As the 2012 NFL draft approaches, many experts are saying that the NFC North division may be the strongest in the NFL. There is always a debate on which division is the toughest, but the ‘experts’ may have it right this time. The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions are going to be two of the best teams in all of football in 2012.
The Chicago Bears were much better than their 8-8 record indicated last season and were really only a play or two from being 10-6.
Last but not least are the Minnesota Vikings who should be a lot better this season than they were in 2012 when they finished 3-13. Vikings QB Christian Ponder looks like he could be a good one in the NFL and getting Adrian Peterson back at 100% is a huge plus for Minnesota.
So does that make the NFC North the ‘best’ division? That’s always up for debate, but if they aren’t the best, they surely are in the top two.
How will the 2012 NFL Draft help these teams improve this year?
Minnesota needs offensive line help, and help is on the way! OT Matt Kalil out of USC is a beast and is a great way for the Vikings to get back to their winning ways. Besides offensive line help, the Vikings need help in the secondary. Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith (6-2/213) could fit right in with the Vikes.
The Bears seem to be doing nothing but falling apart or upsetting players so far during the off season. First, Mike Martz got the official boot as offensive coordinator back in January, then in March the Bears signed Raiders RB Michael Bush to a four-year, $14 million deal, which didn’t sit well with one of the best players on the Bears, RB Matt Forte.
Enough drama, the Bears need help in a few places and may draft defense in the first round. The old ‘Monsters of the Midway’ seemed to lose a little bite last year, and drafting a DE like Quinton Coples out of North Carolina should help. If they pass on Coples, or he is already gone, look for Chicago to draft a DB, possibly Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina.
Detroit was one of the most improved teams form the 2010 season to the 2011 campaign. Now, will they make a bigger leap in 2012? If they plan on doing so they need to improve on two major things – running the ball and pass defense. The Lions have improved dramatically on defense in the past two seasons but their Achilles heel is the defensive backs. They need a strong DB cover guy so Louis Delmas can roam around and break plays up. Corner back Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama, or running back David Wilson (Virginia Tech) would be great pick-ups for Detroit.
The Packers don’t get a pick in this year’s NFL draft, right? This team is locked and loaded on offense, so it’s obvious they will draft on the defensive side of the ball. DE Devon Still out of Penn State, or OLB Shea McClellin from Boise State would be some good additions to the Packers defense.