Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

Identifying the biggest need for every NFC North team

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theScore goes division by division to identify the biggest positional needs for all 32 NFL teams entering the 2018 draft, which will be held from April 26-28.


Chicago Bears

Biggest need: CB
Secondary needs: WR, LB

The Bears have moved quickly to surround quarterback Mitch Trubisky with appropriate weapons ahead of his sophomore season, and they should be commended for the job they’ve done thus far.

Much attention has been paid to the offensive side of the ball in recent seasons and now the team must turn to the defense. In particular, the secondary needs an infusion of talent. Kyle Fuller is the leader of the corps after an impressive 2017 season, but he’s being paired with aging vet Prince Amukamara.

The Bears finished in the top 10 in both overall and pass defense last season, but third-last in interceptions with just eight.

Potential draft targets: Picking at No. 8 overall puts the Bears in an optimal position to take one of the draft’s marquee defensive talents. Among them is the consensus top corner in the draft, Denzel Ward.

Chicago revamped its receiving corps by landing the top receiver on the free-agent market this offseason in Allen Robinson and adding Taylor Gabriel, but it lost Cameron Meredith and has perennially injured Kevin White behind Robinson and Gabriel. Among the possible targets for the Bears’ second-round pick are Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton.

Detroit Lions

Biggest need: RB
Secondary needs: DL, G, LB

Will this be the year the Lions resolve their running-back issues once and for all? It’s well-documented Detroit hasn’t had a back rush for 100 yards in a game in four years and no rusher has hit 1,000 yards on the ground in a season since 2013.

This draft offers the Lions the opportunity to find their running back of the future. While LeGarrette Blount was added via free agency, he’s not the long-term option at the position. It will take more than just Blount to drastically improve a running game that ranked dead last in the league a season ago.

In this decade, the Lions have swung hard and missed at drafting running backs. Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Mikel Leshoure, and Jahvid Best have all disappointed.

Potential draft targets: The Lions have a legitimate shot at nabbing the second-best running back in the draft class with their second-round pick. Derrius Guice may still be available at 51st overall, but if he’s off the board, Detroit will more than likely have its choice of Nick Chubb or Sony Michel.

On the defensive line, Ezekiel Ansah is back via the franchise tag and he sorely needs support. Since the Lions can afford to wait until the second round to draft a running back, they can use the No. 20 overall pick on a pass-rusher such as Marcus Davenport.

Green Bay Packers

Biggest need: CB
Secondary needs: WR, RB, DE

Aaron Rodgers is entering his 14th year in the league with perhaps the least amount of talent surrounding him. While the Packers have brought aboard big names in Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson, the roster lacks depth at a multitude of positions.

The team’s biggest area of weakness remains at cornerback. Its first pick in three of the last four drafts has been on a defensive back, but that hasn’t led to immediate returns.

In March, Green Bay placed an offer sheet on Bears corner Fuller only to see it matched by Chicago.

Potential draft targets: The Packers enter the draft with their highest Day 1 pick in nearly a decade. At No. 14 overall, Green Bay is in a great position to land a transformative talent. Ward or Minkah Fitzpatrick could fall to the Packers, but if they don’t, the team will likely have its pick of Mike Hughes, Josh Jackson, or Jaire Alexander.

With its early second-round pick, Green Bay should target its skill positions and find a young, talented receiver such as Sutton, Kirk, or D.J. Moore.

Minnesota Vikings

Biggest need: G
Secondary needs: T, WR, CB

One of the most complete teams in the NFC, the Vikings are loaded at many positions. But they’re set to enter the 2018 season with Nick Easton and Tom Compton as their starting guards, two players on the last year of their deals.

Now that the quarterback position has been taken care of with the expensive signing of Kirk Cousins, the offensive line is the weakest link on a team with championship aspirations.

Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers are both expensive stop-gaps at tackle. The Vikings would be wise to find the future on the exterior ends of the line, as well.

Potential draft targets: This draft isn’t swimming with talented offensive linemen, but picking at the end of the first round provides Minnesota with an opportunity to nab one of the best available options in Isaiah Wynn.

Picking 30th in the second round, as well, the Vikings just may benefit from Orlando Brown’s falling draft stock and be able to nab the monster tackle at an appropriate slot.

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