The 2011 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and here at Bang the Book, we’ve got all of the team needs for the NFC North squads drawn up in preparation for the draft.
Draft Choices: 29, 62, 93, 127, 160, 195
Team Needs: OL, WR, DL, LB
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: It’s no secret that the top need for the Bears in the draft is going to be offensive linemen to help protect Jay Cutler. OC Mike Martz’s offense calls for little max protect schemes and thus needs quality offensive linemen to succeed. Last season, although the Bears ended up making it to the NFC Title game, Cutler spent much of the season on his back and the Bears led the league in sacks allowed (56). If an offensive tackle is available, Chicago would take one but it is unlikely that talents like Gabe Carimi and Nate Solder will fall to the 29th pick. OT Derek Sherrod might be there but is a step below Carimi and Solder. G Danny Watkins is also a possibility if the Bears aren’t enthused with the offensive tackle prospects available.
Draft Choices: 13, 44, 75, 107, 154, 205
Team Needs: DB, OL, LB, WR
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: Though they are no longer the laughing stock of the league, Detroit is still the only team in the NFL that has failed to make the playoffs at least once in the last decade. Things are looking up if Matt Stafford can stay healthy for a full season, but the Lions need help elsewhere to finally reach the postseason. The man Detroit is targeting is CB Prince Amukamara from Nebraska. Amukamara would finally give the Lions a quality cornerback and in a division with the Packers, a top-flight corner is essential to compete for a division crown. If another team snatches up Amukamara, look for the Lions to address concerns along the offensive line.
Green Bay Packers
Draft Choices: 32, 64, 96, 129, 131, 163, 197, 204, 233
Team Needs: LB, DB, RB, OL
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: The reigning Super Bowl champions have fewer needs to fill than any other team in the NFL. Despite having 15 players placed on injured reserve, including stars like TE Jermichael Finley and LB Nick Barnett, the Packers tore through the playoffs en route to their fourth Super Bowl win. This might be the spot that we see RB Mark Ingram finally come off the board if he hasn’t been selected yet. Green Bay did get decent production from James Starks late in the season, but there is concern with Ryan Grant’s ability to bounce back from his knee injury. Ingram is a powerful back that can pick up tough yards and is one of the few players who could make an instant impact here.
Draft Choices: 12, 43, 106, 139, 150, 172, 200, 215, 236
Team Needs: QB, DB, DL, OL
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: With the long overdue retirement of Brett Favre, the Vikings are in desperate need of a quarterback as Joe Webb is not the answer. Minnesota is in a similar situation to the Redskins in that although they need a quarterback, neither Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert will be on the board by the time they pick and it would be a reach to take another quarterback at that spot in the first round. Still, if he is on the board, the Vikings may be tempted by Jake Locker or even Andy Dalton who has shot up draft boards recently. If the Vikings don’t go with a quarterback, expect them to upgrade their defensive line and take a player like Robert Quinn or Cameron Jordan.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.