As the NFL draft approaches, we take a look at the needs on each team within the NFC North, and make some “predictions” on what their respective GMs might do.
Or in the Bears case, what the rabbit driving the controls inside Ryan Pace’s head might do. Not that I’m frustrated or anything. Oh no, not me.
NFC North – What Each Team Needs
Let’s take a look at each team in turn. Full disclosure, I’m a Bears fan, so this may be more than a little tongue in cheek in parts…..
The Lions of course have a need across the board after a woeful season, finishing bottom of the NFC North. They will certainly be hoping for an improved season.
- First round: No. 3 overall
- Second round: 35 overall
- Third round: 67 overall
- Third round: 85 overall (from Eagles)
- Fourth round: 109 overall
- Fifth round: 149 overall
- Fifth round: 166 overall (from Eagles)
- Sixth round: 182 overall
- Seventh round: 235 overall (from Eagles via Patriots)
Team Needs: CB DT E IOL Head Coach(!)
Where to start, the Lions have a massive advantage, you’d expect that they’re not going to draft a QB to replace Matt Stafford, so I’d be expecting to see them trade down for picks, and maybe even for players plus a draft pick.
There are some QB needy teams who might look at trading players plus picks. Jaguars, cough. No, that’s not Covid-19 speaking. Jaguars. Did I mention them?
In all seriousness, though, this is make or break season for GM Bob Quinn and Head Coach Matt Patricia, if it doesn’t go well they could both be out of the door come season’s end (or even before then).
The Vikes have a lot of picks this year, but they also equally have many needs. They will undoubtedly be looking to be the champions of the NFC North – that’s a tough challenge!
- Round 1 (No. 22) from Buffalo
- Round 1 (No. 25)
- Round 2 (No. 58)
- Round 3 (No. 89)
- Round 3 (No. 105) compensatory
- Round 4 (No. 132)
- Round 5 (No. 155) from Buffalo
- Round 6 (No. 201) from Buffalo
- Round 6 (No. 205)
- Round 7 (No. 219)
- Round 7 (No. 249) compensatory
- Round 7 (No. 253) compensatory
Team Needs: CB WR E IOL
With two late first round picks, the Vikings could easily make some moves to fill some holes in their roster. With the loss of Xavier Rhodes and Stefan Diggs, they have some clear need for some fresh blood in each respective area, and there’s enough talent that could be available at that time to help them.
Of course, they could also trade up using one of their first round picks, but the CB and WR draft classes are unusually deep this year, so they may elect to stay put.
You could see them drafting, as per their official site, Trevon Diggs from Alabama at CB and Tee Higgins from Clemson at WR. Both would be intriguing additions and would certainly strengthen their roster.
As a bears fan, that makes me sad……
Green Bay Packers
Well – what can we say about the current NFC North Champions? (That’s repeatable, as a bears fan!). First year under a new head coach seems to have been a charm for them, and their fans will certainly be looking for a repeat.
- First Round, No. 30 overall
- Second Round, No. 62 overall
- Third Round, No. 94 overall
- Fourth Round, No. 136 overall
- Fifth Round, No. 175 overall
- Sixth Round, No. 192 overall (from LV)
- Sixth Round, No. 208 overall (from TEN)
- Sixth Round, No. 209 overall
- Seventh Round, No. 236 overall (from BUF via CLE)
- Seventh Round, No. 242 overall (from BAL)
Team Needs: WR TE IDL CB
This is an interesting draft for the Packers. It’s not an especially deep class on Tight Ends, and it’s clear that on offense that area definitely needs some help and replenishment.
Look for them to pick one of the top TE’s on the board such as Adam Trautman or Cole Kmet if they’re still on the board at that stage. I wouldn’t rule out them drafting a good wide receiver instead with their first pick, and I definitely don’t see them trading up to get who they need.
It’s abundantly clear that with the next pick not coming again until #62, the first pick really has to stick, and stick well. Brian Gutekunst (and who of a Bears persuasion isn’t tempted to mis-pronounce that) will be well aware of this, and I can’t imagine him not having a plan to make sure of his pick choice.
But then again, you just don’t know, do you?
My prediction? I think they’ll use a 1st round pick to trade up to get a top Wide Receiver – I don’t think they’ll need to move up much, or give up too much capital to do it.
The Bears. Da Bears. Arguably the biggest disappointment of the NFC North last year (of course, not to the other teams or fans of them!). What can they do to improve what is potentially a “win now” team?
Ryan Pace is under pressure to produce – if not, he and Matt Nagy could very well be out of the door at the season’s end.
- Round 2 – Pick 11, 43rd overall (from Raiders)
- Round 2 – Pick 18, 50th overall
- 4th Round – Pick 34, 140th overall (compensatory pick)
- 5th Round – Pick 18, 163rd overall
- 6th Round – Pick 17, 196th overall
- 6th Round – Pick 21, 200th overall (from the Eagles)
- 7th Round – Pick 12, 226th overall (from the Raiders)
- 7th Round – Pick 19, 233rd overall
Team Needs: IOL CB S OT G
The bears have a problem this year – no first round picks. This presents a clear dilemma for GM Ryan Pace – trade up or not?
As I’ve written about before, I see the clear need for the bears on the Offensive Line, and potentially more at Cornerback or Safety.
I could see that the bears trade up to potentially garner themselves one of the decent offensive linemen that are available – probably not highly prized guys such as Ruiz or Hennessy, but maybe someone like Jonah Jackson or Damien Lewis.
Or potentially even some of the other OL linemen who are highly rated such as Andrew Thomas from Georgia, or Mekhi Becton from Louisville.
Given the relative paucity of picks available, I’d stick where I was if I were Pace. Win now is all very good, but future picks are very important!
When it comes to the Bears, though, never say never. They may use their second round pick on a young and talented TE. I believe that this would be a mistake, personally!
Let’s see what this week brings, it’s exciting, that’s for sure!