Draft Grades: NFC North

Another year of the NFL Draft has come and gone, and this year’s draft, although knocked for not having an excess of elite talent, certainly did not disappoint in entertainment value.

In the NFC North, after being heavily Packer dominated for the past decade, the other teams are finally catching up to the Green and Gold. The Vikings won the division last year, and the Bears and Lions are on the up swing. Let’s take a look at how the teams from the *Chris Berman voice “NFC Norse” division came away from the draft.

Chicago Bears:

Round 1 Pick 9: Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
Round 2 Pick 56: Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State
Round 3 Pick 72: Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida
Round 4 Pick 113: Nick Kwiatkowski, LB, West Virginia
Round 4 Pick 124: Deon Bush, S, Miami
Round 4 Pick 127: Deiondre Hall, CB, Northern Iowa
Round 5 Pick 150: Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana
Round 6 Pick 185: DeAndre Houston-Carson, S, William & Mary
Round 7 Pick 230: Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan

Analysis: I wasn’t wild about Floyd, and I really wasn’t wild about trading up to get him, but it’s tough to fault a team for going to get their “guy”. Whitehair was an excellent value at the end of the 2nd round, and should be a Day 1 starter. The Bears went defense heavy, and they got some good ones. In addition to Floyd, they get Jon Bullard, an interior disruptor, Nick Kwiatkowski, a very solid linebacker with the most Chicago name ever, Deon Bush, a head hunter from Miami, Deiondre Hall, a developmental cornerback from FCS with 34 inch arms, and DeAndre Houston-Carson, a special teams ace who can play corner as well as safety. I also really liked the Jordan Howard pick, as he’ll help replace Matt Forte, and Daniel Braverman is a super twitchy slot receiver. I expect all of these players to make impacts for the Bears within two years.

Grade: B+

Detroit Lions: 

Round 1 Pick 16: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Round 2 Pick 46: A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama
Round 3 Pick 95: Graham Glasgow, OL, Michigan
Round 4 Pick 111: Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
Round 5 Pick 151: Joe Dahl, OL, Washington State
Round 5 Pick 169: Antwione Williams, LB, Georgia Southern
Round 6 Pick 191: Jake Rudock, QB, Michigan
Round 6 Pick 202: Anthony Zettel, DL, Penn State
Round 6 Pick 210: Jimmy Landes, LS, Baylor
Round 7 Pick 236: Dwayne Washington, RB, Washington

Analysis: It’s pretty clear to see what Detroit wanted to do in this draft. With Calvin Johnson retiring, I expect the Lions to get much more physical and run-oriented. They start with Decker, who at the worst is a solid starting right tackle, with the upside to be a good starting left tackle. Next they took A’Shawn Robinson, who was a very good value in the middle of the 2nd round. The next two picks hurt their grade; Glasgow, while I liked him, was a reach in the 3rd round. Killebrew also went a little high for me, as he’s a liability in coverage at this point. Joe Dahl was a nice pick, as he can play multiple spots on the OL. Williams is a freak athlete at linebacker, so he’s a developmental piece. Anthony Zettel was a nice pick up in the 6th, he’ll find a spot on the DL. Jake Rudock shouldn’t have been drafted, and neither should any long snapper, but the Lions did it anyways. Washington is an interesting fit, it’ll be interesting if he makes the roster. I like what the Lions were trying to do, just not some of the guys they chose.

Grade: C+

Green Bay Packers:

Round 1 Pick 27: Kenny Clark, DL, UCLA
Round 2 Pick 48: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Round 3 Pick 88: Kyler Fackrell, EDGE, Utah State
Round 4 Pick 131: Blake Martinez, LB, Stanford
Round 4 Pick 137: Dean Lowry, DL, Northwestern
Round 5 Pick 163: Trevor Davis, WR, California
Round 6 Pick 200: Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford

Analysis: Ted Thompson is notorious for sticking to his Best Player Available philosophy, so it wasn’t a shock when he passed on Reggie Ragland to pick a better player in his opinion. Kenny Clark is a 20 year old plug and play defensive lineman who will endear himself to the cheeseheads soon enough. Spriggs is a stud athlete for an offensive lineman, prompting the Packers to trade up to get him. He’ll replace one of the starting tackles who are free agents next offseason. Fackrell is an old prospect, but a good athlete who can cover. Martinez is a tackling machine, and should end up a starter inside. Dean Lowry fell due to his arm length, but is a good athlete for his size. Expect him to make an impact. Davis, a Hawai’i transfer, is a speedster with good hands, a nice value at that spot in the draft. Murphy will likely be a swing tackle, but should immediately become the Packers backup right tackle.

Grade: B

Minnesota Vikings:

Round 1 Pick 23: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Round 2 Pick 54: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Round 4 Pick 121: Willie Beavers, OT, Western Michigan
Round 5 Pick 160: Kentrell Brothers, LB, Missouri
Round 6 Pick 180: Moritz Boehringer, WR, Schwabish Hall Unicorns
Round 6 Pick 188: David Morgan II, TE, Texas-San Antonio
Round 7 Pick 227: Stephen Weatherly, DE, Vanderbilt
Round 7 Pick 244: Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson

Analysis: After seeing the guy the Vikings really wanted go two picks before them, Treadwell is one hell of a consolation prize. He’ll instantly help Teddy Bridgewater in the underneath game and at the catch point. Mackensie Alexander is a good value, but doesn’t fit their scheme real well. Mike Zimmer is a cornerback whisperer, so I won’t knock it. Beavers is a reach in the 4th, and is a developmental project. Brother is a nice depth linebacker and special teamer. I’m not a huge fan of the Boehringer pick, but he’s got high upside. You can just never put him on waivers. David Morgan II was a really nice pick. The Vikings always take a freak athlete in the 7th round, so they took Weatherly, a nice piece in the 7th. Apparently Zimmer had pounded the table for Kearse a few times, and he should remind Viking fans of George Iloka, who Zimmer had in Cincy. However, Kearse is a huge project. I really liked most of the Vikings picks, but a couple were a bit surprising.

Grade: B-

Written by 

Adams-Friendship Green Devil and Carroll University Pioneer for life. Aspiring to be great. @RieseDraft

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