2024 NFL Draft

NFC North draft grades: How Packers, Lions, Vikings compare to Bears

Bears GM Ryan Poles improved the roster a ton over the weekend, but so did his division rivals

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The Bears completely revamped their offense in the early goings of the 2024 NFL draft when they selected Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze. From there they added two intriguing athletic talents to their trenches: Kiran Amegadjie on offense and Austin Booker on defense. Finally, GM Ryan Poles gave the team what appears to be a big boost on special teams when he picked punter Tory Taylor.

Overall, it was a great weekend and the Bears without a doubt improved their team. But they’re not alone. The Packers, Lions and Vikings should all feel pretty good about how they helped themselves over the course of the draft, too.

It should be noted that grading players before they've taken an NFL snap is an inherently unfair thing to do. But given what we know about the players, their teams' needs and how they're all perceived to fit, these are our initial assessments of the draft classes.


Round 1: No. 24: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
Round 2: No. 61: Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri
Round 4, No. 126: Giovanni Manu, OT, British Columbia
Round 4: No. 132: Sione Vaki, RB/S, Utah
Round 6: No. 189: Mekhi Wingo, DT, LSU
Round 6, No. 210: Christian Mahogany, G, Boston College

The Lions proved their big run to close the 2022 season wasn’t a fluke by easily winning the NFC North (their first division title since the NFC Central days!) and making it all the way to the NFC Championship, where they narrowly lost to the 49ers. If they had one weakness, it was in the secondary where they were routinely gashed by opposing passing games. They addressed that problem by drafting some experts’ CB1 in Arnold in the first round, then using their second-round pick to snag another corner. From there they added some offensive line depth, and Vaki, one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft because he played both sides of the ball for the Utes last year. They get extra points for leapfrogging the Packers in the draft to select Arnold, who many expected to be a target for Green Bay. If there’s a knock on Detroit's draft class it’s that they didn’t come away with a pass catcher to join Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta and Jameson Williams.

Grade: A-


Round 1, No. 25 overall: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona
Round 2, No. 45 overall: Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M
Round 2, No. 58: Javon Bullard, S, Georgia
Round 3, No. 88: MarShawn Lloyd, RB, USC
Round 3, No. 91 (via Buffalo): Ty'Ron Hopper, LB, Missouri
Round 4: No. 111: Evan Williams, S, Oregon
Round 5, No. 163 (via Buffalo): Jacob Monk, OL, Duke
Round 5, No. 169: Kitan Oladapo, S, Oregon State
Round 6, No. 202 overall: Travis Glover, OT, Georgia State
Round 7, No. 245 overall: Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane
Round 7, No. 255 overall: Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Lots of folks thought the Packers would look at cornerbacks early in the draft as new defensive Jeff Hafley installs his system. As it turned out, the Lions jumped ahead of the Packers to pick Terrion Arnold, and the Packers ended up with new protection for Jordan Love. Never a bad idea, especially considering the team just cut the ever-injured David Bakhtiari. Further, the team revamped its linebacker room since they’re moving from a 3-4 scheme to 4-3. Finally, Javon Bullard projects to start right away at safety and MarShawn Lloyd gives the team an elusive running back to complement Josh Jacobs’ and A.J. Dillon’s more rugged style. They did not get a corner until the seventh round, though.

Grade: B+


First round, 10th overall: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
First round, 17rd overall: Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama
Fourth round, 108th overall: Khyree Jackson, CB, Oregon
Sixth round, 177th overall: Walter Rouse, OT, Oklahoma
Sixth round, 203th overall: Will Reichard, K, Alabama
Seventh round, 230th overall: Michael Jurgens, OL, Wake Forest
Seventh round, 232nd overall: Levi Drake Rodriguez, DL, Texas A&M University-Commerce

For all the smoke that the Vikings were going all-in on a big move to land McCarthy, they ultimately just moved up one spot to get their next QB. Instead, the bigger trade up was their move from 23 to 17 to select Turner. Vikings DC Brian Flores might be the man to make the most of Turner’s talents as one of the most creative pass rush designers in the league. Further, the team added a new reliable kicker in Reichard, who just set the record for most points scored in FBS history. Now we just need to see if McCarthy’s able to win at the NFL level, like he did at Michigan.

Grade: A


First round, 1st overall: Caleb Williams, QB, USC
First round, 9th overall: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
Third round, 75th overall: Kiran Amegadjie, OT, Yale
Fourth round, 122nd overall: Tory Taylor, P, Iowa
Fifth round, 144th overall: Austin Booker, DE, Kansas

The Bears absolutely nailed their top two picks by adding the highly-touted Williams and Odunze, who could be cornerstones on offense for a decade. Taylor will give the team a real boost on special teams, too. Amegadjie and Booker should be considered project picks with high upside, but neither can be counted on to contribute significantly in 2024. That’s ok, since the Bears roster is in a much better spot now than it was when Poles took over the team.

Grade: A

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