it’s a big boost, but that’s yet to be seen.
Wide Receiver – Some would consider Kevin White, their 1st round pick 2 years ago, as their new WR. The problem is, even with him included, there still isn’t much. If Cameron Meredith is your #1 WR, you have a need.
3rd – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
36th – Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston
67th – Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
Detroit Lions (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 21st, 53rd, 85th.
Defensive End – Just like with the Bears, adding another pass rusher is always a welcomed sight. The Lions still have Ziggy Ansah, but they need another guy on the other side of him. Kerry Hyder was good last year, but can he have a repeat performance?
Safety – Glover Quin is on the wrong side of 30. Tavon Wilson, so far, has not been that good. In a perfect world, they could use 2 new Safeties, but at this point, I’d be happy just getting one.
Linebacker – The Lions LBs are one of the worst groups in the league. This is a position that typically is the least group looked at in a 4-3, so I won’t say they need 3, but a 1st round pick would not surprise me.
21st – Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
53rd – Marcus Williams, S, Utah
85th – Carl Lawson, DE Auburn
Green Bay Packers (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 29th, 61st, 93rd.
Cornerback – Packer fans have been crying throughout the entire offseason about getting a CB. I guess they don’t realize that the CB position is about 15 deep in this year’s draft. It’s a big hole, so they may fill it in round 1, but as their great QB Aaron Rodgers would say, “Relax”.
Inside Linebacker – This seems to be a need every year for the Packers. Being that, Clay Matthews seems to be going back and forth between inside and outside LB spots every play. Hence, I think the switching of positions took away from his pass rush. They need to get an ILB and keep Clay going after QBs.
29th – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
61st – Larry Ogunjobi, DL, North Carolina Charlotte
93rd – Kendall Beckwith, ILB, LSU
Minnesota Vikings (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 48th, 79th, 86th.
Guard – For as much crap as the Vikings get, they have a really solid team. This is a perfect example of a team that can use upgrades, but not too many weaknesses. One weakness is the line and I expect them to hit it once, if not twice within their 1st 3 picks.
48th – Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
79th – Taylor Moton, G, Western Michigan
86th – Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
I expect this division to be highly competitive this year. The Packers and Lions fought to the last week for the division title and both made the playoffs. However, the Vikings arguably had the best defense in the league and had a monumental amount of injuries. Most picked them to make the playoffs before the season started, so they should bounce back. The Bears may take another year or 2, but they are headed in the right direction. In any case, there’s a lot of things to look forward to in the NFC North. Enjoy the draft.