May 08, 2016 - Greg Gabriel
Draft Review – The NFC North
Chicago Bears The Bears had three goals going into the 2016 NFL Draft, get younger, get faster and get more athletic. Looking at their selections over the three day event and you can see that they achieved those goals. First pick Leonard Floyd the edge player from Georgia was the most athletic pass rusher in the draft. Yes he needs toad strength and bulk but when you look at his frame, speed and overall athleticism he has the necessary tools to be exactly what the Bears want. Second pick Cody Whitehair played left tackle at Kansas State but will move inside to guard. He tested out as one of the more athletic offensive linemen at the Combine. Bears offensive line coach Dave Magazu is looking for players who have versatility and the ability to play in space which matches the skill set of Whitehair. The Bears passed up chances to draft Alabama defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed in the second round and selected Florida’s Jonathan Bullard in the third because they again wanted athleticism and pass rush ability. Bullard may not be as stout versus the run as the Alabama players but he is a far better pass rusher. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski is a tackling machine who will provide depth and special teams play as a rookie. Safety Deon Bush from Miami has a chance to start at strong safety and Northern Iowa’s Deoiondre’ Hall has rare height and length for a corner. He is very similar to Charles Tillman coming out of college. Fifth round running back Jordan Howard from Indiana is a north-south power runner who gives the Bears the type of inside power running that Jon Fox prefers. Detroit Lions With a new General Manager handling the Lions draft, not many knew the direction the Lions would take. The Lions needed to add depth to both lines and that’s exactly the area where General Manager Bob Quinn would go. In the first round Quinn selected Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker who should be able to play on the left or right side. Decker is a big, powerful mauler who instantly upgrades the Lions line. Second round selection A’Shawn Robinson from Alabama is a physical defensive tackle with upside. Robinson will be a 21 year old rookie and has only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be. Third round pick Graham Glascow from Michigan has the versatility to play guard or center. My guess is that he will line up at center first. Safety Miles Killebrew is a physical strong safety type who could also fill the nickel linebacker role in sub packages. Joe Dahl played left tackle at Washington State but will move inside to guard in the NFL. He is strong physical and athletic. Jake Ruddock the quarterback from Michigan gives the Lions a developmental type quarterback behind Matthew Stafford. Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson has always been a strong believer of building through the draft and since he has been in charge the Packers have drafted extremely well. This year was no different. With B.J. Raji retired, the Pack needed a powerful interior defensive lineman and got that in UCLA’s Kenny Clark. Clark is best suited to play on the nose, but he can also play the 5-technique. Second round pick Jason Spriggs was one of the more athletic tackles in the draft. HH He has all the physical tools to be a top notch left tackle in the league. While his athletic numbers are second to none, he does have a tendency to play tall which he will have to correct once he gets to training camp. Third round pick Kyler Fackrell should be able to play either inside or outside linebacker in the Packers defensive scheme but he is more suited to play outside. He has very good size and strength. Dean Lowry from Northwestern will be a rotational player along the defensive line. I feel sixth round pick Kyle Murphy the tackle from Stanford is a steal. Like many college linemen, he needs to get stronger, but he is technique sound and has versatility. Minnesota Vikings No one can complain about the Vikings first two selections. Until his pro day when he didn’t run as well as expected, Laquon Treadwell was thought of as the best receiver in the draft. While he won’t be a deep thread, he will be an Anquan Boldin type possession receiver and put up big numbers for the Vikings. Second round pick Mackenzie Alexander has to be a steal. Many felt he was a late first round type. He has excellent press cover skills and will challenge receivers. His height and timed speed hurt his overall draft value. Willie Beavers is a developmental tackle. He has the size, length and athleticism to play left tackle nut needs to use his hands and position himself better when in pass protection. Beavers has a lot of upside. Don’t be surprised if Kentrell Brothers becomes a starter early in his career. He was perhaps the most instinctive inside linebacker in the draft. His timed speed (4.8) dropped him some on value boards. Wide receiver Moritz Boehringer has excellent physical traits, but no one is more raw. He played in a German league that isn’t as competitive as the Division III leagues here but with his size, speed and overall athleticism to warrant a look. He will most likely need a year on the practice squad as he adjusts to NFL style football.