After months on the road evaluating this year's draft talent – to which the Lions were more active than they've ever been – and countless hours spent on film study, all four teams in the NFC North feel a little better about their football teams in the immediate aftermath of the 2017 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, Green Bay, Minnesota and Chicago following last weekend's draft.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
|green bay packers|
|2||61||Josh Jones||S||NC State|
|6||212||Kofi Amichia||C/G||South Florida|
|7||238||Devante Mays||RB||Utah State|
Best pick: King has the kind of size (6-3, 198) and speed (4.43) that makes NFL personnel people drool about his potential. He played both cornerback spots and some safety in 34 starts at Washington. He's immediately the tallest and fastest player in Green Bay's secondary.
Good under-the-radar pick: Biegel has a motor that never quits, which is typical of players coming out of Wisconsin's program. He finished with 191 tackles (39.5 for loss) and 21.5 sacks over his career. He was the 14th OLB selected in the draft, but Green Bay tends to get a lot out of this type of tenacious edge player in their 3-4 defense.
Wild card pick: Williams is a big, physical back that stepped onto BYU's campus and became a starter as a freshman. He has some injury history, which is why he's a bit of a wild card, but when healthy, he's a nice dual-threat runner. He finished his career with 3,901 yards (5.4 average) with 35 touchdowns. He also caught 60 passes for 567 yards and a score.
|3||96||Kenny Golladay||WR||Northern Illinois|
|5||165||Jamal Agnew||CB||San Diego|
|7||250||Pat O'Connor||DE||Eastern Michigan|
Best pick: Davis should step in right away and compete for a spot at either the MIKE or the WILL. He's an instinctive player with terrific sideline-to-sideline speed. He should be an immediate upgrade in coverage at the position, and brings a toughness and tenacity missing from the linebacking corps for a couple years now.
Good under-the-radar pick: Tabor has received some slack for his lack of long speed. His slow times in the 40 at both the Combine and his pro day forced Lions GM Bob Quinn to go back and do some extra film work on him. That study reaffirmed to Quinn that playing speed and track speed are different. Quinn said he never saw anyone run by Tabor in all the film he studied, and said Tabor's instincts and feel for the game were some of the best he's ever seen. The Lions need more players in the backend of their defense that can get hands on the football. Tabor could be that player.
Wild card pick: Agnew would have been one of the fastest cornerbacks at the Combine had the small-school product been invited. He's a blazer with 4.3 speed, and plays a more physical brand of football than his frame might indicate. He'll come in and compete with Quandre Diggs for a role in the slot. He could also see some run as a returner, as he averaged 12.7 yards per punt return last season.
|2||41||Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida State|
|3||70||Pat Elflein||C||Ohio State|
|5||170||Rodney Adams||WR||South Florida|
|6||201||Bucky Hodges||TE||Virginia Tech|
|7||232||Elijah Lee||OLB||Kansas State|
|7||245||Jack Tocho||CB||NC State|
Best pick: Cook was a borderline first-round pick that fell to day two. The Vikings needed to find their replacement for Adrian Peterson in this draft, and came away with a player in Cook. Cook averaged 142.1 yards from scrimmage in college. He'll be a do-it-all back in Minnesota's backfield.
Good under-the-radar pick: The Vikings needed help at the three-technique defensive tackle position, and Johnson looks to be a great fit. The 6-foot-3, 316 pounder led the Hawkeyes in both tackles for loss and sacks from the defensive tackle position last season. He's a disruptor.
Wild card pick: Hodges is a quarterback turned tight end with great size (6-6) and speed (4.57). He also played in the slot at Virginia Tech, so the Vikings are hoping they added a receiving tight end that can do some damage in the middle of the field for quarterback Sam Bradford
|1||2||Mitchell Trubisky||QB||North Carolina|
|4||119||Tarik Cohen||RB||NC A&T|
Best pick: Shaheen (6-6, 278) is incredibly athletic as a former basketball player. There's the potential in Chicago for him to join Zach Miller and Dion Sims (signed as a free agent) to become a formidable three-headed monster at the tight end position. Shaheen combined to catch 127 passes for 1,670 yards and 26 touchdowns the past two seasons for Division II Ashland.
Good under-the-radar pick: Jackson has to stay healthy at this level, something he couldn't always do at Alabama. But he's a true middle-roaming free safety and should compete with Deon Bush for playing time in the backend of Chicago's defense. He also returned kicks at Alabama, which could get him onto the field early in Chicago.
Wild card pick: There are a lot of question marks surrounding Trubisky, who was just a one-year starter in college. The Bears obviously fell in love with him in the pre-draft process and made a big splash by trading up to the No. 2 pick to get him. Teams can't win in this league without a quarterback. Whether or not Trubisky turns into what the Bears hope he will is a bit of a wild card, but they obviously have high hopes for him based on his pure talent.