NFC North Draft Recap and Grades

Marianne O’Leary / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Chicago Bears: Cole Kmet – TE Notre Dame, Jaylon Johnson – CB Utah, Trevis Gipson – LB Tulsa, Kindle Vildor – CB Georgia Southern, Darnell Mooney – WR Tulane, Arlington Hambright OG Colorado, and Lachavious Simmons OG Tennessee State.

Draft Grade: B-

The Chicago Bears did not have a first round pick this year due to the Khalil Mack trade. Their first pick in the second round was Cole Kmet. Kmet was considered by many to be the best TE in the draft and predicted to be a first or second round talent. The Bears nabbed a this great talent that can stretch the field with his 4.71 second 40-yard dash and his above average ball skills. He racked up 57 receptions for 647 yards and 6 TDs in his 3 years at Notre Dame. Chicago then picked 2019 All American, and 2 time (2018-2019) all-team Pack-12 CB, Jaylon Johnson, from Utah. He played last year with a torn labrum, but is expected return recovered. He had a 3-year career at Utah with 101 tackles, 21 passes defensed and 7 interceptions, 2 of which were returned for TDs. Chicago then added a few players in the later rounds by selecting a receiver and two offensive linemen. After making a great first pick, Chicago used what they had left to address some weak spots on their roster, but did not mend their 2 biggest weaknesses: WR or OL.

Military service members participated in various ceremonies and activities during a Chicago Bears game a few days after Veterans Day designated to honor troops at Soldier Field in Chicago, Nov. 16. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret)

Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah – CB Ohio State, D’Andre Swift – RB Georgia, Julian Okwara – LB Notre Dame, Jonah Jackson – OG Ohio State, Logan Stenberg – OG Kentucky, Quintez Cephus – WR Wisconsin, Jason Huntley – RB New Mexico State, John Penisini – DT Utah, and Jashon Cornell – DE Ohio State.

Draft Grade A

The Detroit Lions had the best Draft in the NFC North, possibly within the entire NFL. Their first pick was shut-down CB from OSU Jeff Okudah, touted by many as the best DB in the draft. During his 3-year career at OSU he made 70 tackles, 14 pass defenses, 2 FF, and 3 INT. He ran a 4.48 second 40-yard dash and is known for his great work ethic. The Lion’s second pick fulfilled their RB position by selecting D’Andre Swift RB from UG. Swift is a tough slasher who ran a 4.48 second 40-yard dash and racked up 2,850 yards and 20 TDs during his 3 years at Georgia. The Lions went on to select two offensive guards and Wisconsin WR, Quintez Cephus, who was projected to go earlier in the draft, but was hurt with his off the field issue and a slow 40-yard dash (4.56 sec). Detroit fulfilled their needs.

Michael Barera / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Green Bay Packers: Jordan Love – QB Utah State, AJ Dillon – RB Boston College, Josiah Deguara – TE Cincinnati, Kamal Martin – LB Minnesota, Jon Runyan – OG Michigan, Jake Henson – C Oregon, Simon Stepaniak – OG Indiana, Vernon Scott – DB TCU, and Jonathon Garvin – DE Miami.

Draft grade C+

Green Bay shocks fans and drafts Jordan Love first. Love will not be under any pressure to start unless Aaron Rodgers gets hurt. During Love’s 3 years at Utah State he accrued 7,670 yards, 53 TDs, 27 INTs, and ended his college career with a 138 QBR. Then Green Bay shocks us all again and drafts BC’s A.J. Dillon a bruising back at 6 foot 247 lbs who ran a 4.53 second 40-yard dash. He managed to rush for 4,225 yards and 37 TDs in 3 years for BC. Packers then select a versatile TE Josiah Deguara who Coach LaFleur said plans on utilizing all over formations. Green Bay finally address’s a couple of positions of need by drafting an inside linebacker from Minnesota and then 3 interior offensive linemen. They then added depth at QB, RB, and TE. The negative is Green Bay did not address their deficiencies in CBs or WRs.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Lambeau-field.jpg

Minnesota Vikings: Justin Jefferson – WR LSU, Jeff Gladney – CB TCU, Ezra Cleveland – OT Boise State, Cameron Dantzler – CB Mississippi State, D.J. Wonnum – DE South Carolina, James Lynch – DT Baylor, Troy Dye – LB Oregon, Harrison Hand – CB Temple, K.J. Osborn – WR Miami, Blake Brandel – OT Oregon State, Josh Metellus – Michigan S, Kenny Willekes – DE Michigan, Nate Stanley – QB Iowa, Brian Cole II – S Mississippi State, and Kyle Hinton – OG Washburn.

Draft grade A-

The Vikings start off by picking 6’1” 202 lb. LSU WR Justin Jefferson, who ran a respectable 4.43 sec 40-yard dash. Jefferson had a 2-year college career at LSU and accrued 138 receptions, 1,995 yards with 24 total TDs. He led the rookie class with an 83% catch rate and 18 TDs last year. The Vikings then picked Gladney out of TCU. After 4 years at TCU, Gladney had 139 tackles, 32 pass defenses, 1.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions. Gladney should be able to keep up with most WRs with his 4.43 second 40-yard dash time. Minnesota continued to address their position problems by drafting 3 offensive linemen, 4 defensive backs, 2 DEs, and a linebacker. Overall, I think Minnesota got a great WR in Jefferson and helped replace some of their defensive players that left in FA. Minnesota did a surprisingly good job getting lots of picks and addressing their needs.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from Washington, D.C. / Public domain

One thought on “NFC North Draft Recap and Grades

  1. Great article! I agree that Detroit killed it this year. We will see how much the rookies will have an immediate impact In the NFC North this year!

    Like

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