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Draft Coverage

NFC NORTH: 2023 NFL Draft preview

NFL Draft week is here, which means teams are putting the final touches on their preparations ahead of the three-day event beginning with Thursday's first round in Kansas City. This is Brad Holmes' third draft as Lions general manager, and he'll be looking to continue to add impact players to the Lions' roster this offseason.

The Vikings, Packers and Bears will have their own strategies for finding players that can come in and help the team right away.

Here's a look at where all four teams in the NFC North stand heading into the draft:


2022 finish: 13-4 (won division)

Total offense: 361.5 (7th)

Rushing: 97.7 (27th)

Passing: 263.8 (6th)

Total defense: 388.7 (31st)

Rush defense: 123.1 (20th)

Pass defense: 265.6 (31st)

Most impactful 2022 pick: The Vikings didn't get a lot of production out of their rookies in 2022. Second-round pick Ed Ingram, a guard out of LSU, started all 17 games for them as a rookie. He allowed 33 hurries, 19 quarterback hits and 11 sacks. The Vikings are hoping for a big leap forward from him in Year 2.

Top 3 draft needs: CB, DT, LB

2023 draft picks: Round 1 (23), Round 3 (87), Round 4 (119), Round 5 (158), Round 6 (211)

Who fits in Round 1: This is a very good class of cornerbacks, and the Vikings will be in position to select a good one at the end of the first round. They will probably miss out on the top three of Devon Witherspoon (Illinois), Christian Gonzalez (Oregon) and Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State), but Maryland's Deonte Banks or Emmanuel Forbes of Mississippi State could fit nicely at No. 23.

Twentyman's take: The Vikings won 13 games and the NFC North title in 2022. They'll be in the mix again in 2023 for the division, but GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah knows they have to start getting younger at some key spots and start playing the long game. Don't be surprised if Adofo-Mensah tries to add draft capital as he currently sits on just five picks in the draft.


2022 finish: 9-8

Total offense: 380.0 (4th)

Rushing: 128.2 (11th)

Passing: 251.8 (8th)

Total defense: 392.4 (32nd)

Rush defense: 146.5 (29th)

Pass defense: 245.8 (30th)

Most impactful 2022 pick: No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson was runner-up for Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 52 tackles (34 solo), nine tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, 15 QB hits, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Top 3 draft needs: DT, CB, EDGE

2023 draft picks: Round 1 (6), Round 1 (18), Round 2 (48), Round 2 (55), Round 3 (81), Round 5 (152), Round 5 (159), Round 6 (183), Round 6 (194)

Who fits in Round 1: Could the top pass rusher in the draft fall to the Lions for a second consecutive year? Last year it was Hutchinson at No. 2 and depending on how the quarterbacks go at the top of the draft there's an outside shot Alabama's Will Anderson Jr. could be there at No. 6. That would be a home-run pick for the Lions. Can you imagine coming out of the last two drafts with the best player at a premier position like pass rusher and be set on the edge for the next four or five seasons?

Twentyman's take: Holmes is in a pretty good spot heading into the draft after addressing some big defensive needs in free agency and owning five of the top 81 picks in this draft, including two firsts and two seconds. Holmes has a lot of options and can move up or down based on his board. He can really just trust his board, which is always the best strategy.


2022 finish: 8-9

Total offense: 337.9 (17th)

Rushing: 124.3 (15th)

Passing: 213.6 (17th)

Total defense: 336.5 (17th)

Rush defense: 139.5 (26th)

Pass defense: 197.0 (6th)

Most impactful 2022 pick: The Packers took Georgia linebacker Quay Walker No. 22 overall. He played in all 17 games with 16 starts and led their defense with 121 tackles. He also chipped in 1.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and seven passes defended.

Top 3 draft needs: TE, S, DL

2023 draft picks: Round 1 (15), Round 2 (45), Round 3 (78), Round 4 (116), Round 5 (149), Round 5 (170), Round 7 (232), Round 7 (235), Round 7 (242), Round 7 (256)

Who fits in Round 1: This is a good spot at the middle of the first round to select the top tight end in a very deep class at the position, whether that's Michael Mayer out of Notre Dame or Utah's Dalton Kincaid.

Twentyman's take: The Packers are coming off their first playoff-less season since 2018. They'll likely also be starting someone not named Aaron Rodgers at quarterback for the first time since 2007 too. It's now the Jordan Love show in Green Bay. The Packers have been pretty quiet in free agency but have a chance with 10 picks in this draft to move around and add to what was a pretty good 2022 draft with players like Walker and wide receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.

View photos from offseason workouts on Thursday, April 20, 2023.


2022 finish: 3-14

Total offense: 307.8 (28th)

Rushing: 177.3 (1st)

Passing: 130.5 (32nd)

Total defense: 375.9 (29th)

Rush defense: 157.3 (31st)

Pass defense: 218.6 (17th)

Most impactful 2022 pick: Chicago took Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker in the second round and he was an immediate starter, racking up 104 tackles with five tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 15 games.

Top 3 draft needs: DL, OL, CB

2023 draft picks: Round 1 (9), Round 2 (53), Round 2 (61), Round 3 (64), Round 4 (103), Round 4 (133), Round 5 (136), Round 5 (148), Round 7 (218), Round 7 (258)

Who fits in Round 1: The Bears got a haul from Carolina moving from No. 1 overall to No. 9. At No. 9, the Bears look to be in a great spot to select one of the top offensive tackles in the class – Peter Skoronski (Northwestern), Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) or Darnell Wright (Tennessee).

Twentyman's take: The Bears spent big in free agency after having nearly $100 million in cap space, adding some veterans that should be impact players, especially on defense. Their move from No. 1 to No. 9 in the draft netted them an additional first and second-round pick this year and next year, plus wide receiver D.J. Moore. After winning only three games last season, the Bears should be considerably more competitive in 2023 if they hit on some rookies in this class

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