The division known as the Black and Blue division has actually become one of the underrated divisions in the sport. The Chicago Bears have taken a step back, but they still have a better offense than they are given credit for. The Detroit Lions have a team that with good QB play can actually be a Superbowl contender. The Green Bay Packers have the best QB in the sport and that covers a lot of holes that any team would have. And the Minnesota Vikings may have found their QB of the future, now it’s just about what they surround him with. So with that being said, let’s go through the remaining NFC North Team Needs.
Chicago Bears – Thankfully for them, going into the 2015 NFL draft, I did not have the Bears for many Team needs, two to be exact. I say thankfully for them because I don’t think they filled either need. Instead, the Bears chose to replace Brandon Marshall with their 1st round pick Kevin White. Then they backed up that pick with NT Eddie Goldman in round two and OC Hroniss Grasu in round three. I actually did like all three picks, but they are putting a lot of faith in what they currently have for the following positions of need:
Quarterback – The Bears couldn’t even give away Jay Cutler this offseason, but I think this could be his last year on the team so I’m surprised they didn’t even try to take a project QB.
Guard – If the Bears are going to stabilize their offense, it starts with fixing the interior offensive line. They didn’t really address this in the draft. They took an OT in round six if that counts for anything.
Detroit Lions – The Lions have become the new wise guy pick to win the division now. With a top 5 defense that may have played over their head and an offense that, before last year, could score on anyone, the Lions look poised to go on a big run this year. They traded down in round one to get OC Manny Ramirez from Denver, and then took OG in Laken Tomlinson in round one and an OT in Corey Robinson, who slipped to round seven, to help the line. Then they selected a RB in round two in Ameer Abdullah to fill 3 big needs. However, they still have one more hole to fill:
Wide Receiver – Obviously when you have Megatron, you probably count him as two WRs alone, but it’s more the other outside WR that I’m worried about. Golden Tate is great, but he should be in the slot. Right now Corey Fuller is in the slot and that is not good utilization of your weapons.
Green Bay Packers – As I said above, when you have the best QB in the league, in Aaron Rodgers, he can cover up a lot of spots. However, it puts a ton of pressure on him to be almost perfect. The Packers tried to fix that this offseason by filling their needs in the secondary with their 1st two picks in the draft in taking FS Damarious Randall and CB Quinten Rollins. Then they came back to fill their other big need at LB in selecting Jake Ryan in the 4th. To be completely honest, I don’t see any more holes on this roster and they are locked and loaded to make another run at the Lombardi Trophy.
Minnesota Vikings – I couldn’t be much more impressed with how the Vikings have found a way to continuously improve over the last two years. After being a one man team for the last few years, they finally drafted their QB of the future in Teddy Bridgewater. To protect their new prized possession they selected three OL in this year’s draft (TJ Clemmings in round four, Tyrus Thompson in round six, and Austin Shepherd in round seven) to fill their needs at OG and OT. Add that to their 1st round selection in CB Trae Waynes and that is how you build a team, from the inside, out. Offensive and Defensive lines win championships. The Vikings are on their way in the right direction and, in my opinion, currently don’t have any more obvious holes to fill.
When you watch games in the NFC North, you realize why they call it the Black and Blue division. Both the AFC North and the NFC North just beat the crap out of each other during the season and typically, it’s not an easy win. The Green Bay Packers have slightly separated themselves in recent years, but the Detroit Lions are charging hard and the Chicago Bears do not have as bad of a team as they have shown, add that with the up and coming Minnesota Vikings and it invites us to another great viewing year of football for us fans of the NFL.
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