NFL Draft 2012: Each NFC North Team's Biggest Need
This is the highest win total that these teams have put together in NFC North history.
36 wins says something about the direction in which this division might be headed. However, if these teams want to cut down on their 28 losses and continue to be a Super Bowl presence, there is much work left to be done.
All of the NFC North teams have holes to be filled, and positions to shore up.
Here are the biggest needs of each team in the division:
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Biggest need: OL
Whew, where to start?
Christian Ponder needs time to develop. He needs time to work with the coaches, work with his teammates and find his legs out on the field. But I'm thinking even shorter amounts of time: He needs more seconds in the pocket.
Minnesota gave up a horrendous 49 sacks on the season. This is no way for a young quarterback to get comfortable leading his team.
The best place for the Vikings to start this offseason is to get the best lineman in the draft.
Options in the draft: Matt Kalil, USC, Riley Reiff, Iowa, Jonathan Martin, Stanford.
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Biggest need: WR
This may be the most obvious statement you can make, but Chicago needs a wideout.
When your top guy is Johnny Knox and he only caught two touchdowns, you know you have an issue. It's all the more obvious when you see that the Bears were 26th in passing offense this season.
Of course, the Bears have never been known for their wide receiver corps, and the last time they had a 1,000 yard receiver was when Marty Booker went for 1,189 in 2002.
If Chicago wants to keep up in this league, they're going to need to look at this.
Options in the draft: Michael Floyd, Notre Dame, Kendall Wright, Baylor, Rueben Randle, LSU.
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Biggest need: CB
The Lions had 21 interceptions this year, which looks like a good stat, until you look at the rest of the defensive statistics.
Detroit was 22nd in defending the pass, and gave up big gains to teams that shouldn't be throwing the ball. Carson Palmer had a field day against the Lions in a Raiders uniform!
That said, if the Lions can pick up a shutdown corner to go along with recent pickup Chris Houston, it makes this team that much more dangerous in this division.
Options in the draft: Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska, Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina, Leonard Johnson, Iowa State.
Green Bay Packers
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Biggest need: OLB
The Packers' biggest issue in 2011-2012 season was clearly their pass defense. They gave up a league-worst 300 yards per game, and were tied for 27th in the league with only 29 sacks.
Early in the season, most people thought that this was a non-issue, since the offense was putting up such ridiculous numbers. However, one offensive slip in the playoffs cost the Packers a trip to a second-consecutive Super Bowl.
This is clearly something the Packers must address. Another threat, besides Clay Matthews, is absolutely necessary.
Options in the draft: Nick Perry, USC, Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma, Lavonte David, Nebraska.