LOS ANGELES,CA- NFC North Draft Review
Green Bay Packers: The Packers in my opinion won free agency this offseason. Acquiring three starters on the defense in both: LB Preston Smith, Za'Darius Smith (aka Mr. and Mr. Smith) and S Adrian Amos from rival Chi-Town Bears. Also signing a starting G in Billy Turner from Denver, in total of over $184m in Free Agency. With that the Packers wanted to solidify the defense in one of the toughest divisions in the league and went to get EDGE rusher Rashan Gary from Michigan, 12th overall. Gary slipped after I had in projected going #6 overall to New York, but at #12 its great value. Green Bay haven’t had an elite EDGE rusher since primetime Clay “IDGAF” Matthews. This guy has potential to be that elite with his raw power and speed. Along the side with all the guys listed above and with the crew they already have, Packers is the team to watch out for 1. NFC North Champs and 2. Fantasy Defense of the year.
The Packers traded up with the Seahawks for the 21st pick overall to grab S Darnell Savage from Delaware. Savage is alongside newly acquired ex-Bears S Adrian Amos who is one of the up and coming young safeties. Savage is undersized a bit but has tremendous vision in both run support and open field tackling. While in college he racked up 7 INT which two ran back for touchdowns that shows he has open field running ability which comes from his running backs days in Delaware Caravel Academy. Great pick one of the top Safeties in the country. Also running a 4.34u 40-time at the NFL combine was one of the fastest which is needed in a stacked Safety class.
Jimmy Graham is the one well known TE on the Green Bay Packers roster maybe aside of Mercedes Lewis which is getting up in age. With an already great receiving core a lingering TE spot is in need to be filled. To fill that void the Green Bay Packers selected TE Jace Sternberger from Texas A&M 75th overall. More of a receiving tight end catching 832 yards with 48 receptions and 10 TDs in 13 games (12 starts). Jace has a chance to take the starting spot in an potential explosive offense.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings had problems protecting Kirk Cousin all year allowing 40 sacks in 2019. So cope with that the Vikings went after the best Center in College football, Rimington Trophy winner (Nation's Best Center) , Garrett Bradberry from North Carolina College 18th overall. Bradberry is the fastest with his hands and can turn defensive players around and around fast. Amazing recovery time if a defender manges to get by but still ends up on top. Both effective on the second level as good as the first and is going to be a day 1 starter. His pick boost Kirk Cousin fantasy football stock as the run game and passing game in general.
Speaking of boosting Kirk Cousins draft stock the Vikings went and got one of the best TE’s in the draft, my #3 TE on my big board, Irv Smith Jr. from Alabama 50th overall. With Diggs, Thielen and now Irv Smith the Vikings can have a dangerous passing game moving forward. Very clean route running and better runner after the catch avering 16 YPC (yards per carry). Needs some more work blocking but will make an impact in the passing game behind or in front of Kyle Rudolph.
With Dalvin Cook injury history playing only 15 games in the last few years and as an backup/insurance plan the Vikings selected Alexander Mattison from Boise State 102nd overall. I’m going to call this “The All-State Insurance Plan” because the Vikings are going to be in good hands, backup RB wise. Mountain-West Conference leading rusher with 1,415 yards and 17 TDs, including 200 yards rushing in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. Only big problem is pass blocking but besides that he’s a great pick and see a lot of playing time if Cook can’t stay healthy.
Chicago Bears: The Bears didn’t have a draft pick until the third round due to the trades for Kahlil Mack etc. So with the 73rd overall pick the Bears selected David Montgomery from Iowa State. With Jordan Howard out Montgomery will fill right in with his amazing elusiveness and vision. David was responsible for 99 missed tackles, which was most in the FBS, with all that he will be the bruiser the Bears need. With this selection Tarik Cohen will be able to stretch out the offense and be even more versatile than ever. Fantasy wise he a most-def look at with amazing up-side all over the place.
The Chi-Town Bears went offense for the first pick and again with their second pick as well. With the 126th pick the Bears selected wideout Riley Ridley from Georgia. Younger brother of current Falcons Cavin Ridley and Riley is following right in his footsteps. Ridley is probably the best route runner in this years draft and has the hands to go along with it. Great balance and can change in mid-air to make grabs. Along the side of already good talent at the receiving end in Chicago, Riley has a very high ceiling and can be looked at possible FLEX vs thin secondaries.
The Bears remaining picks were in the 6th and 7th but the Bears managed to get some bang for their buck. With the 205th overall pick Chicago selected CB Duke Shelley from Kansas State. Duke managed to still earn second-team All-Big 12 missing 5 games with 33 tackles, 3 INTs and 9 pass breakups. Has a chance to make the roster with a possibility to get playing time when needed.
Detroit Lions: The Lions went skipped on a lot of players I thought they could’ve got but landed one of the best TEs in this years draft. The 8th overall pick in the draft the LIons selected TE T.J “The Hock” Hockerson from Iowa. He led this team in catches with 48 and had 760 yards averaging 15.5 yards per catch for 6 touchdowns. Not just a great receiver but an amazing blocker on the edge that can get the extra blocker for a big gain.
Not landing an elite pass rusher in the first round they had to address it in the second, which they did. With the 43rd overall pick in the draft the Lions selected LB Jahani Tavai from Hawaii. Can play both inside and out in a very versatile defense in college which means he can pick up things quickly. Had back-to-back seasons with 100 tackles in 2016-2017 means he gets to the ball fast and wraps up properly.
Doubling up on defense in round 2 and 3 and is well needed in a top half defense. The Lions decided to go secondary 81st overall selecting Will Harris from Boston College. Talking about explosiveness and speed you must be talking about Will Harris. Great speed as a blitzer off the edge that can be also used in run support. Is a real risk taker and play a little reckless but I personally like this play style and if gets playing time can make the most of it.