A look at NFC North teams entering the draft

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 8, 2014 - 12:03 AM

 

The rest of the NFC North sure has a leg up on passing arms, but Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay are pretty much right down there with the Vikings when it comes to defensive rebuilding projects this offseason.

A year ago, the Vikings ranked last in points allowed (30.0 per game), while the Bears were only a notch better (29.9). The Packers were 24th (26.8) and the Lions 15th (23.5). In overall defense, the Vikings were 31st (397.6 yards per game), while the Bears were 30th (394.6), the Packers 25th (372.3) and the Lions 16th (346.6). The Vikings were 31st in the league against the pass (287.2), while the Bears were last in run defense (161.4).

Here are snapshots from around the division heading into the draft:

LIONS

Picks: Eight. 10th overall, two compensatory fourth-rounders, no fifth-rounder.

Needs: A pass rusher, either from the end or linebacker position, a No. 2 receiver, cornerback, safety.

Will the Lions trade at No. 10? Unlikely. They covet receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Khalil Mack, but it might take too much to move up into the top four or five to get them.

What are they thinking? Although the Lions are sticking with their 4-3 defense, new coordinator Teryl Austin is looking to bring some diverse schemes with him from Baltimore. They see UCLA’s Anthony Barr as the kind of long athlete who could play 4-3 end and outside linebacker in some 3-4 packages. Other possibilities, if they’re still around, include cornerback Justin Gilbert, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and receiver Odell Beckham. And if receiver Mike Evans slides, he probably won’t make it past Detroit.

The pick: Barr.

BEARS

Picks: Seven. 14th overall, two in the sixth, none in the seventh.

Needs: Defense, defense and more defense. DT, SS, FS, CB, LB and depth at QB.

Will the Bears trade at No. 14? If Aaron Donald is there, no way. If Donald isn’t there, look for them to try to move down.

What are they thinking? First thing they’re thinking is, “Wow, we’re really, really bad against the run.” As in last in the league. The Bears would love it if the suddenly red-hot Donald cools down a bit. If the Bears can’t get a tackle they like, their safeties are a big concern, too. Chris Conte struggled last season. He also could start the year on the sideline because of a shoulder injury.

The pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama.

PACKERS

Picks: Nine. All seven original picks, including the 21st overall, plus compensatory picks in the third and fifth rounds.

Needs: Free safety, tight end, another pass rusher, inside linebacker, receiver, offensive line.

Will the Packers trade at No. 21? Unlikely. But no one blows up a reporter’s mock draft more consistently than GM Ted Thompson.

What are they thinking? Other than, “Please, please, please make sure Aaron Rodgers stays healthy,” they’re worried about the back end of their defense. If safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor already are taken, which is a strong possibility, the Packers could turn to their inside linebackers, where they need to replace Brad Jones as a starter and supply speed alongside A.J. Hawk.

The pick: Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State.

 

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NY Mets 12:05 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 12:05 PM
Atlanta
Miami 12:05 PM
Washington
Detroit 12:05 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 12:05 PM
Baltimore
NY Yankees 12:05 PM
Houston
Tampa Bay 12:05 PM
Boston
Baltimore 12:07 PM
Toronto
Cincinnati 2:10 PM
LA Angels
Chicago Cubs 3:05 PM
Kansas City
Los Angeles 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Chicago WSox 3:05 PM
Cleveland
Milwaukee 3:05 PM
Oakland
Seattle 3:05 PM
San Diego
Texas 3:05 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 3:10 PM
Arizona
Arizona 3:10 PM
Colorado
Houston 11:30 AM
Washington
LA Lakers 2:30 PM
Brooklyn
Minnesota 3:00 PM
New Orleans
Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Detroit 5:00 PM
Miami
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Boston
Dallas 6:00 PM
Indiana
Memphis 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Washington 2:00 PM
NY Rangers
Calgary 4:00 PM
Nashville
Boston 4:00 PM
Carolina
Detroit 4:00 PM
NY Islanders
Florida 4:00 PM
Ottawa
Anaheim 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Chicago 6:30 PM
Winnipeg
San Jose 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Michigan State 1:20 PM
Louisville
Gonzaga 4:05 PM
Duke
Philadelphia 4:00 PM
Chicago
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
(7) Florida State 11:00 AM
(3) South Carolina
Villanova 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Michigan 2:00 PM
Southern Miss
Temple 4:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Siena 4:00 PM
Louisiana
St Marys-CA 4:00 PM
UCLA
(5) Baylor 7:30 PM
(2) Notre Dame
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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