NFC North: What prospects fit needs for the Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings?

Posted Feb 28, 2013

Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is in the books, lead writer Tim Twentyman takes a look at each NFC North's team needs and what prospects would fit

The NFL Scouting Combine is over and all the measurements are in. The four teams in the NFC North now have a better idea of some of the prospects available in April's NFL Draft.

There's still nearly two months to go until the draft, and free agency starts March 12, but here's a look at some of the needs for the Bears, Packers, Lions and Vikings and players who might fit those needs after a week in Indianapolis at the Combine.


Eric LacyNeeds: DL, OL, OLB, RB

First-round pick: No. 26

What they had to say at Combine: Head coach Mike McCarthy on improving the run game.

"When I evaluate this year's run game, obviously there's definitely room for improvement. We talk repeatedly as a staff and an offense, the ability to run the football smart, and I'm not just talking about scheme, talking about decision-making, the attitude that carries over from two-back schemes to one-back schemes and those types of things.

"There were periods of this season that we ran the ball better. Our attempts improved. I think we can still run it more than we have the last two years. It's an area of focus for our offense. We definitely need to do a better job."

Player who fits: RB, Eddie Lacy, Alabama

Comment: Lacy has a chance to be on the board at No. 26 and if the Packers can get the best back available, who's a workhorse, they've done well for themselves early on in the draft.


Keenan AllenNeeds: WR, LB, DT

First-round pick: No. 23

What they had to say at Combine: Head coach Leslie Frasier on needing a receiver

"You're always looking for speed at the receiver position. So that's a criteria. Along with the fact that he has great hands. That's another part of it. So being able to get a little yardage after catch, that's a part of it as well.

"We need an all-encompassing guy, a guy who can run by some people, who can make the hard catch for us if he's in a contested situation but hopefully also can get us some yards after catch. And he's a guy who has the smarts to be able to understand game plans from week to week."

Player who fits: WR, Keenan Allen, California

Comment: Allen didn't workout at the Combine because of a knee issue, but he has the body-type and play-making ability the Vikings are looking for on the outside to compliment Percy Harvin in the slot. His pro day is one of the more important this spring.


Alec OgletreeNeeds: OL, LB, TE

First-round pick: No. 20

What they had to say at Combine: Bears GM Phil Emery on Brian Urlacher and the linebacker position

"We look at every player as a unique player. The qualities he brings probably you say when you fill the roster, how many linebackers we have has an impact. But right now, where we're at in the process, we're here to look at really good players and see if they fit. That is part of what we do.

"Yes, we're going to look at college players and see how they fit against what we have on our roster and what we could potentially add and that's same thing that's true with UFAs."

Player who fits: ILB, Alec Ogletree, Georgia

Comment: Ogletree is arguably the top inside linebacker available in April and could all to the Bears because of character concerns. The Bear will have to be comfortable with some of his off-the-field issues, most recently a DUI.


Dee MillinerNeeds: DE, S, OL, CB, RB

First-round pick: No. 5

What they had to say at Combine: Lions GM Martin Mayhew on the cornerback position

"We like fast. I think if you're bigger, I think there may be a little bit of wiggle room in terms of your actual time. It depends on how you're going to play a guy, too. If you want to play a Cover 2 scheme or play a lot of press-man you've got a guy with some length that can disrupt routes at the line of scrimmage, that helps.

"But we like fast guys. Guys that run fast, guys that run sub-4.5 I would say are fast. And then guys that run slower than that have to have something else going for them."

Player who fits: CB, Dee Milliner, Alabama

Comment: Milliner put to rest any doubts about his straight-line speed and athleticism when he came out and ran a 4.37 40 at the Combine. He's big, physical and fast. That's the trifecta for Mayhew and the Lions.