NFC North power rankings: Packers falling before free agency

Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The NFC North enters a fascinating offseason. Who will start at quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in 2023?

Can the Detroit Lions build on a strong end to the season? Will the Minnesota Vikings remain the best team in the division?

Can the Chicago Bears use their top draft pick and cap space to make a playoff push?

As free agency approaches, here are the updated NFC North power rankings.

1. Detroit Lions

The Lions have a tremendous opportunity ahead.

Detroit went 8-2 in its final 10 games of the season, barely missing out on a wild-card berth. With the fourth-ranked offense and an improving defense, the Lions could make significant progress with another good offseason.

Fixing the defense is priority number one. And will the Lions draft their future starting quarterback? With two first-rounders in the draft, including the sixth overall choice, the Lions have the tools to become the NFC North’s best team in 2023.

2. Minnesota Vikings

Despite winning 13 games in 2022, the Vikings could take a significant step back next year. Minnesota has a salary-cap mess to deal with and a number of key players hitting free agency.

We can assume Kirk Cousins will be back next season, but can the Vikings take that next step while he is the starting quarterback?

3. Green Bay Packers

The Packers’ future remains a mystery.

Will Aaron Rodgers return to Green Bay in 2023, or is this Jordan Love’s time? Either way, it would take a dramatic turnaround for the Packers to make a serious Super Bowl challenge.

Their best bet may be to move forward with Love and build long-term. Running it back with Rodgers may produce similarly disappointing results while worsening the future salary cap problems.

4. Chicago Bears

With the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft along with $98 million in cap space, the Bears have an opportunity.

By making smart moves, they can make significant progress in 2023.

If they don’t plan to draft a quarterback, trading down could bring back multiple premium draft picks. That’ll sure help.

A huge offseason awaits for Chicago. Get it right, and they could be on their way to turning things around.