NFC Notes: Montez Sweat, Terrion Arnold, Bears, Lions, Packers


By the end of the 2023 season, the Bears defense was one of the stronger units in the NFL after adding DE Montez Sweat. Chicago DC Eric Washington stated what he wants to see out of their young players to help the continued success of the unit.

“I want to see polished fundamentals,” Washington said, via Courtney Cronin. “I want to see things that I know will allow them to be as disruptive and as efficient with their rush fundamentals as possible. We’re talking footwork, alignment adjustments based on the down and distance, and when we’re in an obvious passing situation. It’s more awareness and just a great coordination of fundamentals that I know that are going to give them a chance to really win that particular rep and down.”

  • Washington was selected to attend the NFL’s head coaching accelerator program. (Jonathan Jones)


Mike Sando of The Athletic cites an anonymous NFL executive who likes the Lions’ selections of CBs Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. but feels they could’ve waited at No. 29 to take Arnold or draft Kool-Aid McKinstry and Nate Wiggins

“I like both those corners they drafted, but they gave up a lot,” another exec said. “I felt they could have waited at 29 and maybe gotten their guy or taken Kool-Aid McKinstry or Nate Wiggins.”

Another executive considered Detroit trading up for fourth-round OL Giovanni Manu was a bit “arrogant,” in addition to taking fourth-round S/RB Sione Vaki.

“They are really good, so they have earned that right,” the executive said. “It’s a little different from the arrogance coming out of Atlanta. Detroit has had a lot of success drafting offensive line.”


Mike Sando of The Athletic cites an anonymous NFL executive who thinks the Packers are building a solid defense with their 2024 NFL Draft selections, including second-round LB Edgerrin Cooper, second-round S Javon Bullard, third-round LB Ty’Ron Hopper, and fourth-round S Evan Williams.

“They are quietly building a defense that is really good and can be good for a long time,” an exec said.

Another executive thinks all of the defensive prospects will be beneficial to DC Jeff Hafley in his first year as coordinator. 

“When you bring in a new defensive coordinator and give him a lot of pieces, it allows him to change some things a little easier,” an executive said. “You get more people willing to take your coaching. Six of their top eight cap hits are for established defensive guys like Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander. It gives them a chance for a fresh start.”

One executive considered fourth-round RB MarShawn Lloyd as a similar player to Aaron Jones

“They did not need him, but with (AJ) Dillon in the last year of his deal, and not knowing what Josh Jacobs will give them, they get a player who is more like Aaron Jones in his skill set,” an executive said. “I was hoping we could get him.”

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