One week removed from the 2018 NFL Draft, fans won’t really know who are the real winners or losers until a few seasons down the road. However, that won’t stop NFL experts in determining who they believe did well and who got the short end of the stick.
Let’s break the NFC North draft down.
Chicago Bears — B-
1. Roquan Smith, LB: Georgia
2. James Daniels, C: Iowa
2. Anthony Miller, WR: Kentucky
4. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB: Western Kentucky
5. Bilal Nichols, DT: Delaware
6. Kylie Fitts, DE: Utah
7 Javon Wims, WR: Georgia
The Bears wanted to get stronger on defense, and by all appearances they did. Roquan Smith joins LB Leonard Floyd with hopes of solidifying the inside and outside of the defense for the Bears. With Mitchell Trubisky running the show in 2018, Chicago is hoping to make a run to the postseason.
Detroit Lions — B+
1. Frank Ragnow, C Arkansas
2. Kerryon Johnson, RB: Auburn
3. Tracy Walker, S: Louisiana
4. Da’Shawn Hand, DE: Alabama
5. Tyrell Crosby, OL: Oregon
7. Nick Bawden, FB: San Diego State
Lions fans said “Who?” when Detroit announced Arkansas center Frank Ragnow as their first selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Lions said they were committed to bolstering their offensive line and they stuck to it. Ragnow did not allow a single sack in college, and fifth-round selection Tyrell Crosby, a tackle out of Oregon did not allow a sack last season.
Detroit is hoping with these two selections they will help solidify protection for QB Matt Stafford.
Green Bay Packers — C
1. Jaire Alexander CB: Louisville
2. Josh Jackson, CB: Iowa
3. Oren Burks, OLB: Wake Forest
4. J’Mon Moore, WR: Missouri
5. Cole Madison, OL: Washington State
5. JK Scott, P: Alabama
5. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR: South Florida
6. Equanimeous St. Brown, WR: Notre Dame
7. James Looney, DE: California
7. Hunter Bradley, LS: Mississippi State
7. Kendall Donnerson, LB: Southeast Missouri State
The Packers wanted to strengthen their defensive corners and showed it right away in the 2018 draft. Green Bay allowed an NFL-worst 21 TD passes in 2017, which made Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson justifiable selections. Jackson was a stud at Iowa and may be the best athlete the Packers selected in the entire draft.
Minnesota Vikings — B+
1. Mike Hughes, CB: South Florida
2. Brian O’Neill, OT: Pittsburgh
4. Jalyn Holmes, DE: Ohio State
5. Tyler Conklin, TE: Central Michigan
5. Daniel Carlson, K: Auburn
6. Colby Gossett, OG: Appalachian State
6. Ade Aruna, DE: Tulane
7. Devante Downs, LB: California
They landed Kirk Cousins in free agency, and their first five draft selections may all be keepers this season. The Vikings are showing they are ready to prove last season was far from a fluke. Cornerback Mike Hughes and DE Jalyn Holmes should make an impact this season. TE Tyler Conklin may turn out to be the surprise of the draft for the Vikings and should be a nice compliment to Kyle Rudolph.
Now the questions are out there. Will the Vikings rule the North, or will Aaron Rodgers regain his form and lead the Packers to another division title? Can Matt Patricia work his magic in Detroit and lead the Lions to the postseason or are the Bears ready to surprise everyone and return to their “Monsters of the Midway” form?
Here are the early NFC North odds.
- Vikings +140
- Packers +185
- Lions +500
- Bears +600