NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes the Lions have about six to eight players they’re currently mulling for the No. 2 pick. He adds he doesn’t think Liberty QB Malik Willis is totally off the table. 
  • Fowler says most evaluators would see Willis as a reach at No. 2 overall and he guesses the Lions feel that way as well. But they did coach Willis at the Senior Bowl and do need a long-term quarterback, so Fowler doesn’t completely rule out the idea of Willis ending up in Detroit. 


Packers DL coach Jerry Montgomery wants to see “more consistency” from second-year DL Tedarrell Slaton but thinks he could become a “dominant run player.”

“More consistency. Doing the little things all the time,” Montgomery said, via PackersWire. “I think he can be a dominant run player when he’s doing the right things. That’s what I’m going to hold him accountable for.”

Montgomery praised Slaton’s ability to move the line of scrimmage and get off of blocks. 

“The times when he did it right, you can see the line of scrimmage move the other way,” Montgomery said. “When he’s attacking, knocking the line of scrimmage back, and using his hands and getting off blocks, he’s pretty dominant. He’s a big man, athletic, lean. If we can continue to do that on a consistent basis, we’ll have a pretty good player on our hands.”

Montgomery expects Slaton to take a “big jump” with his development next season. 

“I’m expecting him to take a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2,” Montgomery said. “Hopefully, he comes back in shape and ready to go. He’s made a lot of progress from Point A to Point B. Now we need to get to C.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says the top receivers in the draft think Green Bay is a sleeper to potentially move up for a receiver. 


Often when an NFL team completely wipes the slate clean like the Vikings did by hiring a new GM and new head coach, it signals massive changes. Instead, the duo of GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and HC Kevin O’Connell have largely kept things the same and followed the approach their predecessors did. Rather than tear things down, the Vikings extended QB Kirk Cousins and restructured a few veteran deals to keep together a roster that should be competitive, though perhaps not better than last year’s 8-9 squad. 

“I’m having a hard time buying in,” an exec said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “Really, they are just staying the course, They still have no cap money, they have pushed money out, which they didn’t want to do, so I do not know what they are doing. They are just going to run it back and see if the new coach makes a difference.”

However, others defended Minnesota’s approach, especially in a shallow NFC. 

“Too often people right now either want you to be Super Bowl favorites or tanking,” an exec said. “We have lost our ability to sit there in the middle class. The Chargers were on the fringe of the playoffs, make some moves and suddenly are contenders. The Vikings were in the exact same spot, they do some of the same things and people are like, ‘Oh my God, they are so stupid.’ And I fully get the Cousins fatigue.”

“People think that because they hired an analytics guy as their GM, they are obviously going to tear it down, which is unfair to Kwesi,” another exec added. “That is not the only path available to someone with that background. They basically said they don’t know enough about their team, the way it was coached, the way it was injured, to blow it up right now. If they want to blow it up next year, great. I actually think come November, December, that could be a pretty frisky team.”

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