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All-NFC North team: Offense (Part 1)

Put the best players in the NFC North on one team and what does it look like?

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Starter: Aaron Rodgers

I know, shocker. Aaron Rodgers is undoubtedly the best QB in the NFC North and arguably the best in the NFL. He is at the top of the proverbial totem pole, while Matthew Stafford and Teddy Bridgewater are several notches behind, and Jay Cutler has his face in the dirt. Bridgewater had a nice rookie campaign, but he's not quite proven yet, so Stafford is the easy choice here to back up Rodgers on this imaginary team.

Reserve: Matthew Stafford

Running Back

Starters: Adrian Peterson and Eddie Lacy

With Adrian Peterson returning from a long hiatus, this group looks dominant on paper. Eddie Lacy followed up a solid rookie season with an even better sophomore year and received the third-highest grade among all RBs on Pro Football Focus. He also had the second-highest elusive rating behind Marshawn Lynch, who was the only RB to force more missed tackles out of the backfield.

Matt Forte had a bit of a down year and only averaged 3.9 yards per carry, but it's hard to blame him for the entire offense collapsing around him. With Marc Trestman out and a couple new additions to the offensive line, I expect Forte to at least get closer to his original form.

That brings us to the beautiful Ameer Abdullah, who, despite being a rookie, is already garnering plenty of praise and hype and is poised to get plenty of touches out of the Detroit Lions' backfield.

Reserves: Matt Forte and Ameer Abdullah

Wide Receiver

Starters: Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson and Golden Tate

Holy crap. There are so many great receivers to choose from in this division, and the top five are proven studs. Calvin Johnson and Jordy Nelson are obvious shoe-ins as the top two WRs of this bunch, but the real decision comes down to that third spot. One may argue that Alshon Jeffery is the third-best talent over Golden Tate and Randall Cobb, but since we're building a team, it only makes sense to choose between Tate and Cobb to fill the starting slot receiver role.

The final spot was up for grabs between newly acquired Minnesota Vikings WR Mike Wallace and rookie Chicago Bears WR Kevin White. I will admit that I cringed when I heard Roger Goodell call White's name and label him as a Bear, only because I knew how freakishly talented this kid is. Wallace is a bit overrated, and his contract is ridiculous, but he's still a decent deep threat and a viable option over a rookie at this point.

Reserves: Alshon Jeffery, Randall Cobb and Mike Wallace

Tight End

Starter: Martellus Bennett

There is definitely no shortage of talent at the tight end position throughout the NFC North. Production is another story, however. Last year, Martellus Bennett was the only starting tight end in the division to earn a positive grade on PFF, and he finished the year with 90 receptions and 916 yards. No other TE in the division had more than 30 receptions, and Andrew Quarless was the only other TE than Bennett to eclipse 300 yards.

Lions TE Eric Ebron has a bright future ahead of him depending on who you ask, but he will have a lot to prove next season. Kyle Rudolph was also under consideration, but he ultimately misses the cut due to his lack of production and issues with injuries over the past several years.

Reserve: Andrew Quarless


Starters: Bryan Bulaga and Riley Reiff

You essentially have four right tackles on this list if you're an advocate of moving Riley Reiff to the right side. I cannot stress how difficult it was to pick out of the detritus-filled talent at OT in this division. Aside from Bryan Bulaga, no one really jumps out at you as a great (or even good) offensive tackle.

Reiff has proven that he can be a reliable starter on the left side, and LaAdrian Waddle has been solid for the Lions when healthy. Phil Loadholt had established himself as one of the best right tackles in the NFL a couple years back, but he struggled last year before tearing his pectoral muscle and missing the final five games of the season.

Reserves: LaAdrian Waddle and Phil Loadholt


Starters: Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang

Unsurprisingly, Kyle Long is the only Bears O-lineman on this entire team because... well, everyone else is very bad. The Green Bay Packers had both of their starting guards (Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang) in PFF's top-five-graded OGs and did a spectacular job of protecting the interior for Aaron Rodgers last year.

Larry Warford took the NFL by storm as a rookie and was given PFF's Offensive Rookie of the Year award with a +22.8 overall grade in 2013. Last year was a slightly different story for Warford, mostly because of injuries and a lack of chemistry along Detroit's O-line.

Reserves: Larry Warford and Kyle Long


Starter: Corey Linsley

Former Buckeye Corey Linsley ended last year with the fifth-highest PFF grade among all centers and proved to be a steal for the Packers after snagging him in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Vikings center John Sullivan was one of the only bright spots for Minnesota's O-line and may be one of the most underrated centers in the NFL.

For the Bears, Brian de la Puente started off hot with a +8.0 overall grade in place of Roberto Garza through the first five weeks, but he was moved back to LG and saw his season end after suffering an ankle injury.

Dominic Raiola was bad and he should feel bad.

Reserve: John Sullivan

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