clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 NFL Draft: Ranking the NFC North's draft classes

Who had the best 2016 NFL Draft class in the NFC North?

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

1. Chicago Bears

Round 1, Pick 9: OLB Leonard Floyd (Georgia)
Round 2, Pick 25: OG Cody Whitehair (Kansas State)
Round 3, Pick 9: DT Jonathan Bullard (Florida)
Round 4, Pick 15: ILB Nick Kwiatkoski (West Virginia)
Round 4, Pick 26: S Deon Bush (Miami [FL])
Round 4, Pick 29: CB/S Deiondre' Hall (Northern Iowa)
Round 5, Pick 11: RB Jordan Howard (Indiana)
Round 6, Pick 10: S DeAndre Houston-Carson (William & Mary)
Round 7, Pick 9: WR Daniel Braverman (Western Michigan)

I mean, you hate to see it, but boy did the Chicago Bears come through with an impressive batch of players. There's really nothing I can do to convince myself that there is a single bad pick on this list. They traded up to get the edge rusher they needed in Leonard Floyd and still had another eight picks remaining. Both Whitehair and Bullard were complete steals on the second day of the draft, as was Howard in the fifth round.

Was I the only one just a little surprised to see Daniel Braverman land somewhere other than New England or Detroit? I mean doesn't he fit the mold of "The Patriot Way?"

This is a slam dunk draft class for the Bears from top to bottom.

Best Pick: OG Cody Whitehair
Best Value: RB Jordan Howard

Grade: A

2. Detroit Lions

Round 1, Pick 16: OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State)
Round 2, Pick 15: DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama)
Round 3, Pick 33: C Graham Glasgow (Michigan)
Round 4, Pick 13: S Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah)
Round 5, Pick 12: OG Joe Dahl (Washington State)
Round 5, Pick 32: LB Antwione Williams (Georgia Southern)
Round 6, Pick 16: QB Jake Rudock (Michigan)
Round 6, Pick 27: DT/DE Anthony Zettel (Penn State)
Round 6, Pick 35: LS Jimmy Landes (Baylor)
Round 7, Pick 15: RB Dwayne Washington (Washington)

If we're breaking this thing up into two parts, then the Lions might have had the best haul through the first four rounds of the draft. I wasn't as impressed with how they were able to spend their last six picks, but that doesn't ruin the draft in the slightest. Decker, Robinson, Glasgow and Killebrew all have the opportunity to immediately step into a starting role, while guys like Dahl, Williams and Zettel provide depth and will most likely earn playing time as role players.

As I mentioned in my Lions grades piece, you'll never convince me that drafting a long snapper is a good idea. On the other hand, Quinn had 10 picks to fill and after a certain point you run out of players and positions to choose from. If Jimmy Landes can stick around and become the next Muhldozer for the Lions, then it will be difficult to argue with this pick in the future.

Best Pick: OT Taylor Decker
Best Value: DT A'Shawn Robinson, S Miles Killebrew (tie)

Grade: B

3. Minnesota Vikings

Round 1, Pick 23: WR Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss)
Round 2, Pick 23: CB Mackensie Alexander (Clemson)
Round 4, Pick 23: OT Willie Beavers (Western Michigan)
Round 5, Pick 23: ILB Kentrell Brothers (Missouri)
Round 6, Pick 5: WR Moritz Boehringer (Germany)
Round 6, Pick 13: TE David Morgan (Texas-San Antonio)
Round 7, Pick 6: OLB Stephen Weatherly (Vanderbilt)
Round 7, Pick 23: S Jayron Kearse (Clemson)

The Vikings needed a big target for Teddy Bridgewater and Laquon Treadwell was the best pick they could have made in the first round. His lack of explosiveness and poor long speed has been well documented, but his ability to separate is criminally underrated if you ask me. This pick made a lot of sense and it's hard to argue with Minnesota's logic here. I also thought the Mackensie Alexander selection was a decent pick. I've been openly critical of the Clemson CB, so the second round is just about where I expected him to land.

But my favorite pick by the Vikings has to be TE David Morgan. I thought he was a perfect fit for the Lions being the best blocking TE in this class with some impressive quickness to boot. The Vikings also landed the Dirk Nowitzki of the NFL in the sixth round, who is a phenomenal athlete with an unlimited ceiling.

The rest of Minnesota's picks didn't really move the needle for me in either direction. Jayron Kearse is an exceptional athlete with little-to-no instincts and was probably worth taking a flier on in the seventh round, but I wasn't enamored by Willie Beavers in the fourth and Kentrell Brothers in the fifth.

Best Pick: WR Laquon Treadwell
Best Value: TE David Morgan

Grade: B-

4. Green Bay Packers

Round 1, Pick 27: NT Kenny Clark (UCLA)
Round 2, Pick 17: OT Jason Spriggs (Indiana)
Round 3, Pick 25: LB Kyler Fackrell (Utah State)
Round 4, Pick 33: ILB Blake Martinez (Stanford)
Round 4, Pick 39: DE Dean Lowry (Northwestern)
Round 5, Pick 26: WR Trevor Davis (California)
Round 6, Pick 25: OT Kyle Murphy (Stanford)

Best Pick: LB Kyler Fackrell
Best Value: LB Kyler Fackrell

I am a fan of Kenny Clark's, but I also thought the Packers could have gotten a better nose tackle at 27 overall with Vernon Butler, A'Shawn Robinson and Chris Jones still on the board.

Jason Spriggs was a nice pick in the middle of the second round, considering some scouts had him pegged as a first-rounder. Spriggs is a great athlete with magnificent footwork in pass protection, but his lack of tenacity and atrocious run blocking worries me. He could be a few years away from turning into a solid starter for the Packers.

The pick that stands out most to me is Kyler Fackrell, who is one of the top pure pass rushers in this class with impeccable flexibility around the edge.

Despite adding an edge presence like Fackrell, the Packers were unable to fill other pressing needs like snagging a top-tiered inside linebacker prospect in Reggie Ragland who was still available in the first round, or selecting a developmental tight end anywhere in the draft.

Grade: C

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.