As we get set to head into the second and third rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft, we want to take one last look back at the first round picks – this time by all the NFL North teams, including the Green Bay Packers.
Which of the NFC North teams won last night’s first round?
Well, on this front, we’ve got to call it a draw, at least at this point.
The reason we really can’t give one team the edge over any others is because everyone of the NFL North teams selected players who were needed to improve their rosters.
Just how they improve or whether they indeed pan out for their respective teams is yet to be determined.
The Bears, who traded up a couple of spots to land Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick (not sure why they decided to move up, but they did), did so to continue to build a defense that is aimed to stop the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Teddy Bridgewater.
So, overall, the Bears did very well with this selection.
For the Lions, their greatest need is along the offensive line — and that’s why they selected Ohio State offensive lineman Taylor Decker.
He’s a monster of a man at 6-7, 310 pounds.
This was a unit that gave up 44 sacks last year and the one thing the Lions have to do is protect Matthew Stafford and give him time in the pocket to throw. Adding this first-rounder was also important to shoring up Detroit’s terrible running game. They averaged less than 90 yards on the ground per game last year.
So by taking a shot on Decker, the Lions will immediately improve their offensive line.
Minnesota went into Thursday night looking for a wide receiver and they believe they got their guy with the drafting of Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell with the 23rd overall pick.
Once considered one of the top receivers in this year’s draft, Treadwell lost some draft ground when he ran slowly at the Combine. But that didn’t seem to hinder the Vikings’ decision to go with him.
At 6-2, 221 pounds, Treadwell will give Bridgewater another target to throw to this coming season in addition to Stefon Diggs. These two young pass-catchers could give the Vikings a decent pair to help the team in years to come.
And as for the Packers’ pick of UCLA defensive lineman Kenny Clark, the jury is still out. Though Walterfootball.com graded him out as the eighth best defensive tackle in the draft, Ted Thompson must have seen much more than the casual fan is seeing.
There were many experts who felt the Packers didn’t necessarily hit it out of the park because of all the higher rated defensive linemen ahead of Clark, but most were also kind to Ted Thompson and the Packers — giving them an average of about a B for a grade.
Clark is being tabbed to fill a huge hole for the Packers, and that’s why Thompson went after him with the first pick. Where Thompson goes from here will be decided soon.
It could be inside linebacker or offensive line, but we also know how TT likes to pick wide receivers in the second or third rounds … anything could happen.
So, as we enter the second and third rounds tonight, we look back at the first round and note that every NFC North team did what they had to do to improve specific areas of their franchise.
We won’t know more about where these four teams stand until the end of tonight’s rounds and, of course, the all important 4-7 rounds to be held on Saturday.