The NFC North as a whole had a total of five first-round picks after the Minnesota Vikings snuck back in to snag Teddy Bridgewater with the No. 32 selection in Thursday night’s opening round of the NFL Draft
The Vikings also added a linebacker in Anthony Barr early at No. 9, which made sense for their rebuilding unit.
The Lions once again made a different move by taking the first tight end off the board at No. 10 with Eric Ebron.
The Bears followed shortly there after with the addition of their corner of the future in Kyle Fuller. Fuller could very well be the starting nickelback by day one this season.
Lastly, the Packers found a nice value in safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as he fell in their laps at No. 21. Green Bay needs all they help they can get on the back end.
Here’s the overall draft grades for the entire NFC North’s first round picks:
Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr (LB, UCLA) and Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville)
Barr is a pass-rushing linebacker, who could eventually turn into a legitimate defensive end. He is nice guy to add with Jared Allen out of town for good. The Vikings have needed help along the defensive front and Barr could be Clay Matthews 2.0 so to speak in this division. Bridgewater was an absolute steal considering the Vikings only had to give up a fourth-rounder to land him with the No. 32 selection. Matt Cassell and Christian Ponder are not long term options and Bridgewater can come in and compete for snaps right away with Norv Turner in town. The division’s QB appearance just got a whole lot better.
Grade: Barr (B), Bridgewater (A)
Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron (TE, UNC)
Quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions pass more than any other team in the league, but did they really need a tight end this early in the draft. Ebron is a great talent, but with Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria already solid depth at tight end it seems like a luxury move. That’s without mentioning receiver Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and running backs, who serve as pass catchers as well in Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. With plenty of needs on the defensive side of things it just seemed like the Lions should have waited to add a playmaker on day two at the very least.
Chicago Bears: Kyle Fuller (CB, Virgina Tech)
The 21-year-old is clearly stepping into a nice situation in Chicago with veterans Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings penciled in as starters. Tillman re-signed on a one-year deal this off-season, while Jennings came to terms on a long-term deal. Fuller is the starting cornerback of the near future in the Windy City. The Bears’ defense is still in need of revamping, specifically at safety and defensive tackle.
Green Bay Packers: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama)
The Packers have been searching for a legitimate starter at safety since Nate Collins’s career was abruptly shortened to a career-ending injury. The Packers’ defense has a whole hasn’t been very successful especially on the back end. Clinton-Dix played lights out at times shutting down the best of the best in the SEC. He was a steal at No. 21. He will come in and be a starter from day one. Nobody is laughing about this move, well maybe Ha Ha is because he’s heading to a historic franchise.
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