Grading the Draft: NFC North
The black and blue division experienced its fair share of drama throughout the 2017 NFL draft weekend, from a major trade in the 1st round, to teams acquiring A LOT of picks late in the draft, the NFC North was a fun group to watch work in Philadelphia. Take a look at how I graded the division below, and let me know what you think on Twitter @FF_EvilEmpire!
The most controversial move of the entire draft came only a few moments after Commissioner Goodell opened the event on Thursday night. Holding the 3rd pick overall, the Chicago Bears surrendered number 3, along with three additional picks (picks 67 and 111 in 2017 and a third in 2018), to move up one spot… ONE BLEEPIN’ SPOT, in order to secure the rights to North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. What’s weird is that Chicago had already signed Mike Glennon to an $18mm contract this offseason, making the move to jump up and get Trubisky a head scratcher. Why did the Bears do this? They need help at multiple positions, there were very few teams that had Trubisky rated higher than 23rd on their board, and coach Fox was not aware of the idea to pick Trubisky at all. So strange!
Anyway, after mortgaging most of the 2017 draft in the first 30 mins of the night, Bears GM Ryan Pace added a few “ehh” pieces to the roster in TE Adam Shaheen and S Eddie Jackson during the middle rounds of the draft. He followed that up with a nice pick, selecting the Darren Sproles-esque Tarik Cohen and finally finished off his draft in round 5, selecting Jordan Morgan, who could eventually (like in three years) compete for a starting job if he proves he can handle NFL-level defensive ends.
Round 1, Pick 2 (№2 overall, from 49ers) — Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC Round 2, Pick 13 (№45) (From Arizona) — Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland Round 4, Pick 5 (№112) (From Buffalo) — Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama Round 4, Pick 13 (№119) (From Arizona) — Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T
Round 5, Pick 3 (№147) — Jordan Morgan, G, Kutztown University
If Trubisky is the QB answer, Pace made the right move, and nobody will care how much he gave up to get him. However, this entire draft feels like a reach, and there seems to be some kind of schism between management and the coaching staff. I don’t see great things ahead in the windy city anytime soon.
Maybe we should just consider the state of Florida to be the Lions’ developmental league… Jarrad Davis in the first round, his teammate Teez Tabor of the Florida Gators in the second, and Brad Kaaya of Miami in the seventh were all selected to start their careers in the Motor City. Adding to their Florida stash, the Lions picked WR Kenny Golladay, a tall, lanky, vertical threat for Stafford, and a linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who reminds me of DeAndre Levy. To round out the draft, they chose a former basketball player in tight end Michael Roberts, a corner in Jamal Agnew, and two defensive linemen named Jeremiah Ledbetter and Pat O’Connor.
Round 1, Pick 21 (21st overall) — Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida Round 2, Pick 21 (№53) — Teez Tabor, CB, Florida Round 3, Pick 32 (№96) — Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois Round 4, Pick 18 (№124) (From New England) — Jalen Reeves-Maybin, OLB, Tennessee Round 4, Pick 21 (№127) — Michael Roberts, TE, University of Toledo Round 5, Pick 21 (№165) — Jamal Agnew, CB, San Diego Round 6, Pick 21 (№205) — Jeremiah Ledbetter, DE, Arkansas Round 6, Pick 32 (№215) (From New England) — Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
Round 7, Pick 32 (№250) (From New England) — Pat O’Connor, DE, Eastern Michigan
While many experts didn’t like this draft, I would have to disagree. I think the Lions got a couple of impact players who will contribute at positions of need right away. I think Davis is the real deal, who will produce as a top 10 linebacker early in his career. I think Tabor, Golladay, Roberts and Kaaya were all value picks, making this draft a success for Detroit.
Green Bay Packers
Some Packers fans were a bit miffed at Ted Thompson’s decision to drop out of the first round in 2017 rather than selecting hometown stud T.J. Watt from Wisconsin. I agree with the fans’ sentiment here, and even though Thompson landed a lanky press corner in Kevin King with the first pick of the second round, I thought taking Watt or Reuben Foster with the 29th pick would have given the Packers an immediate starter and impact player from day one. Instead, the Packers scored depth at positions of need with the picks they got in return for the 29th selection.
Not to say their draft wasn’t solid. In fact, I think selecting three RBs and two WRs late will help Green Bay, who usually has health issues spring up each year. Plus, I think Amichia at Center will add nice depth to the GB offensive line.
Round 2, Pick 1 (33rd overall) (From Browns) — Kevin King, CB, Washington Round 2, Pick 29 (№61) — Josh Jones, S, N.C. State Round 3, Pick 29 (№93) — Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn Round 4, Pick 1 (№108) (From Browns) — Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin Round 4, Pick 28 (№134) — Jamaal Williams, RB, Brigham Young University Round 5, Pick 32 (№175) — (From Broncos) DeAngelo Yancey, WR, Purdue Round 5, Pick 39 (№182) — (Compensatory pick) Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP Round 6, Pick 29 (№212) — Kofi Amichia, C, USF Round 7, Pick 20 (№238) — Devante Mays, RB, Utah State
Round 7, Pick 29 (№247) — Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU
Overall, Ted Thompson procured 10 players, all who could provide value to the team and have a chance to develop in even more. I think this draft provided the Packers coaching staff plenty of options at need positions like DB and RB, which is nice, but the haul could have been better.
The Vikings traded their 2017 first-round pick to the Eagles for the rights to Sam Bradford last season. The move left Minnesota without a first round pick, but that didn’t stop the Vikings from obtaining a top-25 talent in this draft. As many devy fantasy owners already know, Dalvin Cook was a superstar from day one in Tallahassee and could overtake newly added running back Latavius Murray as the Vikings’ primary running back as soon as opening day. Cook has to keep his off-the-field antics in check, but we’re confident he’ll be on his best behavior in Minneapolis.
Cook alone makes this draft solid, but after trading up in the 2nd round, GM Rick Spielman traded up again in the 3rd round to go after center/guard Pat Elflein, a gritty, Big Ten stud out of Ohio State, which was a nice move as well. But, Spielman was not done there, making four more trades throughout the draft, ending his day with 11 total picks.
Round 2, Pick 9 (№41 overall) — Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Round 3, Pick 6 (№70) — Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State: Round 4, Pick 2 (№109) — Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa Round 4, Pick 14 (№120): — Ben Gedeon, LB, University of Michigan Round 5, Pick 27 (№170) — Rodney Adams, WR, USF Round 5, Pick 37 (№180) — Danny Isidora, G, Miami Round 6, Pick 17 (№201) — Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech Round 7, Pick 1 (№219) — Stacy Coley, WR, Miami Round 7, Pick 2 (№220) — Ifeadi Odenigbo, DL, Northwestern Round 7, Pick 2 (№232) — Elijah Lee, LB, Kansas State
Round 7, Pick 27 (№245) — Jack Tocho, CB, N.C. State
Overall, I like the Vikings draft a lot. They got a top talent in the 2nd round, they added some gritty players in the middle, and then finished the draft with some solid depth options who could develop into startable options under coach Zimmer.
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Originally published at dynastyfootballfactory.com on May 5, 2017.