Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NFC North Draft Preview

With a week until the NFL Draft, we're taking a look at what to expect from all 32 teams come Draft Day, including some recommended blogs to read and folks to follow on Twitter.

2012 Record: 11-5
NFC North Champion, Lost NFC Divisional Game to San Francisco

Draft Picks: 26, 55, 88, 122, 159, (167), 193, 232

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Packers Therapy, Total Packers

Draft Preview: The Packers have lost starters on both sides of the ball in free agency. Their depth at WR should make the departure of Greg Jennings relatively easy, as Aaron Rodgers will still have a plethora of weapons in the passing game. The Packers offensive line still needs work after giving up the second most sacks in the league last year. Their defense was better in 2012 than in 2011 but still has holes at all three levels. The Packers are still looking for a complement to Clay Matthews, but last year's first round pick Nick Perry could provide that piece. There are holes at defensive end and safety that the Packers could look to fill early in the draft.

2012 Record: 10-6
NFC Wild Card, Lost Wild Card Game to Green Bay

Draft Picks: 23, 25, 52, 83, 102, 120, 155, 189, 213, 214, 229

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Darren Page, The Viking Age, Daily Norseman

Draft Preview: The Vikings have had quite the offseason, trading star WR Percy Harvin to Seattle for a first round pick and signing former Packers WR Greg Jennings. With two first round picks, Minnesota has the ammo to either move up in the draft or to land two highly talented players. Despite signing Jennings, the Vikings still have a need at WR to give Christian Ponder additional weapons. Minnesota has needs on all three levels of their defense, starting with a defensive tackle and complementary pass rusher to Jared Allen. The Vikings also need a middle linebacker to anchor their defense and some reports have linked them to Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o. After losing CB Antoine Winfield in free agency, Minnesota's most pressing need is at cornerback to aid their 24th-ranked pass defense. The Vikings are loaded with picks, so don't be surprised if they make some moves on draft day.

2012 Record: 10-6

Draft Picks: 20, 50, 117, 153, 188

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: BearsSTH, ChicagoBearJew, 4th Phase Blog

Draft Preview: Another year, another draft where the Bears have a limited amount of picks. The Bears organization has typically treated the draft as an afterthought and built their team through free agency. This year is no different as they brought in a new left side of their offensive line, a tight end, and two linebackers in free agency. The Bears appear to have parted ways with long-time star Brian Urlacher, and they still have holes to fill at linebacker, defensive end, and rebuilding the right side of their offensive line.

2012 Record: 4-12

Draft Picks: 5, 36, 65, (132), 137, 171, 211, (245)

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Ty Schalter, Pride of Detroit

Draft Preview: The Lions returned to form last season as Megatron put up record numbers but the team failed to win 5 games. The Lions will once again search for a running game this season, and signed free agent RB Reggie Bush to help shoulder the load. The Lions offensive line is still a work in progress, as they will need to replace both tackles heading into the season as long-time starter Jeff Backus remains unsigned and Gosder Cherilus was signed by the Colts. Detroit also lost DE Cliff Avril in free agency to Seattle, and has a hole to fill on the defensive line. The Lions pass defense improved last season, but they still have nothing resembling a shut-down corner and could use help at safety.

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