NFC North Draft Needs

Green Bay Packers

Inside Linebacker:  The Packers just need to sure up a few spots to make another serious Super Bowl run. The first one that needs attention, thanks to the loss of A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, is a full-time inside linebacker. Clay Matthews played plenty of time in the middle of the field last season, and he was successful at it. To be fair, I'm not sure there's anything he can't be successful at. Green Bay can't afford to have Matthews playing full time in the middle when he's so good off the edge. There will be plenty of opportunities at the end of Day 1 and the beginning of Day 2 to snag a starting linebacker.

Cornerback:  With Tramon Williams and Davon House gone, the Packers aren't weak at corner, but they need to get a little depth. Casey Hayward and Sam Shields can hold down the starting spots but a nickel corner and backups still need to be determined. The later rounds of the draft should help sort that out.

Tight End:  Richard Rodgers could be the main option going forward at tight end for Green Bay. But at this point it wouldn't hurt for the Packers to go out and grab a tight end in the later rounds of the draft. Will that player turn out to be a starter this season for the Packers? No, probably not, but it can't hurt to have some more options at their weakest offensive spot.

Detroit Lions

Offensive Line:  The Lions weren't great at protecting Matthew Stafford last season and were worse at opening up rushing lanes for Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. With Bush gone and the running game a question, and Stafford showing that when given time he can be a top 10 quarterback, the offensive line has to be priority number one for Detroit. This is an uncharacteristically weak draft for offensive lineman but there are few options here and there that look like they could be serviceable, La'El Collins out of LSU is one of them.

Wide Receiver:  Outside of Calvin Johnson — who turns 30 before October — and Golden Tate — who plays better in the slot — the Lions have zero receivers who are remotely capable of being productive. Seriously, though, there is no one and even Megatron is starting to suffer from that. Without a serious third option on the field, it's easy for opposing defenses to lock down the best receiver in football. He needs help.

Defensive Line:  There's not much to say here. The Lions just need to find bodies to replace Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Have to get those bodies somewhere.

Running Back:  The running game wasn't much to look at last season and now Reggie Bush is gone. I think we can attribute most of that issue to the offensive line but it sure wouldn't hurt to try and find a diamond in the rough to help out an aging (side note: it's sad that soon-to-be 29 is aging for a running back) Bell.

Minnesota Vikings

Wide Receiver:  So there's Mike Wallace and... no one. Charles Johnson is potentially the number two receiver? That't not a good sign. Cordarrelle Patterson's sophomore season? That was a worse sign. Teddy Bridgewater may yet prove to be a serviceable NFL quarterback and Adrian Peterson may be a part of the league again so throw in somebody for Bridgewater to throw to and this could turn out to be legitimate offense.

Offensive Line:  This is not a deep draft for offensive linemen but Minnesota needs to find someone. Phil Loadholt and Matt Kalil were bad, and the line as a whole wasn't much better — Minnesota gave up the fifth most sacks of any team in the league last year. Bridgewater can move for a quarterback, but he shouldn't have to run for his life every snap.

Secondary:  Someone needs to play opposite Xavier Rhodes. If not, Captain Munnerlyn might have to again. Also, a safety wouldn't hurt. Particularly one who isn't afraid to go downhill and help plug up the run game.

Chicago Bears

Linebacker:  The Bears need to go big defensively in the draft if not only to improve the defense's quality next season, but also to pressure the existing starters to get better quicker. And I mean the whole defense. Let's start at linebacker. The rush defense was passable last season in Chicago, but the pass defense was, in a word, horrid. The Bears were dead last in weighted DVOA overall, 30th in passing defense and showed no signs of improvement at any point during the year. We'll get to the main position group responsible for that in a moment, but the linebackers — much to some of their chagrin — have to cover too, especially the outside linebackers.

It wouldn't be ideal to spend a lot of picks on linebackers, but if Chicago could find a way to draft two new starters at the linebacker position, it could go a long way toward fixing the mess it has going on defensively. Either way, they need at least an inside linebacker to continue to sure up the run game and help cover tight ends and wide receivers over the middle.

Secondary:  Outside of Kyle Fuller, the Chicago secondary couldn't defend a middle school wide receiver. I mentioned how the Bears allowed the third most passing yards of any team in the league, right? Yeah. They need some help. With the No. 7 pick in the draft, the Bears will probably have to look to the later rounds or trade for a later first round pick as most mock drafts don't have a corner going inside the top 10. But the Bears need to find a good one between April 30 and May 2.

Wide Receiver:  This is really the only position on offense that the Bears can address in the draft and with a couple top 10 receivers available, that first pick could be when they do. The only reason that Chicago needs any help here is because Brandon Marshall is now a Jet, so his replacement has to be similar in style to him:  a deep threat with some speed and good hands (cough, cough, Kevin White).

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