NFL Draft: NFC North team needs
Plenty of big moves have been made in the NFC North this season. With all four teams presenting talented quarterbacks, let’s see what each team can do to build around them.
Needs: OG, OT, WR, LB, S
With Dalvin Cook returning from ACL surgery, it’s time for the Minnesota Vikings to make an upgrade at the guard position. Don’t be surprised if they address this need early on in the draft. Adding depth at the tackle spots will be key too, as the current backups on the roster are questionable at best.
While the wide receiver duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs is arguably the best in the NFL, the team lost Jarius Wright in the offseason. While the former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell has been underwhelming to start his career, it would be wise for Minnesota to add another receiver to help out Kirk Cousins.
There’s an immediate need at the linebacker position for the Vikings after Chad Greenway retired. Plus, the team may not be able to afford resigning Anthony Barr during the next offseason. Sticking on the defensive side of the ball, adding another safety to pair with Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo will make an already impressive Vikings’ defense even more dangerous.
Needs: OT, OG, TE, DE, DT,
It’s important to have a strong offensive line when your quarterback is Matthew Stafford. After drafting Taylor Decker last year, the Lions need to acquire another tackle to fill the right side of the line. With the addition of LeGarrette Blount, the Lions need to find another guard to play alongside T.J. Lang. Signing Luke Willson only relieves some of the production Detroit lost after Eric Ebron left to go to the Colts. Expect the Lions to target a tight end in the draft, maybe even in the first round.
Perhaps the biggest move the Lions made in the offseason was placing the franchise tag on defensive end Ziggy Ansah. That being said, Detroit still needs to add more pressure on the edge. Sticking to the defensive line, the departures of Ndamukong Suh and Haloti Ngata over the years have left the interior of the defensive line subpar. The Lions will need to draft a defensive tackle to start alongside A’Shawn Robinson.
Green Bay Packers
Needs: WR, OG, NT, OLB, CB
Outside of Davante Adams, the wide receiver core is as weak as it has ever been with Aaron Rodgers under center. An upgrade is absolutely necessary if the Packers want to maintain their high-powered offense. The interior of the offensive line is also another spot of concern for Green Bay.
Flipping it over to defense, Kenny Clark is the only nose tackle currently on the roster, so adding another one would be a smart move if Clark gets injured. Green Bay needs more pressure on the outside when blitzing, so don’t be surprised if the team targets someone like Marcus Davenport in the first round to address the need. Another position the Packers have a dire need for is at cornerback, where Kevin King is the only notable player on the roster.
Needs: WR, OT, LB, CB, S
The Chicago Bears’ offseason has been all about helping their quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. They’ll continue to surround him with better talent by building through the draft. While signing Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel will certainly help the growth of Trubisky, adding more playmakers at the position is essential for arguably the worst receiving corps in the league last season.
The offensive line has been shaky at best, particularly at the tackle spots. On defense, the Bears could use a true playmakers at the linebacker position to elevate the defense as a whole. Chicago will also have an opportunity to upgrade its secondary with the eighth pick of the draft. Some of the potential options include Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James and Denzel Ward.
Hunter Pitcoff is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Journalism
Hunter Pitcoff is involved in multiple clubs and organizations in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. He is the executive producer and an on-camera personality for Penn State Sports Night, the news producer for PSN News, and a member of the Centre County Report. Hunter holds a part-time live events support position with Penn State Athletics too. On top of that, he also does a weekly radio show with CommRadio called The Shootaround and hosts the podcasts “Ball Don’t Lie” and “Run N’Gun” with Penn State Sports Night. Hunter hopes to pursue a career in the sports media industry when he graduates in 2021.