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2019 NFL Draft NFC North Recap

The 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone. It was an exciting three (3) days of non-stop player selection action. Let’s take a look at who the NFC North chose.

Chicago Bears

The Bears were a little light on draft picks due to two trades in 2018 landing super stud Mack and moving up for Anthony Miller. Chicago didn’t pick until pick 86 in Round 3.

Round 3 Pick 86 David Montgomery RB Iowa State

The Bears get their work horse to replace Jordan Howard. Howard was traded this offseason for a 5th round pick in 2020. Howard was in a contract year and GM Ryan Pace made it clear he wants a cheap rookie contract work horse back. Montgomery carried the Iowa State program with two very productive years the last two years. He has good power and vision but lacks long end speed. This was a good pick for the Bears. The Bears now have Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis and Montgomery in their running back stable.

Round 4 Riley Ridley WR Georgia

The Bears biggest need was WR and they added a solid one. Riley is Calvin Ridley’s brother but not as fast. He is a good route runner and essentially replaces Kevin White as the Bears 4th WR.

Round 6 Duke Shelley CB Kansas State

The Bears needed a corner and Shelley should provide some slot corner depth due to his small size.

Round 7 Kerrith Whyite RB Florida

The Bears doubled down on running back and adds value as a return man.

Round 7 Stephen Denmark CB Valdosta State

I have seen so many Valodsta State games. Said nobody ever.

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay addressed their defense in Round 1 and offensive depth on day 2.

Round 1 Pick 12 Rashan Gary DE Michigan

Gary fits the part and was highly touted at Michigan. He is athletic but didn’t have the production you would expect. He did some unsung dirty work though in the trenches and can be a boom or bust pick for the Packers. Mike Daniels is a free agent next year which made the Gary pick a good choice.

Round 1 Pick 21 (Packers traded up from 30 to 21 giving up both their 4th round picks)

Darnell Savage Jr Safety Maryland

Savage is a ball-hawk safety with a ton of production at Maryland. The Packers traded ahead of the Ravens to get him and they got a very good player. Green Bay had a big need at safety despite signing Adrian Amos and now the Packers have two safeties that can play in the box of free safety. Good trade and pick made possible by the fleecing of the Saints in 2018.

Round 2 Pick 44 Elgton Jenkins C/G

The Packers continue to beef up the interior of their offensive line with a versatile player from Mississippi State. He will have time to develop as Linsley, Taylor and Billy Turner should be the starters. This is a great depth that can be a future starter at guard or center.

Round 3 Pick 75 Jace Sternberger TE Texas A&M

The Packers needed a tight end with Lance Kendricks walking in free agency and given Jimmy Graham’s age. Sternberger is not a blocker but he is a very athletic tight end that can bust the seam and become a matchup problem. Another weapon for Mr. Rodgers.

Round 5 Kinglsey Keke DT Texas A&M

The Packers continue to beef up their defensive line and provide depth at defensive end. Keke had one productive season after moving from DT to DE. The defensive line for the Packers is getting crowded.

Round 6 Ka’Dar Holeman CB Toledo

The Packers add some CB depth from the MAC but appear to be rolling with King, Alexander, Jackson and Tramon at CB.

Round 6 Dexter Williams RB Notre Dame

The Packers are set with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams but add another back for depth.

Round 7 Ty Summers ILB TCU

The Packers lose Jake Ryan in free agency and add some depth and ST value here.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota upgraded their interior offensive line with two picks and depth on offense at TE/RB.

Round 1 Pick 18 Garret Bradbury Center NC State

The Vikings needed interior offensive line help badly and they got a very good player. Bradbury is versatile but will stick to center and move failed 2nd round pick Pat Efflein to guard.

Round 2 Pick 50 Irv Smith TE Alabama

The Vikings take a tight end from Alabama. He had poor combines but he was productive as both a blocker and receiver for the Vikings. Kyle Rudolph is a free agent next year so the Vikings were thinking ahead here and can use more two tight end sets now.

Round 3 Pick 102 Alexander Mattison RB Boise State

Mattison can be a power back and has some receiving ability. Latavius Murray left in free agency and this rookie can fill that void behind Davlin Cook.

Round 4 Dru Samia Guard Oklahoma

The Vikings doubled down on interior offensive line by adding a huge guard in Dru Samia after a trade up with Seattle. Samia will compete with Efflein for the starting guard spot.

Round 5 Cameron Smith ILB USC

The Vikings get great LB depth here behind Kendricks. Smith was productive and a leader at USC.

Round 6 Armond Watts DT Arkansas

The Vikings add to their DT depth behind Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen. Watts was productive in 2018 for the Razorbacks.

Round 6 Marcus Epps Safety Wyoming

Safety depth after the Vikings cut Andrew Sendejo for cap reasons. He could be the Vikings 4th safety.

Round 6 Olisameka Udoh OT Elon

Elon musk? Developmental tackle project.

Round 7 Kris Boyd CB Texas

Zimmer and Spielman must take at least one cornerback. Boyd was an early day 3 guy that fell. Good value here.

Round 7 Dillon Mitchell WR Oregon

Developmental WR for Minnesota.

Round 7 Olabasi Johnson WR Colorado State

Another devlopemental WR

Round 7 Austin Cutting LS Air Force

Man they had a lot of picks. Good ole long snapper. He might not be able to play for 2 years if he doesn’t get a waiver from the Air Force.

Detroit Lions

The Lions are just trying to be like the Patriots so hard. Can’t even hide it. We’ll see if it works.

Round 1 Pick 8 TJ Hockensen

Sigh!! Another top 10 tight end for Detroit. Hockensen is a much better prospect than Ebron was in 2014 and TJ should really help the Lions in both the pass and run game. Detroit will be watching Ed Oliver turn into Aaron Donald any minute though. Can Hockensen be the next Gronk or at the very least George Kittle?

Round 2 Pick 43 Jahlani Tavia LB Hawaii

The Patriots wanted him so Bob Quinn took him. He is a big LB that is versatile and super productive for the Warriors. He fits the size they want but needs work in coverage. He is a thumper but can play three downs. It will be interesting to see how Patricia uses Tavai along with Jarrad Davis. This seemed to be a big reach but Quinn swears other teams were interested.

Round 3 Pick 81 Will Harris Safety Boston College

Detroit traded up slightly in Round 3 to nab the versatile Harris. Harris can play free safety, in the box or slot. He is a mad man tackler but needs more ball skills. The Lions have a great safety depth now with Walker, Diggs, Wilson, Harris and Andrew Adams and can play many three safety big nickel defenses.

Round 4 Austin Bryant DE Clemson

The forgotten Clemson lineman in this draft after Ferrell, Lawrence and Wilkins. Bryant had a torn pec so missed the combine and pro days. He has good size at 6’4 271.He was productive for the national champion Tigers and could have gone higher if not for the injury. Detroit adds more pass rush and versatility to their defensive line and hope he turns out like D’Shawn Hand did in 2018..

Round 5 Amani Oruwariye CB Penn State

The Lions needed a corner and got an absolute gift in Round 5. Many had Amani going in Round 2 or 3 and he slides to day 3. He is big, fast and has good ball skills. He must work on his tackling but he can compete to start for Detroit over Rashaan Melvin.

Round 6: Travis Fulgham WR Old Dominion

Fulgham is a big WR that can backup Marvin Jones and Golladay on the outside. He has good jump ball skills and is 6’2 with 4.58 speed. He has a chance to develop in Detroit. Detroit didn’t add a slot WR but got depth here.

Round 6: Ty Johnson RB Maryland

This guy had great YPC in the Big Ten and is a home run threat. Super speed added in Detroit with kick return ability too.

Round 7 Isaac Nauta TE Georgia

The Lions double down on tight end and take the blocker in Nauta. It is a deep group now with Hockensen, Jessie James, Logan Thomas, Michael Roberts and Nauta. A year later and the Lions tight end group looks like a strength.

Round 7 PJ Johnson DT Arizona

Johnson is a run stuffer from Arizona who could compete to be Damon Harrison’s backup as the 4th DT.

Summary

Every NFC North team seemed to get good value for where they picked and should be better in 2019. How these picks turn out is still to be determined. Will we be laughing at the Lions top 10 tight end selection again or will TJ Hockensen be all pro? How will Irv Smith and Sternberger compare down the line to Hockenen at tight end?

Did the Vikings solve their interior offensive line issues? Did the Packers finally fix their defense with Gary and Savage plus the Smiths/Amos? Did the Bears replace Jordan Howard properly and can Ridley contribute at WR? Which RB will be the best out of David Montgomery, Ty Johnson, Alexander Mattison, Kerryth White or Dexter Williams? All these answers and more as the NFL world turns.