The NFL off season is about to heat up, beginning with the NFL Combine that starts tomorrow. However, we want to provide our readers with a full understanding of what each and every team needs to address, by position, before the off season really begins. In order to do that, we are publishing eight posts, one for each division, where we give a brief summary of what positions each team needs to address. We have compiled them on our NFL Team Needs page. Today we will take a look at the NFC North, a division that has some extremely talented teams and is very tough to be competitive in. Before the jump we will preview the Chicago Bears, followed by the Vikings, Lions, and Packers after the jump.
Chicago Bears – Offensive Line, Defensive End, Outside Linebacker, Free Safety, Strong Safety, Cornerback
The Bears have plenty of needs, beginning with their offensive line. They could use upgrades at both guard and tackle and in order for Cutler to succeed, he needs better protection. On defense, the Bears once proud defense is now the laughing stock of the NFL. To improve, they must add a pass rushing threat at both defensive end and linebacker while also adding two safeties, as both of their starting safeties have proven to be incompetent. Finally, they could use an upgrade at corner as well, where they lack depth.
Follow us after the jump for the rest of the division
Minnesota Vikings – Right Tackle, Running Back, Tight End, Wide Receiver, Cornerback
The Vikings have an incredibly talented defense and a young, rising star at quarterback in Terry Bridgewater. However, if they want to take the next step in this division, they must surround Bridgewater with more talent. First and foremost, they need to upgrade the offensive line. Secondly, they need to give Bridgewater a talented running back that can take some pressure off him. Whether that be through bringing back Adrian Peterson or finding a replacement in free agency or the draft, it does not matter. Finally, they must add a talented wide receiver and a receiving threat at tight end as Kyle Rudolph and Cordarelle Patterson have been disappointing thus far. They could also use an upgrade at cornerback, although that is not a pressing need.
Detroit Lions – Cornerback, Defensive Tackle, Running Back, Right Tackle, Kicker
The Lions are a very good team with a great young core. However, there are a few positions where they could use upgrades. The main one is at cornerback, where they lack a phsyical talent who can match up with the elite wide receivers in the NFC North. Secondly, depending on what happens with Suh, they might be in need of a new defensive tackle. A similar situation exists at running back, where Joique Bell and Reggie Bush might not be back with the team. Finally, both right tackle and kicker cost them several games this year and both need to be given long-term upgrades.
Green Bay Packers – Tight End, Nose Tackle, Inside Linebacker, Defensive End
The Packers are a very good football team but lack a few key players. Namely, they do not have a tight end that can consistently create separation and give Rodgers his check down option. However, most of their concerns are on defense, where they must get more physical. They need to improve at nose tackle and inside linebacker to be able to stop teams from running the ball down their throat and they could also use an upgrade at defensive end.