The NFL Draft is the staple for building a winner in the NFL. While the process isn’t an exact science, the draft is the most important part of the offseason. Flushing your system with young talent can go a long way into defining a winning culture. Missing in the draft often times costs people their jobs. Now that the 2017 NFL Draft is in the books we can look at who did well. We start with the NFC North that is compiled of the Bears, Packers, Lions, and Vikings. Of those four teams, it’s time to look at the winners and losers. Who won the 2017 NFL Draft in the NFC North?
Chicago Bears: Draft Grade F
- Round 1, Pick 2 (No. 2 overall, from 49ers) Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC
- Round 2, Pick 13 (No. 45) Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
- Round 4, Pick 5 (No. 112) (From Buffalo) Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
- Round 4, Pick 13 (No. 119) (From Arizona) Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T
- Round 5, Pick 3 (No. 147): Jordan Morgan, G, Kutztown University
When you miss on a quarterback in the first round, you set the franchise back five years. That’s exactly what Chicago did, therefore I have no choice but to give the Bears an F. Sorry not sorry, but the fact is Mitchell Trubisky has no chance of making it in the NFL. I have written extensively in the past about Trubisky. Whether he was ranked 8th on my quarterback big board or that his mechanics are highly flawed, this story isn’t going to end well.
The tragic part of the Bears draft is they gave up valuable draft capital to move up for the bust in the making. Three of the remaining four picks were small school projects. Adam Shaheen comes from a D2 program with mysterious intrigue all over him. You hope he can be Travis Kelce but that’s the absolute best case scenario, then again no one knows for sure how the Shaheen pick will turn out. The other small school picks are Tarik Cohen and Jordan Morgan. Cohen will try to replicate the success of Darren Sproles as an undersized back with excellent short area quickness. Morgan is worth the late round flier who looked smooth at the combine.
The best pick the Bears made was Eddie Jackson of Alabama. This guy is a baller who immediately helps out on special teams. He also had big time ball production at Bama and figures to start right away in the Bears secondary.
Detroit Lions: Draft Grade C-
- Round 1, Pick 21 (21st overall) Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
- Round 2, Pick 21 (No. 53) Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
- Round 3, Pick 32 (No. 96) Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois
- Round 4, Pick 18 (No. 124) (From New England) Jalen Reeves-Maybin, OLB, Tennessee
- Round 4, Pick 21 (No. 127) Michael Roberts, TE, University of Toledo
- Round 5, Pick 21 (No. 165) Jamal Agnew, CB, San Diego
- Round 6, Pick 21 (No. 205) Jeremiah Ledbetter, DE, Arkansas
- Round 6, Pick 32 (No. 215) (From New England) Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
- Round 7, Pick 32 (No. 250) (From New England) Pat O’Connor, DE, Eastern Michigan
Let’s make this simple. I’m not a fan of what the Lions did here. Starting with the two Florida selections, they both come with some risk. Jarrad Davis should help out the linebacker unit but was more of a 2nd round pick in my estimation. Davis had inconsistent tape and actually had a better season in 2015. Davis is a downhill thumper who plays with an edge and toughness but could struggle in coverage and pure speed at the next level. I’m not sure what to make of Teez Tabor either. Tabor is a zone corner that lacks the necessary speed. He is probably a better fit in the man scheme but is undersized for the position. Joe Haden had some similar concerns and turned out pretty well. The problem here is Tabor doesn’t have the quick feet Haden has. These two picks could either work out fairly well or fail miserably.
I’m not sure what to make of the rest of the Lions draft for that matter. Kenny Golladay wasn’t even on my radar, let alone worth a 3rd round selection. I had a lot of receivers ahead of him on my board. Jalen Reeves-Maybin will probably play some special teams maybe. The others will likely fill in as depth pieces. My favorite of the bunch was Michael Roberts who could be a nice red zone weapon at tight end. Roberts was one of the standouts at the Senior Bowl who excels at blocking as well.
Green Bay Packers: Draft Grade B-
- Round 2, Pick 1 (33rd overall) Kevin King, CB, Washington
- Round 2, Pick 29 (No. 61) Josh Jones, S, N.C. State
- Round 3, Pick 29 (No. 93) Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn
- Round 4, Pick 1 (No. 108) (From Browns) Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin
- Round 4, Pick 28 (No. 134) Jamaal Williams, RB, Brigham Young University
- Round 5, Pick 32 (No. 175) DeAngelo Yancey, WR, Purdue
- Round 5, Pick 39 (No. 182) Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP
- Round 6, Pick 29 (No. 212) Kofi Amichia, C, USF
- Round 7, Pick 20 (No. 238) Devante Mays, RB, Utah State
- Round 7, Pick 29 (No. 247) Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU
The Packers wanted to address the secondary. They did just that right off the bat. Kevin King is a really long, tall corner that has excellent speed for his size. I question whether King was the right choice for the simple fact that his teammate (who’s clearly better) Sidney Jones didn’t even come off the board yet. King looked good in Washington but you can never be so sure when he’s not the best corner on his own college team. They also added Josh Jones to go along with the 800 other safeties they have on the roster.
The picks that really made Green Bay’s draft were Montravius Adams and Vince Biegel. Adams was one of my favorite defensive line draft prospects this year. After a solid Senior Bowl week, Adams continued the momentum looking smooth at the combine. He’s a bit of a one year wonder but boy can he push the pocket. Biegel gets to stay in Wisconsin after playing for the Badgers last year. He was every bit as good as T.J. Watt in college but has a lower pro ceiling. He figures to play a big role in the Green Bay linebacker unit.
What I didn’t understand was the strategy to take three running backs and two wide receivers. The problem is I have a hard time seeing all of those guys even making the roster. Green Bay is stacked at receiver so good luck finding a way to put some late round guys out there. I also don’t get drafted three running backs. Sure maybe Ty Montgomery needs a backup by why 3 of them? Neither of the offensive skill players are difference makers at the next level.
Minnesota Vikings: Draft Grade F
- Round 2, Pick 9 (No. 41 overall) Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
- Round 3, Pick 6 (No. 70) Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
- Round 4, Pick 2 (No. 109) Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa
- Round 4, Pick 14 (No. 120): Ben Gedeon, LB, University of Michigan
- Round 5, Pick 27 (No. 170) Rodney Adams, WR, USF
- Round 5, Pick 37 (No. 180) Danny Isidora, G, Miami
- Round 6, Pick 17 (No. 201) Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
- Round 7, Pick 1 (No. 219) Stacy Coley, WR, Miami
- Round 7, Pick 2 (No. 220) Ifeadi Odenigbo, DL, Northwestern
- Round 7, Pick 2 (No. 232) Elijah Lee, LB, Kansas State
- Round 7, Pick 27 (No. 245) Jack Tocho, CB, N.C. State
When you trade your first round pick and then some for Sam Bradford, you an F. It is pretty simple, right? As I stated earlier, when you miss on a franchise quarterback, you set the franchise back five years. That’s exactly what the Vikings did with the Bradford deal when they are now stuck in mediocrity for years to come.
Moving on to the rest of the draft, I’m not high on Dalvin Cook at all. Cook has major off the field issues including a domestic violence and dog beating incidents. He also stinks in pass protection and fumbles too much for my liking. He also didn’t run nearly as fast as people anticipated at the combine (excluding myself of course).
There really isn’t a lot to like here. Maybe Pat Elflein is an adequate center. Jaleel Johnson was one of the more underwhelming prospects at the Senior Bowl. He was really slow off the ball at the combine too. Even Ben Gedeon is sort of just a guy who doesn’t have elite measurables you would like to develop. Bucky Hodges is a project tight end that can’t block. There’s just a lot of ugly here for the Vikings.