NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Lions

The Lions completely revamped their depth chart at defensive tackle this offseason, saying goodbye to Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels while adding Nick Williams and Danny Shelton in free agency. Daniels wasn’t much of a factor because of injury, but both Harrison and Robinson leave around 1,000 combined snaps of slack for Williams and Shelton to pick up. 

“They both kind of have a different skill set, but we’ll plug those guys in and we’ll get a feel for once we get them all back,” Lions DC Cory Undlin said via Tim Twentyman of the team website. “We have a really nice depth chart there at that position and we’ll just kind of mix and match. We’ll watch those two guys work and find out where they’re most comfortable, what the best combination is and then we’ll settle on that once we get closer to the start of the season.”

Packers

Packers third-round rookie Josiah Deguara was listed as a tight end at Cincinnati and announced as such when drafted by Green Bay. But the Packers have bigger plans for the 6-3, 240-pound Deguara than just lining him up at tight end. The coaching staff used 49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk, who plays fullback, wingback, H-back and even some tight end, as an example of their plans for Deguara. 

“A guy like him, he just lines up in a lot of different places,” Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett said via Wes Hodkiewicz of the team website. “He lines up on the line, off the ball, has the athleticism to move all over the place and insert himself throughout the front line, so I think it’s just one of those things it allows us to do some unique things in the run, play-pass world and also to catch the ball.”

  • According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Packers first-round QB Jordan Love became the first No. 26 overall pick to have his deal fully guaranteed under the current rookie pay scale. 

Vikings

  • Regarding Vikings RB Dalvin Cook‘s next contract, Arif Hasan of The Athletic thinks Minnesota should not pay him any more than $6 million per year. Hasan says he doesn’t value Cook as an “elite running back” given his health concerns.
  • Hasan adds that Cook doesn’t possess “additional value” as a running back similar to Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott‘s pass protection and Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey‘s receiving.  ability
  • Aside from the Vikings’ rookies, Hasan believes TE Irv Smith, C Garrett Bradbury and possibly WR Olabisi Johnson are their best offensive breakout candidates. 
  • As for the Vikings’ defensive breakout candidates, Hasan names DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, DT Hercules Mata’afa, DE Jalyn Holmes, DE Anthony Zettel, CB Mike Hughes, and CB Holton Hill as players to keep an eye on. 
  • Hasan expects Vikings’ second-round OT Ezra Cleveland to start at the tackle position in 2020. 
  • As for Vikings’ new defensive assistant Dom Capers, Hasan doesn’t think Capers will change Minnesota’s base defense but should have an emphasis on “shifting blitz packages.”
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