Packers: A Look at How the Rest of the NFC North Fared in the Draft

2021: 11, Justin Fields, ChicagoSyndication The Columbus Dispatch
2021: 11, Justin Fields, ChicagoSyndication The Columbus Dispatch /

How does the old saying go? Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer? Well, unfortunately for the Green Bay Packers, their enemies — the rest of the NFC North — had some very good NFL Draft weekends. Now, I thought that Green Bay’s draft turned out quite well, but just about everyone is much higher on what the Bears, Vikings, and Lions did over the weekend.

Now, of course, I’ll add the all-important caveat that we really have no idea at this time how these draft classes will turn out. Just because a draft class looks good on that Monday morning after the draft doesn’t mean it will pan out–and the opposite can be said for those drafts that received poor grades as well.

With that said, it’s still important to keep tabs on what’s taking place around the rest of the NFC North–even if there is a lot of activity (we will call it that) taking place in Green Bay at the moment. So here is a look at who the Bears, Vikings, and Lions selected over the weekend, a few quick thoughts, along with a couple of grades–which again means nothing, but they help illustrate what the general feeling about each draft class is.

To see what grades the Green Bay Packers’ 2021 draft class received, click the link below.

Related Story. Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Draft Report Card. light

Chicago Bears

Justin Fields (QB), Teven Jenkins (OL), Larry Borom (OL), Khalil Herbert (RB), Dazz Newsome (WR), Thomas Graham (CB), Khyiris Tonga (IDL).

Takeaway: Obviously, the big move here was the trade-up for quarterback Justin Fields. If the rest of the draft class never pans out, but Fields is a reliable starting quarterback, then this draft was a success. I also thought it was smart to follow up that Fields selection with a pair of offensive linemen. This Chicago OL struggled last season, and protecting your young QB is a must. I also thought landing Graham and Tonga in Rounds 6 and 7 were good value selections.

Grades: A


Yahoo! Sports: A

Draft Wire: A

Minnesota Vikings

Christian Darrisaw (OL), Kelen Mond (QB), Chazz Surratt (LB), Wyatt Davis (OL), Patrick Jones (IDL), Kene Nwangwu (RB), Camryn Bynum (CB), Janarius Robinson (EDGE), Ihmir Smith-Marsette (WR), Zach Davidson (TE), Jaylan Twyman (IDL)

Takeaway: The Vikings moved back in Round 1 and, for the second year in a row, were able to load up on draft picks. Football has changed over the years but it is still won and lost in the trenches, and the Vikings took their fair share of interior players with two OL, two IDL, and an edge rusher.

In Round 2, Minnesota landed an intriguing QB prospect in Mond, who has a lot to like about his game. He is a developmental player but with Kirk Cousins still under center, they don’t have to throw him into the fire by any means–and I’m always a fan of this approach. I also like what Smith-Marsette adds with his return ability, and he can fill that slot/gadget role on offense.

Grades: A


Yahoo! Sports: C+

Draft Wire: A

Detroit Lions

Penei Sewell (OL), Levi Onwuzurike (IDL), Alim McNeill (IDL), Ifeatu Melifonwu (CB), Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR), Derrick Barnes (LB), Jermar Jefferson (RB)

Takeaway: In years past with that first selection, it just felt like the Lions would have chosen one of the available receivers. However, with a new regime in town, they made the right choice, landing Penei Sewell, who can be the team’s tackle for the next decade. Like the Vikings, they spent their premium picks on the interior, and really, their first six picks could all see ample playing time this season.

Grades: B+


Yahoo! Sports: B+

Draft Wire: B+