As the beginning of the NFL season creeps upon us it’s time for this year’s draft class to live up to the hype. This class being a very deep and well rounded class it’s hard to rank which teams had a better draft due to these circumstances. But today I will be distinguishing the best and the worst draft classes out of the NFC North.
4. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have been in a weird state the last couple seasons where they aren’t a contender but they’re also not a rebuilding team. The last couple years it has always seemed like they needed one more tool to slingshot them into being a true contender, but this draft did not do that for me. Two of their most notable picks being their first two picks being Safety out of Georgia, Lewis cine, and cornerback out of Clemson, Andrew Booth. Although their biggest setback for their ranking is the trade they initiated with the Bears. There are two BAD things about this trade that must be spoken about. How much the Vikings gave up for the pick is a big issue and especially to a division rival. The Vikings sent the Lions the 12th and 46th pick for the 32nd, 34th, and the 66th pick in the draft. I feel as only having to give away only one first round pick was not enough. If they gave up another future pick I would have seen it better especially since we know the Vikings are not gonna obtain a top ten pick next season. Another bad thing is the value they got out of the twelfth pick. Jameson Williams was seen as a top three receiver in the draft post injury. Before his injury Williams was seen as the best receiver in the country, and even then he is still seen as a receiver with very high upside for his NFL career. As a Packers fan I was fuming to see that Jameson Williams was off the board in hopes we somehow managed to trade up and steal him. Other than the trade the Vikings had a pretty good draft they did manage to get their own value out of the trade in their own way with safety Lewis Cine. The rest of the draft you can tell they took some risks especially with taking Booth and Ingram, Booth with injury concerns, and Ingram with off the field issues. Both being very good players I 100% see why they took the risk on both which I can not knock them for. After that nothing else crazy about their draft all around it is very solid.
To grade it as a whole I’ll give it a B-
3. Chicago Bears
When it comes to ranking these divisions’ draft classes everyone has the Bears and Vikings at the bottom simply because compared to the Packers and Lions their draft was not as successful as the other teams. It is a very close race for last when it comes to the Vikings and Bears but I give the Bears a very slight edge over them really trying to help Fields in the near future. A lot of people would have the Bears last simply because of how much they passed up on, but I see them as third because of future potential. A huge problem with the Bears last season was protection, Fields was running for his life every time he dropped back for a pass. Offensive line help was their biggest necessity coming into this year’s draft and I feel as they hit on it. Yes, they did pass up on a lot of talent but you have to remember this team is rebuilding and it was obvious their main focal point was coming into this draft and that was getting help for their franchise guy in Justin Fields. The Kyler Gordon pick was not the best decision to make. I feel as though they are trying to get Fields’ line help they should have given him another receiver especially in the second round where there were still really good receivers on the board knowing the depth of this receiving class. Looking at this class as a normal NFL fan you would believe this class is atrocious, but if you actually look into it as the Bears you’d get a better glimpse of how this class is anything less than solid.
For a grade I am also giving this class a B-
2. Detroit Lions
The Lions are a very interesting team to rank when it comes to this due to everyone putting them as one of the best drafts in all of the NFL due to their amazing day one. With the second overall pick the Lions select edge rusher out of Michigan, Aidan Hutchinson. Almost everyone you asked had Hutchinson as the number one overall pick but he somehow fell to the second overall pick straight into the Lion’s hands. Later in the same round the Lions traded up to take the Vikings twelfth overall pick and draft receiver out of Alabama Jameson Williams. These two picks are what projects the Lions into everyone’s top spot, but after these two great picks the Lions did not do much else sparking the “wow” factor. Not saying the rest of their draft was bad, but simply saying the rest of the class does not live up to the hype brought up by their day one picks. Looking at all the picks you can tell the Lions really wanted to try and beef up the defense with six of their eight picks being defensive picks. The main reason I have the Lions so high is the same reason I put the Bears over the Vikings, potential. The potential the Lions have is immense and in a couple seasons this team is gonna be nasty if this rebuild goes according to plan. As we all know Jared Goff is not their guy with how deep the quarterback class is for next year’s class they can handle one more year with him and draft a quarterback next season with less risk. With Jeff Okudah they should give him one more season to see if he can somehow stay healthy all year and if things don’t work out they can simply draft another corner to be his replacement. In 3 years this team will do a complete 180 from where they are at right now with all the potential surrounding this team.
For a grade I will give the Lions a B+
1. Green Bay Packers
As a Packers fan it is very easy to put the Packers at one due to my large amounts of bias. I could go on all day about this class but I won’t do that to you guys and only touch on surface level stuff on this draft. Starting off with the thing people talked about the most was our day one picks being Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt. These two picks were the biggest question marks on day one of the draft as people wondered why we did not go the receiver route. As a Packers fan myself I wanted us to somehow trade up and steal a player like Olave or Williams, but that was far from the harsh reality. To make up for it though the Packers later snagged receiver out of North Dakota State University, Christian Watson, who has elite upside if he eliminates his biggest issue being dropping passes. We also managed to get the training camp star in Romeo Doubs in the fourth round of the draft. In my opinion Doubs has the potential to be the best player out of our entire draft class with how he has been looking in training camp he’s leaning towards that path at being the first option in this offense. The Packers defense also looks like it is gonna be the best it has been in a long time. Quay Walker is a perfect scheme fit for the Packers and adds to something our defense needed badly being linebacker depth. With the loss of premier pass rusher Za’darius Smith the Packers rebounded by drafting South Carolina edge rusher Kinglsey Enagbare who does not stand out as a big steal, but he was seen as a third round talent and he fell all the way to the Packers in the fifth. This draft class was really overlooked despite being one of the best drafts the Packers have had in a long time.
For a grade I will give an A-