NFC North: Draft Grade and Analysis

The NFL Draft is concluded and within the next couple days I will be recapping the draft in each divisions while both analyzing and grading each pick. Let me know what you guys think down below in the comments!

Green Bay Packers

1. Jaire Alexander, Cornerback, Louisville with the 18th pick
2. Josh Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa with the 45th pick
3. Oren Burks, Linebacker, Vanderbilt with the 88th pick
4. J’Mon Moore, Wide Receiver, Missouri with the 133rd pick
5. Cole Madison, Tackle/Guard, Washington State with the 138th pick
5. JK Scott, Punter, Alabama with the 172nd pick
5. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Wide Receiver, South Florida with the 174th pick
6. Equanimeous St. Brown, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame with the 207th pick
7. James Looney, Defensive Tackle, California with the 232nd pick
7. Hunter Bradley, Long Snapper, Mississippi State with the 239th pick
7. Kendall Donnerson, Outside Linebacker, Southeast Missouri State with the 248th pick

Analysis:

The Packers were the real winners of the first round when they swapped picks with the New Orleans Saints. The Packers walked away with a future first round pick. Even with trading down the Packers still locked arguably the 2nd best cover corner in the draft. The Packers needed a lot of help within the secondary and addressed that with two first round talents even while many believe drafting Josh Jackson was a bit of an overhaul. Trading up to draft Burks was a smart move for the Packers because Burks has some nice quality traits both within the safety position and within sub-package situations. Of the three receivers drafted, I believe Moore will find the most success, however the off field issues are a concern. Both Bradley and Scott are solid players who offer a cheap solution to the special teams unit.

Grade: B+

Packers

Minnesota Vikings

1. Mike Hughes, Cornerback, Central Florida with the 30th pick
2. Brian O’Neill, Offensive Tackle, Pittsburgh with the 62nd pick
4. Jalyn Holmes, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State with the 102nd pick
5. Tyler, Conklin, Tight-End, Central Michigan with the 157th pick
5. Daniel Carlson, Kicker, Auburn with the 167th pick
6. Colby Gossett, Offensive Guard, Appalachian State with the 213th pick
6. Ade Aruna, Defensive End, Tulane with the 218th pick
7. Devante Downs, Linebacker, California

Analysis:

Mike Hughes brings both press corner skills and return ability to the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have a big need for a slot corner. O’Neill will make a solid lineman but needs to spend some time increasing his core strength. Tyler Conklin has the athletic ability and catch radius to become a good weapon for Kirk Cousins. Will both Carlson and Downs will be key players on special teams?

Grade: B

Vikings
Detroit Lions

1. Frank Ragnow, Center, Arkansas with the 20th pick
2. Kerryon Johnson, Running Back, Auburn with the 43rd pick
3. Tracey Walker, Safety, Louisiana-Lafayette with the 82nd pick
4. Da’Shawn Hand, Defensive Lineman, Alabama with the 114th pick
5. Tyrell Crosby, Offensive Tackle, Oregon with the 153rd pick
7. Nick Bawden, Fullback, San Diego State with the 237th pick

Analysis:

Both Ragnow and Crosby helped fill a void in the offensive line. Neither of them allowed a sack last season and Crosby has experience at the guard position. I do expect both will be day one starters who will not only protect Stafford but will help the running game. Drafting Johnson may have been weird pick with Guice still on the board, but Johnson is a talented running back with ideal size and speed. While, Bawden was the best blocking fullback in the nation for the previous two seasons. I love what changes have been made from the draft and I am excited to see what happens.

Grade: B-

Lions.jpg
Chicago Bears

1. Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia with the 8th pick
2. James Daniels, Center/Guard, Iowa with the 39th pick
2. Anthony Miller, Wide Receiver, Memphis with the 51st pick
4. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Inside Linebacker, Western Kentucky with the 115th pick
5. Bilal Nichols, Defensive End, Delaware with the 145th pick
6. Kylie Fitts, Outside Linebacker, Utah with the 181st pick
7. Javon Wims, Wide Receiver, Georgia with the 224th pick

Analysis:

Smith was one of the top players in the draft that wasn’t a quarterback, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio must be pleased with the selection due to his success with Navarro Bowmen. Due to Daniels experience at both center and guard, Daniels is likely to compete for the guard position. Daniels is a great athlete with pro-ready skills. Nichols has the skills to rush from the interior in passing down situations. Fitts has had problems with injuries in the past and will likely find a role on special teams along with Iyiegbuniwe. Although the Bears got key players in the draft, they along with the Lions failed to draft any key pass rushers.

Grade: B-

Bears.jpg

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