3 NFC North moves that would spell disaster for Packers in 2024 NFL Draft

Drake Maye
Drake Maye / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The NFC North could quickly become one of the league's most fascinating and challenging divisions. The Green Bay Packers refused to say they were in a rebuild last year and were ultimately proved right. Jordan Love is the Packers' future, and with an ascending young roster, Green Bay can remain competitive for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, competition is increasing within the division. The Detroit Lions came painfully close to reaching the Super Bowl in January, and they are set up for even more success in 2024.

The Chicago Bears took steps toward turning things around in the second half of last season before the Carolina Panthers gifted them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, which they will almost certainly use to select USC's star quarterback Caleb Williams.

The Bears have a track record of throwing away opportunities, but the current regime has got a lot right. What moves should the Packers hope their NFC North rivals don't make during the 2024 NFL Draft?

Packers should hope NFC North rivals don't make these moves in 2024 NFL Draft

3. Lions trade ahead of Packers for Cooper DeJean

The Packers and Lions share a need at cornerback. They are only four picks apart in the first round, creating a potential nightmare scenario for Green Bay. If Iowa's Cooper DeJean falls into the 20s, the Lions could be tempted to trade ahead of the Packers to select the star defensive back.

Detroit traded with Green Bay last year to select safety Brian Branch. The Packers will have no complaints about that particular trade-down, as it led to them drafting Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, and Karl Brooks, but it still hurt to see Branch have an outstanding rookie year with the Lions.

It would be far worse if Detroit jumped ahead of Green Bay for DeJean.

The Iowa star can play outside or inside cornerback and safety, and he has Pro Bowl potential. The Lions already have a championship roster. Adding DeJean would take their secondary to the next level while taking a potential Packers target off the board.

2. Vikings trade up for Drake Maye

Packers fans have accepted the Bears will land Caleb Williams. The last thing we need is for the Minnesota Vikings to also find their possible franchise quarterback.

Minnesota traded for the Houston Texans' first-round pick earlier this offseason. The Vikings have picks 11 and 23 in the first round, which they could package to move into the top five for a quarterback. Hopefully, that doesn't mean a trade to No. 3 for North Carolina's Drake Maye.

Williams will go No. 1 to Chicago, and LSU's Jayden Daniels could be the Washington Commanders' choice at No. 2.

If the Vikings somehow get into position to draft Maye, it could be bad news for the rest of the NFC North. While he is far from guaranteed to become a star quarterback and could be considered a boom-or-bust pick for the Vikings, Maye has huge upside if he can reach his potential.

"Maye has some things to clean up, but he has every ingredient to be a top-tier starter at the game's most important position," writes NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah.

Note to the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, and Los Angeles Chargers: Don't let the Vikings trade up.

1. Bears land Rome Odunze at No. 9 overall

The Bears getting Caleb Williams is a move that could spell disaster for the Packers, but we've already been forced to live with that. Thanks for nothing, Panthers. However, it's easy to forget Chicago also holds the No. 9 overall pick. GM Ryan Poles may look to trade down as the Bears only have four selections, but it would be tough to pass up Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze if he falls.

What would make this so painful is that Odunze would be a perfect fit for the Packers. He is an outstanding athlete with a 9.92 Relative Athletic Score, meets their size thresholds, and checks every box Green Bay looks for at wide receiver. Odunze has everything.

The Washington star has drawn comparisons to Davante Adams. He has All-Pro potential and can quickly become a true WR1 for whichever team drafts him.

Put him in the same receiving corps as DJ Moore and Keenan Allen while catching passes from Caleb Williams, and the rest of the NFC North could have real problems.

More Packers news and analysis