NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • ESPN’s Bill Barnwell writes it’s clear the Bears have soured on former second-round TE Adam Shaheen and he could be gone before the start of the season. 
  • The Athletic’s Adam Jahns mentions Bears WR coach Mike Furrey was a big proponent for WR Darnell Mooney, who Chicago drafted in the fifth round. 
  • Bears signed 11 undrafted free agents. (NFLTR)
  • Bears signed DT John Jenkins. (NFLTR)

Lions

  • ESPN’s Bill Barnwell mentions Lions G Oday Aboushi as a veteran on shaky ground after the draft. 
  • Asked about potentially drafting QB Tua Tagovailoa and holding him hostage for a trade from another team, Lions GM Bob Quinn said that was much easier said than done and it would have been dangerous to assume other teams were that interested in Tagovailoa, per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.
  • Quinn expects 2019 fourth-round DE Austin Bryant to take a step forward and boost the Lions’ pass rush. (Rogers)

Packers

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said HC Matt LaFleur and the Packers’ offensive system intends to “run the ball” more going forward, which is a reason for drafting second-round RB AJ Dillon. 

“I think (Packers head coach) Matt (LaFleur) certainly wants to run the ball,” Gutekunst said, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. “I think he’s talked to you guys repeatedly about how much he’d like to run the ball and have the pass work off of that. I think as we went through, we wanted to have some versatile pieces. Obviously AJ’s a big, bruising back with very, very good speed … Josiah, just the versatility, whether it’s a lead blocker, his ability to create mismatches in the passing game. Matt really wants to tie everything to the run game and off the run game, and these guys will help us do that.

Packers’ college scout Mike Owen praised Dillon’s 4,382 total yards and 38 touchdowns in addition to his 40-yard dash of 4.53, 41-inch vertical leap, and 131-inch broad jump at 247 pounds. 

You don’t hear those numbers come around too often,” said Owen. “And now we’ve got AJ Dillon here with impressive numbers, also. It’s just God-gifted ability that blessed them with height, weight, speed and athleticism to do that, you know? A lot of people in America wish they had that kind of traits.”

Owen also pointed out that Dillon’s physique is “built to last” in the NFL and believes he’ll provide Green Bay a strong three running back system alongside Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. 

I don’t see any breakdown or anything in his body,” Owen said. “The way his structure is, he’s built to last. He’s gonna carry the load if he can. Our offense, we got a couple of other good running backs, so he might not need to carry the load there, too. He’s got the ability to do both … I think he’ll be a great complement to Aaron Jones and Jamaal. I think that’s a three-headed beast that can come in, take this running game to the next level. You’ve got a nice mixture of running styles. I would say Aaron Jones is more like lightning. You’ve got the thunder right here with AJ Dillon and Jamaal Williams.”

  • Jim Owczarski, citing an NFL agent, reports that the Packers were not among the teams looking to acquire a veteran receiver and were moving to a more “run-oriented attack” going forward.
  • ESPN’s Bill Barnwell mentions Texans WR Kenny Stills could be an interesting option for the Packers if he becomes available. 
  • He adds the selection of Dillon likely relegates RB Jamaal Williams to just special teams duty or even a potential cut candidate. 
  • The Athletic’s Bob McGinn says his sense is LaFleur “had enough of [QB Aaron Rodgers‘] act” and wanted to “change the narrative” by drafting Utah State QB Jordan Love. McGinn writes Love gives the Packers coaches leverage over Rodgers as they move to a more run-oriented offense. 

Vikings

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