NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears 

Bears GM Ryan Pace said even though he believes the team is in a good spot for a rookie quarterback, with veterans Andy Dalton and Nick Foles in the fold, they will stay true to their board.

“I think our QB room would be a good place for a young player to enter. But again we are going to take the best players in this draft,” Pace said, via Pro Football Talk.

Lions

  • The Athletic’s Chris Burke and Nick Baumgardner write that the Lions have made no secret about their desire to trade back and outline some possibilities. The Broncos might be willing to come up from No. 9 to get a quarterback and the Lions could add an extra pick or two while still getting someone they might have taken at No. 7. 
  • Non-quarterbacks could also drive the market. Burke and Baumgardner raise the possibility of the Chargers trading up for Oregon LT Penei Sewell and last week Lions GM Brad Holmes alluded to other players that weren’t quarterbacks attracting some trade interest: “There might be another player that a team may covet that’s not a quarterback, but I can’t really speak for the other teams.”
  • The two also point out the Lions have a really valuable second-round pick at No. 41 overall and could move down with that selection to get additional picks. 
  • Burke and Baumgardner mention that versatility and blocking is really important for Lions OC Anthony Lynn when he looks at wide receivers. 
  • Both get the sense the Lions would like to do better than former second-round RB Kerryon Johnson as their No. 3 option, though he’ll get a chance to show he’s past his knee issues. 
  • On defense, Burke and Baumgardner lists some of the needs the Lions will be on the lookout to try and fill, including adding a foundational piece at linebacker, length and tackling at corner, big and agile defensive linemen, a third safety who will see a fair amount of action in nickel packages and more help at edge rusher. 

Packers

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst explained that they moved away from “what we normally do” this offseason. However, he added that they were still able to accomplish a lot in retaining some of their top talent. 

“The way I look at is we were able to sign the No. 1 running back on the market, the No. 1 left tackle on the market and the No. 1 defensive tackle on the market. So, they just happened to all play for us, which is great. Kudos to Ted Thompson there,” Gutekunst said, via Pro Football Talk. “We certainly did a lot, maybe a little bit outside of what we normally do as far as pushing money forward to continue to keep this team together so we can make another run. We realize the opportunity that is before us. We’re a really good football team. We’ve been knocking on the door for two years and we’d like to finish that.”

  • Gutekunst mentioned that “many” contracts will need to be restructured over the next two years, including that of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers“That is certainly one that we will address as well.” (Ryan Wood)
  • On bringing back CB Kevin King, Gutekunst didn’t think it would be “a great possibility” a year ago, but the pandemic altered his market: “We’re better with him on the field than we would be without him.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Gutekunst also said LT David Bakhtiari is rehabbing nicely from his torn ACL: “All the reports are fantastic. When he left here, we were way ahead of schedule.” (Matt Schneiderman)

Vikings

  • Vikings GM Rick Spielman isn’t sure the team will trade back in the first round: “I would say we’re at 14 right now. I think a lot of people will see how the draft board is unfolding.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Spielman mentioned that in last year’s draft, the team approached sounds six and seven like it was undrafted free agency, but that won’t be the case this year. (Tomasson)
  • Spielman also said the team is happy with the amount of draft picks it has: “To have the draft capital we have gives us a lot of flexibility if we want to move up in the draft if we want to do that.” (Tomasson)
  • According to Spielman, the Vikings have done work on possibly moving up from pick No. 14: “We’ve looked at scenarios of if a specific player is falling in the top-10 if we go up and get that player. … We’re going through what the potential costs would be.” (Chad Graff)
  • If the Vikings remain at pick No. 14, Spielman said they won’t focus on a particular position: “We’re not locked in on one position, I’m just going to tell you that.” (Graff)
  • Spielman said the team may look to acquire a second-round pick if the list of players they like begins to shrink by the end of the round. (Tomasson)
  • If the Vikings trade into the second round, Spielman said that their overabundance of fourth-round picks will make it easier: “[If] we see most of the guys we’re targeting are going to be gone in the 2nd round, we’re going to have to be aggressive to move up.” (Arif Hasan)
  • Spielman mentioned that he likes the depth at offensive line in this year’s draft: “We feel there are a lot of quality offensive linemen throughout this draft.” (Ben Goessling)
  • Spielman didn’t rule out taking a specific position in the draft, even quarterback: “There’s no position that is off limits going into this draft.” (Courtney Cronin)
  • On Vikings CB Jeff Gladney‘s arrest, Spielman said the team is letting the legal process play out. (Tomasson)

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