Free agency has settled down with a few good free agents still available (Damon Harrison, Jadveon Clowney, Devonta Freeman etc). However, it’s time to focus on the upcoming NFL draft (April 23-25). Each NFC North team still has a few immediate needs and future needs. We’ll start by reviewing the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.
Green Bay Packers
Immediate Needs: CB2, WR2, DE, Tight End, backup QB, swing tackle
Future Need: Starting interior offensive line, ILB, CB, possible RB
The Packers are coming off extreme health and a great 2019 season (barf). However, they do have some needs. Tramon Williams is a free agent after a better than expected 2019, Kevin King will be a free agent in 2021 and Josh Jackson hasn’t live up to 2nd round expectations. The Packers need a CB in this draft to groom for the future to pair with Jaire Alexander. You need 3 CBS in this league now and the Packers only have two starters with one good one in Alexander.
Tight End is a need now that the Packers cut Jimmy Graham for cap room and due to under production. Green Bay re-signed Marcedes Lewis and Jace Sternberger is 3rd round pick in his second year with promise. The Packers could use a starting all-around tight end though. This draft is light on tight ends but day 2 or day 3 there may be some with potential starting ability.
DE could be upgraded for the Packers. Tyler Lancaster and Dean Lowry are on cheaper deals. Montravius Adams hasn’t lived up to potential. NT Super Stud Kenny Clark is a free agent in 2021 as well. Defensive line help is needed at Lambeau.
Backup QB. Tim Boyle is not the answer. Rodgers was taken with Favre at this same age. A day 2 or day 3 QB is not out of the question for the Packers to develop. Rodgers didn’t waffle like Favre but he has an injury history and is getting up there in age with signs of regression.
Swing tackle is always a need given injuries in this league. Bakhtiari and newly signed Dick Wagner are the starters for Green Bay but they could use some depth. Bakkhtiari is a free agent in 2021 as well but should be re-signed this year or prior to 2021 free agency.
ILB is a need with Blake Martinez bolting to the Giants at 10 million per year. Youngster Oren Burks and former Brown, Christian Kirksey both have talent but have been plagued with injuries. The Packers could use one more ILB on a cheap rookie deal.
The Packers have Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams as free agents in 2021. Green Bay will probably give Jones big money but they could add a back for the future.
Green Bay is in good shape but some holes to fill and some big contracts to dish out next offseason or later this summer (Clark, Bakhtiari, Aaron Jones)
Immediate Needs: CB2, Right Guard, Defensive End, Punter
Future Needs: Outside WR, slot WR, swing tackle, safety
Detroit filled a ton of holes in free agency with Vaitai(RT), Collins(LB/JACK/SAM), Shelton(NT), Nick Williams (3 tech DT), Duran Harmon (FS), Desmond Trufant (CB1), Geronimo Allision (WR depth), Reggie Ragland (LB depth), Tony McCrae/Miles Killebrew/Elijah Lee (ST), Chase Daniel (backup QB), Danny Amendola (slot WR)
They have a few more to fill in the draft for Patricia to get the full team he wants.
CB2 is need now with Slay traded for a 3rd and 5th round pick to the Eagles. Rookie Amani Oruwariye showed flashes but you can’t rely on a 5th round 2nd year player to be your CB2. Mike Ford is depth only and Justin Coleman is set in the slot. Agnew is a slot CB and returner only. The Lions need CB2 and Jeff Okudah would be a great pick at pick 3.
Defensive End or pass rushing DT is a hole for Detroit. DShawn Hand returns in a big way and can play DE and DT and alot depends if the Lions run more 4-3 than 3-4. They play multiple fronts. Jamie Collins can be the pass rusher off the edge opposite Flowers. However, one more end is needed if Hand slides inside more and the Lions could look on day 2 if Chase Young does not fall to them at pick 3. Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw are options but only after a trade down. Brown is more of a run stuffing nose tackle with pass rush potential. Kinlaw is a penetrator but was hurt for the combine.
Right Guard is a big hole. Graham Glasgow got 11 million per with the Broncos. Detroit has only Oday Aboushi, Beau Benzschwawel and Josh Garnett at right guard. Day 2 they better take a guard but it is a weak class.
Punter. Sam Martin went to Denver. The Lions could take a punter starting in Round 5.
Future need is WR, swing tackle and safety. The Lions have zero WRS under contract based 2020. They should extend Golladay and Marvin Jones depends on his health. Amendola was brought back on a one year deal and Geronimo Allison is depth. Detroit could draft a WR on day 2 for outside or slot.
Safety is not a huge need but Duron Harmon is only on the last year of his deal after the trade from the Patriots. Detroit will need to extend him or get a safety to pair with Tracy Walker and Will Harris.
Swing tackle could be taken. Taylor Decker and Tyrell Crosby are in the last year of their deals. Decker should be extended by Detroit.
Should be an interesting draft as always without the glitz and glamor. No 3d glasses or pictures of dead grandmas or Goodell boos but plenty of new young talent.