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2012 Draft Team Needs: NFC North

NFC North

With an outstanding regular season followed by a terrible post season the defending NFC North champions still have a great roster to build around, but have a few areas of need as the offseason heats up

Green Bay PackersNFC North

With an outstanding regular season followed by a terrible post season the defending NFC North champions still have a great roster to build around, but have a few areas of need as the offseason heats up.

Runningback

  • A solid running game is the best friend for a quarterback. The Packers didn’t have a running game last year and Ryan Grant’s best days are behind him. There isn’t much behind him so if the Pack can put together at least an average running attack that offense becomes scary.

Center

  • The Packers expect to lose starter Scott Wells to free agency and if Wells leaves it leaves a big hole in the middle of the line. Evan Dietrich-Smith is young, but might be better suited at guard.

Defense

  • With as many points as the defense gave up last season, you could make a case for nearly every position. An outside linebacker opposite of Clay Matthews Jr. and a young replacement for Charles Woodson who has to start dropping off someday . . . I think, are good areas to start.

Detroit Lions

With the explosive offense from last season and the young defensive line the areas of improvement for the Lions should be obvious.

Linebacker

  • The Lions are expected to lose starting inside linebacker Stephen Tulloch to free agency. With a defense that gave up five yards per carry last season even if Tulloch stayed, improving the run defense has to be a priority.

Defensive back

  • The Lions were bad against the pass as well. The Lions are young in the secondary. A veteran back there would go a long way toward shoring up the back end of the defense.

Runningback

  • The Lions have not had a consistent running game since Barry Sanders. Okay, maybe not that long, but they have had injuries and ineffective play for a long time in Motown. Like the Packers, a decent running game would make this offense scary.

Chicago Bears

The Bears took a step back last year, largely because of an injury to quarterback Jay Cutler. The defense also took a step back from previous years and could have some holes to fill going into 2012.

Defensive line

  • The Bears could lose two important contributors – Israel Idonije and Amobi Okoye. As good as Julius Peppers is, he is on the backside of his career, and suddenly a team strength could be a weakness if the Bears don’t do something to improve the defensive line.

Wide receiver

  • As long as the Bears continue to think Devin Hester is a viable option at wide receiver, they will need to upgrade the position. They also could be losing Roy Williams. Although he wasn’t great, he is an option that won’t be there next season. This was just addressed by the Brandon Marshall trade, but they could still use more.

Offensive line

  • They are getting old in some spots and aren’t very good at others. They were able to run block well last season, but need to improve their pass blocking if they want to keep up with the offenses at the top of this division.

Minnesota Vikings

Where do I start? This team is rebuilding and I could make an argument for every position on the team.  Here are the top three needs.

Offensive line

  • They were inconsistent last year and that was with Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera on the roster. They are both gone and the remaining three starters from 2011 don’t scare anyone.

Defensive back

  • Their best defensive back – Antonio Winfield – is on the back side of his career and was injured much of last year. They ranked 26th in the league in passing defense and that was with offenses well ahead in the second half of games and Jared Allen who nearly set the NFL sack record last season.

Wide receiver

  • Outside of Percy Harvin this is a cast of cast offs. Some of this has to do with the erratic quarterback play last year, but Harvin had 87 receptions. Second on the team was Michael Jenkins with just 38 catches.
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