NFC North Draft Needs

Bill Huber

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers’ list of offseason priorities is well known. They need a receiver opposite Davante Adams. They need a linebacker to pair with Christian Kirksey. Reinforcements are needed in the trenches.

What if those presumptions aren't true?

In a piece at SI.com, Andy Benoit went over needs of the NFC North teams and Gary Gramling found draft prospects that could fill those needs. Here are excerpts from each of the team writeups.

Green Bay Packers: Defensively, the Packers play enough dime personnel (6 DBs, 1 LB) that linebacker cannot be considered any sort of priority position, but even after signing underrated and athletic ex-Brown Christian Kirksey it still might behoove Green Bay to find a classic run-thumper to fill the void of departed free agent B.J. Goodson. This season the Packers have seven games against teams that are capable of riding a smashmouth ground game: the Vikings (twice), Jaguars, Panthers, 49ers, Titans and Colts.

Chicago Bears: GM Ryan Pace may want to dip into this draft’s uncommonly deep wide receiver pool and jolt his offense with a dynamic target opposite Allen Robinson, but it will be hard for Pace not to address the defensive backfield with his first two picks (No. 43 and No. 50). The departures of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Prince Amukamara leave gaping holes at safety and right corner.

Detroit Lions: When Darius Slay was shipped to Philadelphia, many penciled in Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah to the Lions at pick No. 3. And that’s probably valid. No defense plays more man coverage than Detroit and for that to work, you must have three quality corners. The Lions, right now, have two: Justin Coleman (who plays the slot in nickel) and Desmond Trufant (who is a downgrade from Slay).

Minnesota Vikings: The implication of QB Kirk Cousins’s two-year contract extension is the Vikings believe their championship window is still open. But as it stands, this team has three gaping holes in its starting lineup on both sides of the ball. Offensively, it starts at wide receiver, following the Stefon Diggs trade. In-house replacement options Olabisi Johnson and Chad Beebe can be serviceable contributors off the bench, but a veritable No. 2 target must be found.

FOR FULL REPORTS ON ALL FOUR TEAMS, PLUS DRAFT TARGETS, CLICK HERE.

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