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Calbrooks
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NFC North rivals Draft Picks
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Lions

1st round (20th pick). Frank Ragnow, Arkansas center

2 (43). Kerryon Johnson, Auburn running back

3 (82). Tracy Walker. Louisiana-Lafayette safety

4 (114). Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama defensive end

5 (153). Tyrell Crosby, Oregon guard

7 (237). Nick Bawden, San Diego State fullback

Brad Biggs’ analysis: The Lions put a premium on helping quarterback Matthew Stafford by tabbing Ragnow, who can play center or guard, then adding Johnson, who has good hands out of the backfield, in the seemingly never-ending quest to right the running game. The Lions must run the ball more effectively — they haven’t had a back rush for 100 yards in a game in the last four seasons. Crosby could compete at right tackle or guard. Hand figures to make the defensive rotation up front.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-nfl-draft-nfc-north-biggs-20180428-story.html

Unless that RB ends up being a hit, nothing I see there screams game changing. I think the Lions window is still closing.

Calbrooks
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Packers

1 (18). Jaire Alexander, Louisville cornerback

2 (45). Josh Jackson, Iowa cornerback

3 (88). Oren Burks, Vanderbilt linebacker

4 (133). J’Mon Moore, Missouri wide receiver

5 (138). Cole Madison, Washington State offensive lineman

5 (172). JK Scott, Alabama punter

5 (174). Marquez Valdes-Scantling, South Florida wide receiver

6 (207). Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame wide receiver

7 (232). James Looney, California defensive end

7 (239). Hunter Bradley, Mississippi State long snapper

7 (248). Kendall Donnerson, Southeast Missouri State linebacker

Biggs’ analysis: The Packers’ secondary was so bad last year that new general manager Brian Gutekunst doubled down on cornerbacks with the first two picks. They stayed on defense in Round 3 with Burks, a heady player, to give new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine an array of new pieces. With Jordy Nelson departed, three Day 3 picks were devoted to wide receivers, and Moore, Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown all have good size. If one of them hits opposite Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers will be in business. With 11 picks, the Packers also were able to add two specialists. Scott arguably was the best punter in the draft.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-nfl-draft-nfc-north-biggs-20180428-story.html

Good lord they had a lot of picks! I hope for our sake that the CBs they drafted don't pan out. I am not very familiar with either of them though. Will be interesting to see if Rodgers can connect with any of the new WRs they have given him.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

Calbrooks
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Vikings

1 (30). Mike Hughes, Central Florida cornerback

2 (63). Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh tackle

4 (102). Jalyn Holmes, Ohio State defensive end

5 (157). Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan tight end

5 (167). Daniel Carlson, Auburn kicker

6 (213). Colby Gossett, Appalachian State guard

6 (218). Ade Aruna, Tulane defensive end

7 (225). Devante Downs, California linebacker

Biggs’ analysis: The Vikings probably would have opted to go with an offensive lineman in Round 1 if Hughes weren’t sitting there. Off-field issues dropped him; with a clean background he likely would have gone in the top half of the round. O’Neill probably can slide inside and get a shot to start at guard. The addition of Carlson in Round 5 will potentially end what’s been a game of musical chairs at kicker. The Vikings have done well with late-round picks on the line, so Holmes and Aruna will be worth keeping an eye on.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-nfl-draft-nfc-north-biggs-20180428-story.html

I like that they took a kicker in the 5th, that never seems to pan out. Poor kickers. Again, nothing too exciting there. I am a little surprised they did not invest a little stronger on offense. Give their new QB the best chance possible to prove they were correct spending all that money.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

PapaBear.OR
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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY Calbrooks

Packers

5 (138). Cole Madison, Washington State offensive lineman

5 (172). JK Scott, Alabama punter

5 (174). Marquez Valdes-Scantling, South Florida wide receiver

I can tell ya right now that O linemen out of Wash. State they took at 5 is gonna wash out or spend a lot of time warming benches.  I'm surprised anyone drafted him at all much less with a 5th round pick.  Nothing special at all.  I would be pretty shocked if Scantling makes much of a splash in GB either, average SF WR in December in GB is a bit of a stretch imo.  Could very well be they all but wasted three picks right there in the 5th round.

Butkus never wore an earring

Calbrooks
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Projecting Every 1st-Round Pick's Year 1 Impact

8. LB Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears

This year's eighth overall pick has a hefty legacy to uphold, and he's more than capable of doing so. The reigning Butkus Award winner has a chance to be a difference-maker the moment he steps on the field.

"Roquan, he's just an animal," said wide receiver Javon Wims, who played with Smith at Georgia and was also selected by the Chicago Bears, in the seventh round, per the Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell. "We have somebody who works hard. He's a leader by nature. He sets the standard. He sets the tone. Not only vocally but his play. His play sets the tone for the game. He just elevated guys' games."

The 21-year-old Smith shares his energy by flying around the field full-tilt and makes tackle after tackle. His sideline-to-sideline range is among the league's best before he's even played a snap.

In Vic Fangio's defense, he has a good chance to become the leading tackler among rookies.

Status: Defensive Rookie of the Year Front-Runner

 

18. CB Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers

In order for Mike Pettine's scheme to work, the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator needs aggressive cornerbacks who can play on islands while he concocts exotic blitz packages.

The Packers lacked the talent at cornerback to compete on defense last season and made the position a priority this offseason. Jaire Alexander will step in as the feisty player Pettine needs and prefers.

"He's scrappy; he's competitive," Packers director of college scouting Jon-Eric Sullivan said of the 5'11", 190-pounder, per the Black Hills Pioneer's Jason Wilde. "Is he as tall as some others? No, he's not. But I think when you watch the tape, he doesn't play like a little guy. He's very competitive; he gets in people's business."

Alexander isn't afraid to challenge any receiver. The Louisville product allowed a 19.9 passer rating last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

The rookie is already the team's best cover corner even with veterans Tramon Williams and Davon House back in the fold.

Status: Starter

 

20. C Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions

Frank Ragnow became the forgotten man in a loaded class of interior linemen because of a severe ankle injury. Yet Ragnow became the second interior prospect off the board.

The injury didn't cause the Detroit Lions to overlook the fact Ragnow provided the two most dominant seasons by a collegiate center in the Pro Football Focus era.

Ragnow presents some position flexibility, though, with starting potential at guard.

"You look back at the last couple years, there's been a lot of rookie centers that get drafted in the first round, they end up playing right away," general manager Bob Quinn said, per the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett. "Listen, whatever position we play him at, if he's ready to play it, we'll put him in there. If he's not ready to play, we won't put him in there."

Guard might be a possibility, but the Lions would be wise to place Ragnow over the ball and leave him there for the next decade or so.

Status: Starter

 

30. CB Mike Hughes, Minnesota Vikings 

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer places a premium on cornerbacks, and Mike Hughes adds yet another layer to an already talented secondary that features Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes.  

Zimmer favors attitude players who will play a physical brand of football. 

"I think it's a perfect fit for him," former UCF head coach Scott Frost said of Hughes, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Dane Mizutani. "He's a guy that will come up and hit, and I think he'll really embrace playing around a bunch of other guys with that kind of attitude."

Hughes doesn't present the same length or athleticism as Rhodes or Waynes, but he's a versatile piece who can start in the slot, play all three corner spots and contribute as a returner on special teams. 

"I do think the punt return and the kick return did play a big part of it," Zimmer said of Hughes' selection, per The Athletic's Chad Graff. "We weren't as explosive in our return game as we wanted to be last year."

Status: Returner and Nickel Corner

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2773141-projecting-every-1st-round-picks-year-1-impact

I realize that picking higher than the other teams helps and all, but I still am pretty happy to say, your picks suck compared to ours!

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

The Shadow
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Re: NFC North rivals Draft Picks
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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY Calbrooks

Lions

1st round (20th pick). Frank Ragnow, Arkansas center

2 (43). Kerryon Johnson, Auburn running back

3 (82). Tracy Walker. Louisiana-Lafayette safety

4 (114). Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama defensive end

5 (153). Tyrell Crosby, Oregon guard

7 (237). Nick Bawden, San Diego State fullback

Brad Biggs’ analysis: The Lions put a premium on helping quarterback Matthew Stafford by tabbing Ragnow, who can play center or guard, then adding Johnson, who has good hands out of the backfield, in the seemingly never-ending quest to right the running game. The Lions must run the ball more effectively — they haven’t had a back rush for 100 yards in a game in the last four seasons. Crosby could compete at right tackle or guard. Hand figures to make the defensive rotation up front.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-nfl-draft-nfc-north-biggs-20180428-story.html

Unless that RB ends up being a hit, nothing I see there screams game changing. I think the Lions window is still closing.

Lions trade Akeem Spence to Miami

Posted by Charean Williams on May 3, 2018, 4:08 PM EDT

The Lions have agreed to trade defensive tackle Akeem Spence to the Dolphins, Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports.

Earlier Thursday, the Lions agreed to restructure Spence’s contract. It dropped his base salary from $3.15 million to $2.575 million, with some incentives added back in to allow him to recoup some of the money. It cleared $500,000 in cap space.

The Lions signed Spence to a three-year, $10.5 million deal last offseason to add some heft to the middle of their line.

In his only season in Detroit, Spence played 16 games, starting 11. He made 39 tackles and three sacks.

The Dolphins released defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in the offseason, so Spence will add depth at the position.

*****

An already thin Defensive line just got thinner in Detroit.

re-Build 3.0

My 2018 Prediction...7-9 or 8-8 if they get lucky.

Calbrooks
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Win-Loss Predictions for Every NFL Team, Post-Draft

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears have a tough schedule this season. On top of playing the rest of the NFC North—the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions each could be in playoff contention—they also have to play the NFC West, including the fast-rising Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw for only 183 yards per game last season, which put the Bears in a bad spot. This offseason, they signed veteran receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Trey Burton, and they spent a second-round pick on Memphis wideout Anthony Miller. That should make life easier on new head coach Matt Nagy and new offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

The Bears have made marginal improvements this offseason, but they still have plenty of work to do before digging themselves out of the NFC North basement. Questions like "How is anyone but Akiem Hicks going to get to the quarterback?" still loom.

Prediction: 6-10

 

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are clearly the third-best team in the NFC North, trailing the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers (with a healthy Aaron Rodgers) but ahead of the Chicago Bears. New head coach Matt Patricia will impact the product on the field, though.

In Patricia's first draft, the Lions drafted two offensive linemen, a running back in a second round and a fullback. That could mean Matthew Stafford will no longer have to carry the offense single-handedly.

The Lions were best in 2017 when they were pushing the ball down the field as they faced a scoring deficit or in two-minute drills. It bears watching whether they embrace more of a Bruce Arians-esque style of play under Patricia, a play-action-heavy deep-passing game.

On defense, Detroit's only significant addition this offseason was third-round safety Tracy Walker of the Sun Belt's Louisiana-Lafayette. For as drastically as the offense could change based on the Lions' personnel decisions this spring, the defense looks like a carbon copy of 2017.

Prediction: 8-8

 

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers might not be as talented as the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, but they do have a major advantage over those teams: They get to play a third-place schedule.

While those NFC contenders have to battle each other this year, the Packers have the benefit of playing against the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons.

Since Aaron Rodgers took over as the Packers' starting quarterback in 2008, the team has played against a first-place schedule six times, a second-place schedule three times and a third-place schedule just once. That one time was in 2009, when Green Bay's record jumped from 6-10 the year before to 11-5.

Among Rodgers' amazing stats, his career 94-48 regular-season record while playing nine of 10 seasons against first- or second-place schedules is up there. This year, the Packers have plenty of fluff on their schedule relative to other NFC contenders, as they'll face the Bears (twice), Bills, Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

Prediction: 10-6

 

Minnesota Vikings

Judging by the contracts that incoming quarterback Kirk Cousins and outgoing quarterback Case Keenum received this offseason, it's fair to say that the Minnesota Vikings believe they have improved at that position.

After they went 13-3 and made the NFC Championship Game last season, that's a scary thought.

With plenty of expiring contracts on the horizon, 2018 could be the end of a window of elite defensive play for the Vikings. In the year leading up to that potential exodus of talent, they drafted UCF cornerback Mike Hughes in the first round, who projects to be a slot cornerback immediately.

Minnesota is maximizing its window rather shying away from it.

The Vikings play a tough NFC North, rising teams in the NFC West and a first-place schedule, but their AFC East slate does give them some easy games. They're one of the most likely title contenders in the NFL this season.

Prediction: 10-6

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2773307-win-loss-predictions-for-every-nfl-team-post-draft

 

Good to see not everyone is jumping up and down screaming how great the Bears have done this off season.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

PapaBear.OR
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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY Calbrooks

Win-Loss Predictions for Every NFL Team, Post-Draft

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears have a tough schedule this season. On top of playing the rest of the NFC North—the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions each could be in playoff contention—they also have to play the NFC West, including the fast-rising Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw for only 183 yards per game last season, which put the Bears in a bad spot. This offseason, they signed veteran receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Trey Burton, and they spent a second-round pick on Memphis wideout Anthony Miller. That should make life easier on new head coach Matt Nagy and new offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

The Bears have made marginal improvements this offseason, but they still have plenty of work to do before digging themselves out of the NFC North basement. Questions like "How is anyone but Akiem Hicks going to get to the quarterback?" still loom.

Prediction: 6-10

 

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are clearly the third-best team in the NFC North, trailing the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers (with a healthy Aaron Rodgers) but ahead of the Chicago Bears. New head coach Matt Patricia will impact the product on the field, though.

In Patricia's first draft, the Lions drafted two offensive linemen, a running back in a second round and a fullback. That could mean Matthew Stafford will no longer have to carry the offense single-handedly.

The Lions were best in 2017 when they were pushing the ball down the field as they faced a scoring deficit or in two-minute drills. It bears watching whether they embrace more of a Bruce Arians-esque style of play under Patricia, a play-action-heavy deep-passing game.

On defense, Detroit's only significant addition this offseason was third-round safety Tracy Walker of the Sun Belt's Louisiana-Lafayette. For as drastically as the offense could change based on the Lions' personnel decisions this spring, the defense looks like a carbon copy of 2017.

Prediction: 8-8

 

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers might not be as talented as the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, but they do have a major advantage over those teams: They get to play a third-place schedule.

While those NFC contenders have to battle each other this year, the Packers have the benefit of playing against the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons.

Since Aaron Rodgers took over as the Packers' starting quarterback in 2008, the team has played against a first-place schedule six times, a second-place schedule three times and a third-place schedule just once. That one time was in 2009, when Green Bay's record jumped from 6-10 the year before to 11-5.

Among Rodgers' amazing stats, his career 94-48 regular-season record while playing nine of 10 seasons against first- or second-place schedules is up there. This year, the Packers have plenty of fluff on their schedule relative to other NFC contenders, as they'll face the Bears (twice), Bills, Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

Prediction: 10-6

 

Minnesota Vikings

Judging by the contracts that incoming quarterback Kirk Cousins and outgoing quarterback Case Keenum received this offseason, it's fair to say that the Minnesota Vikings believe they have improved at that position.

After they went 13-3 and made the NFC Championship Game last season, that's a scary thought.

With plenty of expiring contracts on the horizon, 2018 could be the end of a window of elite defensive play for the Vikings. In the year leading up to that potential exodus of talent, they drafted UCF cornerback Mike Hughes in the first round, who projects to be a slot cornerback immediately.

Minnesota is maximizing its window rather shying away from it.

The Vikings play a tough NFC North, rising teams in the NFC West and a first-place schedule, but their AFC East slate does give them some easy games. They're one of the most likely title contenders in the NFL this season.

Prediction: 10-6

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2773307-win-loss-predictions-for-every-nfl-team-post-draft

 

Good to see not everyone is jumping up and down screaming how great the Bears have done this off season.

6-10 will be a disappointment for me.  Whether it is fair to Nagy or not, Pace had better hope they at least hit .500

Butkus never wore an earring

Calbrooks
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I have to agree Papa, 8-8 is the bar for me. I don't expect a new coach to take us into the playoffs from where weve been sitting the last few years, but with the talent there, 8-8 is a pretty reasonable expectation. 10-6 would be pretty freaken impressive and exciting, but really the ceiling of anyones hopes.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

The Shadow
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For the Bears, 7 and 9 would be a good season. 8 and 8 will be their Super Bowl.

re-Build 3.0

My 2018 Prediction...7-9 or 8-8 if they get lucky.

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