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Grading the NFC North in the first round of the NFL Draft

The division had an interesting first round of the draft.

BYU v Utah State Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books, and it turned out to be quite the day for the NFC North. Some huge names entered the division, there was a trade, and one of the teams still just did not have a pick. Here is how things went down for everyone.

Detroit Lions

Detroit entered the draft caught within a storm of a ton of trade back rumors. The Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and even Atlanta Falcons were all pegged as potential trade back partners. No formal offers ended up materializing for the team, though, leaving them with their pick at third overall.

Despite not getting a trade back, they still nailed their pick. They got the best player available who also happens to fill one of their biggest needs at the moment when they selected Jeff Okudah. It’s a no brainer for the team, and they get an A for the first round.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers made the surprise pick of the draft by trading up to take Utah State quarterback Jordan Love 26th overall. Green Bay still has Aaron Rodgers on the roster, and the quarterback just led them to an NFC Championship game. They’re also barely into a long-term deal they recently signed with Rodgers.

Love is a project who may need a while to be ready to play in the NFL. He lands in a perfect spot where he can train for a couple of seasons under an all-time great with a similar skill set without the need to play immediately. It is an interesting decision for the franchise, though. It signals to your star player that you feel the team is better off without him in the future. You also miss out on a chance to add a player that will make your roster better in 2020. For that, the Packers get a C.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota entered the draft with two first-round selections. They received the Buffalo Bills first-round pick in the deal for wide receiver Stefon Diggs. They used that pick on a potential replacement for Diggs, drafting LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson 22nd overall. They then traded back from pick 25 to pick 31 for two extra picks in later rounds from the San Francisco 49ers. They added a corner with that pick, drafting TCU’s Jeff Gladney.

Minnesota did not make any flashy picks or add any elite prospects, but they did fine with the options that they had. They got good value for a trade back of only six spots later in the first round, giving them more options later on to add to their depleted roster. Overall, a fine day for the Vikings, and they get a B.

Chicago Bears

Still do not have a first-round pick because they dealt it for Khalil Mack before the 2018 season. Acquiring an all-time great pass rusher for a pair of first rounders is a move that still gets an A from me.

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