After completing each team’s seven-round mock draft in the NFC East, it’s time to complete each team’s seven-round mock draft in the NFC North. Let’s jump right into it and get started.
Football Insiders mocks up all seven rounds of the draft for each team in the NFC North.
Green Bay Packers
It was a great year for the Packers. In a year where Aaron Rodgers won the MVP, the offense was one of the best in the league and the defense made strides, everything came together at the right time for Green Bay. Up 12 with a little less than four minutes to go, the Packers were painstakingly close to making it to the Super Bowl. For Green Bay to get over the hump next year, they will need to improve in this year’s draft. Here is their seven-round mock draft.
Round 1: Eddie Goldman, Defensive Tackle, Florida State
B.J. Raji is not likely to return in 2014 and with him leaving as well as Letroy Guion’s arrest, the Packers are going to be in the market for a defensive tackle. In their 3-4, a guy like Eddie Goldman would do wonders. He’s quick enough to rush the passer on a passing situation and he’s strong enough to take on double teams in the middle of the defensive line.
Round 2: Ty Sambrailo, Offensive Tackle, Colorado State
With players like Josh Sitton and Bryan Bulaga, the Packers had a good offensive line in 2014. However, left tackle David Bakhtiari was subpar, especially towards the end of the year. Green Bay could address this position by drafting a solid tackle prospect in Ty Sambrailo. Versatility is huge in the NFL and Sambrailo shows the ability to play four positions on the offensive line.
Round 3: Hayes Pullard, Inside Linebacker, USC
Sam Barrington wasn’t proficient in 2014 and the Packers need to add an impact inside linebacker. Hayes Pullard is undersized at 6-feet, 235 pounds, but he reads offenses well and he is good enough to clog holes against the run as well as stick with tight ends against the pass.
Round 4: D’Joun Smith, Cornerback, Florida Atlantic
Sam Shields is a great cornerback. However, Tramon Williams’ play has fallen off a bit in the past few years and for the Packers to get to the next level on the defensive side of the ball, they will need to draft a cornerback and improve their pass defense. In the middle rounds, D’Joun Smith is a guy that makes sense. He has great fluidity and he does a great job at changing directions.
Round 5: Tyler Kroft, Tight End, Rutgers
Richard Rodgers has shown potential to be an athletic pass-catcher, but the Packers have to look into adding a blocking tight end. Tyler Kroft does a nice job at sealing the edge and he has solid hands as well. Kroft is a good player that has an NFL-ready frame. Tight ends are so important in today’s NFL. Kroft would be another weapon for Rodgers.
Round 6: Kasen Williams, Wide Receiver, Washington
Before the 2014 season, many thought Kasen Williams would be the best receiver from the Pac-12. However, inefficient play from the quarterback position made it difficult for Williams to succeed. Despite that, Williams has good size at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. If Randall Cobb goes elsewhere in free agency, having a rookie like Williams to develop is ideal.
Round 7: John Crockett, Running Back, North Dakota State
In the seventh round, it’s basically a crapshoot. Eddie Lacy is one of the league’s best runners and James Starks is a good backup. However, it never hurts to add another running back. His name isn’t a household name, but John Crockett is a great player. He sees the field well and he’s a smart back. Crockett will be able to contribute early in his career.
Even though the Lions were 11-5 and they lost in the first round of the playoffs, this team is an interesting position going into the 2015 season. They saw their defense become the best in the league, but they also saw their offense dip in terms of production. For the Lions to get back to the playoffs and ultimately make a Super Bowl run, they will need to have a good draft. Here is their seven-round mock draft.
Round 1: Michael Bennett, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
There seems to be some growing interest that the Lions will be able to sign Ndamukong Suh in the coming weeks. However, considering the Lions need to spread out their money, they will be looking to go the defensive tackle route through the draft. Michael Bennett has the makings of a dominant 3-technique defensive tackle in the NFL with his jump off the ball and his high motor. Bennett would fill a need for the Lions. This could become an even bigger need if Suh and Nick Fairley go elsewhere in free agency.
Round 2: Max Valles, Outside Linebacker, Virginia
The Lions had one of the best front sevens in football last year. Players like DeAndre Levy and Tahir Whitehead had career seasons, playing respectively at the weakside and the middle linebacker positions. Even though Kyle Van Noy will likely be a starting outside linebacker in 2015, the Lions need to add a versatile linebacker and a guy that could play all three positions is Max Valles.
Round 3: Quinten Rollins, Cornerback, Miami (OH)
Perhaps the biggest project in this year’s draft class is Quinten Rollins. A four-year basketball player, Rollins made the switch in 2014 to the football field and he turned out to be a smart decision. Rollins was the Defensive Player of the Year in the MAC and he showed in 2014, even with just one collegiate season, that he can be a game-changing cornerback at the next level. Rollins is still so raw and once he irons out his game, he’s going to be a stud. Football Insiders did a breakdown on him two weeks ago.
Round 4: Jeremiah Poutasi, Offensive Tackle, Utah
Riley Reiff is a good left tackle and he is only going to get better in the coming years. However, the Lions need to improve their right side of the line and one way they can do that is by using a different right tackle. Cornelius Lucas had a ton of trouble in 2014 and the Lions would be wise to draft a tackle. Jeremiah Poutasi is extremely strong. He would immediately help this rushing offense.
Round 5: Byron Marshall, Running Back, Oregon
Even though the Lions already have a running back who excels at catching passes in Theo Riddick, they would be smart to add another offensive weapon. Byron Marshall, from Oregon, is a speedy back that can simply dazzle. With Reggie Bush falling out of flavor in Detroit, Marshall would make up a nice 1-2 punch with Joique Bell.
Round 6: Dan Voltz, Center, Wisconsin
At 36 years old, it’s safe to say Dominic Raiola won’t be playing at the highest level in the next few years. That being said, the Lions should draft a new center and Dan Voltz makes sense. He’s coming from a Wisconsin program that is notorious for producing offensive linemen to the NFL. Voltz is extremely smart and he will provide insurance as well as depth to start his career.
Round 7: Tyler Heinicke, Quarterback, Old Dominion
Matt Stafford is the guy for this roster going forward. However, behind Stafford, the Lions lack talent and in the seventh round, it never hurts to add a quarterback. Tyler Heinicke is extremely raw, but his arm strength and his ability to through under pressure show promise.
No one expected the Vikings to compete for the NFC North crown. However, even without their best player in Adrian Peterson, the Vikings impressed tremendously. Under first year head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings showed that they were a few pieces away from contending for the division. Here is their seven-round mock draft.
Round 1: DeVante Parker, Wide Receiver, Louisville
Imagine DeVante Parker teaming up with his old quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. Last season the Vikings really lacked talent at the wide receiver position. With Cordarrelle Patterson regressing tremendously in 2014, the Vikings need to cash in and bring in a player of Parker’s talents. His combination of speed and route-running ability make NFL scouts believe that he can be a stud in the NFL.
Round 2: Alex Carter, Cornerback, Stanford
In a top-heavy cornerback class, many people are foreggeting about Alex Carter. Well for starters, Carter was the best cornerback for a top-five defense in the nation last year. Carter has solid length, excellent fluidity, and he has great ball skills. Adding a guy like Carter, who could make an immediate impact, would be huge to this secondary.
Round 3: Cody Prewitt, Safety, Ole Miss
Harrison Smith needs someone in the defensive backfield to help him out and in 2014, Robert Blanton was extremely good against the run, as he had 106 tackles, however, he lacks ability against the pass and that’s why the Vikings should add a player like Cody Prewitt. With excellent range and ball skills, Prewitt is ideal to be Zimmer’s defensive center fielder.
Round 4: Sean Hickey, Offensive Tackle, Syracuse
For whatever the reason is, Matt Kalil has regressed since his rookie year and this offseason is the time for the Vikings to bring in an offensive tackle to compete with Kalil and make him work. Sean Hickey is a mauler against the run. He needs to improve his lateral step, but he shows a ton of talent at freezing pass rushers at the line of scrimmage.
Round 5: J.T. Surratt, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina
At 6-foot-1, 310 pounds, J.T. Surratt is smaller and at first glance, his height is detrimental. However, Surratt beats his opponents by simply getting lower than them. Linval Joseph and Sharrif Floyd weren’t bad in 2014, but they need to bring in a prospect and Surratt fits that bill as a defensive tackle for depth purposes.
Round 6: Jeremy Langford, Running Back, Michigan State
When Peterson was suspended after Week 1, the Vikings used the backfield combination of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata. While McKinnon shows a ton of promise, as he really is new to the running back position and the Vikings should add a running back in the later rounds. Jeremy Langford is a churner. He’s a bigger back that wins battles in a zone-blocking scheme. Next to a speedy guy like McKinnon, Langford would be a nice addition to this offense.
Round 7: Donatella Huckett, Wide Receiver, Harding
The Division II star is a guy that is virtually unknown. However, the Senior Bowl invitee has great size at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds. He’s an excellent route-runner and he is coming from an offense that was one of the best in all of the nation. Donatella Huckett has a ton of traits that teams will love. In the later rounds, he shows promise.
After a season full of turmoil, the Bears changed their regime by bringing in a new head coach and a new general manager. Jay Cutler regressed last year, but he has a ton of talent around him in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. The Bears need to be smart this offseason to get back into contention in this tough division. Here is their seven-round mock draft.
Round 1: Shane Ray, Defensive End, Missouri
At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Shane Ray is around 15 pounds undersized, but he wins with speed, explosiveness and athleticism off the edge. Ray has an unmatched motor and he does a great job at changing directions. He also shows the ability to play a 3-4 or a 4-3 so whatever direction Vic Fangio decides to go, Ray would be able to play as a defensive end in the 4-3 and as an outside linebacker in a 3-4.
Round 2: Carl Davis, Defensive Tackle, Iowa
In terms of strength and power at the defensive tackle position, there isn’t one better than Carl Davis. At Iowa, Davis consistently saw double teams and he was able to not only take them on, but excel against them as well. Stephen Paea is a free agent and Jeremiah Ratliff wasn’t anything special in 2014. An improvement is needed at this position and Davis fits the bill.
Round 3: Demarious Randall, Safety, Arizona State
He may not be a popular name right now, but Demarious Randall is a guy that is around the ball after each play. Randall racked up 177 tackles in his two-year playing career at Arizona State and he has great hands. He’s raw for sure, but when he puts on weight with an NFL conditioning program, Randall will be a solid player at the next level.
Round 4: Jake Ryan, Inside Linebacker, Michigan
There always seems to be a few inside linebacker prospects from the Big Ten each season and one of those guys in this year’s class is Jake Ryan. Although he played just one season at the inside linebacker position, Ryan diagnoses plays extremely well and he is a sure tackler. The Bears haven’t had quality linebacker play since Brian Urlacher left, but Ryan has excellent instincts and he has the makings of a stud middle linebacker.
Round 5: Blake Sims, Quarterback, Alabama
Cutler is the guy for the Bears and he will be going forward. Even though he is maligned by many, the Bears shelled out over $100 million for him and for them to give up on him just one year after giving out that contract, it will set back this team tremendously. Regardless, the Bears should develop a quarterback behind him and Blake Sims makes sense because he only played just one year at Alabama, even though he was a five-star recruit. There clearly is something special about Sims and if the Bears develop him correctly, maybe he can challenge for the starting position in 2017.
Round 6: Ali Marpet, Offensive Tackle, Hobart and William Smith
There wasn’t a guy that turned more heads at the 2015 Reese’s Senior Bowl than Ali Marpet. He shows the ability to play all five positions on the offensive line and he has excellent combination of strength and quick feet at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds. Marpet has great technique and if the Bears want to run the ball more in 2015, he would be excellent at opening up running lanes for Forte.
Round 7: Nick Marshall, Cornerback, Auburn
It may come as a surprise considering that the Bears would wait this long to address the cornerback position, but a team that has a ton of upside is Nick Marshall. A quarterback in college, Marshall is a gamer and he was willing to change positions to have the most success at the next level. Marshall has excellent work-ethic and Vic Fangio would be willing to take a chance on him.
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Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk
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Did Bucs put too much pressure on Aguayo?
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Broncos holding their breath on Derek Wolfe
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