NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Nick Fairley, #13 overall pick by the Detriot Lions, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Nick Fairley;
With the draft over, it's time to look at how the Bears' opponents did. Sure it's impossible to know if a draft pick will work out until he actually plays a snap in an NFL game, but let's talk potential.
Detroit Lions: Even if the Lions had stopped after the first round, they would have had the best draft of the Black and Blue division. They picked up Nick Fairley, the playmaking defensive tackle from Auburn. Last year, the Lions drafted Ndamukong Suh, the DT who won the Rookie of the Year despite getting double and triple-teamed. Now, the Lions will have Fairley to take advantage of those double and triple teams. Expect many flattened quarterbacks in Detroit's future.
Beyond Fairley, Detroit picked up Titus Young, a wide receiver who had two 1,000-yard seasons for Boise State, and Mikel LeShoure, Illinois' running back. Both players will need development but can add a spark to Detroit's offense. Both Young and LeShoure were second-round picks. In the fifth and sixth round, they took Doug Hogue, a linebacker from Syracuse and Johnny Culbreath from South Caroline State, a tackle with size and an awesome name.
Green Bay Packers: Remember what we said about the Packers being good at the draft? Yep, they still are. They ensured QB Aaron Rodger's safety by adding OT Derek Sherrod, the Bears second choice in the first round. They also picked up Randall Cobb, an explosive receiver from Kentucky.
Through shrewd trades, they also added Alex Green, a Hawaii running back; Davon House, a corner from New Mexico State; and D.J. Williams, a smaller tight end from Arkansas. They also stocked up on linemen, a tight end and a linebacker. Considering how good the Pack is at developing their own players, expect to see one of the late round picks shine.
Minnesota Vikings: Thank goodness! After Detroit and Green Bay, a Bears fan could get depressed at how the NFC North did in the draft. The Vikings come through with some head-scratching moves.
Just as we had hoped, Minnesota took a quarterback: Christian Ponder from Florida State. That adds one more QB to team with Joe Webb, a signal-caller who filled in admirably after Brett Favre's injury, Tarvaris Jackson, and now Ponder. Do you see a starter in that group?
Christian Ballard, a DT from Iowa, and Kyle Rudolph, a tight end from Notre Dame, were decent pick-ups, but otherwise, the Vikings left us confused with their picks.