2015 NFL Draft Review: NFC North

Starting now and over the next few days you see may draft analysts puts grades on each clubs draft. Personally, I feel that is an exercise in futility, because it can take up to three years to get a gauge on the quality of a draft. Having spent most of my adult life in the player evaluation business with different NFL clubs, I know how hard each team works in preparation for the draft. When it is all said and done, they make the selections based on their draft board and how the player chosen fits within their current schemes. While an analyst may think another player is better, no one knows for sure until we see how they play within the scheme. That said, over the next two weeks, I will review the drafts of each of the 32 NFL teams on a division by division basis. First up will be the NFC North. Chicago Bears Kevin White – WR – West Virginia For weeks going into the draft, Kevin looked like the obvious choice of the Bears. He will start off as the obvious replacement of Brandon Marshall. While he may be a bit smaller than Marshall, he is much faster and more athletic. Coming from the West Virginia spread, White will need to learn the nuances of an NFL route tree, but he has the natural traits to be a dynamic player right form the get go. Eddie Goldman – DT – Florida St. With the Bears switching to a 3-4 base defense, there was a need for a run stuffing nose tackle. Goldman is one of the best in the draft at that position. Getting him in the second is a bit of a steal for the Bears, as many had him rated as a sure-fire first rounder. Hroniss Grasu – C – Oregon Grasu started 52 games for the Ducks and is as athletic as they come for a center. While he may not start right away, he should take over the center position before midseason. He has the smarts and awareness to make all the line calls and is a natural leader. Jeremy Langford – RB – Michigan State Langford will prove to be the perfect complement to Matt Forte. Jeremy is a tough inside runner, a reliable pass blocker and receiver. He ran for nearly 3000 yards over the last two seasons. Adrian Amos – DS – Penn State Amos is one of the fastest and most athletic safeties in this class. He ran 4.37 at the Penn State pro day. Amos is a good cover guy but needs to improve in run support and tackling. Tayo Fabuluje – OT – TCU Fabuluje is a big, powerful wide body who will need to lose some weight in order to be effective at the NFL level. While he was about 350 at the Combine, he was down to 332 at the TCU pro day. Don’t be surprised if Tayo spends his rookie year on the practice squad.   Green Bay Packers Damarious Randall – DS – Arizona State Six weeks ago, there weren’t too many who felt Randall would go in the first round. With more and more clubs going to safeties that have man coverage skills, Randall’s stock began to rise. Randall has corner size and speed to go along with good hips and range. He should come in and start right away at free safety. Quinten Rollins – DC – Miami (Ohio) The transition Rollins made from being a college point guard to a starting corner in football is nothing short of amazing. When you watch him play, the things that sticks out are his incredible instincts and ball skills. His timed speed and short arms are what kept him out of the first round. Ty Montgomery – WR – Stanford Going in to the 2014 season, Montgomery was looked at as a possible second round pick. His overall play fell off a bit during the season, but he can be a very reliable third receiver for the Pack. He also has excellent kickoff return ability. Jake Ryan – LB – Michigan Ryan has the versatility to play either inside or out. I would think that in the Green Bay scheme, his best fit would be inside. Ryan has top instincts to go along with outstanding toughness. Brett Hundley – QB – UCLA You couldn’t ask for Hundley to land in a better spot. He gets to sit and learn from Aaron Rodgers, one of the best in the game. Hundley needs to improve his decision making and accuracy, and he will have plenty of time to do that in Green Bay. Aaron Ripkowski – FB – Oklahoma Green Bay is one of the few teams that use a conventional fullback. Ripkowski landed in the perfect place.   Minnesota Vikings Trae Waynes – DC – Michigan State With all the tall receivers in the NFC North, Waynes will help the Vikings with matchups. He is an excellent press cover corner who just needs to improve his tackling skills. Waynes was clearly the best corner in this draft. Eric Kendricks – LB – UCLA Kendricks is a bit undersized, but he is one of the more instinctive linebackers in this draft. He makes plays all over the field. He also is excellent in coverage. An added bonus is Kendricks and last year’s number one Anthony Barr are former roommates, and that will help Kendricks with the transition to the NFL. Danielle Hunter – DE – LSU Hunter has outstanding natural physical traits as far as speed, change of directions and body control. He just hasn’t put it all together yet. Had he stayed in school another year, he may have been a first round pick next year. Hunter’s upside is as good as any player in this draft. T.J. Clemmings – OT – Pittsburgh Getting Clemmings in the fourth round is the steal of the draft. Clemmings is a first round talent who fell because of a reported foot injury. People I have talked to say the foot is fine and is an old injury. He will be a rookie starter. MyCole Pruitt – TE – Southern Illinois Pruitt is an ideal “move” tight end who will help the offense. Stefon Diggs – WR – Maryland Diggs is another steal. He was an early entry into the draft and had outstanding production at Maryland. I felt he was, at worst, a third round value, but with a strong wide receiver group, he fell. Tyrus Thompson – OT – Oklahoma Thompson has size and power. He needs to lose a little weight to help his movement skills, but he has the traits to be an eventual starter. Austin Shepherd – OT – Alabama Shepherd played tackle at Alabama but is more likely to move inside to guard at Minnesota. He has a solid chance to make the team and be a quality backup.   Detroit Lions Laken Tomlinson – OG – Duke There were some who felt that Tomlinson was more of a second round talent. Still, he has the traits to come in and start at guard, and that is the important thing. With Larry Warford, the Lions can have one of the league’s best guard tandems in another year. Tomlinson is a powerful run blocker and shows excellent hand use in the pass game. Ameer Abdullah – RB – Nebraska Abdullah may not have ideal size, but he has proven to be a very durable back while at Nebraska. He is as quick to the hole as any back and has outstanding instincts. Though he lacks size, he is an every down back who will also help in the passing game. Alex Carter – DC – Stanford Carter has the traits to play corner or safety in the NFL. He was a very reliable player while at Stanford and was productive versus both the run and pass. Gabe Wright – DT – Auburn Everyone thought that the Lions would be taking a defensive tackle early on in the draft. With the Wright pick, they waited until the fourth round. He will give the Lions quality depth. Michael Burton – FB – Rutgers I felt Burton was more of a free agent type, but he can block and is a reliable receiver out of the backfield Quandre Diggs – DC – Texas Diggs has the suddenness and overall cover skills required. He just lacks height. He will struggle versus taller receivers. Corey Robinson – OT – South Carolina Robinson may be a late pick, but don’t be surprised when he becomes a starter in year two or three. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

NY Giants +7.5 -110

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