NFL Draft 2021: NFC North Team Needs
The NFC North proved to be no contest last season as the Green Bay Packers ran away with the division like most seasons this decade. The Chicago Bears still managed to make the new expanded playoffs but would be no match for the New Orleans Saints early on.
With the Packers also losing to Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship game, that means all four teams have work to do heading into the draft. None of these four teams made splash free agent signings making the draft that much more important for this division.
Green Bay Packers
Let’s start with the winner of the division.
The Packers lost in the NFC Championship game once again, but this time it wasn’t the defense which let the team down. The offense faltered when it mattered most and since the Packers re-signed running back Aaron Jones, that makes a receiver this team's biggest need.
There are many options for the Packers in that position late in the first round. Rashod Bateman out of Minnesota could be perfect but as long as they find someone to play alongside Davante Adams, the Packers are doing something right.
Longtime center Corey Linsley left to become the highest paid center in the NFL with the Chargers, so the offensive line could also be a position of need in the draft.
It’s really simple, the Bears need offense.
No matter who was at quarterback this season for the Bears, the offense looked stagnant all season long. The Bears did sign Andy Dalton in free agency, but they could easily draft his replacement in the first round by trading up. Teams such as Atlanta and Carolina could welcome a trade for the Bears to get either Trey Lance or Justin Fields.
Wide receiver is also a position of need here as the Bears need another playmaker next to Allen Robinson. They could stay where they are right now and get their guy ahead of the division rival Packers.
Defensive line could also be an option with the Bears having lost some key names at the position over the years, but offense is the biggest need for this team.
Offensive line may be the biggest need for Minnesota.
Kirk Cousins looked lost at times despite having quality weapons on the Vikings like Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Cousins was sacked eleven more times this season than the year before showing how much the team needs to protect him via the draft.
There is always the option, however, to draft Kirk Cousins’s potential replacement. Cousins doesn’t have much time on his contract and if a guy like Mac Jones or Trey Lance falls to pick 14 it may be too much to resist.
Secondary could also be an area of need with Minnesota’s best corner being a newly signed Patrick Peterson, but they may attack that in the later rounds with their league leading 11 selections.
The Lions need a lot right now, but their biggest need may be wide receiver.
If the Lions can walk out of this draft having picked Ja’Marr Chase, then that will be a major win, but there is also a major possibility that doesn’t happen. With the Dolphins picking right ahead of them, Devonta Smith may be the best bet for Detroit and getting the Heisman winning receiver isn’t bad at all at the start of this rebuild.
They could also go for the offensive or defensive tackle positions, but expect those to be dealt with later in the draft.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism