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2019 NFL preview: Ranking the NFC North rosters

We conclude our series by averaging out our rankings over the past month.

Detroit Lions running back LeGarrette Blount (29) stiff armed Minnesota Vikings defensive back Anthony Harris (41) for a first down in the forth quarter at Ford Field Sunday December 23, 2018 in Detroit, MI.] The Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions

In the last few weeks, we’ve raked over each NFC North roster by ranking each team’s positional units. There has been a ton of debate as to which team has the superior roster, and now it’s finally time to reach our conclusion.

To rank the entirety of each team’s roster, I took our rankings of each individual position and averaged them for each team. Because quarterback is an especially important position, those rankings were weighted double the worth of every other position.

If you want to check out our rankings for each individual position group, you can check them out below:

Here it is: Your NFC North roster rankings:

1. Minnesota Vikings (average ranking: 2.2)

  • QB: 2
  • RB: 1
  • WR: 3
  • TE: 3
  • OL: 4
  • DL: 3
  • LB: 1
  • DB: 1

Unsurprisingly, the Vikings rankings are boosted by a fantastic defense. Their lowest-ranked unit is the team’s defensive line, but that isn’t for a lack of talent— it just so happens the NFC North’s defensive fronts are among some of the best in the league.

There are certainly plenty of questions with this roster, though. Offensively speaking, they took a big step back last year, and outside of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, this team is searching for more weapons to ease Kirk Cousins’ workload. Their offensive line remains a serious issue, even if they took steps to address it this offseason.

Still, I think the Vikings are one of the forgotten teams in this division. They obviously took a step back last year, but they still finished with a winning record

t-2. Chicago Bears (2.3)

  • QB: 4
  • RB: 3
  • WR: 1
  • TE: 2
  • OL: 1
  • DL: 1
  • LB: 2
  • DB: 3

Like last year, the Bears are hurt by their quarterback rankings. Again, if you were to take quarterback rankings out of this, Chicago has the best overall roster and by a pretty significant margin, too.

What may surprise you about Chicago is that their roster isn’t just all about an amazing defense anymore. Over the past two offseasons, they’ve quietly added together quite the offensive arsenal, which could theoretically help out Mitchell Trubisky’s quest to become a real quarterback.

There are plenty of reasons to expect some sort of regression in 2019 for the Bears (see: ridiculous turnover numbers in 2018), but this is still a very talented roster that has very little, if any, apparent weaknesses.

t-2. Detroit Lions (2.3)

  • QB: 3
  • RB: 2
  • WR: 2
  • TE: 1
  • OL: 3
  • DL: 2
  • LB: 3
  • DB: 2

The Lions roster isn’t particularly great at anything, but they aren’t extremely weak anywhere either. They are the only team in these rankings that didn’t come out last in a single category. Certainly that has nothing to do with the author of these pieces, right?

In reality, this is certainly a more competitive roster than most are giving them credit for. I won’t got as far as Andy Benoit and say this team has no apparent weaknesses (hi, left guard and cornerback No. 2), but the roster has certainly come a long ways in just a year.

If Detroit doesn’t improve upon their 6-10 record from last year, it won’t be due to a lack of talent.

4. Green Bay Packers (3.1)

  • QB: 1
  • RB: 4
  • WR: 4
  • TE: 4
  • OL: 2
  • DL: 4
  • LB: 4
  • DB: 4

The Packers come a distant fourth in the division, and, really, it’s been a long time coming. Green Bay has not drafted particularly well over the past few years, and their lack of free agency moves may finally come to home to roost.

Of course, the Packers are in the midst of entering a new era for their franchise. Last year, they had a change in general manager, and this year they finally decided to move on from long-time head coach Mike McCarthy.

There are plenty of signs these were good moves—Green Bay was plenty active this free agency and their 2019 draft was widely considered a success—but here’s the dirty little secret: the Packers are rebuilding. They may be able to hide it because they have a once-in-a-lifetime talent at quarterback, but they are absolutely rebuilding. Personally, I think their roster has a chance at being very good, just not this year.

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