After months on the road evaluating talent and countless hours spent on film study, all four teams in the NFC North feel better about their football teams in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 draft.
No one knows for sure how good these players will be until the pads come on in August, but there are reasons to be optimistic in Detroit, Minnesota, Green Bay and Chicago today.
|1||23||Laquon Treadwell||WR||Ole Miss|
|4||121||Willie Beavers||G||Western Michigan|
|6||188||David Morgan||WR||Texas-San Antonio|
Best pick: The Vikings had just one receiver catch more than 500 yards worth of passes last season, and they finished the season ranked 31st in passing. Minnesota got the consensus best receiver in the draft at No. 23. He'll be a nice weapon for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for a long time.
Good under-the-radar pick: Brothers isn't projected to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL, but he had a ton of production at Missouri (152 tackles last season) and has a high football IQ. He has a nose for the ball and knows what to do when he gets there. He's going to help the Vikings run defense.
Wildcard pick: Boehringer, a wide receiver, is the first player to be drafted straight out of Europe. He's about as raw as it gets, but at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds with 4.43 speed, he was worth a late-round pick. He'll try to make his mark on special teams and who knows what the future might bring with those measurables.
|green bay packers|
|3||88||Kyler Fackrell||LB||Utah State|
Best pick: Taking Spriggs, a super athletic big man, isn't so much about this upcoming season as it is the future of the Packers line. He's talented enough to play just about anywhere upfront. With left tackle David Bakhtiari entering the final year of his contract, the Packers now have options next offseason.
Good under-the-radar pick: Lowry is an interesting prospect because of his size (6-6, 296). He can play multiple spots along Green Bay's defensive front and made it a habit playing in the opponent's backfield the last two seasons at Northwestern.
Wildcard pick: It's not often a first-round pick is also considered a wildcard pick, but the Packers passed on some more polished defensive tackles to take the 20-year old Clark. He does appear to have a high ceiling after recording six sacks and 11 tackles for loss as a true junior last season. The Packers had to find B.J. Raji's (retirement) replacement. Is Clark the right guy for the middle of the defensive front?
|1||16||Taylor Decker||OT||Ohio State|
|4||111||Miles Killebrew||S||Utah State|
|5||151||Joe Dahl||T/G||Washington State|
|5||169||Antwione Williams||LB||Georgia Southern|
|6||202||Anthony Zettel||DT||Penn State|
Best pick: General managers love it when first-round talent like Robinson falls in their lap in the middle of the second round. It's called value. The Lions needed to solidify the long-term future at the position and did so with Robinson. He just turned 21 and will immediately help against the run.
Good under-the-radar pick: The Lions waited to address their need on the edge until Day 3 with Zettel. Here's a player who recorded 17 tackles for loss, had eight sacks and intercepted three passes as a 6-foot-4, 277-pound defensive end as a junior. Penn State needed to move him inside his senior season and his production dipped a bit last year as an undersized defensive tackle. The Lions are moving him back outside where he belongs, and he'll have an opportunity to play right away because of the their current numbers at defensive end.
Wildcard pick: Miles Killebrew, aka "Killa," is a true in-the-box safety. He recorded back-to-back 100-tackle seasons as a junior and senior. He'll compete with Rafael Bush, Tavon Wilson and others for the starting strong safety spot. If he wins it, that's great value in Round 4. At the very least he has the potential to be a very good special teams player right away.
|4||113||Nick Kwiatkoski||LB||West Virginia|
|4||127||Deiondre' Hall||CB||Northern Iowa|
|6||185||DeAndre Houston-Carson||S||William & Mary|
|7||230||Daniel Braverman||WR||Western Michigan|
Best pick: While their first-round pick was a bit risky, there's nothing at all risky about taking Whitehair in the second round. He's played left guard, left tackle and right tackle. He'll eventually be the starting left guard, which could be as soon as this fall.
Good under-the-radar pick: Howard rushed for 2,800 yards and 22 touchdowns over the last two seasons at Indiana and UAB. He averaged 134.8 yards per game in the Big Ten last season. With Matt Forte gone, Howard should get some opportunities with a run-by-committee approach in Chicago alongside Jeremy Langford, Ka'Deem Carey and Jacquizz Rodgers.
Wildcard pick: The Bears went out in free agency and addressed their deficiencies at inside linebacker with the signings of Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. With their first pick, they added a talented outside linebacker in Floyd to battle Lamarr Houston and Willie Young on the edge. Floyd is a freakish athlete, but he had just 17.5 sacks (4.5 last year) in college. The production wasn't necessarily there. This was a projection pick at No. 9 overall more than anything.