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NFC NORTH: 2024 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 Detroit. This is Brad Holmes' fourth draft as Lions general manager, and he'll be looking to continue to add impact players to the Lions' roster this offseason.

The Packers, Vikings and Bears will have their own strategies for finding players that can come in and help the team right away. Chicago kicks off the draft with the No. 1 overall pick and has two picks in the Top 10.

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


2023 finish: 12-5 (division champs)

Total offense: 394.8 (3rd)

Rushing: 135.9 (5th)

Passing: 258.9 (2nd)

Total defense: 336.1 (19th)

Rush defense: 88.8 (2nd)

Pass defense: 247.4 (27th)

2024 draft picks: Round 1 (29), Round 2 (61), Round 3 (73), Round 5 (164), Round 6 (201), Round 6 (205), Round 7 (249)

Most impactful 2023 pick: There is no shortage of possibilities here, but whenever a player sets NFL rookie records, they certainly made an impact. Tight end Sam LaPorta had the most catches (86), second most touchdowns (10) and fourth most receiving yards (889) by any rookie tight end in NFL history.

Top 3 draft needs: DT, S, OL

Twentyman's take: This is the most complete the Lions' roster has been heading into the draft in Brad Holmes' tenure as Lions GM. His strategy is always to take top player available, but with no real weakness on the roster, that can definitely be the case later this week. Holmes can just trust his board and build depth and competition at a lot of different spots.


2023 finish: 9-8

Total offense: 345.5 (11th)

Rushing: 112.1 (15th)

Passing: 233.4 (12th)

Total defense: 335.1 (16th)

Rush defense: 128.3 (28th)

Pass defense: 206.8 (9th)

2024 draft picks: Round 1 (25), Round 2 (41), Round 2 (58), Round 3 (88), Round 3 (91), Round 4 (126), Round 5 (169), Round 6 (202), Round 6 (219), Round 7 (245), Round 7 (255)

Most impactful 2023 pick: Second-round pick WR Jayden Reed had a big first season in Green Bay, leading the Packers in receptions (64) and receiving yards (674). Reed tied for the team lead with eight touchdown catches.

Top 3 draft needs: LB, S, OL

Twentyman's take: The Packers have five picks in the Top 91 including two picks each in the second and third rounds. That's a lot of assets if GM Brian Gutekunst decides he wants to move up in the first couple rounds to get a player he thinks can have an immediate impact.

The Packers have switched defensive schemes and that will continue to require them re-tooling the roster on that side of the football. Don't be surprised if Green Bay comes away with multiple linebackers in this draft. The Packers have a good, young offense and if they continue to build up the defense, especially in the passing game, they could be a real challenge to Detroit in 2024.


2023 finish: 7-10

Total offense: 347.8 (10th)

Rushing: 91.4 (29th)

Passing: 256.4 (5th)

Total defense: 333.2 (16th)

Rush defense: 98.7 (8th)

Pass defense: 234.5 (24th)

2024 draft picks: Round 1 (11), Round 1 (23), Round 4 (108), Round 4 (129), Round 5 (157), Round 5 (167), Round 6 (177), Round 7 (230), Round 7 (232)

Most impactful 2023 pick: First-round pick Jordan Addison proved to be one of the best rookie wide receivers in the league last season. He was targeted 108 times and finished with 70 receptions for 911 yards and 10 touchdowns. He held down the fort and proved to be a big-time playmaker when Justin Jefferson missed extended time with a hamstring injury.

Top 3 draft needs: QB, CB, DL

Twentyman's take: Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made a move to secure a second first-round pick (No. 23) from Houston in a move that could set the Vikings up to move up from No. 11 to take a quarterback. Adofo-Mensah needs to find a long-term solution at quarterback after Kirk Cousins left for Atlanta in free agency.


2023 finish: 7-10

Total offense: 323.2 (20th)

Rushing: 141.1 (2nd)

Passing: 182.1 (27th)

Total defense: 324.2 (12th)

Rush defense: 86.4 (1st)

Pass defense: 237.8 (25th)

2024 draft picks: Round 1 (1), Round 1 (9), Round 3 (75), Round 4 (122)

Most impactful 2023 pick: Tyrique Stevenson was a second-round pick and immediately became a starter at one of the outside cornerback spots for the Bears. He finished fourth on the team with 86 tackles, but also tied for the team lead in interceptions (4) and led the Bears in passes defended (16) and forced fumbles (2).

Top 3 draft needs: QB, EDGE, DT

Twentyman's take: The Bears only have four draft picks total but the first two are in the first nine selections and it's expected they take a quarterback No. 1 overall after moving on from Justin Fields this offseason.

Caleb Williams appears to be the likely pick at No. 1, and then they are in a good spot to give Williams another weapon on the outside or take one of the best defensive players in the draft with their second Top 10 pick. C.J. Stroud proved last year rookie quarterbacks can have success in this league. If Williams comes in and is good, the Bears have a legitimate chance to be a playoff team and NFC North contender.

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