2016 NFC North NFL Draft Preview: What Do The Experts Say?
Football is back for three straight days, as draft day has arrived. The NFL Draft kicks-off at 7 p.m. CDT tonight on ESPN with the first round. The second and third rounds are Friday, while rounds four through seven are on Saturday.
Out of the four NFC North teams, the Chicago Bears have the highest pick at 11, while the Detroit Lions have the 16th pick, the Minnesota Vikings have the 23rd pick and the Green Bay Packers have the 27th pick.
Here's a preview of what the Bears, Lions, Vikings and Packers may do in the first round.
11. Chicago Bears -
On NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah and Mike Mayock have the Bears selecting Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, while Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis has Chicago taking Leonard Floyd, an outside linebacker from Georgia. At the Chicago Tribune, Brad Biggs has the Bears taking Floyd.
The Bears signed linebacker Danny Trevathan in free agency, so I would say a cornerback like Hargreaves is more likely or even a offensive lineman like Ohio State's Taylor Decker because Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) and Jack Conklin (Michigan State) could all be off the board.
16. Detroit Lions -
Jeremiah has Detroit taking Alabama center Ryan Kelly, while Mayock has the Lions taking Ohio State's Decker. Brooks has Detroit going defense and taking Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Davis has the Lions picking Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd. The Detroit Free Press has Detroit taking Decker.
The Lions have a variety of needs from offense to defense. Personally I wouldn't be shocked to see if Detroit takes a wide receiver like TCU's Josh Doctson or Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss. After all, Calvin Johnson did retire and is a big loss.
23. Minnesota Vikings -
Jeremiah, Mayock, Brooks, and Davis all have the Vikings taking Treadwell from Ole Miss. Minnesota doesn't have too many needs. The Vikings nabbed two offensive linemen in free agency and have a solid defense. So, picking a top receiving target like Treadwell could be a big boost for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
27. Green Bay Packers -
Jeremiah, Mayock, Brooks and Davis all agree again and have Green Bay taking Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland. Taking Ragland would allow Clay Matthews to go back to his natural position at outside linebacker.
Green Bay could also target a defensive tackle since B.J. Raji retired in the offseason. Bob McGinn at the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel has Alabama's Reed, Ohio State inside linebacker Darron Lee, Louisiana Tech's Vernon Butler, who is a defensive end/nose tackle, or UCLA nose tackle Kenny Clark as possible options for the Packers.
Another name to look out for is Baylor's Andrew Billings. Billings is a defensive tackle and from the tape I've watched of him, he's a defensive monster that is strong and a force up the middle that swallows up opponents.