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NFC North NFL Draft Preview

Thursday the NFL will take center stage once again as teams look to build for a run at next year’s Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at the direction the NFC North teams may go in this year’s upcoming draft.

Chicago Bears:

Despite going 10-6, the Bears missed the playoffs and fired Lovie Smith. Chicago hired Marc Trestman, and own the No. 20 pick in this year’s first round.

Chicago has a majority of needs, including offensive line, linebacker, wide receiver, cornerback, and tight end.

Possible first round options for the Bears may be:

  • Alec Ogeltree, ILB, Georgia/Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame/Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State – Bottom line is the Bears didn’t re-sign Brian Urlacher, and must find a replacement for him.
  • Chance Warmack, G, Alabama – Chicago did sign Jermon Bushrod, but depth and versatile is never a bad thing in the NFL.
  • Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington – The Bears secondary with Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman are among the best in the NFL, and it wouldn’t hurt to groom another cornerback.
  • Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame – Chicago signed Martellus Bennett in free agency, but the more targets for Jay Cutler, the more explosive offense the Bears will have.

Detroit Lions:

The Lions went 4-12 despite making the playoffs in 2012, and own the No. 5 draft pick in the draft in two days.

Detroit’s major needs are defensive end, offensive line, and cornerback. Possible first round options for the Lions may be:

  • Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan/Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama/Lane Johnson, OL, Oklahoma  – The Lions took Riley Reiff a year ago in the first round, and this offseason, Jeff Backus retired. Depth at the position wouldn’t hurt. Jones might be the best pick, as he has played every position along the line in college at Alabama.
  • Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU – The Lions didn’t re-sign Cliff Avril, and have only three defensive ends on the roster.
  • Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama – In Mel Kiper’s  mock draft released Monday, he had the Lions picking Milliner. Milliner is a fast cornerback with 4.37 speed, but he had torn labrum surgery that he is recovering from which could make the former Alabama star fall.

Green Bay Packers

Two years removed from winning the Super Bowl and two years of losing in the NFC Divisional playoffs leaves the Packers finding new ways to get better and back to the Super Bowl.

The Packers have a ton of needs starting at linebacker, running back, safety, defensive tackle, and offensive tackle. Green Bay owns the No. 26 pick.

Possible first round options for the Packers may be:

  • Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama – Green Bay has had a run game by committee for the last few seasons, and it’s time to find a running back who can carry a full-time load and take pressure off Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay hasn’t taken a running back in the first round since 1990.
  • Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina/Jonathan Hawkins, DT, Ohio State – Green Bay needs to find a defensive lineman to pair up with B.J. Raji, and haven’t since Cullen Jenkins left after 2010.
  • Matt Elam, S, Florida – Charles Woodson was released, and the Packers have secondary holes that need to be addressed.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings made the playoffs in 2013, and own two first round picks in the draft, and own No. 23 and No. 25. However, no one really knows what the Vikings will do. Minnesota’s been rumored to trade up to get a wide receiver, but could sit at their picks, too.

The Vikings draft needs are defensive line, linebacker, cornerback, and wide receiver. Possible first round options for the Vikings may be:

  • Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame – Rick Spielman had dinner with the Irish star, and Minnesota has drafted a ton of Irish players recently.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee/Keenan Allen, WR, California – Minnesota signed Greg Jennings, but need traded Percy Harvin. They need more options at wideout.
  • Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina/Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama – Kevin Williams isn’t getting any younger, and another Williams makes perfect sense.

There it is, NFC North fans. Now, just tune into the draft to see who your favorite team drafts this weekend.

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