Green Bay Packers, RISING: The Packers spent much of their 2013 draft on plugging holes that had slowly grown in their roster. The addition of a pair of running backs and a pair of offensive linemen will help their offense become less reliant on Aaron Rodgers. With eleven picks in last month's draft, the Packers are pulling in a lot of young talent. Those young players, being surrounded by many very successful veterans, should pan out well for the Packers. Throw in the point that the NFC North isn't the most difficult division in football, and the Packers should be a lock for postseason play in 2013.
Minnesota Vikings, FLAT: The Vikings had three first round picks in the draft, and they spent two of them on defense. When they did decide to spend a pick on offense, they gave Christian Ponder someone to throw to by selecting Cordarrelle Patterson. That pick will help, but the Vikings can't rely on Adrian Peterson to run for over 2,000 yards again, and Christian Ponder is still only a "meh" quarterback. The Vikings might not fall below second place in their division, but don't count on a wildcard playoff birth either.
Chicago Bears, FALLING: The Bears' draft class is perceived to be a weak one, and for good reason. They started off with the selection of Kyle Long, an offensive guard, and they followed that pick with Jon Bostic, an inside linebacker, in the second round. Those aren't bad players, but the Bears paid a premium for interior players instead of play makers. There seems to be no reason the Bears will be any better in 2013 than they were in 2012.
Detroit Lions, FALLING: Sometimes I wonder if general managers are just throwing poop against the wall, hoping something will stick. That's the feeling I get every time I look at the Lions' draft class. There's nothing overtly wrong with the picks, but they started off by taking an elite defensive lineman. Have we seen that before? They followed up that pick with a cornerback and an offensive guard, both areas of need and solid picks. Then the Lions went back to the well for another defensive end. It finally occurred to me that defensive linemen are to Martin Mayhew as wide receivers were to Matt Millen. As with the Bears, the Lions aren't any better than they were in 2012, they're just a little bit different.
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