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NFC North Draft Preview: Who Might Each Team Draft?

The NFC North is filled with superstars; Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Adrian Peterson all reign supreme in the Black and Blue Division. 

The Green Bay Packers won the division at 8-7-1 last season, followed by the Chicago Bears at 8-8, Detroit Lions at 7-9, and Minnesota Vikings at 5-10-1.

Now, with the season over since February, and with free agency passed by, the NFL Draft is on the minds of the division’s general managers, head coaches, and fans.

Who might they select?

Let’s take a look at each team’s draft needs, and potential picks in the NFC North:

Green Bay Packers: (Pick No. 21 in first round; nine total). 

Draft needs: safety, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, wide receiver/tight end, center).

Possible selections in the first round:  Safeties: Alabama’s Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, Louisville’s Calvin Pryor, or Northern Illinois’ Jimmie Ward. Linebacker: Alabama’s C.J. Mosley or Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier. Defensive tackle: Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman. Tight end: Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro, or Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Chicago Bears: (Pick No. 14 in first round; eight total). 

Draft needs: cornerback/safety, defensive tackle, linebacker.

Possible selections in the first round: Safety: Alabama’s Clinton-Dix, and Louisville’s Pryor. Cornerback: Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert. Defensive tackle: Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald, Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan, Minnesota’s Hageman. Linebacker: Alabama’s Mosley, Ohio State’s Shazier, or UCLA’s Anthony Barr.

Detroit Lions: (Pick No. 10 in first round; eight total). 

Draft needs: Wide receiver, cornerback, safety.

Possible selections in the first round: Cornerback: Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, Virginia Tech’s Corey Fuller, Oklahoma State’s Gilbert. Safeties: Alabama’s Clinton-Dix. Wide receiver: I’ve heard speculation that the Lions could trade up for Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, Jr, or if Detroit decides not to, Texas A&M’s Mike Evans could be available.

Minnesota Vikings: (Pick No. 8 in first round; eight total). 

Draft needs: Quarterback, cornerback, linebacker, offensive line.

Possible selections in the first round: Quarterback: New head coach Mike Zimmer has called Johnny Manziel a ‘sideshow,’ or he could be calling bluff. Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, or Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, who are more ‘pro-style’ signal callers could also be the pick. Cornerback: Michigan State’s Dennard, or Oklahoma State’s Gilbert. Linebacker: Alabama’s Mosley or UCLA’s Barr.

What do you think? Packers, Bears, Lions, and Vikings fans? Who do you want your team to draft in next week’s NFL Draft?

*For comments, or story ideas, email Sam at and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Scott Halleran/Getty Images


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