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Old 08-02-2009, 07:12 AM    (permalink
bearsfan_51
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Default Top 5 draft needs for each NFC North team

Hello all. Just having a little roster analysis fun. Let me know what you think.

(In alphabetical order)

Chicago Bears
Overall: I think I can say without a lot of bias that top to bottom the Bears are in the best shape going forward. There is a need for more competition at certain positions, but outside of wide receiver and safety, not a whole lot of question marks in the starting lineup. This is obviously a good thing, since we won't have any 1st round picks coming in for this year or next.

Wide Receiver: It's gotta be wide receiver. Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, and Juaquin Iglesias all have the opportunity to step up, but none of these guys were 1st, or even 2nd round picks, and none have done anything in the pros. I'm optomistic about Earl Bennett, who was a hell of a college player. Devin Hester is a starting caliber player, but he's not a #1 receiver, I think almost everyone recognizes that.

Defensive End: Adewale Ogunleye and Mark Anderson are both in contract years, and arguably neither player has proven enough to be given a new contract. That would leave Israel Idonije and Alex Brown are our starting defensive ends. Needless to say, some more pass rushers on the outside would be nice.

Free Safety: Danieal Manning has been moved back to free safety (again), but he's also in a contract year (I'm sure he'll get resigned due to his versatility). In any event, he's still better off as a nickel back/kick returner, and I am not confident in Craig Steltz starting on my football team. Josh Bullocks, you are not the answer either.

Strong Safety: Kevin Payne is a pretty good starter, but he's not great. It's hard to say if Steltz is actually better suited at FS, or if we just need him there more. Either way, more competition would be a good thing.

Nose Tackle: Marcus Harrison missed the start of camp due to weight issues. While I think he could be a great player, this is not a good sign. Dusty Dvoracek cannot stay healthy, and even when he is has issues with consistency. As it stands now, Anthony Adams is the best NT on our team. I like Anthony, he's good player, but it's even a drop-off from Tank Johnson a few years ago, and we cut his ass.

Detroit Lions Clearly the Lions have the most question marks. They've added a lot of youth, but that doesn't guarantee much of anything. It's hard to pick just five areas, but I'll give it a try.

Left Tackle: Selecting Brandon Pettigrew over Michael Oher was definintely one of the more questionable moves in the 1st round, but you never know how these things will turn out. Regardless, left tackle is still a need for the Lions. Jeff Backus simply isn't cutting it, and he hasn't been for years. Giving him the contract extension was one of Millen's worst moves IMO, and that's really saying something.

Guard: Even if they draft a left tackle and slide Backus down, they could still use another guard for competition. Stephen Peterman is ok, and maybe Backus would be ok at guard, but it's hard to say. I just don't get what the Lions did in regards to the draft this year. Your line is absolute garbage and you don't select a lineman until pick 228? Bad bad bad.

Defensive EndCliff Avril looks like he could be a starter in the league. On the other side you're picking between Jared DeVries, Dewayne White, and Ikaika Alama-Francis. Lemme lemme upgrade ya.

Defensive Tackle: Looks like we're going all trenches for the Lions. Even assuming that Grady Jackson can hold himself together for a few more years, the rest of the card has guys like Chuck Darby and Andre Fluellen. Sammie Lee Hill at pick 115 was a good one.

Runningback: I know that a lot of Lions fans like Kevin Smith, so I probably won't get much agreement on this one, but I look at Kevin Smith and Maurice Morris and I see adequate backups. There's just nothing special at all about Kevin Smith. I'll give him credit for being a workhorse behind a pretty lousy offensive line, but if the Lions get the chance to draft an impact runningback I think they should take it.

Green Bay Packers:
I imagine this will be the hardest one, since Packers fans always seem to think their team is flawless, even when they go 6-10.;) Lots of talent on this team, but also lots of dissapointments last year. I've seen a lot of predictions about them turning it around in a big way, and while that certainly could happen, there are some areas of concern. As my rankings show, outside of DE and Safety there aren't many places I would consider 'holes', but there are a lot of questions on this team. On top of the defensive transition, the running game was pretty flat last year, and like Kevin Smith, I've never been terribly impressed with Ryan Grant.

Defensive End: Much like the Lions, I think the Packers biggest areas of concern are along the line. I'm still not a huge fan of their switch to the 3-4, and one area where they seem pretty bare is across from Cullen Jenkins. At this point I believe the leader is Johnny Jolly, who is having some suspension issues (correct me if I'm wrong). Maybe Justin Harrell finally emerges as a useful NFL player, but his clock is ticking very fast. Cullen Jenkins at least seems to be the prototype for the position, but it's hard to say. Neither he nor Harrell have had much luck staying healthy. Signing Igor Olshansky would have been a prudent move IMO.

Strong Safety: The Packers resigned Atari Bigby, who, when healthy, is a pretty good, but inconsistent player. The cubbord isn't completely bare here, but if Bigby gets hurt again or fails to perform, the Packers could struggle on defense again. If Nick Collins leaves for FA free safety becomes an issue.

Offensive Tackle: You pick which side. Chad Clifton is 33, Mark Tauscher is gone, and the Packers have spent a lot of mid-round picks on offensive tackles of all different stripes. Perhaps the answer at both spots is already in-house, it's hard to say until they perform in game situations, but I'm skeptical at this point. Daryn Colledge is also a FA.

Outside Linebacker: Assuming that Clay Matthews is the answer and Aaron Kampman makes the transition smoothly, this isn't really an issue. But that's puting a lot of eggs in the basket of an unproven rookie. Behind them is Jeremy Thompson and Brady Popinga. Re-signing Kampman is obviously a huge priority.

Insde Linebacker: I'll admit that I've never been terribly impressed with Hawk or Barnett, but given their play especially last year I thought the Packers would entertain the notion of getting more linebacker depth in the off-season. Didn't happen. Not a huge need, but something I'd be concerned with going to the 3-4.

Minnesota Vikings
Overall: The defending champs didn't get any worse, but outside of Percy Harvin being a potential first year weapon, they didn't do much to seemingly improve either. If you could draft a new coach I'd put that here, as I think Brad Childress might be the worst coach in the NFL.

Quarterback: Obviously. As a Bears fan I know the pain of enduring awful quaterback after awful quarterback. Having watched a lot of the Vikings the past two years living in Minnesota, I can honestly say that I think Tarvaris Jackson is worse than Rex Grossman ever was. The mantra seems to be that it's his job to lose. I can't imagine him not doing exactly that.

Center: There is supposedly an in-house replacement for Matt Birk. Until he proves himself, however, this remains a pretty big question mark.

Defensive Tackle: The Vikings had limited draft picks and are trying to win now, so it's understandable why they didn't look for a Pat Williams successor, but the fact remains that he's 37 years old, and Jimmy Kennedy probably isn't the answer.

Defensive End: Jarred Allen is obviously awesome, but Ray Edwards is a question mark, and in a contract year. I'm a big Brian Robison fan, so maybe he's the answer here.

Back 7 defensive depth: The Vikings have a pretty solid starting 7 behind the defensive line, but the depth is pretty awful. Here are the next in-line in case someone gets hurt.
OLB- Heath Farwell
ILB- Jasper Brinkley
CB- Karl Paymah (already nickel back), Asher Allen
S- Eric Frampton, Jamarca Sanford

The Vikings have hurt themselves depth-wise by trading up the past few years. A few injuries could really crush this defense. This also helps explain why the Vikings speial teams seems to suck every year.
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Last edited by bearsfan_51 : 08-02-2009 at 07:21 AM.
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