Now that we’re all very familiar with the Detroit Lions’ 2017 draft, let’s take a minute to look around the rest of the NFC North. The Chicago Bears seemed to grab all of the headlines with their bold move to jump up a single spot to grab Mitchell Trubisky, but after sitting out the first round, both the Packers and the Vikings made some interesting moves.
So let’s take a look around the division and see who came out on top for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Round 1, Pick 2 - QB Mitchell Trubisky (UNC)
Round 2, Pick 13 - TE Adam Shaheen (Ashland)
Round 4, Pick 5 - S Eddie Jackson (Alabama)
Round 4, Pick 13 - RB Tarik Cohen (North Carolina A&T)
Round 5, Pick 3 - G Jordan Morgan (Kutztown)
The Bears’ 2017 draft will be defined solely by the career of Mitchell Trubisky. Chicago sold out on the pick, and if the behind-the-scenes reporting is any indication, they wildly overpaid for it. As a result, NFL franchises are straight up laughing at the Bears. Take this excerpt from Jason La Canfora’s interesting story about the Bears draft:
"We don't know what the hell they were doing," said an executive from one team that is routinely in the postseason. "It's all anyone is talking about. It's really bad between Pace and Fox. Fox is fuming about being left in the dark on the trade (for Trubisky). I don't know anyone who likes their draft. From the first pick on, we can't figure out what they were doing. Go back and look at how many small-school kids they took. People around the league are shocked. It's really bad between Pace and Fox."
Chicago’s other picks are interestingly filled with small school prospects who will take a long time to groom. In other words, the Bears didn’t get much better for 2017. Only time will tell if these picks end up paying off.
Round 2, Pick 9 - RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)
Round 3, Pick 6 - C Pat Elflein (Ohio State)
Round 4, Pick 2 - DT Jaleel Johnson (Iowa)
Round 4, Pick 14 - LB Ben Gedeon (Michigan)
Round 5, Pick 27 - WR Rodney Adams (South Florida)
Round 5, Pick 37 - G Danny Isidora (Miami)
Round 6, Pick 17 - TE Bucky Hodges (Virginia Tech)
Round 7, Pick 1 - WR Stacy Coley (Miami)
Round 7, Pick 2 - DL Ifeadi Odenigbo (Northwestern)
Round 7, Pick 14 - LB Elijah Lee (Kansas State)
Round 7, Pick 27 - CB Jack Tocho (NC State)
The Vikings’ draft has been highly praised despite not having a first-round pick. Most point to the perceived value in many of their picks. Dalvin Cook, Bucky Hodges and Danny Isidora all went much later than the media expected.
However, of their whopping 11 draft picks, seven came in the fifth round or later. It’s hard to know how many, if any, of those picks are going to have both an immediate impact or a long-term role with the team.
Their earlier picks were all some of the least athletic players in the draft, but certainly fit needs. Though the Vikings added Latavius Murray in free agency, Dalvin Cook still fills a considerable need. Cook is a playmaker and a three-down back. He isn’t Adrian Peterson and likely never will be, but he could certainly compete for the best running back in the division right away.
Elsewhere, the Vikings added some much needed offensive line help by selecting two linemen in their first six picks. Pat Elflein provided great value in the third round while Danny Isidora is likely a year or two away from competing for a starting job.
Green Bay Packers
Round 2, Pick 1 - CB Kevin King (Washington)
Round 2, Pick 29 - S Josh Jones (NC State)
Round 3, Pick 29: DT Montravius Adams (Auburn)
Round 4, Pick 1 - OLB Vince Biegel (Wisconsin)
Round 4, Pick 27 - RB Jamaal Williams (BYU)
Round 5, Pick 31 - WR DeAngelo Yancey (Purdue)
Round 5, Pick 38 - RB Aaron Jones (UTEP)
Round 6, Pick 28 - OL Kofi Amichia (USF)
Round 7, Pick 20 - RB Devante Mays (Utah State)
Round 7, Pick 29 - WR Malachi Dupre, LSU
The Packers moved down twice in the 2017 NFL Draft to gain more draft capital. With nearly every single pick, they selected an athletic freak. Of their 10 picks, four had top-five athletic scores at their respective position.
That includes their first two picks of cornerback Kevin King and safety Josh Jones. Green Bay had an awful secondary in 2016, despite Haha Clinton-Dix continuing to grow as a defender. The Packers ranked 26th in passer rating allowed (95.9), 25th in completion percentage allowed (64.8) and dead last in yards per attempt allowed (8.1). King and Jones should step in immediately and help improve the unit that also lost Micah Hyde.
But the Packers didn’t just stop there. Their first four picks were all on the defensive side of the ball, adding good value, but not filling immediate needs in Montravius Adams and Vince Biegel.
Once Day 3 kicked in, however, the Packers made it their goal to give Aaron Rodgers a new arsenal of weapons. Their last six picks included three running backs and two receivers. Given Rodgers’ ability to make a star out of just about anyone, the mere fact that Green Bay added bodies should terrify the other NFC North teams
Which NFC North team had the best 2017 draft?
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Green Bay Packers