NFL Draft week is here, which means teams are putting the final touches on their draft preparations ahead of the three-day draft beginning Thursday night. These are unprecedented times for the NFL, as they'll conduct the draft virtually, with GMs working remotely from their homes.
"With the No. 3 pick, or wherever we end up picking, the idea is to get an impactful player," Lions general manager Bob Quinn said. "I think if there's a number of players up in that top of the draft that we feel good about, we'll see what happens next Thursday, but I feel like that's the goal.
"Our goal is to get impactful players throughout the draft, whether they're starters in the middle rounds or just backup and role players and special teams players later in the draft. Our goals haven't changed, the circumstances have obviously. We can't use that as an excuse. We have to go out there and do the best of our ability to draft, grade the players, evaluate the players and then put them in the correct place on the draft board, so next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, when it's our time to pick, we feel comfortable with the selection."
Quinn has always approached the draft looking to blend best player available with need. The Bears, Vikings and Packers will have their own strategies for finding the most impactful players that can come in and help the team immediately.
Here's a look at where all four teams in the NFC North stand heading into the draft:
2019 finish: 13-3 (won NFC North)
Total offense: 345.5 (18th)
Rushing: 112.2 (15th)
Passing: 233.3 (17th)
Total defense: 252.6 (18th)
Rush defense: 120.1 (23rd)
Pass defense: 232.6 (14th)
Most impactful 2019 pick: First-round pick Darnell Savage became an immediate starter for the Packers at safety, playing in 14 games (14 starts) with 55 tackles, two interceptions, five passes defended and two forced fumbles.
Top 3 draft needs: ILB, WR, OT
2020 draft picks: Round 1 (No. 30), Round 2 (62), Round 3 (94), Round 4 (136), Round 5 (175), Round 6 (192), Round 6 (208), Round 6 (209), Round 7 (236), Round 7 (242).
Who fits in Round 1: The Packers could have their pick of terrific talent at the inside linebacker spot or at wide receiver at the end of the first round. If they look for an inside linebacker of the future, a couple names who could be in the mix there are Kenneth Murray of Oklahoma or LSU's Patrick Queen, if either player is still on the board. At receiver, Justin Jefferson (LSU), Denzel Mims (Baylor), Tee Higgins (Clemson) or TCU's Jalen Reagor could all make sense.
Twentyman's take: The Packers added players in free agency to those positions of need – ILB Christian Kirksey, OT Rick Wagner and WR Devin Funchess – but something tells me the Packers will look for more long-term solutions at each spot. Don't be surprised if they look to add a tight end in the first couple days of the draft, too. It will be a homerun for Green Bay if Murray or Queen fall down to 30 and they can speed up their rebuild at the interior linebacker spot.
2019 finish: 10-6 (second in division)
Total offense: 353.3 (16th)
Rushing: 133.3 (6th)
Passing: 220.2 (23rd)
Total defense: 341.6 (14th)
Rush defense: 108.0 (13th)
Pass defense: 233.6 (15th)
Most impactful 2019 pick: First-round pick Garrett Bradbury was an immediate starter at center for the Vikings, playing and starting in all 16 games as a rookie. He was Pro Football Focus' worst graded center in 2019, but that's a tough spot to jump into as a rookie. He'll be better in year two.
Top 3 draft needs: CB, WR, OL
2020 draft picks: Round 1 (No. 22), Round 1 (25), Round 2 (58), Round 3 (89), Round 3 (105), Round 4 (132), Round 5 (155), Round 6 (201), Round 6 (205), Round 7 (219), Round 7 (249), Round 7 (253).
Who fits in Round 1: The Vikings are in a good spot with two first-round picks and 12 picks total in this draft. They have enough capital to get some quality players to build depth, or package some picks to trade up.
In terms of players who could fit at 22 and 25, at cornerback, Florida's C.J. Henderson, LSU's Kristian Fulton and Alabama's Trevon Diggs are the second wave of corners available after Jeff Okudah of Ohio State.
This is a terrific receiver class for teams that need one. Jefferson, Mims, or Higgins make sense. It seems like Minnesota is always looking to add talent and depth along their offensive line. USC's Austin Jackson and Houston's Josh Jones could be players available in the 20's for the Vikings at tackle.
Twentyman's take: The Vikings had to make some tough roster decisions this offseason because they didn't have a lot of cap space, but they make up for it with a lot of draft capital, including two first-round picks. Minnesota has five picks total in the first three rounds. The Vikings should be able to fill a lot of their needs with starting-caliber players in the first two days of the draft, but if they really fall in love with a prospect at the top of the draft, they have the capital to move up. Minnesota has a lot of options in this draft.
2019 finish: 8-8 (third in division)
Total offense: 296.8 (29th)
Rushing: 91.1 (27th)
Passing: 205.7 (25th)
Total defense: 324.1 (8th)
Rush defense: 102.0 (9th)
Pass defense: 222.1 (9th)
Most impactful 2019 pick: The Bears didn't have a pick until the third round last season and spent their first pick on running back David Montgomery, who led the team with 889 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes with another 185 yards and a touchdown.
Top 3 draft needs: OL, TE, CB
2020 draft picks: Round 2 (No. 43), Round 2 (50), Round 4 (140), Round 5 (163), Round 6 (196), Round 6 (200), Round 7 (226), Round 7 (233).
Who fits in Round 1: No first-round pick
Twentyman's take: It's a little bit tricky for the Bears not having a first-round pick. They kind of have to sit back and watch, and reassess their position heading into Day 2. It will likely be best player available at 43 & 50. That's unless they want to package those two second-round picks and potentially move into the first round. GM Ryan Pace hasn't been bashful about moving up in the past.
2019 finish: 3-12-1 (last in division)
Total offense: 346.8 (17th)
Rushing: 103.1 (21st)
Passing: 243.8 (10th)
Total defense: 400.4 (31st)
Rush defense: 115.9 (21st)
Pass defense: 284.4 (32nd)
Most impactful 2019 pick: Detroit spent a second-round pick on Hawaii linebacker Jahlani Tavai, and he made an immediate impact for their defense. He played in 15 games with six starts, and showed some versatility being able to play a variety of linebacker roles. He finished with 58 tackles, two sacks, two defended passes, an interception and a forced fumble.
Top 3 draft needs: EDGE, G, DT
2020 draft picks: Round 1 (No. 3), Round 2 (35), Round 3 (67), Round 3 (85), Round 4 (109), Round 5 (149), Round 5 (166), Round 6 (182), Round 7 (235).
Who fits in Round 1: If the Lions stay at No. 3, there are four names that make the most sense, and all four could help a defense that's been on the lookout for impact players all offseason. Pass rusher Chase Young (Ohio State), defensive tackle Derrick Brown (Auburn), cornerback Jeff Okudah (Ohio State) and Clemson LB/S Isaiah Simmons all make sense.
Twentyman's take: I think what ultimately happens is the Lions make a trade with a team like Miami or the Los Angeles Chargers interested in trading up to grab one of the top quarterbacks. Detroit is able to move back to No. 5 or No. 6, still get one of the four players mentioned above, and add to their draft picks. The ultimate dream scenario would be Young still available at No. 3, but I'm not sure how real of a possibility that is. Either way, Quinn is going to be able to grab an impact player at the top of the draft, and with four current picks in the top 85, a good draft could help speed up a turnaround in 2020.