Chicago Bears: A
When you nail your first three picks it’s pretty difficult to have a bad draft grade. That’s precisely what the Bears were able to do with their first three selections.
Roquan Smith is an immediate starter at linebacker. He could easily become a Pro Bowl defender once he settles into the NFL. James Daniels and Anthony Miller don’t have quite the same ceiling, but both project as immediate contributors for Chicago. That is excellent work from the Bears’ front office.
Detroit Lions: C
The Lions made some picks that deserve to be applauded and others that really make you scratch your head. Add it all up and it’s a perfectly average draft for Detroit.
Curiously, their best two picks were offensive lineman. Frank Ragnow was a late riser in the draft but he’s got starter written all over him. Tyrell Crosby dropped precipitously in the draft but the Lions took a worthwhile gamble on him in round five.
The team really loses points for drafting running back Kerryon Johnson early in Round 2. There’s no evidence any other team had him rated anywhere near that high. If the Lions were that dead set on drafting him, they should have traded down to gain more picks.
Green Bay Packers: A
If the rest of the NFC North was hoping to gain ground on the Packers then they are sorely disappointed. The Packers got significantly better after this year’s event.
Amazingly, Green Bay may exit this draft with two starting cornerbacks. Jaire Alexander was everyone’s top-rated corner and should contribute from Day 1. Josh Jackson dropped due to concerns about his ability to play man-to-man coverage but he was a steal at No. 45.
The Packers also made a sneaky selection of Equanimeous St. Brown in Round 6. Don’t be surprised if the former Notre Dame star finds a way to make Aaron Rodgers’ life easier next season.
Minnesota Vikings: C-
The Vikings were a team that entered the draft hoping to elevate themselves to Super Bowl favorites. Minnesota didn’t make nearly enough bold moves to make that claim.
Rolling the dice on Mike Hughes in round one was interesting, but they followed it up with a series of very conservative selections. Tyler Conklin could pay off in the fifth round, but other than that, there isn’t much to be excited about for the Vikes.