Despite raising some eyebrows with their first selection of Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet, Chicago proceeded to put together a very impressive draft. From adding an immediate impact player in the secondary in Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson to selecting some potential gems on Day 3, they did a good job of finding talented young players with the fairly limited draft capital they had.
While the Bears brought in some young talent they’ll have to hope that their rookies can contribute enough for them to keep up with the rest of the NFC North, where Chicago’s divisional rivals also stocked up on intriguing prospects.
Let’s take a look at what the rest of the North came away with in this year’s draft.
Round 1: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Round 2: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Round 3: Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
Round 3: Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State
Round 4: Logan Stenberg, OG, Kentucky
Round 5: Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
Round 5: Jason Huntley, RB, New Mexico State
Round 6: John Penisini, DL, Utah
Round 7: Jashon Cornell, DL, Ohio State
Detroit admittedly came away with a pretty solid class. Though they couldn’t find a trade-back partner at No. 3, they still got their target: lockdown cornerback Jeff Okudah. D’Andre Swift is a dynamic running back, but his selection was a bit surprising for them, indicating that their patience with Kerryon Johnson and his injury issues is running thin. Julian Okwara and Jonah Jackson were solid value picks in the third round, and either one of them could end up as starters at their respective positions by the end of the season.
While their Day 3 haul is somewhat underwhelming, I really like the addition of Logan Stenberg to add some more power to their interior offensive line. Quintez Cephus was also a pretty good addition who could end up taking over as the primary backup to the Lions’ ‘X’ receiver spot. Though it probably won’t be enough to get them out of the divisional cellar this year, the Lions added some quality talent that can set them up to compete down the line.
Round 1: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Round 1: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Round 2: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
Round 3: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Round 4: D.J. Wonnum, EDGE, South Carolina
Round 4: James Lynch, DL, Baylor
Round 4: Troy Dye, ILB, Oregon
Round 5: Harrison Hand, CB, Temple
Round 5: K.J. Osborn, WR, Miami (FL)
Round 6: Blake Brandel, OT, Oregon State
Round 6: Josh Metellus, S, Michigan
Round 7: Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
Round 7: Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa
Round 7: Brian Cole II, S, Mississippi State
Round 7: Kyle Hinton, OG, Washburn
The Vikings had a very good draft class, but when you have any many picks as they had this year, anything short of that would be a failure. Justin Jefferson and Jeff Gladney both fill desperate needs at wide receiver and cornerback, respectively, and they should each make an immediate impact in the team’s starting lineup. Ezra Cleveland, on the other hand, will see his impact come later, as the raw but athletic tackle prospect ended up in a perfect spot where he can sit for his rookie year and work on his technique. Cameron Dantzler should fight for a starting spot, as well.
Minnesota’s Day 3 selections were pretty solid, too: James Lynch could end up starting at defensive tackle sooner rather than later, and I like Troy Dye as depth at linebacker. Though D.J. Wonnum was a reach in the fourth round, they arguably added a better edge rusher prospect in the seventh round in Kenny Willekes. While the Vikings’ short-term plans of a half-compete, half-rebuild remain confusing, there’s no denying they got better in the draft this year.
Round 1: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Round 2: A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College
Round 3: Josiah Deguara, TE/FB, Cincinnati
Round 5: Kamal Martin, ILB, Minnesota
Round 6: Jon Runyan Jr., OT, Michigan
Round 6: Jake Hanson, C, Oregon
Round 6: Simon Stepaniak, OG, Indiana
Round 7: Vernon Scott, S, TCU
Round 7: Jonathan Garvin, EDGE, Miami (FL)
Canned universally by nearly every draft analyst, the Packers’ strategy of prioritizing the future over adding immediate contributors for Aaron Rodgers’ shrinking title window was a strange one, to say the least. The cannon-armed Jordan Love ended up in an ideal landing spot where he can learn under one of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation, but he likely won’t make an impact for Green Bay for at least three years, barring an injury to Rodgers.
A.J. Dillon is a powerful back, but with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams already in the fray, picking a player at the position as early as Green Bay did was a bit confusing. The Packers did need a tight end, but considering they plan on using Josiah Deguara in a Kyle Juszczyk-type role, picking a glorified fullback in Round 3 wasn’t great value. I honestly like the players they got on Day 3: they added some talented offensive linemen who will provide quality depth, and Jonathan Garvin was a steal in the seventh round. However, the lack of a single wide receiver despite the position’s depth in this year’s class, plus the position being arguably their biggest need was bizarre, a word that can describe perfectly what Green Bay ended up with in the 2020 draft.