The 2022 NFL Draft in the NFC North is set to be a bloodbath between the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. Not only are some of these teams loaded with draft capital but a lot of them have very similar draft needs. And they pick fairly close together. For instance, every single team in this division could use a wide receiver and these teams combine for seven picks between pick 22 and 46. Be prepared for the potential of ruthless draft day trades!

In this article we are going to look at each team and lay out what they have for draft picks. Then we’ll look at where they are set (unlikely to use high draft capital), where they have immediate draft needs (likely to use a pick in the first 2-3 rounds), or where they might need depth (mid to late round picks). So let’s get to it.   






Chicago Bears - 6 Picks

  • Second Round: 39, 48
  • Third Round: 71
  • Fifth Round: 148, 150
  • Sixth Round: 186 

Set: Quarterback, Running Back, Defensive End

Quarterback - Not only is Justin Fields locked in but Trevor Siemian seems genuinely excited to help the team as the backup QB. Would be shocked if they drafted a quarterback.

Running Back - Not only has David Montgomery been rock solid but Khalil Herbet was great in his absence - he was one of the few teams to drop a 100 yard game on the stout Tampa Bay run defense. Darrynton Evans is a fine depth piece but maybe they do go for a satellite back late to replace Tarik Cohen. They don’t really have enough picks to consider this a “need” though.

Defensive End - This one is a bit of a combination of lack of need and also lack of draft capital. The Bears are converting from the 3-4 to Matt Eberflus’s 4-3. They have Robert Quinn and Trevis Gibson to start and they brought in Al-Quadin Muhammad from Eberflus’s Colts so he is familiar with the system. If you want a true game-changing defensive end, you need to spend high draft capital on it and the Bears don’t have a first-round pick so I say they sit tight here in this draft.


Immediate: Wide Receiver, Cornerback, Offensive Line

Wide Receiver - This one really could not be more obvious. Darnell Mooney is the prototypical flanker with his speed and route tree on the outside. Byron Pringle is a great run blocker from the wide receiver position but he’s best utilized as your fourth wide receiver as the versatile “next man up” - not your starting split end. The Bears ideally need a split end and possibly also a slot receiver so I don’t think it’s crazy for them to take multiple wide receivers in the draft or maybe draft one and add another in free agency after. Unless they trade up, they really just need to take “best player available” where they pick but they could take someone like Jahan Dotson or George Pickens in the second or maybe a bigger split end like Justyn Ross or Christian Watson in the third. 

Cornerback- Jaylon Johnson is a starting-caliber corner but Kindle Vildor was certainly not last year. ProFootballFocus had him graded at exactly cornerback #200 last year out of 234 qualifying players. With one of those second round picks, they might want to try to grab someone like Roger McCreary or Kyler Gordon to play opposite Johnson.

Offensive Line - They could improve at guard or center specifically but I say “offensive line” here because a popular move in the modern NFL is to draft an offensive tackle and then either start him at guard in his early years or move your current tackle down to guard. With Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom currently starting at tackle, that move isn’t necessarily off the table. One appealing pick is Kenyon Green as he played both tackle and guard in college and might be there at 39 or 48. They could take a flexible guy like that and sort the rest out in camp. 

Potential early round picks: WR George Pickens (Georgia), WR Jahan Doston (Penn State),  WR Justyn Ross (Clemson), WR Christian Watson (North Dakota State), CB Roger McCreary (Auburn), CB Kyler Gordon (Washington), T Zion Johnson (Boston College), G Kenyon Green (Texas A&M), G Cole Strange (Chattanooga), T Abraham Lucas

Depth: Safety, Tight End, Linebacker

Safety - The reality is that, with more high-end picks, I might have this position in the section above. And they might use one of their first three picks on it if they think that is the best player on the board. But the holes elsewhere feel bigger. Eddie Jackson is still solid and between DeAndre Houston-Carson and Dane Cruikshank they can patch together strong safety.  Depth certainly wouldn’t hurt though with one of their fifth round picks.

Tight End - The fact that Cole Kmet was able to beat out Jimmy Graham for pass work as a rookie was impressive enough and now he’s firmly entrenched as the starter. They have a converted WR in Jesper Horsted and a blocking TE in Ryan Griffin so they have what they need for this season. That said, they could make a depth pick or maybe they go a little higher and lean into a two tight end base formation.

Linebacker - The reality of a lot of these modern 4-3 defenses is they run so much nickel that it ends up being more of a 4-2-5 most of the time. That’s likely why they opted not to pay Anthony Barr. So even if it might feel thin, Roquan Smith is great and you have what you need for now.





Detroit Lions - 9 Picks

  • First Round: 2, 32 
  • Second Round: 34
  • Third Round: 66, 97
  • Fifth round: 177
  • Sixth Round: 181, 217, 234


Set: Running Back, Tight End, Offensive Tackle, Center, Defensive Line

Running Back - At the top of the depth chart, D’Andre Swift proved himself a star and Jamaal Williams is a great change of pace back/locker room presence. Beyond that all three of Craig Reynolds, Jermar Jefferson, and Godwin Igwebuike flashed at certain points. The Lions actually have a stacked backfield.

Tight End - Dan Campbell is a tight end guy and his stable of tight ends is full. TJ Hockenson is obviously the starter and a stud. Brock Wright proved capable when Hock went down and Garrett Griffin, who played for Campbell in New Orleans, joined the team in free agency. They actually currently have seven guys signed to some form of contract so they realistically need to shed tight ends, not add them.

Offensive Tackle - Anytime you have two tackles that are so good the argument is about which should play left tackle, you are in a great spot. Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell are monsters. 

Center - Not much more needs to be said than “Frank Ragnow”.


Immediate:  Edge, Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Secondary

Edge - If the Lions rebuild goes according to plan, they won’t be selecting this high again in the near future. If they are selecting high again next year, it will be time to take a quarterback. So all signs indicate that this is a spot where they are going to go after a pass rusher - the second most premium position in the league after quarterback. Early indications were that they would likely just take whoever is there out of Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux but Travon Walker’s name has entered the mix. All you need to do is rank your favorite two of those three and take whoever falls. Of course, they could also trade back for more capital and hit some of their other needs.

Quarterback - This might be the year, it might not. It’s hard to get a read on what they might be thinking. It’s a shame the quarterback class is seemingly weak as they have the second overall pick and the team picking first in Jacksonville already has their starting QB. They could take a stab on someone or they could just see what Jared Goff has - if he doesn’t play well, it's definitely time to either trade for a quarterback or draft one.

Wide Receiver - When it comes to rebuilds, I’m not usually in favor of taking wide receivers until you know who your quarterback of the future is. If you draft one now then Jared Goff flames out, it might be time to pay your wide receiver before he has much overlap with the QB. Last year the Lions did it the right way by not using any of their first five picks on wide receiver and they were rewarded by hitting on what will likely be their slot guy of the future in Amon-Ra St. Brown. But as of now they don’t have their split end or flanker sorted out (even if you think the “Sun God” will play flanker, you would still need slot). DJ Chark is on a one year tryout deal. And the rest of the roster is comprised mostly of journeymen. They might not pull the trigger this year but, at some point, they will need to acquire some better wideouts. The Dolphins did a similar tank/rebuild in 2019 and didn't bring in the heavy artillery at wide receiver until 2021/2022 with Jaylen Waddle, Will Fuller, and Tyreek Hill.

Secondary - I say secondary here because they basically have Tracy Walker at free safety, Jeff Okudah (hopefully) at either one corner spot or at nickel corner, and then they have holes to fill. They could go a lot of different ways with this in terms of taking an elite outside guy early or taking a flexible hybrid safety/slot corner that can help fill the void at strong safety/nickel corner. A guy like Jaquan Brisker can do all of that.

Potential early round picks:  EDGE Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon), EDGE Travon Walker (Georgia), QB Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh), QB Malik Willis (Liberty), QB Desmond Ridder (Cincinatti), LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia), LB Chad Muma (Wyoming), LB Christian Harris (Alabama), LB JoJo Domann (Nebraska), S Jaquan Brisker (Penn State), WR Chris Olave (Ohio State), WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas), WR George Pickens (Georgia)

Depth: Linebacker, Guard, Defensive Line

Linebacker - They hit on Derrick Barnes in the draft last year which is nice. Alex Anzalone returned to the team but it wasn’t a lock to happen and it ended up being a very cheap one-year deal. Jarrad Davis also returned to Detroit after a season with the Jets which gives them some breathing room. In reality, the defense looks like a 5-2 at times so they really don’t NEED linebacker. Might be a good luxury pick in future years but they also have five picks in the first three rounds so could go here.

Guard - The line is honestly plenty good enough but, with how good the tackles and center are, it wouldn’t be crazy to upgrade guard and continue the pursuit of having the best offensive line in the league.

Defensive Line - They went out and got Alim McNeill, Levi Onwuzurike, and Michael Brockers last year so don’t really need anything here. But Brockers is 31 and they might want to stock up on depth. 





Green Bay Packers - 11 Picks

  • First Round: 22, 28
  • Second Round: 53, 59
  • Third Round: 92
  • Fourth Round: 132, 140
  • Fifth Round: 171
  • Seventh Round: 228, 249, 258

Set: Quarterback, Running Back, 

Quarterback - After the contract Aaron Rodgers received, they are more than set here. Only question is what to do with Jordan Love - hang on to him or see if they can move him?

Running Back - Aaron Jones was extended and AJ Dillon proved that he can contribute right away with his power. Not a need compared to other positions. 


Immediate: Wide Receiver, Edge, Offensive Line, Defensive Line

Wide Receiver - They not only lost mega star Davante Adams but also Marquez Valdez-Scantling. The group of Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, and Amari Rodgers simply isn’t going to cut it. They extended Aaron Rodgers and he wants more say in what goes on so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them work together to take a pass catcher at pick 22 or 28. Should be some decent talent on the board still and guys like Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, DeAndre Hopkins etc. all came from that range.

Edge -  They didn't necessarily want to release Za’Darius Smith - he was a cap casualty. That means they could still use help in that department. It’s an expensive position so the best way to replace it is through the draft - especially in a class like this which is fairly deep in terms of pass rushers. At pick 22 or 28 there should still be some tantalizing options left if they don’t trade up. Some folks believe a guy like Jermaine Johnson out of Florida State might be there and he’s not far off from the top dogs of this class. 

Offensive Line - Quite frankly they are set at center with Josh Meyers and also at left tackle with David Bakhtiari but beyond that it doesn’t look great - especially after releasing Billy Turner. Like many teams, the Packers could draft a tackle and then shift Elgton Jenkins down to guard but the fact of the matter is they only have nine lineman signed to the roster so they need to do something. If they don’t jump for a high end option, they will need to draft depth at least.

Defensive Line - Like offensive line, all three spots are looking thin. Up the middle they have Kenny Clark and that’s about it. They have three total defensive ends under contract to play two spots. Nose tackles and 3-4 defensive ends aren't necessarily premium assets in the draft so they could honestly find someone that can make an immediate impact at picks 53, 59, or 92  

Potential early round picks: WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio State), WR Jameson Willams (Alabama), WR Chris Olave (Ohio State), WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas), WR Jahan Dotson (Penn State), EDGE Jermain Johnson (Florida State), EDGE Boye Mafe (Minnesota), EDGE Nik Bonitto (Oklahoma), T Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa), G Zion Johnson (Boston College), G Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)

Depth: Tight End, Safety, Corner

Tight End - Technically you have what you need with Robert Tonyan as a pass catcher, Marcedes Lewis as a blocking tight end, and Josiah Deguara doing his hybrid fullback thing. But none of those guys are stars and Lewis is getting up their in age. Maybe they do use a higher end pick if the right guy is there but they have bigger needs. Trey McBride has become a popular pick to mock to the Packers but they might need to use pick 28 to get him (or trade up to a higher spot in the second).

Safety - The starters are Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage but, if anything were to happen to them, I’m not confident in the remaining options on the depth chart. Henry Black is still a consideration but he remains a free agent as of now.

Corner - With the amount of nickel and dime teams run, you can never have too many corners in the NFL. Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes are a great pairing on the outside but they might want to bring in some depth alongside Rasul Douglas after losing Chandon Sullivan in free agency. 





Minnesota Vikings – 8 Picks

  • First Round: 12
  • Second Round: 46
  • Third Round: 77
  • Fifth Round: 156
  • Sixth Round: 184, 191, 192
  • Seventh Round: 250


Set: Quarterback, Offensive Tackle, Running Back, Tight End

Quarterback - With the one year extension, Cousins is locked in as the starting quarterback for this year and next. They just took Kellen Mond in the third last year and they already have too many QBs on the roster as is so I really don’t see them going there.

Offensive Tackle - Brian O’Neill is signed until 2027 and they just took Christian Darrisaw in the first round last year which means, they keep him until 2026. If they do take a “tackle”, it should be one that they can start at guard.

Running Back - They have Dalvin Cook locked up long term. Alexander Mattison is a free agent after this year but, with how explosive rookie Kene Ngwangwu looked, they might be okay letting Mattison leave. It’s not a position of need for 2022. The exception of course would be that they are truly concerned that the Dalvin Cook domestic allegations will cause a stir but even then Mattison and Ngwangwu alone is more than most teams have.

Tight End - At first glance the depth chart looks thin but what folks might not realize is that Kevin O’Connell’s offense doesn’t use a fullback yet CJ Ham is still on the roster. Ham could be used as a “move” tight end which, along with starter Irv Smith Jr. in the Tyler Higbee role and Johnny Mundt who was the blocking tight end for O’Connell’s Rams, they actually have plenty of bodies. Ben Ellefson is no scrub and Zach Davidson is an interesting prospect so they really don’t NEED more tight ends as of now. More on the change in offensive philosophy below in the Wide Receiver section.


Immediate: Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Linebacker

Cornerback - Patrick Peterson is back so that is one of your outside corners. Chandon Sullivan joins the squad but, of his 880 defensive snaps last year, he played only 49 out wide. That means 94.4% of his snaps were played covering inside pass catchers or in the box with the vast majority of those coming vs. the slot. Given Peterson’s age and the lack of options opposite him, a high end cornerback makes a lot of sense at 12. If any one of Derek Stingley, Trent McDuffie, or Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner are there at 12, it would be hard to pass them up.

Wide Receiver - We mentioned this briefly above but, with the old coaching staff and philosophy, wide receiver might not even be a need. The Vikings used to run just two WR sets with multiple tight ends and a fullback at times. But Kevin O’Connell has been brought in specifically to run the Rams offense that just won the Super Bowl. At 86% of their snaps last year, the Rams ran the highest consolidation of 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB) of any team in the league and Tyler Conklin is now gone. After Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, you really don’t have a good enough third WR to run this Rams offense. And Adam Thielen isn’t getting any younger. Think about the players the Rams have brought in over the last five years to get where they are - Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Odell Beckham, DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Allen Robinson. I would not at all be shocked to see the Vikings use their 1st or 2nd round pick on a wide receiver - especially if someone like Drake London or Garrett Wilson is there.

Linebacker - The Vikings have three picks in the first three rounds then they don’t pick again until the fifth. So, barring any trades, they only have three real impact picks to make. They have Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks but Anthony Barr is a free agent and likely isn’t coming back. The reality of modern NFL defenses is that the use of nickel and dime cover schemes can mean that at times you only have one true linebacker on the field. So what I would do in the third is take the best “hybrid” type player available that can be physical and play inside but still cover. It could come in the form of a speedy linebacker, it could come in the form of a bigger safety, or it could even be a physical corner that can come in for nickel and cover slot/TE/RB. In that third round range there are a lot of guys that fit that bill. Channing Tindall is arguably the fastest linebacker in the class. JoJo Domann is technically a linebacker but primarily lined up against the slot at Nebraska. Nick Cross is a safety who ran a 4.34 at 212 pounds. Anyone of these guys could develop into a long term answer at linebacker or safety.

Potential early round picks: WR Drake London (USC), WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio State), WR Skyy Moore (Western Michigan), WR Jahan Dotson (Penn State), WR George Pickens (Georgia), CB Derek Stingley (LSU), CB Trent McDuffie (Washington), CB Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati), LB Channing Tindall (Georgia), LB JoJo Domann (Nebraska), S Nick Cross (Maryland)

Depth: Edge, Defensive Interior, Safety

Edge - With the acquisition of Za’Darius Smith, this went from a “need” to “depth”. Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are bonafide studs but their injury history is less than stellar. It would be nice to have a little something behind them given how important the position is to Ed Donatell’s 3-4.

Defensive Interior - The deceiving thing about the 3-4 is it’s actually more of a five-man front since you have three down lineman and two “outside linebackers” that typically rush the QB. The 4-3 has two defensive ends and two defensive tackles but most of those defensive ends like Danielle Hunter move over to the outside linebacker depth chart and now you end up a little thin filling in the three spots up front. If the right player is there, they might add some depth. 

Safety - Harison Smith is still one of the best in the business and they converted Camryn Bynum from CB to safety to they have their starters. We already explained above in the linebacker section what our ideal plan would be but, if they don’t go that way, they could use a depth pick at safety. 


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